The better a room is Designed... the less it has to be Decorated!

When you hire an Interior Designer, they look beyond aesthetics and décor from the moment they walk in and explore your current space.  When you are ready for a transformation, whether it’s as simple as updating your soft goods or as detailed as a full remodel, an Interior Designer truly knows how to add value to your home.  They are not only your creative partner and advisor, they act as Project Managers to navigate through all of the labor intensive, remodeling details.  They work tirelessly to improve the overall layout, redesign the flow, if needed, and even make your space more functional, in addition to the beautiful updates.  

We recently completed a renovation in Napa; one that had been remodeled again and again over the past 100 years (it actually started out as a chicken coop, believe it or not!).  As we blueprinted what we would accomplish in our renovation, the owners were surprised at many of the minor modifications we proposed, in addition to the larger projects.  For instance, one of the smaller tasks we tackled was to switch out all door knobs, locks and hinges.  We extracted the 1980’s shiny, “brassy” brass and installed modern fixtures in a matte black.  They were amazed at what a difference this change alone made!  

Consider the following design elements a transformation can encompass.  The possibilities are of course, endless!


  • Shiplap, Paneling, Chair Rail and Wainscoting for Walls and Ceiling

  • Baseboards, Crown Molding and Beams

  • Doors, Windows and Ceiling Trim

  • Built-In Cabinetry, Bookcases, Shelving and Mantles


  • Door Knobs, Locks and Hinges 

  • Cabinet Handles, Pulls and Knobs


  • Outlets, Light Switch Plates and Dimmers

  • Remove Florescent Tubes and Install Recessed to Wash the Corners with Light


  • Walls, Ceilings and Floors ... Interior and Exterior

  • Kitchen Cabinets and Bath Vanities

  • Stain Concrete Porches, Walkways and Driveways


  • Widen Doorways and Remove Unneeded Walls to Open Up Your Space

  • Remove Kitchen and Bath Soffits

  • Upgrade Small Windows to Larger Windows and Doors — let in that natural light! 

As you can see, this is just a jumping off point to offer inspiration.  Let your imagination guide you!  

Lynen Interiors is a Full-Service, Interior Design Firm with a focus on natural and eco-friendly materials and finishes. We offer chemical-free and locally sourced products such as FSC certified woods and NO-VOC paints.  We are also Members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. Don’t forget to ask us about our Quality Standards Checklist!

Until next time….stay tuned and stay inspired!

Team Lynen



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Have you ever purchased an entire furniture set from one of those mass produced, warehouse furniture stores? It seems so easy, doesn’t it? They market the entire room to the public, banking that we will buy the entire living, dining and bedroom sets.

Many stores also offer matching dining room sets, including the dining table, side chairs, arm chairs, stools, server, buffet, hutch, china cabinet and more!

Then there are those “Going-Out-of-Business” companies that lure you in with special prices when you purchase their entire collections. Living rooms come with a matching sectional, sofa, love seat, chair, ottoman, bench, accent pillows, coffee table, side tables, sofa table, console table, media unit, bookcase and more … ugh!

The ensemble these stores often push is a complete bedroom set, including bed, night stands, low dresser, tall dresser, chest of drawers, armoire, mirror and even the mattress. If you buy their matching lamps, rug and canvas art then all you need is the bedding-in-a-bag and you’re set…. Did I say ugh??

STOP the madness!!  These mass marketed rooms are the corporate stores way of force-feeding us an easy way out. Yes, it is the easy, unimaginative and boring way out!

It's fine to occasionally purchase in multiples such as paris of bedding pillows / shams, drapery panels or captain’s chairs to place at the head of tables. Sets of towels, dishes or flatware are also totally acceptable. However, before you go any further with your home decor shopping, consider these individual touches that convey to the world your personal style:

  • Replace your wooden bed with a cozy upholstered bed

  • Switch out your dresser’s attached mirror with a wrought iron, wall mounted mirror. Be sure not to hang it too high above the dresser though (something we've seen too many times!)

  • Move two of your kitchen chairs into other areas of your home (perhaps into an office or a kid’s room). Replace them with two upholstered or slipcovered captain’s arm chairs

  • Find some cool pillows that makes you smile. Toss them on your sofa so it now reflects who you are. Then it’s time to donate those matching ones that the sofa manufacturer sent with it

In general, when you have more than one of something, it dilutes the uniqueness of the piece. Your home should be a collected reflection of you. It should grow with you and contain pieces that make you happy.

Stay Tuned. Stay Inspired,

Team Lynen




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Have you ever moved into a new place and wished you had magic powers and could just twitch your nose, so it could be set up exactly how you’d like it to look? I’m with you on the unpacking part but actually transforming your home into the refuge it is supposed to be is a true process - and it's more fun that way!

Think of your wardrobe. We don't go empty out our closets and go on a shopping spree to fill it up 100% all at once! So why do we think we should do that with our homes? We don't create budgets and spreadsheets for shoes and belts, etc. (although with those higher priced items, perhaps we should!). I say don't put that kind of pressure on your home.

Did you know studies have shown that the novelty of a NEW item wears out in just 9 months!?  So, if you transform your space all at once, you’ll be tired of it in less than a year!  Yet if you keep adding newness to your home, it will continue to feel fresh and updated!

We recently helped a client with her bedding project. Together, we selected a beautiful new linen duvet, coordinating pillow shams, linen sheets and a cozy blanket. The vision was looking lovely with layered textures and patterns of blues, whites, creams and grays. The client was so excited that she wanted to buy more pieces to complete the bedroom ensemble, but it just didn’t feel right. The bedding was looking too contrived and "model home". It needed some personality, so we added a hand-stitched quilt and an oversized, vintage linen grain sack lumbar pillow ... perfection!

Now she can take her time and have fun shopping as she adds individuality to her bedroom. What treasures will she find on her travels?

  •   Unique tables or night stands that need fresh paint and unique hardware
  •   Linen drum lamp shades to replace her dated pleated ones?
  •   A cozy bench to place at her footboard?
  •   A chunky braided throw to toss across all of it?

As a side note, remember to let those close to you know when you are on the pursuit for a certain item. People who care about you would love to know what interests you as you just made their shopping so much easier on them! How nice and personal to receive something that you have been searching for as opposed to another gift card to a restaurant that you may or may not enjoy?

So, take your time on decorating your space. Allow it to happen organically and make sure your personality is what pops the most!

Stay Tuned. Stay Inspired,

Team Lynen



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Your home is a gift ... to yourself ... to your family ... to anyone that visits. Growing up, my parents always said that having company stay with us was one of the best things that happened to our house. Every January, we would start a home improvement to-do list in anticipation of our guest’s arrival that upcoming summer. These guests were both relatives as well as friends that we enjoyed welcoming into our home. They would stay for several days and ventured all the way from the East Coast to spend time with us.  

As the arrival dates of our guests approached, we did many last-minute touches to make them feel welcome. As a child, I didn’t realize that we were preparing our home as a gift to our family and friends.

Make your guests feel comfortable by sprucing up your home like a warm and welcoming Bed and Breakfast.

  • Remove your personal items from the bedroom and bathroom your guests will be using.
  • Clean their bathroom extra well and provide extra tissue paper, air-freshener and a plunger (for embarrassing moments).
  • Make their bed with fresh linens and lots of pillows, extra bedding and blankets.
  • Place fresh towels and washcloths in their room.
  • Place a basket in their bedroom filled with toilette samples, such as soap, shampoo, sunscreen and lotion.
  • Provide a chest of drawers or a closet with extra hangers.
  • Place an extra dining chair in their bedroom for a place to sit.
  • An iron and board are always a thoughtful idea.
  • Make sure they have a light and a night stand near their bed.
  • Fresh flowers, reading materials, a drinking glass, bottles of water and a basket of snacks on their nightstand are lovely ideas.
  • A USB cord/plug and your Wi-Fi password are helpful touches.
  • Don’t forget about privacy / room darkening window coverings.
  • De-clutter your family room, kitchen and other public spaces to make room for your guests and their things.
  • Plan your meals so that you have more time to spend with your guests.  For instance, prepare a meal a week before and freeze ahead (lasagna, for example).
  • Relax and enjoy their company!

The main thing is to be prepared so that when your guests arrive you can make wonderful memories and not stress over the visit.  They will definitely notice how much thought you put into making their stay enjoyable!

Stay Tuned. Stay Inspired.

Team Lynen



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Several years ago, I took a client upholstery fabric shopping. The goal was to recover her vintage sofa. I asked her to pull some swatches so that I could see what she was drawn to and she quickly made a pile of traditional tapestries and dated florals. We then played one of my favorite interior design games called “elimination”. I displayed all of the fabrics in front of us, held up each swatch and asked her “yes”, “no” or “maybe”. She shrugged her shoulders, tilted her head and asked “maybe” as if it were a question. This continued until every sample was in a “maybe” pile. We were getting nowhere.

My client had grabbed a variety of fabric swatches that she thought she “should” have but none of them put a smile on her face. None of them made her happy. One by one, I held up each swatch again, this time to her waist, as if It was a skirt. I asked her if she would wear it. Every swatch evoked the same response, “No way”! 

I declared a re-do. I grabbed a whole new bunch of fabric options with a more modern vibe. This new batch of swatches mimicked her current wardrobe and young, urban lifestyle. It was a textured mix of solids, checks, stripes and fresh florals in a variety of linens, cotton and wools. The palette was also timeless and classic so it would blend well and grow with her existing furnishings. It didn’t take long to choose a winner and every time she walks by her sofa, a smile comes over her face.

The next time you are ready to dress your room, take a cue from your closet.

Stay Tuned. Stay Inspired.

Team Lynen



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We as a firm have always shouted from the mountaintops our love of green! Antiques and vintage pieces are the ultimate choice in “green” home décor! When you are reimagining your space, consider green options. They have more of a story to tell and transform your home into a personal space with pieces you won’t see on every magazine page or home improvement show. Older, one-of-a-kind finds are sure to put a smile on your face when layered with your newer home décor pieces.

When looking to transform your home, discover just the right treasure to help tell your story by antiquing and vintage shopping.  One of our favorite Bay Area sources is the Alameda Point Antiques Faire

It is the largest antiques show in Northern California and we are grateful that it’s only a short drive from our interior design studio and shop.  If you are up for the adventure, plan your expedition out to Alameda Point and enjoy access to over 800 unique booths. The vendors set up along the airstrip at the former naval base. The faire is held the first Sunday of every month and opens at 6AM for you early risers!

We recently visited on a cool and sunny day ⎯ perfect weather for antiquing! The clear sky granted us panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline and gave us the energy we needed for a very thorough day of hand picking and curating amazing finds for you ... and for us! 

Although we’ve been antiquing for years, it can still be a little overwhelming, even for us!  Take our advice and follow these tips:

Tip #1 ⎯ Wear comfortable walking shoes ... a no-brainer for any Bay Area outdoor, day-long event.

Tip #2 ⎯ Dress in layers. The bay's cool morning air warms up in the afternoon. This Sunday's forecast is clear skies with temperatures in the high 50's to low 70's during the showtimes of 6am - 3pm.

Tip #3 ⎯ Wear your hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. Don't let the overcast and breezy weather fool you as the sun can still make an impact!

Tip #4 ⎯ Bring plenty of cash, water and snacks. If you forget, there are ATM's and a variety of international food / drink vendors on site. The faire also provides ample portable toilet facilities.

Tip #5 ⎯ Bring a large bag, cart or wagon to tote all of your treasures. If you forget, they rent shopping carts for a mere five dollars. They also provide courtesy flat-bed carts to transport your larger or heavier purchases to the loading / pick-up zone.

Tip #6 ⎯ Start from the back of the property and work your way forward. That way you will discover treasures that other folks may miss as many get too tired before reaching the end. This tip will also help you avoid those crowded booths near the entrance in the beginning of the day!

Tip #7 ⎯ Toss out your shopping list. Be open to new adventures and old treasures that await!

Tip #8 ⎯ Tag your favorite finds, vendor or booth on our Instagram feed, #lynencloset

Stay Tuned. Stay Inspired.

Team Lynen



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Our first topic we want to share with you is a true “natural” for our inaugural post – Refresh your space by Redecorating and Redesigning!
If we look back to when we were children, that was truly our initial foray into transforming spaces. Whether we were decorating Barbie’s house, building our Hot Wheel’s city, rearranging our closet or moving furniture in our bedroom, we were creating spaces we loved. As a child, part of establishing our identity came from the sense of enjoying ‘ownership’ in our personal space. Whether we had our own room or shared one with siblings, we found a way to establish our individual space and make sure it conveyed to the world who we were! 
Back then, few of us were fortunate to go out and shop whenever we wanted to transform our space. Therefore, resourcefulness was of course the mother of invention for us as children. We found ways to use what we had to make our little area in the world reflect who we were on the inside; whether it was photos of friends, posters, stuffed animals or just arranging our toys in a way that made us smile!
To redecorate or redesign is to simply look at what you already have in a new way. Do it now - go through your home and pretend you’ve never been there before! Search high and low, like you are seeing every inch of your space for the very first time. If you need help, ask a friend to walk through with you and get a second opinion. That is exactly how we approach every new project — with fresh eyes!
We all have many ‘found pieces’ that simply began fading into the background as the years passed by. For instance, we recently placed a client’s outdoor bench at the foot of her master bed. She commented on how cool it was and asked where we found it. When we told her that we ‘found’ it in her backyard, she truly couldn’t believe it! She didn’t even recognize what she already owned!
Transform your space by simply getting out of your comfort zone and moving things around! Use a small outdoor bench as a side table, a child’s night stand, extra seating at your dining table or floating in front of your fireplace. Try it in your master bath, at the end of your bed, in your walk-in closet, in your mud room or near your front door as a place to rest as you take off your shoes … so many possibilities!
Redecorate and Redesign using what you already own — you will see your home in a refreshing new light!
Stay Tuned. Stay Inspired. 

Team Lynen



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Welcome to our first blog! After 20+ years of transforming amazing spaces into even more fabulous interiors, we are finally sitting down to put pen to paper (or keys to board as it were!). We felt it was high time we began sharing many of the ideas, secrets, tips and knowledge we have garnered throughout our careers in design.  

For years our team has answered client’s questions and over time realized that we are often answering many of the same questions again and again. Therefore, years ago, we started keeping journals of ideas that have been proven, objects that have inspired, materials that have worked (and those that haven’t!) and of course those costly mistakes we have learned from. One constant that has remained the same is the simple fact that our love of classic, clean and natural design remains true for us at Lynen and never goes out of style.  

We plan to reach out to our awesome clients, past and present, as well as many of our dear friends and family each week to share our ideas to help you transform the space you live into a place you love! You have inspired us for years and we truly hope these little morsels of information allow us to repay the favor, at least in part! Our first topic will center around redecorating and redesigning! 

Stay Tuned. Stay Inspired,

Team Lynen