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My design background

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Custom home client, Wendy Browning (left)
with S.A. "Sam" Jernigan
Interior Designer, IFDA
A.gif - 1027 Bytes transplant to Nevada County (Fall '04), I previously provided interior design services for residents of Sonoma County (and occasionally Napa, and Marin) for over 20 years and originally hail from the Los Angeles area where I acquired my design education.

My initial work in the field entailed 5 years full-time as a designer for a family-owned decorating shop located in historic Petaluma specializing in custom window treatments, followed by employment as a staff designer with a specialty custom furnishings store with 3 locations in the Northbay.
Where are the decorating pictures?

After all those years working for "the store," I was convinced consumers didn't need another decorator giving them a "sales pitch"...instead, I knew they were eager for fresh and innovative design ideas, practical purchasing advice (including the oh-so-important technical information -- I've found most consumers simply don't know which questions should even be asked prior to purchasing), along with some appropriate respect for their budget, and personal sense of style. Determined to provide just that, Renaissance Design Consultations was born in the Fall of 1992. In that same year, I qualified for professional membership in the trade organization, the International Furnishing & Design Association (IFDA), which is predicated upon education as well as professional experience combined with recommendations by other trade professionals.

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Over the years, my design projects in Sonoma County included:

  • a fully-furnished model home for MLB Homes for their Sierra Meadows subdivision in Cotati (photo on right)

  • a fully-furnished circa 1905 VIP guesthouse for Dry Creek Vineyard (premium Healdsburg winery), as well as design services for 4 homes owned by winery management and staff

  • staging of homes - back when the market was more “normal,” homes I staged often sold within a week thereafter (including my own Sonoma County residence in 2004 which sold in 5 days with multiple offers). While I have access to a distinctive array of furnishings for staging purposes (on a monthly rental basis), I also have an arsenal of budget-y tricks up my designer sleeve and can often work creatively with a homeowner’s existing possessions. This sort of lean “mini-staging” is accomplished at my hourly rate and will include recommendations for specific paint colors and/or other spruce-up purchases as needed. As a result of my skill in this arena, I also worked on contract with one of the top staging firms in San Francisco (whose A-list clients included San Francisco's then-Mayor -- Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.) DIY staging tips of mine were featured in a 2016 article on Realtor.com and I was similarly interviewed for a staging article onfoxnews_mini.jpg - 1284 Bytesplus previoulsy sourced as a home staging expert forAol_mini.gif - 1440 Bytes (Note: new browser windows will open for links outside this site.)

  • multiple design and project management services for Sonoma/Marin county's Congresswoman, Rep. Lynn Woolsey

  • design services for a 10 guest room B&B, the historic Rio Inn (Russian River)

  • ...as well as interior design consultation for hundreds of residential (and occasionally commercial) clients over the years

  • I've also taught a 4-session decorating course a number of times in Sonoma County (City-sponsored Parks & Rec. Dept.) in addition to conducting consumer seminars and workshops on color trends

  • I've also been cited as a design expert by journalists for an array of articles appearing on FoxNews.com(three times), AOL (multiple instances), BobVila.com, a nationally-syndicated column in the Chicago Tribune several times, and the National Home Furnishings Assoc. -- and, most recently, for articles on Realtor.com as well as Bed, Bath & Beyon'ds blog.

While I can assist with virtually any aspect of interior (or exterior) design and am equally skilled with contemporary as well as traditional interiors, my forte is color, imaginative pattern mixing for a customized look, and working with historic homes as well as European country themes including antiques.

As each individual's "taste" is so unique, I've purposely not provided samples from my design portfolio of projects but am certainly happy to share those with you upon request. Instead, please read what clients say about my work. Creating a home they liked was, after all, my goal...

Design philosophy

Some designers utilize what's called a "signature style," i.e. you can take one look at any completed room of theirs and say, "Oh, I see you had so-'n-so create your space." To me, this one-size-fits all approach seems like they only have one flavor of design to offer their clients -- theirs!

By contrast, I strongly subscribe to the belief that your home is indeed YOUR home. So I'm here to help you create a welcoming and livable space that is stamped with your own personal style -- whatever that may be. Quite simply, your home should reflect you - not me. Although I'll certainly be there to help you sort out what is often a nearly overwhelming array of choices in today's home furnishings marketplace. And, truthfully, that's where the value of seasoned expertise comes in....

Read more about my design philosophy in the newsletter archives...

LEARN more about my unique policy of "giving away" my to-the-trade discounts to my clients.

Community service:

styled the hospital foundation's annual fundraiser - Starry, Starry NightAsked to style the local community hospital foundation's 20th anniversary gala (their primary annual fundraiser) -- Starry, Starry Night, an all-white Gatsby themed dinner/dance which is one of the highest profile social gatherings held annually in Grass Valley.

Click here to see 2 pages of photos including the life-sized collection of vintage-attired silhouettes I designed and fabricated for the event.

* Former Board member, Nevada County Child Advocates

* Former Ambassador, Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce

IFDA_logo.gif - 1985 BytesMember, IFDA (International Furnishings & Design Assoc.)

Here are my ratings by clients on these websites for consumers who each pre-screen their professional members:

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Awarded BEST OF 2016 Interior Designer on Houzz.comHouzz5 star client rating on Houzz
(including Before & After project photos I've recently begun to post)

awarded Thumbtack 5-star client rating on Thumbtack

screened and approved by HomeAdvisorHome Advisor 5-star client rating on HomeAdvisor (formerly Service Magic).
Recently "promoted" by HomeAdvisor from Top-Rated to this Elite Service designation based on my client ratings.

Read reviews of my work via these services by clicking on the links above (NOTE: will open in new browser window) plus see what other clients of mine have said.

Serving Nevada & Placer counties since 2004
(business founded in 1992 in Sonoma County, CA)

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Renaissance Design Consultations . PO Box 561 . Auburn, CA 95604
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