Renewal by Andersen relies on professional interior designers to bring its award-winning, energy-efficient window and door products to life in clients’ homes. Now Renewal by Andersen wants to individually recognize talented designers with its Toast the Expert special feature on Triangle Today.
Q. Tell us about yourself.
A. My name is Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr., owner of DESiGN iNKREDiBLE LLC. We take on projects throughout the Triangle area and are working with clients in Durham, Raleigh, Knightdale, Wake Forest and New Hill. We also take on out-of-state projects.
Q. Tell us about your education, experience or biggest influences.
A. I received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from NC Central University in Durham, and started my first interior design venture while I served as a teacher. Some of my earliest and favorite projects were children’s spaces, where I enjoyed pulling bright, vibrant colors together, along with fun patterns. I continue to work in the field of education by day and acknowledge the value of the transferable skills gained through my experiences. I recognize that although style and a good design eye are important, it takes much more to maintain a successful interior design business. I am currently continuing education in interior design.
Q. What do you enjoy most about interior decorating?
A. I really enjoy seeing dramatic transformations. Many of my projects are in new construction homes, so we typically start with a blank palette. Once we start adding color and fabrics, the space comes to life and it is awesome to see the transformation. I also love to see my clients’ initial reaction as they walk into a completed space for the first time. I have had clients to scream, cry and leap for joy when they see their new space. It is a great feeling when you realize that you can pull so much emotion from people by using your talent and skill.
Q. How would you describe your style?
A. As a personal design style, I love classic, modern luxury. I typically go for furniture pieces with clean lines, that are timeless. I start with a neutral foundation, and add pops of color that can be changed when desired. For my clients, I pride myself in being very versatile as far a style goes. I have had success with design projects featuring a modern glam style, shabby chic, farmhouse, traditional and minimalistic.
Q. Which design trends are you most excited about this year?
A. I enjoy the mixing of metallic finishes in fixtures and hardware. It is awesome to see that copper and brass are making a comeback, and they look amazing with other more standard metals such as chrome or brushed nickel. I also love that velvet furnishings are in right now. They are being used in bright bolds colors to really make a statement. In kitchens, homeowners are becoming more open to color on cabinets rather than the standard white. I love to see darker gray, or even blue being used on cabinets and kitchen islands.
Q. What are your favorite types of clients to work with?
A. Some of my favorite clients have been the kiddos! I really enjoy children’s décor. It is fun to be able to do bright bold colors, with tons of patterns. I recently worked with 7-year-old twin girls, who both screamed when they walked into their new space. One of the girls pretended to faint as the décor astonished her. That’s was hilarious and fun! I frequently go back to look at the video reveal of the space and laugh. I also love clients who recognize and place value on the skill, talent and knowledge that goes into the service I provide. I want clients who know what style they want and enjoy being a part of the design process, but are also open to allowing me a good amount of creative flexibility.
Q. What/who inspires you right now?
A. I get a lot of design inspiration from art. Abstract artists are able to pull different colors together and make them blend to create a cohesive piece, and I feel like I am able to do the same thing with the design of a space. I look at an art piece and the colors used, and imagine that color palette in a full room. My old go-to for inspiration is design magazines. I have a huge bin of magazines dating back to the early 2000’s. I frequently thumb through some of those older magazines for inspiration and to see what styles I might be able to bring back on trend. Also, with social media being a huge platform for home decor and interior design right now, there is tons of inspiration on apps like, Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram. I follow other designers and décor retailers on those apps and pull tons of inspiration from there.
Q. How do you consider natural light when designing a space?
A. Natural light is very important in design. It can save a client money by allowing them to use natural light during the day, as oppose to turning on electrical lighting. I typically make windows a focal point in a space and shy away from covering the means of natural light with furniture or other obstructions. Although, I love to use dark colored furniture and sometimes paint, this is always done strategically so that windows and other means of natural lighting can do their job and keep the space feeling bright and open. Also, artificial light can sometimes alter the way colors appear. The true rich colors of furniture pieces and paint are seen best via sunlight.
Q. What new trends in windows & doors are you using?
A. I am accenting windows with lush drapery in heavier fabrics. I typically use 2-4 panels on each window so that they look full and substantial, rather than one panel per window that can sometimes look skimpy. I make sure that the treatments extend above the top of the window and in most cases, go all the way to the floor. I am also excited about window and door trim being painted in darker colors such and black or dark gray rather than white. It creates a look of sophistication and luxury.
Q. If someone could look through a window into your dream room, what would they see?
A. The room would most likely be a huge bedroom with sitting area. The walls would be a darker gray color, and there would be a wallpaper accent behind the huge 6-7 foot tall upholstered bed. Most of the furniture pieces would come from my favorite wholesale furniture vendor Bernhardt. These pieces are made right here in NC. There would be a beautiful modern lighting fixture in the center of the space. The bed would be layered to perfection with tons of plush pillows. The space would have a darker masculine feel, but elements of glam such as faux fur, velvet, and mirrored front bedside chests, would be appeal to a female’s tastes as well. This would definitely be a stop and stare space! Man, I could go on and on about this room.
Check out more of Don Ricardo’s designs at DESiGN iNKREDiBLE LLC.