Podcast, Ep. 296: A Welcoming Elegance with Suzanne Rheinstein

Designer Suzanne Rheinstein

Suzanne Rheinstein, Designer and Author of A Welcoming Elegance

We welcome internationally recognized interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein to talk about her third book A Welcoming Elegance and how she chose the beautifully photographed homes of the featured clients. Suzanne shares some great tips for those learning to decorate on how to transition into new spaces and re-imagine them, and how we can blend contemporary with antique.

Suzanne Rheinstein's "A Welcoming Elegance"

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • The inspiration behind Suzanne’s new book, A Warming Elegance.
  • How to use your home as a place to help a transition in your life.
  • The inspiration for the house in Montecito.
  • Blending contemporary with antique.
  • Suzanne’s love for drawings and old and new.
  • What are your favorite ways to make your home feel casual?
  • Suzanne’s zest for a party featuring all ages.

Decorating Dilemma:

Hello Ladies,

Thank you for your podcast. I so enjoy listening to each episode, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from you and your guests!

I would like some assistance with decorating my very small entryway and hallway. It’s currently painted in an eggshell finish and I’m tired of the dirt, etc. that shows up from daily use. We have three kids 4 and under, and, as I’m sure you can imagine, all kinds of things end up on the eggshell-colored walls!

I’m itching to do something fun here. My initial plan had been to apply wallpaper to the ceiling up to the bulkhead that appears 2/3 of the way down the hall (and possibly take it up the angled and vertical wall above stairs). However, now I’m considering a vinyl wallpaper for the walls instead—something with pattern and a bit of color to mask the dirt, and that can be thoroughly scrubbed. We’ve considered some sort of millwork/paneling, but the hall is so narrow, and I’m worried it would feel crowded. I also suggested painting part or all the wall a semi-gloss or gloss finish, but my husband worries it would look too modern.

Here’s my main dilemma: the walls in this entryway are unevenly long, i.e. the left wall is shorter in length than the right wall. So, do I run whatever treatment to the end of the walls and disregard the uneven lengths? Do we embrace the bulkhead and frame it out as a doorway of sorts and end our wall treatment there? Which wall treatment should we pursue? Please help!

I’m thinking myself in circles here and getting quite dizzy even typing this: We want this part of our home to feel like a breath of fresh air, vibrant, and a bit fun. I’m grateful for any feedback and suggestions you or your guest could give!




We are here to assist you with decorating your entryway and hallway! First, if you want to do vinyl wallpaper and find an all-over pattern that you like, we’re with you. Suzanne would cover every bulkhead and do a small pattern. Also, use the resources that large paint companies such as Benjamin Moore provide. Their people can be super helpful and knowledgeable. Suzanne is drawn to the beauty of the blue cabinets in the kitchen and the yellow door. The third color she would add is red…but a deep rose or a red with pink undertones.

We love some stripes too – more narrow lines give you a little more breathing room. You can bring in colors from other rooms.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

Subscribe in Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect "finishing touch" antique piece. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.