Home & Garden

Meet Raleigh interior designer Sandra Moncada-Mainz

Raleigh interior designer Sandra Moncada-Mainz’s favorite room is her formal living room with this large, abstract triptych painting commissioned from a Colombian artist.
Raleigh interior designer Sandra Moncada-Mainz’s favorite room is her formal living room with this large, abstract triptych painting commissioned from a Colombian artist. Julie Shuey

Sandra Moncada-Mainz

Couture Haus Interior Design, Raleigh

919-229-4478, thecouturehaus.com

My design signature: Modern, clean and sophisticated spaces with splashes of color. My own home has a tailored yet eclectic look. I have paired modern pieces with old cherished ones collected through the years and many global travels. This eclectic mix tells our family story as it unfolds. I enjoy working with clients who are eager to let their personalities shine through their spaces and wish to tell their own family story through design.

Best trick for organizing holiday decorations: Try to keep the original packaging for storing fragile ornaments. If you don’t have the original packaging, wrap ornaments with tissue paper saved from opened gifts and place in resealable sandwich bags. I also make sure ornaments are stored at the top of a box to prevent them from getting crushed.

My New Year’s design resolution: The playroom is in dire need of redecorating as my teenage daughter has clearly outgrown the room. This space will need to be converted to act as a teen lounge, sleepover space, game area and a place for doing homework. A design challenge? Definitely! But I can’t wait to start working on it.

My favorite room: My favorite room is the formal living room. The focal point is a large, abstract triptych painting that my husband and I commissioned from a Colombian artist. I paired it with two amazing works of art purchased from a gallery in Germany, an heirloom coffee table and a modern upholstered bench with Lucite legs. Completing this space are two small lacquered console tables with a slender architectural base in polished stainless steel. The room has a modern, elegant feel that reflects our personality and lifestyle – with each piece meaningful in its own right.

What never goes out of style: A wonderful piece of original art that you love never goes out of style. I think art is the most personal of all accessories in a home and should appeal to the owner’s sensibilities and speak to the heart. I personally love sculpture. In my home, my favorite piece is a white clay sculpture commissioned from Raleigh artist Holly Fischer. It sits on top of a mirrored chest of drawers against a dark brown wall in our family room. Every time I sit on my red tufted couch to read and have my cup of coffee I am mesmerized by the organic shapes and curves of Fischer’s sculpture. I still love it as much as the first day I got it.

Must-haves for the guest room: Our guests typically come from overseas and stay for a long period of time. I strive for them to feel at home, and my must-haves are plush towels and a soft, cozy bathrobe. The finishing touch are fresh flowers.

Best decor or design gift you ever received: My favorite décor gift is a tree picture frame I got from my daughter for Christmas a couple of years ago. It is monogrammed with our names and pictures of treasured family moments.

Tool I cannot live without: I do not leave the house without a measuring tape. I have a box in my car with several sized measuring tapes including a digital one. You never know when they might come in handy.

Best decluttering tip: When I set out to declutter an area, I bring three boxes for trash, giveaway and keep. I go through every item individually and place them in one of the boxes. This is an easy and effective technique to both categorize and take immediate action on your belongings.

Favorite powder room decor tricks: “Banish boring” is my favorite décor trick for a powder room. Add an unexpected detail to achieve the wow effect: dramatic lighting, an interesting mirror, amazing hardware, a fun wall color or fabulous wallpaper.