Why a New Ring Setting is Like Interior Design

 A New Engagement Ring Setting is Like Interior Decorating? Yes!

A week before Christmas, I received an early present from my husband – a new setting for my engagement ring. I wanted this for such a long time but I always felt that it might be too expensive and that I should be happy with the actual ring that my husband gave me. It’s the memory thing, you know.  I wanted to preserve the beautiful memory of my engagement and my wedding day.

 

wedding picture, outdoor wedding ceremony

My husband Richard and I on our wedding day

 

wedding party with lavendar bridesmaid gowns

From left to right, my daughter Jessica, me, daughter Krista, stepdaughter Megan and granddaughter, Meghan

That was a blessed time in my life and I will never forget how I felt and how I still feel.

a new setting for an engagement ring

Trying on my rings and the new setting before resizing

But the reality of my rings were…

  •  My fingers had gotten fatter and I was lucky to be able to wrestle my engagement ring off my finger – not so lucky with my wedding band.  That had to be removed by my jeweler professionally. They had to resize it for me.
  • I was in danger of losing my diamond because the prongs holding it were crooked. Might have been my years of troweling plaster and maybe that time when I had to run home to get something from my garage while on a job – and in closing the garage door, it slammed shut suddenly on my left hand, nearly breaking my fingers.  I was really in pain after that and I was in the middle of a large Venetian Plaster job, so I had to keep going. Thank goodness it was my left hand that got hurt…and not my right (right-handed, you know!)

troweling with rings on

And speaking of troweling, you wouldn’t believe how many times I cleaned and soaked my rings. But that stuff got trapped in some of the teeniest crevices.  So – because of daily use and the extra wear and tear that I put my rings through, they no longer looked good, at all.

How much did the new setting cost?  $805. Not too bad. And now this really clear and nearly perfect ¾ carat diamond, sits higher up with the new setting (so it looks bigger and more important than it really is) and 6 new baguette diamonds flank it on either side – plus 2 baguettes from my original ring.  The setting still resembled the original setting – but much better. My jeweler also informed us that two of the original baguettes were made of broken diamonds, which some in the industry use to repurpose their diamonds that have broken. The settings get sold as whole diamonds – but, in reality, they are not. So, when my husband bought the ring for me, he understood that the total carat count, with the baguettes, was a full carat. That was not true.

So, the reason why I bring this little story up is because I can relate it to how many people might feel about hiring an interior decorator or other design professional. Silly, you say? No, not at all. There are so many people who would like to redesign one or more of their rooms but maybe they lack the talent or energy to do it…and they think that hiring a professional would cost too much money (just like I thought about the cost of a new setting!) So – they do nothing. Even though they have outgrown the current design and it no longer suits their taste or the function of the room. Or maybe they tried to do a few things on their own – and they failed…so they stopped.

They didn’t realize that a designer would do a small project or be available on a consulting basis.

a kitchen revamp before

First we added crown molding and started to paint the soffits and crown

how to alter kitchen soffits with faux woodgraining

The finished project

closeup of the stenciled soffit

They would love to hire a designer but feel their budgets would be too small…that designers are just too expensive. They don’t realize that a designer’s creativity could save them a lot of money. The kitchen that I helped a client revamp, took 3 days to do. We added crown molding and then faux oak grained them and the soffits to match the cabinetry – plus we added a faux inlaid marquetry design that added a little punch to the kitchen. This was a much less expensive way to update a kitchen than to gut and buy new cabinetry…and less stressful as well.

Not realizing that a designer can take the best and most beautiful things you have (your diamonds) and allow them to shine in a new setting (pun intended!), people shortchange themselves by not using the trained eye of a professional. A designer will use things that you already have, repurpose them and create a new and improved look – without busting the budget. Just like my jeweler took my small but nearly perfect diamond and made it look more important and impressive – a talented designer can do that with your room.

corner of a room before

Chinoiserie hand painted on a living room wall

After, a lonely corner becomes a focal point

 Designers think about things that you overlook. Just living your life – kids, work, stress, every day chaos etc impedes your keeping your home picture perfect. Do you now have too many things in your rooms – too much furniture? (Did your room get fat…just like my fingers??) Has your furniture, pillows, wall colors dulled with age (too much plastering with your rings on??) Most times the fix is simpler than you think.

custom finish on a custom wrought iron staircase

Making an entryway more grand

 

Helping clients make an impact in their homes

Helping clients make an impact in their homes

A designer can help you achieve a unique and collected over the years look. With resources not available to the general public and with specialized training, a designer can assess the real value of what you have (crushed diamonds passing as full ones), repurpose your best things in a unique way (creating a unique setting that’s you and not cookie cutter).

before picture of a powder room

Before: A powder bath that my client was unhappy with

 

powder room after

After: Since she never used the shower, we created a beautiful silk treatment to make this room more elegant

A designer can enhance the quality of your life in the space. Just like when I no longer received any joy from looking at my worn out engagement ring, the skill and knowledge a designer has can make living and entertaining in your room so much more pleasurable. In the above room, we added a beautiful teal and pearl stried wall finish and antiqued wainscoting and a silk treatment for the shower – to update and add elegance to this little powder room.

So, as I was admiring my new setting and feeling so good and proud of it, I saw that my husband was truly enjoying it also. Maybe it’s a little bit of “Happy wife, happy life,” but he feels that the ring just looks so beautiful now – in its new setting.

If you have been putting off doing something with your home, think about my little story. With the right person guiding you, your home can look and serve you better. It doesn’t cost as much as you think it does…and it’s an investment in your future happiness.

If you would like to feel happiness and joy when entering a room you no longer love – contact me.

Linking to: Between Naps on the Porch

 

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6 Responses to Why a New Ring Setting is Like Interior Design

  1. Scribbler says:

    Sweet post and one that struck a chord. My fingers got too “fat” courtesy of arthritis, and I had to have my rings “upsized.” I will never forget the time early on that it fell off into a gallon bucket of paint!

    Our rings are precious to us, aren’t they?
    Scribbler recently posted..HAD A LOVELY CHRISTMAS?My Profile

    • Linda says:

      Hi Ellen – I had to laugh when I read that your rings slipped off into the paint! I remember those days! I went from a size 6 to a size 8.5…it’s a little big but I would rather be safe than sorry. I have a little bit of arthritis…but I have gained some weight over the years and I am battling slightly high blood pressure. I think the latter is what causes the fat fingers. But – my mom had the same issue…but she took off her rings and that was that. I was never going to do that. So happy with my new setting.

      Congrats to your son…and future daughter-in-law. They look like a perfect couple. She is so gorgeous! Speak soon!

  2. Debbie Viola says:

    Linda,

    What a GREAT story, and ring! I find that many people have the same mentality you speak about here. Just thinking about hiring a designer or decorative artisan, and they immediately think they can’t afford us. Once they finally bite the bullet and invite us into their home, they can’t believe what a difference our talent and creativity make, and how relatively inexpensive it was!!

    Happy New Year,
    Debbie

    • Linda says:

      Hey Debbie – thanks so much for commenting! It was nice to see your name on my blog! I know – I agree whole heartedly. People sometimes just don’t understand how good design can help them. Oh well – when I get a client who really gets it – it’s the best thing! When I get a client who doesn’t get it…then we are better off not working with each other. I don’t like struggle – or proving myself anymore. I am getting too old for that!!

      Have a Happy New Year!

  3. Sue says:

    I adore everything you show here. Love the lonely corner that I saw on Houzz. Wonderful paint colors in the small bathroom. Kitchen cabinets are to drool for; kinda French.
    Sue recently posted..Top 10 Homes of 2013My Profile

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Sue! I had fun doing all of these projects. When a client is in concert with me – the project goes so well. Have a Happy New Year! See you on the other side!

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