I’ve been passionate about “all things home” ever since I was a little girl. My love of architecture and design began at Brown University, where I majored in Urban Studies and fantasized about being an architect. Hands-on design work would have to wait – I pursued a business career and obsessively changed the look of multiple apartments in my free time. I met my husband and we soon found we shared a shared love, even an obsession, with houses, real estate and renovation.
After buying our first house together and realizing both the cosmic and financial high that came from our complementary renovation talents, we dove in and began buying and restoring homes around Washington, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. Working on our many project houses, I’ve garnered hands-on construction experience -- I have come to understand not only what looks good and works in a space, but how it is achieved, how expensive it is, and how painful it will be for either you or your contractor.
Today, my design ethic is about maximizing value and minimizing the drain on resources – for homeowners as well as the earth. I have realized the ease and affordability of using more sustainable materials, re-using materials and designing to maximize energy efficiencies in homes.
Currently I design for and appear on HGTV’s top-rated show, Hidden Potential
, which helps families visualize the possibilities that lie within homes they may have overlooked. Each episode entails that I redesign three houses to meet the needs of our contributing families. I have also designed for HGTV’s Curb Appeal
as well as the pilot, The Hook Up
, which serves lower-income communities, providing tiny budgets of only $250 to completely change a family’s home.
Rien With an Eye for Design ©
is my company. I blend my natural eye for practical, personal elegance as well as the savvy to garner the maximum real estate value with whatever changes are made. I recently became affiliated with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Interior Design program and began to take classes with their online division. This has been a fantastic way for me to stay fresh as a designer and study the theoretical side of design, while producing Hidden Potential. I was fortunate to appear as a “celebrity judge“in their student art competition this fall.
Currently, I live in New York with my husband and Mostar, our darling, rescued, mystery mutt. The only thing I love as much as looking at homes and architecture, is looking at homes and architecture abroad. My style has been influenced by recent visits to Croatia, Bosnia and Hungary, as well as Buenos Aires and the Abruzzi region of Italy. When I’m in New York, my favorite thing to do is walk around the city with Francis and Mostar and look up, at buildings.