Skip to Content
Read More

Designing Woman -- Ruth Chafin Interior Design

Last updated

  • Written by: Deborah Rada Redlands Community News
  • Published:

Ruth Chafin is an interior designer with a twist – she is also a California State licensed contractor!

Ruth began her career in 1971, after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree. In 1979, she opened her first showroom in Loma Linda. She discovered that many customers who had a custom-built home, an addition to their home, or an extensive home remodel were unable to achieve the best interior design due to the limitations of the home’s structure. For example, a client who had heirloom furniture from her grandmother was not able to showcase it to the best advantage because the electrical outlets were not conveniently placed. She needed an electric outlet in the floor. Since that had not been built into the remodel, she had to use a long, unsightly, extension cord.

In order to provide seamless service, Ruth decided to get a contractor’s license. She took classes, did five years field experience with various contractors (flooring, tile, lighting, etc.), and passed her boards in 1989. She keeps up her licensure by taking continuing education classes. She also has her teaching credential and has taught interior design at Cal State, San Bernardino and Valley College and supervises student interns. Eight years ago, she moved her office and showroom to Redlands.

As a licensed contractor and interior designer, she is the project manager, so the homeowner does not have to deal a variety of different foremen who may not always agree with each other. As a teacher, she guides clients in visualizing the big picture -- how the remodel will function well with both the rest of the home and needs of all the family members; a fireplace that harmonizes with the windows and lighting; living-room upholstery that coordinates with the dining-room tiling; window placement for best use of light. She knows where to put the dominant and supporting components to enhance, not detract, from the focal point. The home feels harmonious instead of fragmented.

Ruth deals directly with manufacturers and attends manufacturers’ trades shows annually. She recently spent 10 days in Las Vegas for five back-to-back trade shows – lighting/plumbing, hardware/tile, and furniture. By meeting the manufacturers, Ruth discovers those who provide the best quality, reliability, have kept up with current style and fashion, and provide coordinated pieces accessible only to designers – not available to purchasers online. By dealing directly with manufacturers, she cuts out the middleman and can offer the consumer competitive prices. After Ruth meets with a person to understand their needs and wants, she draws blueprints with three price points -- lower, middle, high-end. The purchaser can choose one of the three expenditures or might want to mix elements of each to have some higher priced components offset by some lesser priced.

Ruth designs and creates silk floral and arboreal arrangements, both large and small. Sometimes a room would be enhanced by having a botanical piece, but the lighting in the room is not satisfactory for a living plant. Many of these pieces, as well as a large inventory of items from the manufacturers’ trade shows, can be viewed in her studio.

Ruth doesn’t just limit herself to large projects; she designs for limited spaces, too. She recently designed a home office in the corner of a living room. The office is functional while seamlessly blending into the living room design. (This small office can be viewed on Ruth’s website.)

Ruth also gives back to her community. She remodeled the rest rooms at Redlands Art Association. She also volunteers at the Redlands Visitor Center. She has been featured in Inland Empire Magazine and Architectural Digest.

Ruth believes her job is “to educate customers to be able to make choices that will ensure their project’s success”.

Ruth Chafin Interior Design Company

721 Nevada St., Ste 206C Redlands

Office: (909)796-9422

Mobile: (909) 856-3696 (Ruth’s online store)


Why Shop Local?  Get real value for yourself
Reader surveys by the Consumers Union repeatedly show independent businesses beating their chain competitors in overall customer satisfaction (and often save you money).