Spotlight: Rita Chan Interiors

By Kate Riley September 7, 2016

Whenever I discover an impressive designer portfolio, especially one that is new to me, I like to send the designer a note on his or her beautiful work. I discovered Rita Chan Interiors a few weeks ago and had to reach out. Rita went to school for Interior Architecture at UCLA and worked for Waterleaf Interiors in Manhattan Beach for a few years before establishing her own design firm.

I loved the casual coastal vibe of so many of her interiors! Rita was kind enough to answer a few questions, ones I find helpful for anyone decorating their own spaces.

1. You believe in creating a peaceful environment at home that makes every day feel like a vacation. Tell us why that’s important and how it affects your approach to design.

In today’s incredibly fast paced world it’s so easy to get overstimulated, overbooked and stressed out, so I think it’s more important than ever to have our homes feel peaceful and serene, to give our minds a real break from all the noise. My goal when designing homes is to evoke that sense of being on an amazing vacation, where we truly unwind, allow ourselves to be present and enjoy life and our loved ones.

 rita chan upright piano window seat

For many, vacations and travel are the happiest times we have, so why not have those feelings everyday? I think our surrounding environment can really affect the way we feel, whether we realize it or not, so when I am designing I am not just thinking about how something will look, but how it will make my client feel. I am all about helping them to feel relaxed, calm and happy.

 blue and white bedroom

 wood console rita chan


2. What tricks do you use to warm up a home with all white kitchens or walls?

I like to warm up all white kitchens by bringing in natural elements such as wooden shelves, wooden bowls and cutting boards, rattan trays, potted plants, displays of fruit and of course, fresh flowers always brighten up any space. Another great way to add warmth and personality are through window treatments, such as patterned or textured roman shades.

 wood stools rattan pendants white kitchen

  sawhorse wood desk

 rita chan blue white kitchen


3. What’s a good tip for decorating a space with a leather sofa?

For a leather sofa I like pillows with a heavier texture or a more worn look, so vintage pillows are always a good call on leather. Since most leather sofas tend to demand attention, I like to keep everything else in the room pretty light and neutral and allow for the sofa to be the center of attention.

 leather sofa rita chan

 pillows on sofa


4. What are your favorite ways to add texture to a room?

My favorite ways to add texture into a room are through woven upholstery fabrics, and natural materials such as raffia, rattan, jute or sisal rugs, and grasscloth wallpaper… I think my very favorite texture is a patterned grasscloth paper.

 woven bench and basket


 white walls blue sofa


5) What advice can you share for those who like the idea of wallpaper but are afraid to commit to anything too bold or permanent.

I always recommend saving bold wallpaper for the less frequented rooms such as the powder and laundry rooms, playrooms or guest bedrooms. If you are interested in wallpaper for the shared living spaces or main bedrooms I typically think grasscloth or a very subtle and neutral patterned wallpaper is the way to go.

 wallpaper behind bar


 tufted headboard bedroom

all images courtesy of Rita Chan Interiors 

Thank you so much Rita for taking the time to answer my questions! See more of Rita Chan’s portfolio on her website, there is so much more to inspire you there!



  1. I love this decoration idea. Simple but beautiful. The house still modern while nature was combined. That make the space more peaceful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Her coastal vibe does suit me well. I like the idea of making home become a peaceful place. You don’t need to go on vacation quite often,when staying at home can relax you physically and mentally. Thanks in advance.

  3. Wow, I love this. I’m stuck in finding ideas for decorating my house with focus texture. Then you post lightens me up.
    Thanks for sharing.

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