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We have long been enamored by interiors stylist Benjamin Reynaert’s moody, atmospheric style that evokes many layers of visual and intellectual impressions. Ben’s knowledge and innate eye run deep, starting with graduating from the architecture school at the Rhode Island School of Design, followed by over a decade of experience in styling and creating impactful stories working for publications like Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest’s AD PRO, Frederic, amongst others.

A culmination of his long-established expertise, Ben now has his own independent practice Benjamin Reynaert Creative. Offering interiors styling and editorial and creative direction to brands and publications, Ben is bringing his own distinct voice and vision to the design industry.

This is a particularly special series for us – Ben was our inaugural Style Guide feature back in 2018, soon after the launch of our brand! Ben’s evolved style makes him the perfect advocate for what we know in our DNA at Marigold Living about the aura of Indian hand-crafted textiles – “I can’t imagine a world without Indian block printed textiles. These hand printed artisan pieces bring life and soul to a room in ways mass produced items cannot.” – Ben Reynaert

With that as the foundation of our discussion, read on to learn innumerable, detailed tips on what goes into creating spaces where you never experience a dull moment!

And don’t miss following his brilliant Instagram account @aspoonfulofbenjamin.

Using a center table two different ways

“…use it as a library table during the week, and as a dining table on weekends.…I enjoy draping it with a beautiful block printed table cloth.”

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Q: We are so thrilled to have you back for another Style Guides. It’s fun to see how you styled another round table with a different design of ours in such a unique way. What about a center table is so compelling in a room?

A: A center table is actually quite a clever way to maximize the utility of a single room and use it in two different ways. One, I use it as a library table during the week and enjoy draping it with a beautiful block printed textile or tablecloth, such as the Lotus printed tablecloth, pushing the chairs to the walls and stacking books, magazines and whatever else is inspiring me at the moment on top. And two, on weekends I put everything away and pull the chairs up to the table again and use the space as a dining room for a casual brunch or intimate dinner.

Making our Checkerboard Collection pillows standout!

“Best of all, each cushion is reversible, so if I tire of one pattern all I have to do is flip it over!

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Q: We love the pillows you chose from our Checkerboard collection! What drew you to these patterns?

A: I wanted the patterns and colors of the cushions to stand out in our living room so I specified a darker, handsome chocolate upholstered sofa and kept the rugs and paint colors quite neutral. This way the patterns on neutral grounds that feature bold blues and crisp reds really stand out. Best of all, each cushion is reversible, so if I tire of one pattern all I have to do is flip it over!

Mixing patterns is not for the faint of heart…

“I recommend not forgetting to try and try again, it’s not usually just right the first time!

Sahara-Yasmin handstitched pillow cover

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Q: The red and blue pillows look so chic on your brown suede couch in your living room, and equally pretty in your bedroom with citrus tones – very unexpected, yet so well put together. What was your thought process with these uncommon color schemes and why they work?

A: I have to say, mixing patterns is not for the faint of heart but it’s equally important not to take things too seriously. I prefer to look at the pattern density and ensure that I have a mix of small and large scale patterns as well as patterns with more dense elements mixed with those that are airier and more negative space. It’s all about keeping a close eye on your palette too and keeping it tight to 3 or 4 colors. I recommend not forgetting to try and try again, it’s not usually just right the first time! Take a step back and take a photo with your phone too. I always find it helpful to walk away, clear your head and come back too.

Tips for styling a center table

“…a big urn or vase in the center to ground the space. Stacks of your favorite books and objects from your travels…”

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Q: And what are your top tips for styling a center table as the fixture focal point in a space? You made our Lotus tablecloth look amazing with all of the other elements in your space.

A: Center tables need something in the center to help ground the space. I always prefer something large and in charge, a big urn or vase and clip branches from the yard. In this case, our white and green oakleaf hydrangea is in full bloom and the perfect complement to a blue and white printed tablecloth. Stacks of your favorite books and objects from your travels ensure that there isn’t a dull moment every time you walk by.

Every room needs something high, something low, something handmade and something antique or vintage

“These hand printed artisan pieces bring life and soul to a room…

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Q: What is your take on incorporating traditional Indian block printed textiles in modern décor? How do you think they are relevant today for creating interesting spaces, or what is it about the heritage Indian designs that makes them relevant today for creating interesting spaces?

A: I can’t imagine a world without Indian block printed textiles. These hand printed artisan pieces bring life and soul to a room in ways mass produced items cannot. Every room needs something high, something low, something handmade and something antique or vintage. It’s a rule to live by!

Where to find inspiration to cultivate your own personal style

“I find the most useful color inspiration at museums and galleries. Shop with reckless abandon at estate and tag sales…”

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Q: Any suggestions for those who want to cultivate their own personal style and places they can look to for inspiration?

A: I find the most useful color inspiration at museums and galleries. I’m forever in awe of painting and always enjoy seeing color in a new way through the eyes of a painter. I also recommend shopping with reckless abandon, filling up the boot of your car at an estate sale, swerving off the road for a tag sale and digging around at Goodwill. I like trying things out in real time, and if you find something you do like, then you can always look for better quality versions at auction.

Listen to your house and let it tell you how to live and use each space

“…interesting spaces have layers and personality, and are not created all in one shot.”

Q: Any other must haves you can share that you use to create interesting spaces?

A: The spaces I always go back to have layers and personality, and are not created all in one shot. Listen to your house and let it tell you how to live and use each space. For example, I’m drawn to an eastern facing window in the mornings, so I’ve created a small place to sit there and drink coffee. I always find it helpful to track how you’re using your home and letting that help inform how you decorate.

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