HGTV's Showhouse Showdown and Dining Room Design

Did you catch this week's episode of HGTV's Showhouse Showdown? The episode featured Fresno, California interior designer Christine Ubbink, who was challenged with designing five rooms in a model home. She reached out to many different stores to source products for her TV debut, Lamps Plus was her go-to source for the lighting for her design. Thanks Christine!

We recently caught up with Christine to ask her a few questions about her inspirations, designing for television, how to light a space, and more...

Christine Ubbink and HGTV Showhouse Showdown

LAMPS PLUS: How would you describe your style?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: My favorite style, I describe as Mid-Century Eclectic. I am a huge fan of clean lines and clutter-free spaces, but I like to have at least one or two unique and interesting pieces or finishes to add character to a room.

LAMPS PLUS: Where do you find your inspiration?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: Inspiration, for me, is everywhere. I love colors, textures, art, architecture, and fashion. So many different sources can inspire. It is really fun to find an object or material that I find attractive and be able to work it into a design project.

LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite paint color?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: It is difficult to choose just one color. Color evokes such powerful emotional responses that it really becomes very personal with each client. Most recently, I've had fun with different shades of blues and greens always mixed with neutral fields so they never overwhelm a space.

Wall Covering

LAMPS PLUS: Right now, I am obessed with...

CHRISTINE UBBINK: Wall graphics and wallpaper. I love the additional depth and texture that can be brought into a space. Vinyl wall graphics and/or wallpaper are a relatively inexpensive way to add an eclectic touch to a room. Also, with vinyl graphics the design can be removed with no damage to the paint/surface of the walls, so they're easy to replace when it's time for a change.

LAMPS PLUS: Do you adjust your designs when designing for television?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: Designing for TV has the same basic principles as my "real life" clients. The main difference is ensuring a balance between too much and not enough accessories. In a typical residence this can be gradually adjusted and even change with time. In television everything is done quickly and you have only one chance to get it right!

LAMPS PLUS: How do you determine the right amount of lighting  for a space?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: Determining the right amount of light for a space depends largely on how the space will be used. Good communication with the client on how they live in a given room is key to ensuring appropriate lighting. I am a big fan of layering lighting so the lighting is flexible to adapt to different uses as well.

LAMPS PLUS: What is your advice for designing on a budget? What do you purchase first?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: Purchase your biggest piece of furniture first - sofa, bed, table, etc. Buy the best quality your budget will allow and choose the color wisely. I prefer to pick something neutral and bring in character and personality through paint, artwork, drapery, pillows, and other accessories.

LAMPS PLUS: What is the most common decorating mistake people make?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: That is a touch question because decorating is subjective. I think a huge mistake people make is confining themselves to what they think is good design, meaning that they edit out the eclectic pieces that reflect their unique personality. The amazing rooms that you see reflected in magazines were created for a specific person or family to fit their particular lifestyle. It is okay to color outside the lines every once in a while!

LAMPS PLUS: What credentials should homeowners look for when interviewing an interior designer for the first time?

CHRISTINE UBBINK: The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) administers a comprehensive exam that identifies individuals competent to practice interior design. An NCIDQ certificate is one of the most recognized credentials available to a professional interior designer. That said, however, it is also very important to review the designer's portfolio to ensure you are comfortable with their design style AND make sure your personalities are compatible. You will be spending a considerable amont of time with this person and trusting them with somewhat personal choices.

For the Lamps Plus lighting products that were featured in Christine's designs on HGTV's Showhouse Showdown, please see below.

HGTV Showhouse Photo

Possini Euro White Flower 10 1/2" Wide Pendant Chandelier

Possini Euro White Flower 10 1/2" Wide Pendant Chandelier: Featured in the Great Room

HGTV's Showhouse Showdown and Dining Room Design

White Four Light 24" Wide Pendant Chandelier

White Four Light 24" Wide Pendant Chandelier: Featured in the Dining Room Nook


Images: Courtesy of Christine Ubbink