Wired – or not – at home

We hear from Linda Ruderman, the veteran Greenwich interior designer, on how to integrate the technology you need while maintaining the sense of your home as sanctuary.

You can’t escape technology – at work, on vacation or at home.

When it comes to being at home, some feel that’s a good thing. Others choose to leave technology behind when they walk through their own front doors.

Linda Ruderman, principal of Linda Ruderman Interiors in Greenwich, has had clients who feel both ways — and has helped create countless solutions that allow people to integrate the technology they want or need, while maintaining that important sense of your home as sanctuary.

Such facilitating is nothing new for Ruderman, who has been creating interior designs for residential and commercial properties for more than 25 years.

Ruderman, who grew up in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, earned a nursing degree from Lehigh Community College and would go on to become a flight attendant for United Airlines. During this time, she began to study interior design, decoration, architecture and art history through independent courses.

She would eventually start her design business and worked out of New York City before relocating it to Greenwich in 1996. Since then, she has continued to grow her business into an award-winning, full-service company with projects nationwide. Linda Ruderman Interiors has a team of six, including two senior designers, a CAD (computer-aided design) operator, project managers and support staff.

With her father and grandfather having both been in the textile industry, Ruderman tells us she was always surrounded by creativity — and an appreciation for beautiful fabrics and their origins.

Ruderman has expertise in classical interiors, translating that approach into livable surroundings for today’s homeowners. Paramount to her work is creating a functionality that reflects a client’s own history, passions and needs.

Ruderman, not surprisingly, is quite plugged in to the pulse of the region thanks to her
extensive experience.

“In general, I find residents in this area take great pride in their homes and enjoy decorating them to enhance their lifestyle needs,” she says. “In the suburbs families like to entertain at home — backyard barbecues in the summers and intimate dinner parties in the winter. Spaces for children to hang out with their friends are important
for most families.”

And, she knows technology plays a part in all of that.

In reflection of this month’s theme, Ruderman recently took time to answer a few of our questions on the subject.

In today’s world, it’s impossible to avoid technology — and many do not want to. In your field, how have the ever-evolving technological advances — amenities for the home — affected your work?

“Technology plays a large part in designing new homes today. The smart home can literally be controlled from your iPhone and every room can be controlled from an iPad that sits in that room. You can even control your oven from an app.”

How do you keep up with trends?

“There are many trade shows that we attend throughout the year that feature new products for the home, everything from appliances (to) building materials — and of course, technology. Also, we work very closely with the A/V companies on our projects to coordinate all of the technology needed for that particular project such as motorized shades, TV installations, lighting, etc. We are always up to speed with what is available to our clients.”

When working with clients, do you constantly get requests for integrating technology? If so, what are the most popular features a homeowner is seeking?

“Yes and no. Believe it or not, some still prefer to flip a switch and keep things simple. Technology can get very complicated. Lifestyle plays a big role in how clients select the amount of technology
for their home.

“The most popular are motorized shades, (a) Lutron Lighting system, audio/visual systems, temperature control and security.”

Can you give a quick recap of any project that was simply filled with technology?

“One of our recent projects in New York City — the entire apartment is controlled by the client’s iPhone, no matter where he is in the world. We recently did a photo shoot at the apartment, and he was controlling the lighting and temperature for us while he was sitting in the airport in London. Pretty cool.”

Keeping in mind that it’s more important than ever to feel your home is your sanctuary, do you feel technology helps that — or can it detract from that? 

“I really think that depends on the type of person you are. There are clients that want it all and love what it provides such as the ability to control their entire home from their iPhone no matter where they are in the world. Others want to simplify their lives and just select what they are comfortable with for the moment that they are in. For some clients, the technology becomes frustrating because they really are not proficient in using it. It takes awhile to learn how to work the devices if you are not computer savvy.”

On a personal note, is there any technology that you yourself cannot do without?  

“I like the flip of the switch method. I do not have to put on my glasses to see what button I have to push! LOL. However, motorized shades are a must, a great sound system and security for my family.”

Linda Ruderman Interiors, Inc. is at 74 Greenwich Ave. in Greenwich. For more, visit lindaruderman.com.

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