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Triangle Home Design & Decor Magazine | Style Story

Eastern Influene

A Raleigh designer’s simple Nepali roots are the foundation of her creative work.


By Lindsay M. Powell

Growing up in Nepal, Rosy Alexander’s life was simple and minimal. “I spent the majority of my childhood with my grandma, who cooked meals on an earthen stove, made mats by weaving straw, and had floors made with red clay,” recalls the interior designer, cook, and photographer. Born and raised near the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, Alexander spent her teenage years in Toronto before moving south to Raleigh where she began to document her creative work through her photographs.

Alexander gained her footing on Instagram, a platform she credits as being a major factor in her growth as a creative. “I started my account to share glimpses of my life, and it quickly turned into a place where I teach others how to make a beautiful home and cook wholesome meals,” she explains. Sharing her moody and earthy photographs of food and home-styling eventually led her down a path to interior design.

Inspired by natural textures and earthy colors, she always makes a point to notice the trees and foliage while driving. Often “borrowing” from nature, a freshly gathered bouquet of seasonal wildflowers is always sitting on her countertops. The influence of the South has found its way into her work as well. “I love the South, I hope to grow old here,” Alexander says. “I value creating moments that allow people to connect, and that’s a value I share with Southern culture.”

“Our senses can be easily overwhelmed, and one remedy is to add natural textures to your home to keep it soft and soothing.”

“Bring plants indoors once the weather starts to cool. It’s a great way to brighten up your home when it feels gloomy.”

“Year-round nature has an incredible way of welcoming us into the next season. I advise everyone to keep a pair of shears in their glove box so that they can snip some beautiful foliage to take home. It's free and so easy!”

“Every home needs a few tapered candles and antique candlesticks. Nothing says 'slow down' like a few dimly lit candles in the evening. I love rituals that create a sense of peace. Lit candles in preparation for dinner with friends is one of my favorite rituals. It instantly adds a warm and inviting mood to a room.”

“Though I’m not a big fan of the cooler months, I do love cooking up warm and hearty meals. A cup of fragrant chai tea is simmering on my stove every morning. A bowl of spiced oatmeal with dates and cinnamon for breakfast, and rich red-wine braised stews for dinner are some of my favorite fall recipes!

The traditional smooth gloss tiles by Clay Imports are made using wood frames that give the edges a rustic, irregular look;

The weathered and glazed Zellige tiles feature an array of whites;

The Antique Diamond Matte tiles can be arranged into a hexagon pattern;

The Provincial Red Hex tiles are reclaimed from antique French terracotta structures;

The unglazed natural Zellige tiles by Riad Tile are handmade in Morocco using centuries-old techniques;

Overhand Knot / $60 /

Folk Abigail 10” Soft Cone Pendant / $449 /

In Common With Ceramic Orb Surface Mount / $700 /

Ridge Vase / $125 / Bump Table / $3,500 /

Bump Table / $3,500 /

Triangle Home Design & Decor Magazine | Feature Story

The Great Indoors

When a Raleigh family builds a custom home in the North Ridge neighborhood. They enlist designer Sandra Moncada-Mainz to help bring the indoors in.


By Lindsay M. Powell

Longtime Raleigh residents had reached the stage in life when their three children were beginning to trickle off to college. Ready for a new home that would suit their changing lifestyle, they found the perfect location in a golf course–adjacent lot beautifully situated in Raleigh’s North Ridge neighborhood.

They hired Frazier Home Design to design a custom home that would take advantage of the property’s stunning views and allow for effortless entertaining with an open floorplan. Once the home, built by Blue Heron Signature Homes, was ready, they called on Sandra Moncada-Mainz of Couture Haus Interior Design. She was the only designer they wanted to work with.

The devoted clients had worked with Moncada-Mainz on their previous home and knew from experience that their creative partnership worked. “We just complement each other very well,” explains the homeowner. “She comes up with things I never would have thought of. It’s like she reads my mind.” While it would have been easy to replicate the modern-farmhouse style of the previous home that they had loved, the clients wanted to incorporate a more contemporary aesthetic into the interiors this go-round.

“The home is designed to bring the outdoors in, so they wanted minimal furniture and to keep everything simple with beautiful details throughout,” Moncada-Mainz explains. The designer focused on striking features to complement the open-concept layout, like the sculptural staircase with its simple iron railing and the dramatic LED pendant light reminiscent of a wind chime that floats above it. With most of the rooms having beautiful views or access to the outdoor space, pool, or golf course, she prioritized furniture placement to create a seamless indoor-outdoor flow. “We designed the house specific to the lot, and we love the outdoor space,” the client adds.

But it’s the kitchen that is the true centerpiece of the home. The Taj Mahal leathered-quartzite countertops and backsplash are the standout features. “We opted for floor-toceiling armoire-type cabinetry on one side,” Moncada-Mainz explains, “mixing solid and glass doors to keep the space light and airy.” The facing side features matching floor-toceiling cabinetry to conceal the refrigerator and freezer, keeping the look clean and beautiful. Floating shelves flank the range hood and sculptural windows.

Adjacent to the kitchen sits the scullery, which was designed to house anything that would detract from the kitchen’s beauty—although the scullery is no eye-sore. Moncada-Mainz paired dark Dekton Kelya countertops with a milky, glazed porcelain-tile backsplash that sets off the matte-black swing arm light. Pantry goods and kitchen appliances neatly line the white shelves that wrap around to the stainless-steel sink with its pull-down faucet.

The open-concept common space flows from the kitchen to the less-is-more modern-farmhouse dining room, then through the glass accordion doors to the patio and into the family room. Designed with ample seating for the whole family, the family room features Society District Slate tile in matte to surround the fireplace—the focal point of the room. Just off of the family room sits the billiard room, with its walls lined with textured Rivets wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries. An oval suspension chandelier illuminates the billiard table below. “I love the billiard room,” the designer admits.

Moncada-Mainz created a calm and serene bedroom with a muted colorway. The Sherwin-Williams Sea Salt wall color allows the golf-course view to shine as the focal point through the large windows. Wood beams adorn the high ceilings, bringing warmth to the space, and the stainless steel and crystal chandelier serves as a striking contrast.

Off the bedroom sits the spa-worthy master bath with its Silestone Calacatta Gold suede countertops and porcelain-tile walls. Mosaic glass tiles adorn the walls of the walk-in shower with a brushed-nickel showerhead and a long built-in bench. “Sandra came up with the tile design, mirrors, and lighting,” the client says. “I knew what I wanted but I didn’t know how to pull it all together.”

“I love these clients because we are always building on each other’s ideas and trying to make the best house possible,” Moncada-Mainz says. She helped her clients realize their vision of a home that would welcome their children back in the future and function for them as they transition into life as empty nesters. “I love my kitchen and I love that I can stand at that island and see everything that is going on in every part of the house and the outdoors,” the client says. “No matter what’s going on in the house I can be in the kitchen and still be a part of it.

1. Parasol Table Lamp / $695 /
2. Greco Disco / $65 /
3. Buckhorn Cabin Picnic, Aspen Mountain by Gray Malin / $395 /
4. GG Psychedelic round shoulder bag / $1,290 /
5. Caitlen Vintage Rug / $700 /
6. Marbled Candlesticks / $695 /
7. Holographic Nudesse Candle / $68 /

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