Design Mixologist: How We Craft a Color Story for Your Home

Do you remember the last design that really surprised you? For example, imagine entering a hotel bedroom set among contemporary art, eclectic-yet-polished décor, and sweeping views of the city skyline. But the walls are the last color you expected to see…

Craft-Color-Story-Rterior-Studio-CaliforniaA deep, chestnut brown with purple undertones.

Your initial thought is that it’s darker than you anticipated, but as you start to unpack your bags and settle in, you realize the room offers the perfect combination of moody and cozy, along with a deep, calming energy that’s exactly what you needed.

Despite first appearances, that room speaks your language!

This kind of situation happens because color has a psychological impact on us. Color goes much deeper than just what our eyes believe is “pretty” — colors make us feel. They can transport you to another time and place. They can set the mood for an energizing morning or a relaxing evening.

Add up these moments every day, and it’s safe to say that color has a profound impact on our lives.

How do we discover your color story?

Color is integral to my design process, and infusing it into your home, like infusing the perfect amount of smoke into a fine scotch, is a carefully crafted art that takes time and experience to perfect. From our very first conversation to the finishing detail, my team strives to capture your personal narrative and reinvent your home in a way. Our design results display who you are and the story you’ve lived thus far — and the one you want to live in the future.

So, how do we find the perfect colors for you? It’s more involved than you might think!

Sure, you may come to me and say you tend to enjoy warm tones. Or maybe you share that your favorite color is blue. But that doesn’t tell me everything I need to know to create a unique space that is perfectly suited for you.

What I really want to know is your story. Your history, dreams, travels, passions, and so much more.

After all, we believe that every space tells a story, and it is our goal to design a home that is an expression of you. Color is part of that narrative. We explore your preferences through honest conversation, building a relationship, and diving into inspirational images that resonate with you.

If you don’t know what inspires you, then you can literally show me your shoes!

If you don’t know what inspires you, then you can literally show me your shoes!

For example: If you tell me that you want a particular room to have a sexy, loungey vibe, and the inspirational images you share are of a classy, dark restaurant, guess where my mind is going? Toward dark rich colors (burgundy, hunter green, navy, black, etc.), paired with a contemporary curved, floating leather sofa, and the perfect collection of hand-selected artwork.

In no time, you would be on your way to an ah-mazing home lounge that brings you the sultry comfort you crave. (A room like this would speak for itself, don’t you think?!) And how did it start? With you telling me how you want it to feel.

How do we infuse a color story into your home?

Just like no Manhattan worth its salt is served without the signature cherry garnish, no design project is complete without carefully curated accessories. Whether I am hired on for a simple color consultation, a more in-depth appointment to select finishes and furnishings, or a full-service turnkey design project, I firmly believe it is the details that make the design.

Of course, the color that you choose to paint the walls matters. Of course, that bold (or neutral) piece of furniture matters. But colorful, unique, small-yet-mighty items matter just as much. Bold colors. Sumptuous textures. These could take the form of…

Artwork and rugs (my faves), a beautiful vase, a stunning vintage china set, or even a shoe collection (okay, okay, so that one is rare… but it has happened!) can tie together a room in meaningful ways. Better yet, they could be personal possessions, such as photographs, cultural elements, and books (storied items that hint at the various aspects of ourselves).

In short, I love adding anything that helps me showcase your journey. Are you sensing a theme yet?!

R/terior Studio’s Design Process

I will be the first to admit that my design process is quite in-depth. After all, nothing worth having comes easily… am I right? You know I am. 😉

But let me also reassure you that my process doesn’t require any heavy lifting from you… all you’ll be lifting is that celebratory cocktail when your home turns out better than you could have ever imagined. Cheers to that!

Here’s how our process helps us express your story, from concept to “I can’t believe this is my place.”

Step 1: Discovery

To get started, I will send you an Exploration Assignment that helps me gather information about your project, your design goals, your desired aesthetic, your favorite cocktail (‘cause we’re about to be friends), and includes some pointed questions that help me understand what you envision for the space.

I believe that your home should deeply resonate with you and inspire an emotional response. To create that response, we’ll ask you which music, art, books, and textiles inspire you? What are your favorite places? We’ll explore what makes you want to go there again and again and recreate that feeling in your space.

While this is the first step, I encourage you to share all of your monumental hopes for the space, like how you want to live and feel each day. I am, as it turns out, in the business of making dreams a reality… so why not dream big?!

Step 2: In-Depth Phone or Video Consultation

After I have had a chance to review your Exploration Assignment, we will schedule a call to discuss everything I have learned so far. I’ll likely ask you additional questions to help me get to the heart of your story as well as your personal aesthetic.

The goal of this call is three-fold:

  • First, I want to make sure we are on the same page regarding your style and investment.

  • Second, I will review with you what you can expect and answer any questions you may have.

  • Third, we will take detailed measurements and photographs of your space to utilize during the next steps of the design process. (We’ll come do this in person for full-service projects; otherwise, measurements are requested from you for virtual projects.)

Step 3: Fine-Tuning Your Design Concept & Color Story


Design mood board from our latest project, inspired by Kelly Wearstler’s infamous Villon hotel design.

With all the helpful information I’ve gathered so far, I will get to work creating a one-of-a-kind style board to give you a glimpse into how your new space will look and feel. This is the moment when you will see your color story starting to come to life!

Once we agree on all aspects of the style board, I will create a bespoke space plan and design based on the selected color concepts, furniture choices, and finish selections (all of this will fit the functional and aesthetic needs of your space while telling your own unique story).

When I present this plan to you, I guarantee the gorgeous design will elicit oohs and ahhs and all the heart eyes (all I ask is that you try not to faint with happiness… but if you do, I’ll have a fan and some cold water at the ready).

Iterations, if necessary…

You’ll have time to review the first design concept and plan after I present them to you, which gives you a chance to provide me with any notes or revisions you might have. This is the ideal time for you to share your thoughts regarding the color story, the overall vibe of the space, and whether it fits the dream you have in your head.

When giving feedback, oversharing is always welcome. You might not know why a design isn’t speaking to you, but if you can explain how it makes you feel, I can always find a solution. I take pride in getting the design just right (we will keep revising until it is perfect!) so that it ultimately exceeds your expectations.

And the 3D rendering of our design… doesn’t it look so real??

And the 3D rendering of our design… doesn’t it look so real??

Step 4: Making the Magic Happen

After you’ve approved the final design concept, and I’ve made any last-minute tweaks, our design journey together can go in one of two directions…

1/ Self-Implementation

Some of our clients like to get their hands dirty when it comes to creating their spaces. If this sounds like you, at this point in the process, I will hand over the final plan, along with the shopping list and style board.

I will also organize all of our design ideas, tools, and tips into a comprehensive plan that will serve as a do-it-yourself guide to implementing the design plan. The best part? Now it’s time for you to go (online) shopping!

2/ Turnkey Service

Most of our clients are too busy to spend their time placing orders, being home to receive shipments, or installing and decorating themselves. They want me to take the final design plan, wave my magic wand, and let them know when the space is fit to host George, Amal, and a glamorous murder mystery party. (Now that’s a dinner party I’d love to be a fly on the wall for!)

If this sounds like your glass of wine, we will manage the project from concept to completion, taking care of every last detail for you. From procuring estimates to sourcing materials and furniture… from managing subcontractors to planning an epic reveal worthy of all the HGTV feels, we’ve got you covered.

All you have to do is show up, walk into your newly re-designed dream space, and accept the fancy cocktail I hand to you.. toasting to the room that has you drooling over every little detail, of course. 😉


Turn 180° in the lounge above, and we have this dramatic view!

Step 5: Design Withdrawal Management

 Because I would never want you to feel abandoned throughout the process, two additional hours of email, video, or phone support are included with every design project I take on. This allows you to contact me if anything isn’t going according to plan, if you’ve hit a snag, or if you’ve simply changed your mind about a particular element of the space.

My job is to make sure you are absolutely head-over-heels in love with the end result. I simply won’t settle for anything less, and neither should you! But… our time together doesn’t have to stop there either.

By this point, we’ve spent a lot of time together, been through thick and thin, and maybe even connected over drinks. I truly believe that the best design comes from authentic relationships, and once we’ve finished your home, it’s always hard to go our separate ways.

So if you ever need something in the future, have another house to transform, or simply want to catch up for the happiest hour, you’re always welcome to reach out. You’re officially part of our inner circle, and I’m only a call away!

Before I leave you (‘cause it’s 5 o’clock somewhere), I want to remind you that interior design is a process because reinvention is a process. It takes time, careful planning, and elevated creativity to manifest a fantasy… to create a relationship with the space… to write a narrative… to tell your story.

It is my job, and my distinct honor, to bring a smile to your face through beautiful design infused with color that commands the right attention. Whether you’re looking for something artfully playful, functionally luxurious, approachably editorial, or eclectically polished, I’m your person! 

Let’s design something magical together.


- Rydhima