How to Know if You’re Ready to Work with an Interior Designer

Whether we are spending more time in the kitchen making healthy dinners for the family, laying in our rooms longer each morning as we check work emails from the comfort of our own beds, or carving out 30 minutes for that daily workout in the home gym (while rewatching Psych, of course)… the fact is that we are all spending much more time at home these days.

Maybe all of this time at home has highlighted the things you love about your space. Maybe it has sparked memories of the day you bought it… the day you brought home your first child… the day you celebrated a milestone anniversary. Feeling nostalgic, are we?!

Or maybe all of this time at home has brought to light the issues with your space. Maybe you’re growing increasingly frustrated with the layout of your master bathroom (Why on earth aren’t there two sinks in here?!). Maybe you’re fed up with stepping on your kids’ toys because your home lacks proper storage (Those darn legos, am I right?! You know I am!)

Whether you’re loving your space or you’re losing your mind over it, it is likely that interior design has crossed your mind at some point. Either the fondness you have for the designer that made your space so totes awe-inspiring, or the fact that you needed to hire a designer…like five minutes ago…to fix all the issues that have become so apparent in recent months.

But the dilemma is…when should you make that all-important call to your designer? If you can honestly say “yes!” to each of these 5 questions, then you are definitely ready. Ready to take “the quiz”?!

#1: Do you know your design style?

Are you a traditionalist who likes softer lines, orderly furniture, and calming hues? Do you lean toward a modern aesthetic with clean lines, stark contrasts, and minimalist decor? Maybe you err on the side of mid-century… or bohemian… or rustic?

The truth is, you don’t have to be able to fit your design style into a single box. We are all drawn to components of different interior design styles, and honestly, mixing and matching aspects of many styles often leads to the most interesting and eye-catching rooms! Those people that come in without any ideas, but know how they want to live and feel in their homes — that’s enough, too.

When they share their vulnerability, let me do a deep dive into their personalities, and give me the reins to pull it all together… well, that’s a designer’s dream!

It is worth noting, however, that you should choose a designer whose design aesthetic matches your own. For example, I am obsessed with incorporating worldly pieces, understanding how different shapes and textures make you feel, and telling a story with color. That doesn’t mean I can’t create a stunning neutral palette, but color and modern-eclectic spaces are my specialities. If you love rustic decor with a farmhouse twist, you’ll want a designer who excels in that style instead.

The best way to know whose style is right for you? Look at a designer’s portfolio. If you feel that leap in your chest and find it hard to look away… I think you have your answer!

#2: Are you decisive?

There is nothing more valuable to a designer than honesty and decisiveness. I adore it when a client knows exactly what they like and don’t like and can articulate that clearly. Decisiveness still gives us room to be creative and personal, while also helping us get to your refined choices more quickly… and that makes my heart happy!

It’s also true that the more decisive you are, the faster your project will go. (Time is money!)

Of course, knowing what you want isn’t about having all the answers… it is about being confident in the project, knowing what you need to make your home functional for your lifestyle, and trusting that our team can take care of the rest (with your input along the way, of course!).

#3: Are you willing to take the occasional risk?

We took a risk on this bold wallpaper, tying the colors together with a velvet sofa in rich midnight and pillows in Rosé and Cabernet… and it works!

My absolute favorite client is someone who is willing to take risks and try out something new! They say life starts outside your comfort zone, and while I think that every home should be comfortable, a little daring in the design will bring you a confidence you didn’t know you had in you!

I love adding in elements that nobody would normally think of. The element of surprise keeps your space from getting boring, sparks instant conversation with guests, and gives you a one-of-a-kind, bespoke space.  Wondering what I mean?

Here’s a fun example…

Superhero Penthouse: This Ritz-Carlton residence is worthy of Tony Stark, with skyline views, elegant furniture, and… a lifesize Iron Man suit (maybe it even works!).


Let’s face it, most people wouldn’t dream of asking for this kind of decor, and I’m willing to bet that when Studio Palomino told their client “let’s put Iron Man in here,” they may have gotten some sidelong glances. But look at the result! I mean, go bold or go home, right?!

This space clearly calls to the people who live here… those with a refined lifestyle, a sense of luxury, and undercurrent of adventure and fun. That was a risk well worth taking!

Color doesn’t always have to be moody. Here, we added pops of bright fuchsia and sky blue underscored by soft pink, beige, and grey.

Now, if Iron Man (or any of the Avengers crew) aren’t doing it for you, don’t worry. Together, we will discover that special something within your own passions and find artful ways to create a magical space all your own. If you’re open-minded and willing to take a risk here and there, your dream space has the potential to exceed all your expectations. 😉

#4: Do you know your ideal investment?

Design is an investment in your quality of life, in your time (so we can do the heavy lifting for you), and in the longevity of your home. As long as you have an ideal investment in mind, we can find pieces that suit your needs and will endure daily use for years to come.

Weighing quality, value, longevity, and style isn’t a task for the faint of heart. It takes research (or in our case, experience and research), balancing sheets, and tight-knit relationships with craftsmen we trust.

Just like you wouldn’t question a dentist who gives you recommendations for healthy gums and whiter teeth (or a qualified lawyer who gives you legal advice), when you commit to working with an interior designer, you’re getting our expertise, experience, and relationships.

Together, we’ll make the most of your investment and deliver a final result we can stand behind.

#5: Do you value your time and a professional’s expertise?

Another R/teriors Studio creation: a modern living room with a neutral base palette, a touch of emerald and black, and an approachable yet interesting feel.

Despite appearances, full service interior design is much more involved than picking out pillows or wallpaper. SO much time and effort goes into discovery, sourcing, designing, project management, installation, etc. If you are excited to do all of these things with your own two hands, that’s wonderful (that’s what I do, so you know I understand!).

If that’s the case, you will likely want to enlist an interior designer’s expertise solely for the design concept and renderings. This gives you the freedom to pull together a designer-worthy, fully functional space yourself.

By contrast, full service design is collaborative conceptually (your design, space planning, etc.), but not in execution. The whole point of full service design is to preserve your precious time by outsourcing to the experts!

So if you want to safeguard your time, and rest assured that a professional is going to manage your project, avoid common issues, and have your back — full service interior design is the way to go. (Let’s chat!)

To sum it all up, if you have a clear vision of what you are looking to get done, an understanding of the total budget you have to spend, and value time (yours and your designer’s), you’re ready to get on the books of your favorite designer. (And if you’re looking for something eclectically luxe…a space that is chic with a touch of drama and contrast, I’m your girl!)

As a designer, I always want my clients to have the best possible experience… from the excitingly detailed design process to the ah-mazing final outcome. I’m not satisfied unless you are head over heels in love with your home.

After all, when you walk into your newly fabulous space, toasting to the design (with a cocktail in hand, literally), and seeing you grin from ear to ear… well, that gives me all the feels!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s make magic together.


– Rydhima