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Common Interior Design Misconceptions

One thing I noticed over the years about working with my interior design clients, is that  many of the same questions seem to surface over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, they are great questions, and if you are working with and interior designer, you should always feel comfortable to ask any questions what so ever, even if you feel it’s a small thing. The relationship between and interior designer and their clients is definitely something I would refer to as more fo a relationship than a “I tell you what to do” kind of a thing. A good interior designer will listen to you and take your daily living needs  into consideration, which brings me into the first  of the Common Interior Design Misconceptions…

Casual boho living room with colorful rug and gray couch


  1. An interior designer is going to come in, tell me what to do and not only change everything, but make it so I’m not comfortable in my own home.

A good interior designer who listens may change a lot of things, I mean, that’s why you hired them, right? But, they should be listening to you, and how you and your family use the space. It’s one thing to go in and open your house with an open wall concept if it’s going to make you use the space better. How ever, if you can’t stand it when people can see your dirty dishes in the sink from the front door, and you know the sink is never empty, that might not work for you. When I go in an style a space for someone, and there are things I want to add or remove, the first thing I do is ask how the item is used. There have been many times I’ve had to make an ugly chair work because it’s heavily used and needed. Same for ceiling fans. Some designers love to remove ceiling fans because they can be pretty unsightly, but I’m the first person to admit I need a fan in our bedroom.

Midcentury Modern Boho Bedroom and Small Floating Shelves

     2. If I repeat colors in my rooms, everything is going to be too matchy-matchy

One of the biggest fears I see with a lot of clients is if they repeat things from room to room, their homes are going to be too much of the “same.” Back in the early 2000’s it was the thing to paint every single room a different color.  it was like  kaleidoscope.  In my own home, I had a deep red dining room, a yellow kitchen and a gold living room. It was the thing. I still see this most commonly when we are talking about paint colors. People have a hard time getting away from the thought that their home will be boring if they reuse colors in their house.

In larger open spaces, many times I will recommend we continue a paint color for flow, or paint a color a shade darker or lighter in the next room. I’ll even recommend we paint one room color on the ceiling of another.  I presently love repeating paint colors in that way because for me it doesn’t mean being boring, it means bringing in continuity  and cohesiveness to your space.

Entry and Dining room dark gray

3. An interior designer is too expensive.

Using an interior designer can actually save you money in the long run. It helps steer you towards better decisions, and keep you from making costly mistakes. Plus, we can cut time in a project too because we can make faster decisions based on knowledge, access to resources, and past experience.

4. I need to get all new stuff

It’s very rare for me to go into a home and suggest someone get rid of everything they own. Not only do people have more than enough things to use, but people have already picked what they love. In fact, most people know what they love and buy it, they just don’t know how to use it. Most of our homes are collections of our lives and that’s worth preserving. I mean there are many times we buy new, but with lots of clients we are mixing old and new together. And, a huge majority of my clients are on a budget,  so buying new isn’t always an option either.

Living room before real estate staging

For many of my interior redesign clients, all we do is move their stuff around, and because of proper placement and use, it’s like it’s brand new. Furniture placement is everything. Many of my re-design clients are doing it because they are staging to sell. Once we finish they actually wish they had done it sooner, so they could enjoy it more for themselves. It’s one of the Common Interior Design Misconceptions that you should do things to sell, instead of doing them just for you!

Living room redesign Jennifer RIzzo in gray and yellow and Common Interior Design Misconceptions

5. An interior designer is going to make me spend more money than I should. I don’t have a big enough budget for a designer.

I personally love it when my clients give me a budget, even if they feel it’s small. If you tell me you only have $350 to spend on a room, I am going to do my best to give you a room you’ll love for $350. Knowing the budget makes it easy for me for me to know where to resource things from. Maybe we are going to shop at Crate and Barrel or maybe it’s going to be Crate and Barrel outlet. You know what. Both are ok! The idea is the end result is something you love! Plus there are so many things that can be painted in your house! Never be afraid to be brave with paint!

6.An interior designer is going to change my style.

Your style is yours. My style is mine. I always tell potential clients t to look at my Instagram feed and make sure out styles match. One of the biggest misconceptions about interior designers is that you have to do what they like. The thing is,if your styles match, it should all flow together! Personally, I feel that the issues come in when there is a style mismatch between client and designer.

Dining room with board and batten and vintage dough bowls and Common Interior Design Misconceptions

7. I don’t have a style.

You know what, you do! Maybe it’s doesn’t fit in a neat, little box, with a shiny label , but those make the best houses! I always think most homes and personal styles can be explained in about 3-5 words. Who needs to be labeled…So I say go with that!

White washed fireplace and reclaimed barnwood mantel

I hope this helped clear up some of the most common interior design misconceptions! I know there are more, so I may even do a part b!

if you’re in the Chicagoland area, especially the Western Suburbs. I am starting to book for summer clients, you can contact me at hellojenniferrizzo at comcast dot net.