Invest in You by Investing in Your Space: Founder Rachel Nelson at the Michigan Design Center

Apr 28, 2021 | community, News, Renovation and Remodeling, Residential

When I get the chance to gather with my neighbors and chat about the wonders of design—that’s my happy place. This week, I was thrilled to lead a Launch! Session at Michigan Design Center (socially distanced of course!). 

Many of you reading this might not have been present for the session or virtual stream—but my talk was all about you. That’s right—you! Investing in yourself should always be the first rule of interior design. That’s what we practice and preach at RL Concetti. 

Your built environment is an extension of yourself—and we want to help your inner beauty shine. By the end of this blog, you’ll walk away with real-life examples and marching orders on how to invest in your space—without starting from scratch or breaking the bank. 

Let’s start with some food for thought:

Design is Not a Luxury

Some of us might hold the misconception that interior design is only for the well-to-do; those with unlimited dispensable resources to spare. I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but everyone deserves to live—truly live—in a beautiful and meaningful space. And I’m here to tell you that inspirational and functional design is always within your reach.

Your home is a sacred space. Your external environment is an extension of your internal environment. It should reflect your uniqueness and be a constant source of inspiration. 

Take a moment to think about your space and how it is serving you: 

  • Does it inspire or awaken you?  
  • How does it reflect the inner you?
  • Does it offer sparks of joy? 

Big-picture questions like this help uncover your specific goals and desires. It’s a surefire way to jumpstart the investment journey and evolve your relationship with your space.

Design for Your Real Life & Unique Vision

RL Concetti’s process is grounded in human-centric design—which helps us create big-picture, holistic solutions built around the nitty-gritty details of people’s real-life wants and (most importantly) needs. Every single project we bring on is as unique as the lives of our clients. This is what we get out of bed for—it’s why we do what we do! 

As Interior Design Strategists, our work is an extension of you. Your needs take the driver’s seat until we land on an environment that not only solves your problems but also moves and inspires you to live more fully and to relish the everyday. Let’s dip into the first part of RL Concetti’s six-step design process where discovery drives success. 

Take a moment to think about the function of your space:

  • Who lives and engages in this space?
  • How does it help your day flow in harmony?  
  • What memories do you want to make here?

These questions will help you pinpoint what’s functioning and what isn’t. A rule at RL Concetti is to keep the aesthetics and function you love, while drastically improving how the space serves you.

Now that I have you thinking about the aesthetics and purpose of your space, let’s see some real-life inspiration.

My top two accessible ways to invest in your space:

#1 Functional Renovations 

A powerful transformation does not have to entail gutting your house and throwing your furniture out with the kitchen sink. Here are some examples of how to elevate your existing assets to improve your space.

Green Fit For a Queen 

This jaw dropping kitchen refresh was done with minimal construction, thanks to a strategic design process. Our client wanted an inspiring space where she could entertain friends and connect with her children. We helped turn a drab kitchen into an uplifting, multi-use space that deepens family connections.

Top Renovation Takeaways

  • Upgraded the existing cabinetry by adding crown molding, trim details, and a fresh coat of paint.
  • Dressed up the range by switching out the existing hood with a decorative hood and tiled backsplash.
  • Transformed an underutilized “command center” into storage space. 
  • Added a dining table, complete with bench setting for the kids.

These mindful renovations turned an outdated kitchen into the cornerstone of the home. See #GreenFitforaQueen in detail here.


Birmingham Belle

We helped bring southern charm into a contemporary home. Our client had relocated from Savannah, Georgia to Birmingham, Michigan, and her new contemporary house wasn’t feeling like home. We bought warmth and character in the form of patterns, texture, and supreme attention to detail.

Top Renovation Takeaways

  • Livened up each space with ornate patterned tile, wall paper, and large-scale art.
  • Refreshed existing cabinetry with gorgeous hardware that matched new light fixtures.
  • Revived a bland fireplace with bold, functional wall details and storage.

Meaningful design decisions can transform a sterile area into a sacred space that speaks to your personal story. See #BirminghamBelle in full detail here.

→ Ready to implement functional renovations into your space?
Start by focusing on how you want to use the space. Next, assess what's working and what isn't against the goals of your space. You will begin to understand how to leverage your pain points to create a more functional space.

#2 Furniture Updates

Don’t throw out what’s functioning for you. RL Concettis is all about repurposing quality furniture—whether it’s through a fabric refresh or a room reorganization. These examples show us that big investments can evolve with you, and be repurposed to meet the new you again and again.


Call it a FUNgalow 

Here’s a glimpse inside my recent upgrade. (See, I told you we were going to get personal!) I loved the layout of my rooms and the objects I owned, yet the sparks of joy were no longer flying. The redesign helped breathe new life into my furniture and new energy into every corner of my home. There are so many special details I can’t imagine living without.

Top Reinvestment Takeaways:

  • Inspiration came from my childhood love of peacocks, aka my spirit animal!
  • Reupholstered my existing sectional with a gorgeous Designers Guild, pet-friendly chartreuse fabric that I’ve had my eye on for years.
  • Texture and color from the furniture and rugs were mirrored in wallpaper and paint.
  • Updated the wainscotting with vibrant palettes and large-scale art.

This project was awarded spotlights in Detroit News, SEEN Magazine, and Apartment TherapySee #CallitaFungalow in full detail here.


Chinoiserie Chic

Here is a case of a gorgeous historic home being underutilized. With fresh eyes, we helped our client pinpoint the functionality our client needed in order to select inspiring items to make the large empty spaces feel inviting and warm.

Top Reinvestment Takeaways:

  • Relocated existing living room furniture to a cozy loft space. 
  • Added stunning textures with a variety of unique furniture.
  • Invested in a decadent velvet sofa, perfect for entertaining or curling up with a book.

The before and after photos are a must-see. Check out our recent #ChinoiserieChic blog post featuring all the gorgeous details here.

→ Ready to invest (or reinvest) in your furniture?
Knowing what's working for you is key. If you love the functionality of your space but need a refresh, see if there is a way to upgrade your existing furniture. If you love a piece, but it's not fitting with the flow of your space, consider a rearrangement. And if it's time for something new, view your purchase as a true investment by choosing a quality piece that will spark joy for years to come.

You Hold the Key to Your Sacred Space 

Transforming your space from drab to dreamy is within your reach. Sometimes we all need a little push in the right direction. My team at RL Concetti is ready to help create interiors that fit your life, your vision, and your budget. 

Ready to Transform Your Space? Let's work together!