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Working with an Interior Designer

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Welcome back for another beautiful week of wonderful conversation, as well as Thanksgiving week. I hope you take the time to share gratitude with your loved ones, whether that be at the dinner table or via Thanksgiving dinner Zoom. This year I’m thankful for growth, new opportunities and the quality time I’ve been able to spend with my husband and daughter.

Last week I discussed one of my favorite bits of knowledge, the Law of Rhythm. I am a strong believer in this mentality and invite anyone who is interested in the energy related to the ebbs and flows of life to read last week’s blog and podcast.


This week we are bringing on a special guest, my cousin, Marea Riedler. Marea is the owner/designer of a San Diego based residential interior and commercial consulting firm, A.Designed Space.

With twelve years of industry experience, Marea’s work ranges from designing custom homes with clients, consulting master plan communities, designing model homes with builders, as well as selecting restaurant furniture for restaurateurs and developers. During this time, Marea has learned that working a strong team is essential to achieving the best possible outcome while ensuring a fun process.

I was curious to hear Marea’s perspective on the roles and responsibilities of the different factors of building and designing a project, as well as clarifying the difference between an interior designer and a decorator. As a designer, she understands the value and impact our environments have on our lives, from work to play, and it is Marea’s goal to curate each space uniquely for the individual, positively contributing to their life.

Marea’s story begins with a passion for a creative aesthetic, whether that be assembling an outfit or reorganizing her bedroom. Fast forward many years and Marea graduated from college with a dual degree in Marketing and Merchandising and hopes of building a retail store.

After college and in her mid 20’s, Marea realized her true passion was interior design. She decided to attend the Art Institute, learning the essentials, systems, and technology to become a successful, efficient designer.

Graduation arrived after the economic meltdown, and Marea found herself living in Newport Beach working for Bliss Design, doing custom builds on estates. During this time, she learned the highest ebbs of design, working with fellow designers, builders, and designers who were the best in the industry, setting her standard high.

After a bit of time and an immense amount of knowledge, Marea decided to move back to San Diego, finding a job at the top model home design firm in the country, Ryan Young Interiors. This experience developed Marea to where she is now, the ability to provide her clients “the best bang for their buck”.

Today, Marea does a little bit of everything.

As an interior designer, Marea and I share the similar, important perspective of working together with your client in all aspects of the project, including vision, timing, and most importantly, budget.

There is a common misperception that interior designers should be brought on later in the project, but Marea disagrees with this mindset. She values building a team and prefers to be brought on earlier in the project to ensure everyone is able to work together, creatively and professionally, while gaining a deeper insight of the client’s vision.

Well designed space planning is imperative to a successful, fluid interior. For example: Is there a wall for the headboard to go? Are there outlets next to the bed? Etc. Partnering at the beginning of the project ensures that no design element slips through the cracks.

In regard to communication, it is important to have initial meetings with clients, presenting what you can do for them, as well as setting the precedent that the design process is a team process. It is no secret that every project experiences miscommunication, but setting the tone for clear communication creates the opportunity for open conversation if and when problems arise.

As a designer, Marea values having a professional outlook on each project, as everyone involved is there for the same outcome: to create a beautiful space for the client. Ensuring everyone works together smoothly, while having fun, comes down to one factor: communication.

As an architect, I love working with an interior designer and have immense respect for them. There is nothing easy about being an interior designer, as the fine, small details are what brings a home together.

To finish off, there is extreme value in protecting the role of interior designer, rather than being called a decorator.

Becoming an interior designer does not only mean selecting pillows, drapery, and fabrics, rather a designer is typically trained in school, accumulating hours under a professional designer, and a handful of exams to obtain certification. Not all designers go through these steps, as some states follow requirements while others do not. Surprisingly, California does not require an interior designer to complete the NCIDQ exam to call themselves a designer.

Although a certification is not required, it is difficult to become a successful designer without proper training. Clients expect designers to have knowledge in a wide range of aesthetics, including feng shui, lighting, and air quality.

This is vastly different than being an architect, as I was not able to call myself an architect until I passed a handful of exams. However, I believe examination will start becoming a requirement within California in order to help regulate the industry. It should be!

Marea has an incredible eye for design, so definitely check out her work, A.Design Space, or check her out on Instagram (@_marea_riedler).

Thank you for tuning in for another week of talking about the design world!

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