RI STUDIO 2021 Goals

2021 Goals

The New Year is almost here, and we are so excited to share our plans for 2021 with you all. This time last year, we had no idea what was in store for us. Now that we have been living in almost a full year of uncertainty and anxiety, it is time to take matters into our own hands. Let’s start making those plans for a bigger and better year. Here we go!

2021 Goals


We are teaming up with RI Custom Homes to create our very first property flip. This project will be a labor of love between mine and my husband’s company to work together and provide a one-of-a-kind home experience. We are currently looking at properties that could be our brainchild in North Dallas area. We’ve been keeping a close watch on this location full of homes with great structure that need a little updating. Our focus will be adding modern amenities that are energy-efficient with interiors designed to the T.


Lately, we have seen many California natives make Prosper, Texas, their new home. The path of growth has made the area a prime destination for many who are looking to keep their elevated lifestyle at a more reasonable price point. While homes are going up like crazy, furnishing availability is minimal or extremely overpriced. To add an extra layer of service to not just my interior design clients but to the surrounding area, we plan on opening our very own retail location. This will be a cozy storefront with a vignette or two and a studio in the back. We will feature those little touches of home décor, as well as custom furniture and rugs for everyone to enjoy fine furnishings in their new homes. We can’t wait to bring custom and one-of-a-kind home décor at an affordable price to the city of Prosper.


As an interior designer, I am given the privilege of bringing people home to a place of their very own. The feeling that comes with giving that to an individual or a family cannot be put into words. To give back to our community, RI Studio will be teaming up with local family support organizations and networks that help transition children into safe and stable homes. Designing a room for a child with their furniture and their belongings to make their day brighter would significantly impact their outlook on life. Witnessing their reaction would truly be something to behold. If you know of any organizations or a family in need, please share those stories with us to provide the gift of home to those who truly need it.

No matter how 2021 unfolds, we can rest assured that we have our own plans. These goals will help us conquer the days ahead. We hope you all have a happy and safe New Year. Let’s make 2021 the best year yet!

Vickery Place Project

A Vickery Place Vision

Where has the year gone? Many of us have had to get creative in our daily rituals that would otherwise hum along without much thought. 2020 has definetely brought its share of obstacles. All things considered, we all will continue to grow and learn from every curve ball life throws at us. Taking on those dips as opportunities to be creative and make the most of our situations can help improve our overall outlook on life. There is plenty of work to be done in the remaining months of this crazy year. With that said, we are doing an end of summer round-up of our latest company updates. For this particular post, we want to walk you through our latest project in the Vickery Place area of Dallas. This full redesign brought its own challenges that we were able to navigate with our creative interior design solutions.


Vickery Place has a highly respected reputation. The area is known for its rich architecture and historic aesthetic. When the conversation began, we were presented with particular guidelines that the home design had to fit within. Collaboration would be a crucial part of this puzzle. We made sure to keep that line of communication open not only with the client but with the the architectural review committee. The committee would also need to be involved in almost every detail of the home renovation. We partnered with RI Custom Homes and together we were able to provide a full home redesign. The outcome included architectural drawings, interiors, and exterior selections. The concept behind this design was to bring the home to an elevated modern scene by tactfully utilizing technology. This way we could incorporate the landscape into the home while interlacing the historical architectural standards of the neighborhood.


In order to bring the outside in, we installed panoramic sliding doors that would reveal the reach of the space to the outdoor living room. This extension of the floorplan to the exterior of the house brings a fresh indoor-outdoor California vibe. It not only makes the sense of the room more profound but also speaks to the modern feel of the home and how our spaces do not always need four walls.


In the master bathroom, modern lighting elevates the scene of a carwash shower set up that would invigorate and awaken your idea of pampering. A sprinkle of modern fixtures throughout the home give it that extra freshness but still kept the integrity of the home’s historical roots with their craftsman-like design.

Design trends and particular home styling can depict a more historic time. These details give a window to a time portal of integrity and timelessness. A piece of history that brought some creative problem solving were the windows of the home. They were especially tricky because the architectural guides mandated that the window mullions be maintained. Our client initially requested we find a way to have them removed but as we continued the conversation process, we were able to apply alternative design solutions. The stairway placement and the open concept floor plan supported an astounding openness. This gave a grand and contemporary vibe tied into historic nuances. By working with the architectural style of the home we were able to embody and celebrate the classical days with something that would be memorable and timeless.


2020 Design Ovation Awards

We are honored to have received not one, but TWO Design Ovation Awards for 2020. Check them out below.


The idea behind this new construction project, was to create a residence that would respect and enhance the way a busy family of five lives. The result–a fresh, glass-enclosed oasis that can celebrate and enable true indoor-outdoor living and entertaining. A continuous kitchen, breakfast and family room adjacent to an all glass wall allows for an abundance of natural light to flood the cohesive space. The colors utilized throughout the home are derivative of the natural tones and textures found just beyond the large windows and oversized glass doors. We kept the base palette neutral and integrated pops of deeper blues, rich greens and strong blacks. These bursts of color can be found in the art, throw pillows, rugs and accessories. With these design elements we were able to incorporate an organic feel with a quirky edge that resulted in an eclectic design style. This made for a perfect fit for this young fun family.

Simply Minimal


Keep it simple. This was the theme behind our modern kitchen design. Clean lines, bold lighting fixtures, and a simple color scheme with an abundance of natural light brought life to this modern kitchen. This was the perfect solution for creating a sense of community and family gathering. A larger space was needed to accommodate larger social settings. The kitchen became the ideal haven for this family of six to spread out, cook and enjoy each others company. Thanks to the streamline setup and warm backdrop, this kitchen transformed into the heart of the home. Quartz countertops compliment the stained flat paneled millwork with minimal details letting the natural cabinet materials shine. The entire scheme is perfectly simple and you can feel the balance from top to bottom.

Thank you all for your continued love and support and allowing us the opportunity to be able to do work that we love!

Living Lavishly

Lavish and Luxurious

10 Luxurious Upgrades You Need in Your Home
As an interior designer for the high-end residential market, I’m constantly incorporating the most sophisticated elements into my design work so my clients can truly relax in a home that feels elevated and refined. Though these pieces can be pricey, I believe they are indulgences that are well worth the money. Which of these 10 lavish and luxurious design elements catch your attention?

Quartz Countertops

Lavish and Luxurious Upgrades

The milky-white look of this quartz countertop is timeless, making quartz surfaces the ultimate investment in luxury. I installed this matchbook waterfall on my client’s kitchen island and they couldn’t be more thrilled with the final look.

A Spa-Like Bathroom

Living lavish with a spa like bathroom

Enjoying a day at the hotel spa from the comfort of home? Nothing will make you feel like you’re living in a hotel more than a luxe bathroom complete with a soaker tub, walk-in shower, custom cabinetry, and a large vanity to arrange jewelry and perfumes. RI Studio designed this master bathroom to be a spa-like retreat for the homeowners.

Custom Cabinetry

Luxurious cabinets

Though they’re more expensive than prefabricated cabinets, custom cabinetry is worth the investment. Each cabinet will fit your space and tastes perfectly and to provide storage that is both practical and chic, like in this laundry room. Design by RI Studio.

Custom Fireplace Details

Custom fireplace is now a luxury

What was once a necessity has now become a luxury. Fireplaces instantly add a feeling of coziness to a space. They can also be incredibly luxurious, especially when completed with custom details like this hand-painted tile. Design by RI Studio. 

A Show-Stopping Chandelier

Lavish chandelier

Chandeliers are beautiful and dramatic — a lavish statement any home can benefit from. While most homes feature a chandelier in the dining room, RI Studio selected this modern linear chandelier that balances the iron details in the space and creates balance to the elongated dining table beneath.

Commissioned Artwork

Custom artwork is an added luxury

Art serves so many purposes: it adds beauty to your home, can serve as a good financial investment, and can reflect your personality and style. We always seek out original or commissioned art for our clients to ensure their home is truly one of a kind. Design by RI Studio.

A Custom Front Door

Custom front door brings instant luxury to the front facade of your home

Instantly add curb appeal to your home with a custom front door. RI Studio designed this door to have three-times the wow factor: it’s round, geometric and a deep, luxurious brown. It looks just as beautiful on the exterior!

A Wine Room

Luxurious wine room

A wine room is a perfect way to show off your wine collection. Specialty wine storage allows you to protect the bottles while showcasing them. Design by RI Studio.

A Grand Piano

Lavish grand piano

Musical instruments are works of art and craftsmanship and will always be a lavish addition to the home. Whether you’re a skilled pianist or a dedicated admirer, a grand piano can be a focal point in your family’s homes for generations. Design by RI Studio.

A Gym

Lavish and Luxurious Gym Setting

Fitness enthusiasts will delight at having a dedicated space in their home for a gym. These spaces may be expensive, between the protective rubber flooring, soundproofing for the walls and the gym equipment itself, but you can’t put a price on good health. Design by RI Studio.

How to Budget for Furnishings

How to Budget for Furnishings

By Terra McNutt



When you’re buying or building a new home, one of the first, most crucial steps in the process is creating a realistic budget. A common mistake is forgetting to set aside an adequate amount of funds for furnishings and décor. Here is our handy guide on how to budget for furnishings.

Every home design project is unique, so costs can vary depending on details like the home size and quality of selections. When decorating a high-end home, a common budgeting rule of thumb is to set aside anywhere from $35-$50 per sq.ft. to completely furnish your space.

Regardless of how you choose to decorate your home, there are some items homeowners often forget to budget for. As you create your furnishing budget, don’t forget the following:

  • Soft furnishings like pillows and draperies
  • Artwork
  • Shipping or delivery costs
  • Hallways and entry spaces
  • Interior design fees

It’s important to note that while every interior design firm charges a fee for their services, hiring an interior designer is a cost-saving measure in many ways. As design experts, we help our clients avoid costly mistakes and we will sit down with our clients in the first phase of their project to develop realistic budgets for each area in their home so that in the end there are no surprises.

If you’re looking for an interior designer to help guide you on how to budget for furnishing in your home, RI Studio would love to help. Our award-winning design team has extensive experience managing design-build projects and selecting furnishings for our clients’ homes. Contact us to learn more.

Planning is Key

Planning Makes Perfect


Project Planning Makes for a Perfect Result
Whether you’re building a new home, remodeling your existing one, or needing new furnishings, planning is the most important part of any interior design project. The more you plan, the smoother the ride. There are four main parts of the interior design planning process: budget, concept, specifications, and timeline.

Planning Makes Perfect

Budget is one of the most important elements of a project, even though some people feel uncomfortable discussing it. The budget dictates everything, from the project timeline to the finishes and furnishings. Creating a well-informed budget is a key part of the planning process. When RI Studio creates a furnishings budget for client projects, we provide estimates for each item that will be specified in your project. This includes everything from chairs to accessories to drapery. This detailed process establishes guidelines for the design selections so that when the design is presented there are no surprises. The budget has been agreed upon in the very beginning. Expectations set and expectations met!

If we are helping you design a new home or large remodel, those budgets will be initially established by your builder or contractor. We can certainly look over these, to point out any areas we think you might want to adjust. This will help to make sure what you are wanting in your home is reflected in the allowances.

The design concept is the overall theme of the interior design. It often includes sketches, swatches, and samples. This allows the client to see and feel the design direction. The RI Studio team creates a design concept after our initial consultation. To create the best concept possible, we’ll ask you lots of questions during the consultation. The goal is to get to know you as much as possible so we can design a space that’s perfect for your life. We’ll ask you about your style, schedule, hobbies and family to get a better sense of how you use your home.

The more planning the better

RI Studio creates interior design specifications alongside the design concept. Where the design concept is more wholistic, the specifications get into the details of a design. These plans often involve blueprints for the space, measurements for cabinetry or furniture, finish selections, and more. Any item or material that will be needed for your design down to the hardware and accent pillows should be accounted for in the interior specifications.

Planning makes perfect

The project timeline is another significant part of perfect planning. Timeline directly impacts the budget and how quickly you can begin enjoying your space. Many factors can affect the timeline of a project, from material selections to customized products to trade resources. We at RI Studio can help guide you through this process by suggesting materials that help stay within your timeline. Keeping you ahead of your builder or contractor with your selections and maintaining an expediting report for your furnishings are just a few ways we are here to help the project move along.

Mixing Design Styles in Your Home

Mixing Design Styles

How to Merge Design Styles – 5 Helpful Tips
Many of my clients say decorating is difficult — especially when mixing two opposing styles. What if you have a modern style that favors clean lines, but your spouse likes the ruffles and distressed wood characteristic of French country décor? How do you blend family heirlooms and antiques with contemporary pieces? As an interior designer, I’m faced with this challenge daily. But mixing styles doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you follow these tried-and-true methods for merging design styles.

Limit Your Color Palette
Color is a powerful tool and can make items that otherwise wouldn’t match feel like they belong together. Using one color palette will unite everything in the space and marry varying styles.

Choose A Dominant Style
One reason why a space that combines two styles might feel like it’s clashing is because both styles carry an equal amount of weight in the design. Instead, choose one style to dominate the scheme and make the other secondary. I think 70/30 or 80/20 is a good ratio of primary to secondary styles.

Match Wood Tones
Matching wood tones is an easy way to make a space with several different styles feel cohesive. There are many different types of wood and a wide variety of stains. Choose just one for a space, like all oak or all white-washed, to attain a consistent look across furniture, flooring, cabinetry and accents.  

Highlight Unique Pieces
If you’re struggling to incorporate a piece into a design, stop trying to make it blend in and instead try embracing its uniqueness. Making the piece the focal point of the room will help it feel purposeful like it was specially selected to stand out in that space.

blending design styles


Hire a Professional
Designing your home — especially if you’re building a new construction — can be a daunting task. That’s why interior designers exist. We make our clients’ lives easier by driving design decisions, managing the complex project and adding a creative touch to the finished interiors. RI Studio would be honored to help you with your next project and merge your design styles. We can’t wait to hear from you!

RI Studio's Story

The Story of RI Studio – III

Part III | By Terra McNutt

This is the third in a three-part series. To read Part I, click here. To read Part II, click here.

Owning RI Studio is one of the greatest pleasures of my life, and we’re just getting started.

One of the most exciting aspects is seeing my style take hold in the Dallas design community. RI Studio designs are original and exclusive. Our clients aren’t the only ones who are noticing. We have been honored to have won a first and second place award in the ASID 2019 Legacy of Design competition. I’m excited to submit more of our designs in 2020 and beyond. To have the validation of the design industry recognize the impact of our firm’s work has helped reinforce that we are on the right track.

As I look to the future, I have big plans for the growth of RI Studio. We’ve seen this growth, both from new clients looking for full home renovations and previous clients looking for us to design their second or vacation homes. Another key piece to our plans is to expand our work with architects and custom home builders. I love working with these skilled professionals to create a holistic design — one that incorporates creative and exclusive design elements before construction even begins.

We’re always looking to improve how we service our clients at RI Studio. With that, we will soon be launching a new program exclusively for previous and existing clients to continue providing them white-glove services after their interior design projects and home renovations are complete.

In the meantime, I’m thrilled to announce a new blog series by RI Studio called “A Rendered Interior.” I get so many questions from clients and friends about interior design, and I want to give back to my community by sharing my expertise. Do you have a question for me about interior design or the construction process? Are you looking for design advice, decorating tips, or an insider’s perspective on new trends? Submit your questions to terra@ristudiodallas.com and I will answer them in future “A Rendered Interior” columns.

This new series touches on the heart of interior design: connection and community. I’m so grateful to work with dedicated builders, talented architects, and especially my thoughtful clients. Thank you for being part of my community; I can’t wait to serve you.



The RI Studio Story

The Story of RI Studio – II

Part II | By Terra McNutt

This is the second in a three-part series. To read Part I, click here.

Flashback to 2018: I had just left a prestigious Dallas design firm to create RI Studio. It was a brave choice, but I was confident my work was ready to stand on its own. I had a vision for what my own firm could become, and I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit.

One of the first things I did was hire a business manager who has a long career in homebuilding, marketing and finance — a perfect complement to my expertise in design, construction and project management. This outstanding partner happens to be my mother, Rhonda. It’s a comfort knowing my clients are served by someone I trust implicitly.

Our first month in business was exhilarating. We were overwhelmed with inquiries and new business sourced entirely from referrals. Without investing in any advertising, RI Studio was completely booked and stayed that way for the entire year. It was the most incredible feeling to know that I had built such a strong community of clients, architects and builders.

RI Studio First Year
I’m so thankful for how busy RI Studio was in our first year. This luxurious residential design was one of my favorite projects of the year.
RI Studio First Year
RI Studio is built on an aesthetic that is elevated and unique. This glamorous design is a perfect example.

Throughout the year we worked on a variety of projects, including several custom homes in the greater Dallas area. In the years since, RI Studio has continued to grow, and I couldn’t be more grateful or feel more blessed. We have big plans for the future of RI Studio, and we couldn’t have done it without some elbow grease and, most importantly, your help and support.



RI Studio Terra McNutt

The Story of RI Studio – I

Part I | By Terra McNutt

Dear readers, 

Welcome to RI Studio – where authentic design meets elevated interiors. It is my hope that you will feel at home within these pages. I hope you will also find the RI Studio blog to be a valuable resource for you and for all of your interior design and design-build needs. With more than a decade of experience in the industry and multiple award-winning projects, I have a deep well of information and expertise that I am delighted to share with you. First, a little more background information on how RI Studio came to be and how we cater to our clients’ needs from dirt to drapes. 

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s in my blood and in my DNA. My childhood was spent accompanying my Dad, a seasoned homebuilder, to job sites. This exposure to construction sites has helped shape my deep love for architecture. So much so that it led me to pursue a minor in architecture at Texas Tech University while also realizing my true passion and majoring in interior design. 

Founding RI Studio in 2018 was never a matter of “if,” but “when.” Before that could happen, I knew I wanted to spend the first few stages of my career sharpening my skills. This would require me to establish my reputation, and build a network of strong industry partners. I spent the past decade designing at renowned firms like Hawkins-Welwood Homes, Traci Connell Interiors, and Lucas/Eilers Design Associates. My experience with these firms helped me build my technical skills and hone in on my aesthetic. 

I believe that interior design is a reflection of us as people. Great design should be an extension of a client’s lifestyle. It should take into account how people live, work, and entertain. Those are the moments that life is all about, and interior design helps facilitate and nurture those moments. The “RI” in RI Studio stands for “rendered interiors”. We have an eye for architectural detail and can envision every project fully with the precise finishes and furnishings. This provides our clients with the confidence to know that our clear vision will result in a design that is creative, innovative, and uniquely theirs. 

The first two years of our story have been full of tremendous growth. We have also been humbled by the number of industry awards and accolades. The greatest gift we’ve come across so far is the number of happy clients whom we’ve grown to cherish. We’ve become known as the firm that creates designs that are exclusive, elevated, and a little bit unexpected. Whether our clients are homeowners or home builders, each new project is an opportunity to surprise and delight my clients and my own sense of wonderment for rendering beautiful interiors. 

Each project is individualistic; no two ideas are ever repeated. This is the crux of the RI Studio tagline: “Rendered Interiors. Exclusive Designs.” 

Welcome to RI Studio. Welcome home.