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Using the Platinum Rule in Design

While it may seem like rules of design only concern things like mixing colors and choosing items of the right size and scale, there’s a very different type of rule we at RHD rely on heavily for every client project. The central guiding principle of our design process is the Platinum Rule-treat others as they want to be treated.

It’s a more others-focused spin on the Golden Rule, based on empathy and most importantly, understanding that everyone is different. It’s simple, but impactful. And it informs every aspect of our work.

A kitchen with creamy white custom cabinetry, high - end stainless steel appliances (including a wine fridge), and a calming grey hue on the walls create a warm, inviting space that’s ideal for entertaining
With functionality at the core of this historic San Francisco condo renovation, we designed the kitchen to house everything in a strategic and visually - pleasing way. Wine storage is easily accessible adjacent to the refrigerator while the microwave is tucked neatly into the cabinets, to blend seamlessly into the surrounding design.


First and foremost, the Platinum Rule sets the stage for success in our clients’ projects by asking us to listen carefully to understand what they love, what inspires them, and what they need in their homes. If we lead with the Golden Rule, we might give them a beautiful design that reflects us and who we are, missing entirely the point of creating a space for our clients that lets them feel truly at home.

Additionally, keeping our clients’ point of view at the forefront lets us relieve them of their worries and fears through the complex process of a new build or full-scale remodel. While we live and breathe the many moving parts of these projects daily and thus, know what to expect and how to navigate inherent challenges, our clients do not. They need us to not only stand in the gap for them, advocating for their needs and handling whatever arises, but also to employ processes that help them feel comfortable, informed, and confident in their decisions.


Interestingly, the Platinum Rule is also important for our clients to ponder when looking to achieve a home their guests will enjoy visiting. Consider this: If you were a guest in your own home, how would you want the space to feel? Warm and welcoming, surely, but what about also restful, restorative, and even inspiring?

When designing our clients’ homes, we don’t stop at creating spaces that are ideal for them. We also consider who they’ll be hosting, how long their stay will last, and what their experience will be like. After all, once we design a beautiful home for you, your friends and loved ones are going to want to come and see it for themselves.

An open floor plan showcases a spacious dining room, sitting area, and media cabinet all tied together with a warm red and gold color palette.
We infused this home’s main living area with Earthen Reds and Golds throughout to add a sense of warmth that allows its inhabitants (both human and canine! ) to relax at the end of each day.


So, how do you achieve that coveted personal touch? The key to applying the Platinum Rule in your home’s design is to identify the ways in which you live (or want to live).What is your daily routine? If you could wave a magic wand and have your dream space, what might that entail? Think through each moment of your day and every square inch of your home. When it comes to designing your ideal space, no detail is too small. It all counts toward how you’ll ultimately experience each day in your home.

You may be drawn to certain colors and textures, for instance. These can make us feel any number of moods. Yellows evoke energy and wakefulness, blues encourage a sense of calm, and reds inspire feelings of warmth and vibrant energy. But just as important are your hobbies. Do you love reading? Then incorporating spots designed for quiet moments of reflection and rest is crucial. Are you a holiday host at heart? Then spaces built for easy entertaining are a must.

A home office on the second floor of a historic houseboat offers an unobstructed view of the water and harbor via the oversized windows.
This cozy nook speaks to the clients desire for an intimate place to work without feeling removed from the heart of the home. It boasts lots of natural light and creature comforts such as the colorful custom pillows and the practical supporting elements like the built-in filing drawer and outlet to power up her laptop.

No matter your preferred style or personal aesthetic, designing your home is a much more personal and care-filled endeavor than simply mimicking inspiration images or popular trends of the moment. It may be true that recreating a carbon copy of a trend setting design in your own home will be beautiful. But it may not be you.

Transforming your home into a sanctuary that’s customized just for you requires taking time to discover what truly matters to you. You deserve a home that reflects and supports you-and to get there, you need a caring design experience that follows the Platinum Rule, putting you at the center of the process right from the start.

Looking to create a sanctuary of your own? Let us help! Contact us today.


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