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The Rapp Rapport – 1st Edition

The process of building rapport is all about communication. In a new series, I’ll lift the covers of my life in order to give readers a sense of what it’s like to work, laugh and experience design, decorating and the thrill of an organized pantry with me!

For the inaugural post, I’m going to answer a few questions that repeatedly come up when talking about home by red door.

You were in HR and ran a HR professional services company before starting home by red door. When did you realize it was time for something new?

Honestly, it wasn’t a moment in time, but an evolution of my childhood dream. My first answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up” was an interior designer. I even wrote about it in a high school essay about my future self. Fast-forward almost 30 years in the business of people, and it’s still all about people. My work in HR and with clients who needed HR services was about analyzing problems and finding solutions; so other than the environment, not much has changed!

I cherish my various career progressions and believe worthwhile work should feed your interests as well as your soul.

How do you approach a new client and project?


This is where my psychology background comes into play. It’s about understanding what’s going on in the client’s life that caused them to reach out. To get to that point, a tremendous amount of trust must be established – and quickly. I’ve heard it described as speed dating and a long marriage! I want a new client to feel comfortable, confident and at ease with me and the work we’ll be partnering on in the intimate setting of their home.

It’s also about understanding the client’s goals and level of involvement with the project. Goals are typically straightforward, and I always ensure goals are representative of everyone involved, not just the person who wants it done. When it comes to involvement, I’m cool with a credit card and text me when it’s done – or needing to sit on the chair and lick the leather!

How is the décor/organizing in your own home different from your work with a client?

It’s rarely complete! On the décor side, I have more of a “make it work” style in my home. My current home is 2.5 times the size of my first home, yet I still have furniture and accessories from the beginning. I don’t have one style, but I do have a style that’s me. I love repurposing items, shopping my own home to redesign spaces and finding unique items you won’t see anywhere else.

When it comes to organizing, I strive for function first. I also have a dilemma when it comes to starting over with all the same products vs. using what I’ve haphazardly collected – even if the result may not be Insta-worthy! For clients – you know I want matching containers and labels!

What do you think clients could be more educated about?

This is a tough question because part of my job is to educate. It’s easy to say cost – which is why I always start with a budget. From there, I’m educating around expectations. I can’t make champagne out of a sparkling water budget. Real leather comes at a price, but there are some incredible faux options now. Cost and quality typically go hand in hand, but if your expectation is to change out accent chairs in a couple of years, the budget can be smaller!

Another area of education is perfection. My job is to make you feel a certain way in your home or space – peaceful, joyful, vibrant, etc. It’s not about finding the perfect piece to complete the room.

What are you currently into and over?

Into: Green. Plants, color, get going! I tend to gift plants to clients because every space needs real life. Green goes well with the white and gray spaces created in the past few years and blends nicely with warmer hues like cream and tan. And of course, green signifies a start and I love to get going!

Over: Barn doors, themed Christmas trees, and rooms that only serve one purpose.

Hit me up in the comments with your questions or ideas for future topics to cover in The Rapp Rapport!

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