There's a couple of things that you'll have to consider when you're thinking about hiring me as your designer. One, there are no (or at least very few) hard and fast rules on what you're allowed or not allowed to do in your space. It's your space, so don't let what the people on some T.V. show tell you what you can or can't do with it. And two, although input and advice from friends and loved ones comes in handy more often than not, that input must be taken with a grain of salt. Again, it's your space! You will be living and working and using this space more than anyone else. Don't let the input from others who will see it a fraction of the time you will influence you too much. Life is too short to not live and use a space how you always dreamed to.
You're considering a designer because you value the space enough to care about what goes in to it - don't think that's a concept that's lost on me. Whether it's a family or living room (do we separate those spaces like that these days?) that you use every evening to clear up some space on your DVR, a home office you use from the hours of 9am to 5pm, or the dining room you're converting to a den space for the kids to do their homework, this is a space you care about, which makes it a space I care about.
Just know that in the end whatever you want to do in your space is entirely possible. My goal is to try and bring any or all of your projects to reality, whether it's a small DIY or tearing a room down to the framework. If you can get behind these concepts, then this just might work out for all of us!