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Meet the Designers

These 3 professionals are bringing personalized style and beauty to homes across Houston

Owner of Edwards Interiors and Design

Do you have a particular style?

I create a design for clients that is functional and based on their definition of what feels beautiful to them; however, I love and appreciate architectural history and find myself weaving some of those details into each project, whether in the cabinetry and millwork or lighting fixtures, etc. 

What is unique about your designs?

My approach to the design problem. While beauty and aesthetics are vital components to designing a space, I like to begin every design by creating an area that is first practical. It could be rearranging the home's footprint to suit the family's lifestyle, to selecting materials for a low-maintenance construction. Either one places the function of the design or product at the forefront. 

Why are you passionate about designing,

I became passionate about design from a young age when I wanted to rearrange my bedroom at least 2-3 times a year! I had this puzzle with four walls with doors, windows, and bedroom furniture that could only fit a particular way to function correctly. When I got older, I purchased a dollhouse kit from the local hobby store and built it from the ground up. The feeling of being able to create something from a vision on paper drew me into this field. 

How did you become an interior designer?

Interior Design was not a profession that I sought out immediately because it was not something I was encouraged to pursue while growing up. I knew I had an artistic ability and a passion for helping people, so taking art and nursing classes were my initial pursuits. In my second year of college, I learned of the interior design program at Stephen F Austin University. I could apply my abilities to an actual profession that would allow me to use these skills to improve the lives of others. 

Why should a homeowner hire a designer?

It can be intimidating for a homeowner to try and design a space or decorate themselves. Hiring an interior designer who understands space planning, furniture arrangement, and budgeting and has a basic understanding of building and remodeling can be the difference between an OK design and a great design. 

Owner of Karen Richani Design

Describe your style.

My style is luxury simplicity. I like mixing unique and meaningful accents with everyday pieces that are timeless and one-of-a-kind. I specialize in creating modern minimalist and functional spaces that reflect my client's personalities.

What sets Karen Richani Design apart?

My passion and commitment. I'm committed to designing my clients' dream spaces and turning them into reality. I invest in every single project, no matter if it is an entire house interior design project or designing a single room.

Have you always wanted to be a designer?

Yes! I was born to become a designer. Since I was a little girl, concepts such as design, color, creativity, technique, and improvements have always fascinated me. I love that I can influence and contribute to transformations that improve people's quality of life in their spaces.

What has inspired your designs?

I've moved overseas multiple times during the past 16 years. This journey has enriched my career, personal, and family life, letting me collect great experiences and become rooted in many different communities. Being exposed to so many different and rich cultures and visiting so many beautiful places helped shape what we are today as a family and expanded my design lens in many ways. 

How did you get started?

I studied architecture at Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela, where I was offered a teaching job as a Professor of History of Art and Architecture at the undergraduate level. Though this opportunity, I continued to learn at a more practical level, combining academic responsibilities with design work. I then obtained my Master's degree in High Technology Buildings from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. I then returned to my home country and started my own architectural firm specializing in residential and commercial architecture.

Once we moved to Houston, I decided to continue with my passion: Design. I found great job opportunities, but the one that felt right for my lifestyle was becoming an Interior Designer. Since 2015, I've changed my career path, taking off my hat as an architect and replacing it with a new one that allows me to transform and beautify the interior spaces of others.

What can a designer bring to the table?

Designing a space is much more than a frivolous or trivial activity because the home is where our daily activities happen. A designer can help avoid costly mistakes and increase the home's value. For some, designing and implementing an idea could be an overwhelming process. With our help, you can navigate all of the questions by being accompanied by a professional. 

Owner of Laura U Design Collective

Describe your style.

I like to say my style is fun, bold, and romantic. I'm also a research junkie, so when I approach a home's design, I'm taking everything into account: the architecture, the landscape, and the exposure to natural light. 

How do you approach designing a home?

At the Laura U Design Collective, we approach each project by first focusing on our client's interests. Whether our clients collect art, travel, or like to entertain friends, their passions should be reflected in the home. We have found that the term "celebrating home" best embodies what we do. We celebrate the warmth, comfort, and romance of what home, and the memories that live within, could mean for someone. When I walk into my own home, I'm surrounded by things that I love (including my family), and I want that for my clients too.

What differentiates Laura U Design Collective from other designers?

My multi-disciplinary team is what really differentiates us from other design firms. As a collective, it's not just me sitting in a studio designing. We are a team of 15 creative individuals with diverse backgrounds in architecture, graphic design, and fine art. We collaborate to give our clients an exceptional creative experience, and it goes without saying a gorgeous home! While our process and technical expertise drive our passion, we remain down-to-earth and have fun doing what we do.

Why are you passionate about designing?

From a young age, I was always in awe of my father, who would design and build our family homes. Seeing that he could bring a home to life from a sketch was inspiring and led me never to doubt that I could do it myself. When I was younger, I was always moving around my furniture and redesigning my room. A lot of children do this, but I was slightly obsessed! I started my own design firm at a really young age which allowed me to combine my love of home and my love of business and entrepreneurship.

My firm opened in 2007 as a quaint boutique on Westheimer with my interior design studio in the back, where I offered furnishings and design to my Houston-based clientele. Fifteen years later, we are a team of more than 15, with two locations, that works on extensive and historical renovations and interior design.

What keeps you passionate about designing each day? 

Seeing our clients' vision come to life is why I get up every morning! That is why we do what we do! They come to us with ideas and hopes for their home, and we can bring that to life, giving them a comfortable, beautiful home to create memories in with family and friends.

In your opinion, what does a designer bring to the table?

Renovating and furnishing your home is absolutely a full-time job. Most homeowners simply do not have the time for what is typically an 8-12 month investment that includes troubleshooting with furniture manufacturers, dealing with sub-contractors, and ensuring that through it all, your home is just as you want it to be.

Usually, our clients are looking for bespoke, custom, one-of-a-kind pieces for their homes - something you can't get at a retail store. As designers, we're connected to trade-exclusive vendors and artisans who produce extraordinary furniture you can't find anywhere else. Plus, we obtain those pieces at designer-only costs.

While it is a significant financial investment, working with a designer will save time and headaches. Not only that, you will have a home professionally curated for you, with pieces that were tailor-made to your lifestyle. Residential design is such a personal process; many of my former clients are my friends now! If you select the right person to work with, you could have a friend for life too.

  • Photo courtesy of Edwards Interiors and Design
  • Photo courtesy of Edwards Interiors and Design
  • Photo courtesy of Karen Richani Design
  • Photo courtesy of Karen Richani Design
  • Photo courtesy of Laura U Design Collective
  • Photo courtesy of Laura U Design Collective

Designing a space is much more than a frivolous or trivial activity because the home is where our daily activities happen. A designer can help avoid costly mistakes and increase the home's value.