Lola Magazine and Heard Construction’s 2022 Inspiration Home is in full swing! We are thrilled to showcase the most immaculately designed home our area has ever seen. We are so proud of our dynamic team of designers and decorators. The talent of each of them is truly something to inspire.
Julie Mays, Julie Mays Interiors
What inspired you to choose a career in Interior Design?
Art and design have been a passion since childhood. I spent many summers as a child attending camps at museums to learn about proportion, color theory, and pottery making. Design in any realm is my greatest joy.
Tell us a bit about your background in design.
I received a degree in Interior Design from an accredited program at the University of Arkansas. I also have a minor in studio art. I have worked under many great interior designers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. I started my own business when moving to Ruston 18 years ago. I opened my studio and retail location at Trenton Interiors 6 years ago. This was a dream come true. I love working with so many clients that have allowed me into their homes and businesses. With each project, I have learned new ways to stretch and grow always striving to be the best designer I can be.
What projects come to mind that you most enjoyed?
Too many to mention! Commercial Interior design projects always peak my creativity. I would say Durrett Law Firm’s downtown Ruston location or the new wing in the main Origin Bank location were two of my favorites.
Can you share a design tip with us?
A simple rule to always follow with your work: Wisely select important pieces for your space. Wait for them, don’t settle for anything less. These are the things we keep rather than replace.
Lauren Roebuck, Lauren Roebuck Designs
What was your inspiration behind owning your own floral and décor business?
Growing up in Ruston, I wanted my own business with flexibility and creative control. My parents owned a family business for 40 years and they helped me develop a business mind and work ethic. I have a passion for florals and home décor, but the lasting relationships I have built with our customers is what has pushed me to grow into what we are today.
Tell us the story behind Lauren Robuck Designs.
My first love is floral design. I started in the industry as a part-time florist while attending college and getting my florist license. As a graduate of Louisiana Tech in Marketing and Management, I knew I had the knowledge for business, but my passion was in creating beautiful florals and spaces. In 2003, I began with a small floral business and have since grown it into a large business of decorating homes, creating lighting for new construction and carrying furniture. I thank God for giving me this talent and the ability to serve others through my florals and home décor. I couldn’t be more grateful for my career path and the reputation we have built with our signature style on interior decorating and floral design. Our original 1800 square-foot home studio has expanded to the new 6800 square-foot showroom filled with a variety of upholstered furniture and cased goods along with home accessories, lighting, wall art, rugs, lamps, and gifts for men and women. It truly is your one-stop shop. My husband, Steven Roebuck, is my strongest supporter, and for the first 10 years my only helper. Now, my daughter Haley(19) and son Alex (14) pitch in. The whole family is involved, along with our 16 employees that we dearly love! I am very fortunate and so thankful to have a job that I am excited about each and every day.
How would you describe your décor style?
Unique and detailed, insisting “every little detail makes a difference.” My team and I create personalized spaces for each client, ensuring they love the results. I love to use color and unique pieces. We strive for our spaces to exude happiness and light, much like the spirit of Lauren Robuck Designs and my staff. I adore helping clients transform a house into a home by surrounding them with beautiful accessories, distinctive lamps, wall art, and chic furniture. Making their dreams become a reality brings me so much fulfillment.
What project are you most proud of?
I was hired to revamp, redo and change the layout of the first home we built, almost thirteen years after we had sold it. It was so fun to renovate the house we built and give it a completely new look and feel!
What is your goal for each of your clients?
Each home I decorate is a vision of the owner. I strive to help them with what they want; designing the project off of the style of the home and the personality of the client. This is their home and I want them to love everything about it. They live there, not me! I always listen to exactly what they have envisioned and create a space that encompasses their wants and needs.
Emily Pullin, EPullin Art+Home, The Collective of Ruston
What inspired you to choose art as a career path?
I have always been drawn to art and interiors – many who know me would say it’s in my blood – everyone in my family is very creative.
Tell us about how you found your niche in art and design.
After earning a degree in Interior Design and working in the industry for a year, I took a different direction and gained a Master’s in Art Education. I have continued to hone my skills as a Visual Artist and recently, with the opening of our shop (co-owned with Mallory Patterson Design): The Collective of Ruston. I have recently begun to broaden my art into designing spaces. Nothing is more exciting to me than watching all of the elements come together to fill beautiful spaces.
How would you describe your signature look?
I would consider my signature look to be “transitional.” I love mixing old with new – classical lines and modern lines. I think it creates a perfect and unexpected balance in a space. My own home is a great example of my look. It is a constant work in progress.
Give us a simple rule to follow in creating spaces to love.
Easy – ALWAYS buy what you love.
Julie Rogers, Julie Rogers Interiors
When did you know that interior design would be your calling?
As a child, I was always interested in art. I loved to draw and paint. My mother and great-grandmother were also very talented and practiced design and decorating. Perhaps it was “in my blood.” This interest, later in life, led me to pursue the study of Interior Design. Louisiana Tech University offered this degree and so it became my goal to move to Ruston and begin my studies.
Tell us about your Interior Design journey?
My education at La. Tech began in 1976 and I graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design which was in the school of Art and Architecture. During my senior year, I worked for Ruston Lumber and Supply Co. in the Design Center. This job allowed me to work with many local contractors on both commercial and residential projects from the ground up. It was fantastic on-the-job training.
Soon I would meet my future husband, native to Ruston, Steve Rogers. We married after graduation and Ruston has been my home for 41 years. By choosing a career in Interior Design, I was allowed the flexibility it takes to become a successful mom, wife and professional.
Though a small town, Ruston is very large in diversity. We have many talented artists and designers and I have had the privilege of affiliating with many over the years. Most of my work has been as an independent designer. My plan is to continue to work for a few more years.
How would you describe your design style?
As a professional Interior Designer, I describe my style as “classic” with a flair for transition. This allows me to reflect a modern influence on each and every one of my projects. I share this technique with all of my clients in hopes that they will develop their own sense of style and tradition.
Do you have a favorite project?
Each and every one of my projects are of equal importance, large and small, and my goal is always the same; which is by using common principles of design and fundamental practices, beautiful spaces will emerge. Thanks to the many people I have worked with and for, I am very proud to say my career as an Interior Designer has been very successful and personally gratifying.
Rules to design by?
“Focus Focus Focus.” Always encourage your client to set boundaries and try to work within them. But at the same time, insist on flexibility. This can be more fun. In other words, allow your project to evolve with some decisions to be made along the journey. This will allow the designer to be influential as needed. Finally, when your job is complete the result will be a “beautiful space!”
Angela Pfanner, Birdwell’s
What inspired you to choose a career in home décor?
Even as a young girl, I would decorate my bedroom for each season. I have always had a love of decorating and styling which was one of the inspiring ideas around starting a business in home décor.
How did Birdwell’s come to life?
In October 2015, the startup story began with a process of branding, styling and curating to create a unique brand built around the story of our grandmothers. In 2016, our website launched with a goal to offer online sales. We began to participate in holiday Junior League shows, both regionally and locally. With the support of family and friends, the idea of a storefront began to develop. In 2017, Birdwell’s held its first local “launch” preview at Azalea Hall In Bossier City. In April of 2018, Birdwell’s found a storefront home at Airline Plaza in Bossier City!
What can we expect to find when shopping at Birdwell’s?
We take pride in curating southern lines, brands and local art to create a unique store and shopping experience.
Can you share some “décor wisdom” with us?
“Your home is a reflection of personal style along with a collection of memories.” For me, this is a reminder of where to start when working with a customer or client on decor and design.
Connie Howard, Woodvale Designs
What inspired you to be an Interior Designer?
You might say Interior Design found me! I grew up in a family of contractors and didn’t really realize that Interior Design could be a career. My first degree is in English Education. While teaching in New Orleans I began taking Interior Design courses at Tulane. I moved to Ruston and some fifteen years later went back to Louisiana Tech and got both my undergraduate degree and the MFA, Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design, the terminal degree in Interior Design.
Can you tell us about your Interior Design career?
I started my career in Interior Design at mid-life. I was fortunate enough to stay home with my children while they were growing up. When my last child was a teenager, I decided to go back to Louisiana Tech. I had helped friends design their homes but then I started getting calls from strangers and thought “This looks like a business!”. One of my friends said, “I wonder what God is preparing you for?”. As it turned out, I soon needed to work. So, I have always considered my business a blessing from God, who always wants to go ahead of us, preparing the way for us.
Do you have a signature style?
I don’t think I have a signature look, although people tell me they can tell when something is my work. My goal is always to give the client the look they want, to interpret their ideas, and to be sure they get the best of what their budget will allow.
What is a simple rule you always follow in your work?
Listen to the client! I always say to my clients, “You know, I go to my home at night… tell me what YOU want!”.
David Hedgepeth, David Hedgepeth Interiors
What inspired you to choose a career in Interior Design?
I have always enjoyed being creative, and being an interior designer feeds my need to create. When working with clients, it’s the process of creating that brings together their wants and needs that excites me. Seeing their happiness with the finished project lets me know I made the right career decision.
How did you get started in Interior Design?
Growing up, my father was an interior decorator and my mother was a seamstress so I spent my early years around the business of creating, designing and decorating. After graduating from high school I entered LA Tech as a journalism major, realizing that journalism was not in the cards I switched majors and earned a degree in Elementary and Special Education. I taught for several years but knew I needed something more creative and went back to LA Tech and found my real passion was interior design. In 1985, I opened David Hedgepeth Interiors, then in 2014 Julie Mays and I opened Trenton Interiors & Company, a Design Showroom, where we could offer our clients one location that would showcase the best in design, from flooring to furniture and accessories.
Do you have a signature design style?
I don’t believe I have a signature look but do believe my signature is my ability to design a look that reflects my clients, not me. I tell my clients that when I walk away from their project I want their friends and family to see them and not a designer who has put their stamp on everything.
A word of advice when designing a space?
Budget. I am always working to achieve the look my clients are looking for but within their budget.
Carmen Hill, Carmen Hill Design
When did you know that interior design would be your calling?
As a child, I was always fascinated with structure, form, color and light. I would create a house from cardboard boxes and design a neighborhood with dirt roads and use my brothers’ hot wheels cars. I eventually graduated to a “real” dollhouse and became obsessed with spending any allowance or monetary gift on furniture and decor to complete it. My talented and artistic Aunt who lives in New Orleans would hand sew bedding for the bedrooms. No detail was overlooked, even down to authentic tiny working light fixtures. This explorative time at a young age created the passion I have for architecture and interior design.
What is your goal when designing a space?
For thirty years I have been blessed to design some beautiful spaces for amazing clients. All projects begin with space planning with an emphasis on function and then progress to architectural design, interior finishes, furnishings, window treatments and art selections. I believe good design is a sensory not only experienced by sight but also in the way a space feels and the energy it provides.
Do you have a specific or favorite style when designing?
I appreciate all genres of design and strive to connect with my clients on a personal level to create spaces that represent their personalities and lifestyle. When a project is complete, it is so rewarding to know my client’s dream fused with my vision and talent created a beautiful space that brings them joy and peace.