Project Reveal: Memorial Park Modern Home!

Project reveal: memorial park modern home

Today we’re taking a look back on this classic Laura U design! This past project was completed in 2013 and ended up being a unique process – we worked on this home in multiple phases that allowed the design of the home to grow along with the size of our client’s family. Our clients initially came to us with an ultra sleek and modern concept but as their family grew, this aesthetic shifted to include bight and colorful kid’s rooms. The end result was something totally unique that incorporated and represented the clients perfectly!

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A Boulevard Show House Sneak Peek: The Foyer & Stairway

The Boulevard Show House is currently down to the frame, with new walls and flooring coming in soon. It’s kind of a mess over there right now – so, between all my traveling (I just got back in town from HPMKT!) and the fact that you can see straight down to the basement – my check-ins have been less frequent. Let’s just say, I’m leaving all that in the hands of the experts. So, if you haven’t checked out our recent ‘Ask the Experts’ with Newberry Architecture and Blue River Custom Builders, go give them a read! Our talented build partners really know their stuff.

So what’s next?

Now that the construction process of the Boulevard Show House is quickly progressing, the next phases of this historic renovation are in the works! I know we have a long way to go before furnishings are installed but I’ve already begun to pull my inspiration images and selections for the interior of my home…I’m super excited for this part (obvi)!

So, here is a little sneak peek into the design of my foyer and staircase so far. My design board is all about the graphic black and white combo with accents of metal and neutral details. I want my guests to be greeted with a timeless, and classic color palette when they enter my home.

Boulevard Show House - sneak peek into the foyer and stairway

The Foyer

Beginning in the foyer, this space is inspired by my favorite color and white! I want the space to be dramatic so using Tricorn Black from Sherwin Williams, I’m envisioning a black front door. This will be potentially split finished (black on the exterior and then white on the interior) but that is not 100% just yet. You will be able to see it from this street and this luxurious color will set the tone as you enter the house. To complement, I want to keep the walls and trim color simple, with Alabaster from Sherwin Williams. We use this paint color quite a bit in our designs, and I love it!  It always leaves the walls looking so crisp yet warm.

Next is the flooring, which I’m slightly obsessed with. I am partnering with Arto, an elegant and rustic tile company that has gorgeous designs! I’ve selected the Studio Field Conche Black Diamond for the entire foyer. This clay tile will really pop against the alabaster walls and give some texture to the floors – plus the scalloped edges of the tile will bring some softness to the space.

boulevard show house - sneak peek of foyer tile

Now let’s move to the ceiling, where I’ve selected this stunning Claymore Medium Flush Mount from Circa Lighting. I love this fixture in the gilded iron finish, which goes perfectly with the black and white tones of the room. It has an antiqued feel, reminiscent of the 1920’s era.

boulevard show house - sneak peek of foyer chandelier

The artwork for this space is so pretty so hopefully I can land this piece. It’s an abstract piece that meshes soft pastels with a cool pattern, which is a nice balance to the metallic and bold colors of this space. It’s called Minutes and Seconds by Patrick Duffy via The Gremillion Gallery. I love it – Brian, I’ll be giving you a shout about this!

boulevard show house - sneak peek of foyer art

Last up for this space is the Domaine Blanc Console Table from the fabulous Bernhardt Furniture. This piece is made of white oak and has accents of silver ferrules for the drawer handles. The soft white of the console pairs perfectly with the Alabaster walls of the foyer and all of our interior door hardware is polished nickel, so the hardware is a lovely tie in.

boulevard show house - sneak peek of foyer console


The Stairway

As you make your way through the foyer, the stair rails lead you up to the second floor. The handrails and balusters are nonexistent at the moment, but I have some big plans for them! I want to paint them Tricorn black, pulling the color of our front door into the home. The balusters, supporting the handrail, and the stair-treads will be ebonized and painted the same color so it will all be fluid and consistent beginning at the front door. From there the walls and trim will be Alabaster (same as the foyer.)

Next, I’m adding a stair runner from Unique Carpets, I fell in love with the brand new Dynasty collection which has a subtle heathered pattern, in the Antiqued Gray colorway. It will be a nice neutral touch to the dark staircase (all of the red oak floors that are original in the home are going to be ebonized). Continuing the natural tones, I am working with our Brand Partner, Schenck & Company to install beautiful French Oak custom flooring throughout the living room, dining room, and breakfast area. I know this will be gorgeous – Greg Schenck’s work always is! This natural tones in the flooring will be a great complement to the bold stairway.

boulevard show house sneak peek of foyer and stair way

Lastly, a fun accent chair is a must! So I am going with one of my all-time faves (I have the natural ash at the Studio). I’m adding the Fan Chair Black from Tom Dixon to fit perfectly within the space. This large scale accent chair goes perfectly with the feel of the foyer and stairs, its deep black finish is so bold, and the structure that I love.

boulevard show house sneak peek of foyer and stairway

More to come!

I’m loving the design progress so far! With mixes of blacks, white and neutrals – this space is definitely headed in the right direction and setting the tone for the rest of the home. I hope this sneak peek has you excited to come see the finished product next Spring. And be on the lookout for more updates and sneak peeks of other rooms. There’s a ton of exciting updates to come!

Until then, check out our Instagram and the Boulevard Show House website to stay up-to-date on all things BLVD Show House!



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Round up: our favorite tile trends

favorite tile trends for a powder - bold geometric

You can expect to find tile on walls and floors in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. What should be unexpected is the way you apply them: creatively! It’s one of the easiest materials to maintain and the fact that they come in more finishes, shapes and sizes than we can count makes them a designer’s dream. There are so many exciting things happening in the tile world right now that we needed some one-on-one time with Miguelina Veras of La Nova Tile. Here, she shares the inside scoop on all the latest tile trends.

Our favorite tile trends for a bathroom

Abstract Texture

When it comes to using tile on the wall, some are more suitable others. Abstract texture tiles are generally made and used for wall application because of their varying heights, which cause a lippage when used on a floor. Lippage refers to the difference in the elevation between edges of the tile when it’s laid and can be a tripping hazard.

Favorite tile trends

The tile’s visually interesting and three-dimensional surface design allows you to add perspective depth and embellishment to a space. Alternating heights of the tiles create movement on the wall and within the product itself. These abstract textured tiles bring the wall to life and transform it into a piece of art you can touch.

favorite tile trends

Gen by Dsignio via Peronda Group

favorite tile trends

Harmony via Peronda Group 


Subway tile is probably the most well-known and traditional styles of tiles. It was originally used in 1904 in the first subway station in NYC. It was chosen because it could be cleaned, is easy to maintain and reflects light which makes the stations brighter.

favorite tile trends

It was originally manufactured in a 3” x 6” size and in a matte or glossy finish. Today you can find subway tiles in sizes as small as 1” x 2” or as large as 12.5” x 36”. With an endless number of finishes and composition, these tiles are very versatile and can be used indoors and outdoors, as well as on the floors and walls.

favorite tile trends in a utility room

You can use subway tile to create a timeless pattern or something new and fresh. The tiles can be installed vertically or horizontally, staked straight or offset and even in a herringbone pattern. The tile pattern draws the eye across the wall in a continuous line of interest and shows how these simple tiles are anything but boring!


The term brick originally referred to a unit composed of clay and dates back to about 5,000 BC. Bricks were made from some of the most abundant, natural material resources and then fired to 2,000 degrees. The kiln process creates a more durable brick, which makes it a great building material. They were used to make walls, facades, pavements and other elements in masonry construction.

favorite tile trends in a bathroom

Now bricks refer to any rectangular units laid in mortar. They’re traditionally something you think of for the exterior of a home or for a patio. But with today’s technology bricks are finding their way into the interior of the home. Just check out this Mottone Tiles from La Nova – Their different textures, resistance to wear and low maintenance make them an ideal option for kitchen flooring or decorative walls.

Fish Scale/Mermaid

The fish scale tile certainly has a somewhat mysterious past. Some say the tile came from Morocco, while others say it was inspired by 13th-century English Gothic architecture. Not to mention, it goes by several names like mermaid, fan, scallop and bowl tile. But no matter what it’s called or where it came from, it’s a tile that’s stood the test of time and is making quite the name for itself.

favorite tile trend for a master bath shower

Growing in popularity, this whimsically shaped tile has been named by Interior Design as this year’s hot new subway tile. This charming and highly versatile tile is available in several sizes and finishes that are suitable for floors and walls. They can be used to fill any size space in restaurants, bars, bathroom showers, and backsplashes. They’re a fun accent in the kitchen and can even be used to create your own art piece!

favorite tile trend - fish scale


Surprisingly enough, these tiles have actually been around for hundreds of years. Originally, different colored clay was placed inside the tile to form the pattern. Now geometric tiles are making a contemporary comeback in fresh new bold abstract patterns.

favorite tile trends for a powder - bold geometric

There are new interlocking patterns that literally lock in place like puzzles and become decorative when installed. You can even find tiles that have been pre-scored vertically, horizontally or diagonally to look like several individual tiles, but in reality, they’re actually just one tile. How gorgeous is this black, white and gray tiled bathroom wall…talk about a show stopper!

There are so many ways to personalize your space, but we love how versatile and timeless tiles are. Whether it’s a splash of color in your kitchen, a dash of texture on your bathroom wall or a bit of pattern in your laundry room, tile is a great way to spice up your wall or floor. Check out our Pinterest for even more design tips and inspiration.

Until next time,


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HBJ Best Places to Work Top 20!

HBJ Best places to work luncheon, laura u is in top 20

We have some exciting news from the Laura U Studio! The Houston Business Journal hosted their annual HBJ Best Places to Work Luncheon last week and we were one of the finalists. It was held at the fabulous Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston – aka the hotel with the Texas-shaped pool – built for the 2017 Super Bowl. At this full-blown Texas western themed event, the Laura U team broke the Top 20 Best Places to Work in Houston for Small Businesses!

It is such an honor and I am so proud of our team. We’ve all worked hard to build a creative, inspiring work environment over this past 10 years. And this ranking, falling on our 10th year anniversary, is the icing on the cake!

HBJ Best places to work luncheon, laura u is in top 20

This luncheon hosted 104 companies ranging from Small, Medium and Large scale.”Best Places to Work” recognizes companies in the Houston area with the most satisfied employees, ranking them based on a survey created by Quantum Workplace. This detailed survey was sent out to the employees of each company to gather their feedback on five major categories:

  • corporate culture
  • amenities
  • benefits
  • worker retention
  • attraction strategies

HBJ then compiled each of these scores and we were thrilled to be among those finalists! HBJ best places to work, Laura U is in top 20

Drum-roll, please…

Laura U came in at #20 of 53 small businesses in Houston, TX with a score of 95.694 out of 100! (It was a close call, coming down to decimal points between each company.)

Some of our top attributes are:

  • Unlimited days off, it’s important to have a good balance of work and play.
  • Creative work environment – we love our bright, modern and open office!
  • Champagne Friday – Our weekly tradition where we toast the accomplishments of the week with a bubbly glass of Champagne (only the best for the Laura U Team). Here we check in with each other and review the events of the week. We show a slideshow of images from the week – site visits, progress photos of projects, event photos, etc. The whole office attends!
  • Creative blocks – Sometimes the design teams need to block out some time to refresh and recharge. The design team gathers to share new products they’ve seen in the latest magazines, social media, etc. to help trigger some new inspiration and see what is trending in design.
  • Community involvement and attending social events such as our exciting work with Dec My Room.
  • Holiday parties – Valentine’s, Halloween, Christmas, Rodeo Day, Thanksgiving, and Holiday (the biggest party of them all).
  • Puppy Fridays – our team is welcome to bring their pups to work, typically on a Friday..but they are really welcomed anytime. We love with our Laura U mascot, Cooper the Goldendoodle comes to visit.
  • Employee of the month and employee of the quarter prizes were created to award hard work and help build workplace camaraderie. They are voted by fellow co-workers, who always have fun, kind things to say!

Top 20 is a great start and shows we are doing something right over here! Now that this bar has been set, we’ve got our eyes set to move up in the ranks at next year’s luncheon. But, most importantly, I love this team and becoming a “best place to work” would not be possible without them!

So, a big thank you to the fab Laura U team. And Happy 10th-anniversary…cheers to 10 more!


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It’s all in the details: our love affair with crown moulding

detailed crown moulding makes this office space super modern and interesting

When it comes to design, there is always something more than what meets the eye. Whether it’s opening up the room or making it feel more intimate, every item has a practical and visual function. It’s proof that when it comes to design, it’s all about the details. Let’s take moulding and trim for example. Practically speaking crown moulding is used to cap a wall, but visually it adds depth and dimension to the space and makes a huge impact.

white crown moulding adds some gorgeous detail to this living room

Play with proportions

Moulding and trim can be used to add dimension, separation, and intimacy to the space. Traditional moulding and trim profiles like crown moulding and baseboards give the wall a visual starting and ending point, which makes the ceiling closer. It also protects the ceiling and floors from damage.

crown moulding adds details of elegance to this dining room

But don’t be afraid to use moulding and trim to divide the space up in interesting ways though. A chair railing on the wall creates a horizontal line. Visually, it separates the top from the bottom and practically, it protects the wall finish from potential furniture damage. Add a skylight feel to your ceiling by using moulding to create different sections.

colorful crown moulding adds luxury to this bedroom

detailed crown moulding makes this office space super modern and interesting

Add dimension

A more modern way to use moulding and trim is around doors. Using casing around a door adds visual dimension. It creates an almost mysterious and secretive entrance to the space, leaving the person wondering what they’ll find behind the door.

crown moulding and trim are a great way to add interest to a wall and door

Door Casing: An entry door at 160 West 12th Street, part of the Greenwich Lane, designed by Thomas O’Brien and Aero. Photography by Pieter Estersohn.

crown moulding and trim are a great way to compliment a bold ceiling

The color of the moulding and trim is also a way to make the space feel different. Painting the moulding the same color as the wall makes the room appear larger. It hides imperfections and gives the room a very polished feel. For a more artistic and defined feel, paint the moulding and trim a bold color. It’s fun way to add a whimsical touch to the room.

crown moulding and trim are a fun way to add some whimsical details to room

Finishing Touch

One of our other favorite ways to use it is on your kitchen cabinets. Though usually forgotten about the edge of your cabinets is the perfect place for showing off that little something extra. To create a clean, finished look opt for a shaker-style trim. A Victorian style gives the kitchen a bit of European flair, while a country style moulding gives the space a homier feel.

monochromatic trim and crown moulding give this vanity a European flair

Shaker style kitchen cabinets: by Caitlin Creer and Christopher Scott Cabinetry

simplistic crown moulding and trim give a space a finished look

For us, all the little details make your space complete. They’re what take the look of your room up an extra notch so it feels truly personalized and Currently Classic. Moulding and trim is definitely something that can add impact to a space in a very subtle or dramatic way. For more design inspiration, you can follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.

~The Laura U Team

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