Everyone wants to have it all—a happy family and fulfilling professional life—all with plenty of time to explore Instagram, of course. It turns out that Houston-based interior designer, Lacey Michalek, is winning in all categories. With a beautiful family and successful business to her name, the entrepreneur is flying high with a diverse slew of projects and more opportunities on the horizon. Meet the principal of Lacey Michalek Interiors—whether you’re in the market for a design professional or are an aspiring designer yourself, you’ll love getting to know this Houston entrepreneur.
1. When did you launch Lacey Michalek Interiors, and what inspired you to start your business?
I launched my business in late 2015 after working for two high-end designers specializing in the Memorial, River Oaks, West University, and Tanglewood areas. Each designer had a different approach, and I greatly benefitted from working with those influences. After a number of years with great mentors, it seemed like the right time to launch my own firm.
My parents also inspired me. They are both entrepreneurs, and although I never envisioned having my own business, they raised me in that environment. They have been my inspiration as well as my mentors—and still are.
Becoming a parent was also inspiring. I believe that I have a more playful and creative perspective on my clients’ projects that involve nurseries and family-themed rooms. It’s exciting to think about inspiring my children the way my parents inspired me as entrepreneurs.
2. How would you describe your design principles and process?
I want each home to feel inviting and to project a sense of livability, reflecting each client’s individual tastes. I strive to understand my clients’ personalities and their senses of style. I want families to feel proud of their home.
In order to have a design that withstands the test of time, I veer away from trends. I also work to keep my designs from looking monotonous. I work toward a more customized, selectively-curated feel that reflects thoughtfulness, comfort, and beauty.
The process I follow has specific steps, no matter how large or small the project may be. These steps streamline my projects and minimize mistakes.
First, there’s the initial home consultation. Once engaged by my client, I uncover their goals and go over what’s needed for the project. After understanding their ideas and visions, we meet again for what I call the “discovery” session. This is where the inspiration for the design takes shape, and we work through the specific challenges of the space. I like to have an exchange of ideas using a Pinterest board.
From there, I start the selection process. The ultimate design presentation is where I show my client floor plans, elevations, 3D rendering concepts, and anything else for the space. My firm is full-service—my client doesn’t have to lift a finger, even with kitchen and bath remodels. At this stage my client is beginning to see their vision become reality.
The final step is a “grand reveal” where my client gets to see the completed space for the first time. In business, there’s nothing more gratifying than seeing my clients experience their new space that we’ve created together!
3. What (and who) are your design influences?
Truth be told, I get inspired more by little-known designers who are doing something creative and unique—designers people have never heard of. I am constantly getting glimpses into the work of these unknown designers through social media. They help push me to be more creative and develop my own unique style.
Instagram influences my design. More than any one designer, Instagram is a candy store of home décor. My design muse becomes stimulated clicking through images. Studying the works of designers also helps me push myself creatively.
4. You love vintage pieces. What is it about antiques that you think makes all the difference?
I like vintage pieces, as they help humanize spaces, but I wouldn’t call vintage my signature style. Vintage will make a space feel more lived-in and inviting. But there’s more to it than just adding vintage pieces. I love to author a space and mix styles. For instance, I recently combined a modern sofa with an antique French chair—it was the perfect pairing.
5. What’s next for you and your company?
Residential homes will always be a big part of my business, but I’m starting to get a lot of calls from people who are moving into and leasing the luxury mid-rises and high-rises that are popping up all over Houston. I hear from couples who have just relocated here, professionals who doesn’t have the time to design a new place, or former spouses who need to completely start over.
Many want an Upper East Side feel to their place. To these clients, I offer a turnkey approach: I not only furnish their entire space, but also select their art, rugs, and window coverings, and even stock their linen closet, kitchen, and bathrooms. High-end renters love my turnkey approach, because they want their space to look amazing, reflect their personality, and be finished fast. My team and I are delivering. I have several resources around town that I use specifically for this side of my business.
Featured image courtesy of Lacey Michalek Interiors.