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Back Issues
2009 - Fall Edition
Interior Design
Feature Home
Article:  Joe Burgess
            Charlotte Tallman
Photos: Bill Faulkner
            Russell Bamert
            Joe Burgess
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Interior decorating is what makes a good house great or turns mundane surroundings into something special. It is also a direct reflection of the personalities of those individuals occupying the home.

In an effort to trigger your imaginations and introduce you to some of the interior designers responsible for many of the spectacular home interiors in our region, this issue of Ventanas magazine presents six designers from El Paso and Las Cruces, highlights their backgrounds and then follows with their thoughts and tips regarding the major components of enhancing the interior of your home.


Lynda Power
Designs by L.L. Power
and Associates

3950 Doniphan Ste G
El Paso, TX

Fran Timbrook
Charlotte's Furniture
5411 North Mesa
El Paso, TX

Anne Steele
Anne Steele
Custom Interiors

El Paso, TX

Bernadette Valdes
Bernadette Interiors
1900 S Telshor Ste A
Las Cruces, NM

Sherry Franzoy
Interiors by
Decorating Den

Las Cruces, NM

Connie Hines
The Studio Design Center
665 E University Ste C
Las Cruces, NM
Ventanas strongly recommends working with the professionals whose purpose in life is helping people achieve their home interior goals. It should also be noted that licensed interior designers, like licensed building contractors, have not only achieved a certain level of expertise in the field, they are held responsible for the integrity of their work and the handling of your dollars

Lynda Power of Designs by L.L. Power and Associates likes to take a hands-on approach with each of her clients.

"Every client and every project is unique. Whether the space is large or small, the taste modern or traditional, or the budget moderate to unlimited, we try to provide the best value given the parameters set forth by the client," Lynda says. "We always start from a blank canvas and build the project using what we learn from the client. When a client says at the end of a project 'I never would have thought to do the things you did but I love it,' we know we've done our job."

Lynda is a Michigan native who moved to El Paso in 1987. A licensed Interior Designer, Lynda opened her business in 1990 conducting color selections for the buyers of several custom homebuilders. In 2000, she expanded her business to include a retail store where she makes her extensive inventory of furniture and accessories available to the public.

When working on a client's home, Lynda breaks the job into five areas, starting by establishing the goals of the client and the project. Once the goals are outlined, Lynda and her staff of five work with the client to explore the appropriate options for the transformation, keeping with the design elements of the current structure. In the third area, Lynda provides several design options with corresponding cost breakdowns in order narrow the choices.

"Once the elements are chosen, I establish a delivery schedule, keeping in mind any critical milestones that must be met in order to meet delivery expectations," Lynda says. "Finally, I oversee the design transformation, ensuring that the implementation meets or exceeds the client's vision."

As a designer, Fran Timbrook takes a proactive look at interior decorating.

"One of the major focuses of my career has been to create accessible housing for all. I do not mean that every home is wheelchair accessible but one that allows for adjustments to life's changes," Fran says. "An unforeseen knee surgery or a child with disabilities can occur at any time to any of us. I believe with a strong design foundation, a home then can be adapted to accommodate any necessary changes."

A graduate of the University of Nebraska with a degree in Interior Design from the School of Home Economics, Fran is a registered Interior Designer in Texas and a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. When she began at Charlotte's Furniture, she trained under Charlotte Williams-Korth.

"A professional interior designer is one who has education and training in the field. Today's homes and businesses require a considerable amount of knowledge to protect the health, safety and welfare of the client in addition to an understanding of style, color and materials," Fran says. "It is a difficult juggling act when you add budgeting and time management to the mix. A professional designer can accomplish all of this as well as 'decorate'."

Currently Fran is one of the furniture and accessory buyers for Charlotte's Furniture, as well as the senior interior designer, working on new home and remodel projects with clients. Fran helps with their selections from the ground up, analyzing, and sometimes creating, floor plans that give the client the most functional and beautiful home for them.

"I believe in creating the best environment for my client considering family needs, budget considerations and their visions," she says.

Anne Steele of Anne Steele Custom Interiors has spent 28 years making rooms beautiful, often using vibrant colors and strong statements to draw the eye.

"I want to make my client's home environment beautiful, thus enriching their lives," Anne says, taking into account the characteristics and lifestyles of her clients. "I work to adapt designing to the client's taste."

Anne has worked on major projects in Los Angeles, Vail, Aspen, Michigan, Dallas and Colorado. While jet setting was fun at the time, she now prefers to stay among the beloved mountains of her native El Paso.

As an interior designer, Anne works with specialists in the field of cabinetry, painting and other fine craftsmen in each project where a special area of expertise is required. She also always keeps her eyes open for great ideas.

"I have many design books and magazines I use. When I find a great picture, I tear it out and use it to show new clients. The clients are encouraged to go through the tear sheets and save any that appeal to them," Anne says. "We then go through these ideas and get a better idea of the look the client is looking for."

Once the project is complete, Anne goes over the tear sheets to see how they influenced the project.

With Anne, who was an art major in college, experience and attention to details has made her popular among homeowners who want to create a masterpiece in their home.

Bernadette Valdes, owner of Bernadette Interiors, believes the private space of a home should be as individual as its owner, making her philosophy about interior design endless.

"I feel your interior private space should reflect you and your needs. This involves asking lots of questions, listening, observing and absorbing all their needs and ideas. Even the kids and pets have special needs," Bernadette says.

Bernadette, a native of Las Cruces, received a Bachelor of Fine Art and Master of Art from New Mexico State University before she opened Bernadette Interiors in 1985. She is a member of the International Interior Design Association and is licensed by the State of New Mexico Board of Interior Design.

While working with new homes, renovations of homes and commercial jobs, Bernadette focuses on space planning, wall finishes, floor and wall treatment, cabinetry design, granite, window treatments, fabrics, furniture replacement, lighting fixtures and accessories.

When changing the look of an existing home Bernadette first looks at the reasons for the change, then she takes a look at what their budget will allow before creating a personalized space.

"I work towards a look of timeless interior which can be enjoyed for a reasonable period of time, such as changing wall colors, adding accent walls, updating kitchen appliances and cabinets and/or light fixtures," she says, noting that an important part of interior decorating involves working with other professionals. "Designing a home requires working with licensed architects, draftsmen, builders and other professionals in the construction field. This brings the components of good design together for a successful completion and happy clients."

Sherry Franzoy of Interiors by Decorating Den understands the first step in interior decorating is listening and paying attention to details.

"My design philosophy is always to listen. It doesn't matter how good your design is, if it's not what the homeowner wants," Sherry says. "Sometimes they don't know what they want, but by looking at their entire home, I can get an idea of their style."

Sherry has been involved with interior decorating for nine years. She started in the field when she opened a franchise of Interiors by Decorating Den in Las Cruces following her certification through the Decorating Den Certified Design National Test in Maryland.

"I try not to have a style because I want to do whatever my clients are looking for," Sherry says. "Above all, I like to give my clients a timeless look that they won't get tired of."

Sherry provides that timeless look by helping her clients create a budget before the design project, breaking down the project into pieces or rooms if the cost exceeds their expectations. Sometimes she utilizes software that can help visualize a room, but many times a simple sketch and floor plan works just as well for her. Sherry particularly enjoys design workshops that offer current trends and styles associated with interior decorating.

Born and raised in Las Cruces, and the mother of three and grandmother of six, Sherry often has between 25 and 30 projects going on at any one time.

"The people are the best part of this field," she says. "They've called me to help them and it's the best feeling knowing you helped them accomplish what they wanted."

Connie Hines of The Studio Design Center provides a unique and diverse design firm and 30 years experience creating beautiful homes in the area.

Connie, a member of the New Mexico Interior Design Board and past president of the International Interior Design Association Southwest Chapter, is known for creating distinctive interiors customized to meet the special needs of each client. She has the ability to develop style and character through architectural elements and interior space planning unique to each project.

When working on the design of a home, Connie first considers the degree of change desired in a remodel or what the client is looking for in a new home. "Once we have determined the criteria involved, I then proceed to develop options by first creating a floor plan that reflects the existing space," Connie says. "I use this as a base to then overlay the ideas and design layouts for presentation to the client."

Connie's design studio is geared to offer a user-friendly technique through the use of several software programs that enable her to manipulate and create a multi-layered, 3-dimensional, full-color presentation when required. Through consistent communication, Connie is able to create dream homes.
"The client holds the key to the door I'm going to open. Our communication allows for a scope of service to be developed," she says. "My next step is to present a structured plan to achieve the anticipated results by way of required materials, products and labor, along with the projected dollar amount. It is at this time that we massage and fine-tune all aspects of the design project to accomplish a well-discussed client-approved budget."

Because of her long-term relationships with subcontractors, trades people and craftsmen, Connie is able to present a dedicated and ethical team that has a passion to do their best work for each of her clients. ///
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