Design in Construction: Why Collaborating with a Designer is Essential with Kara Templeton

Design is an integral part of the construction process, and in this episode, we sit down with our team member Kara Templeton, who brings a wealth of design experience to the table. We discuss the significance of design in construction and explore why having a designer is crucial for your project's success. Kara takes us through the role designers play in the construction process, shedding light on why working with a designer can be a straightforward and highly advantageous experience.

Kara's unique perspectives provide a fresh outlook on the synergy between design and construction, highlighting the importance of collaboration and mutual respect between professionals. If you've ever wondered about the difference a designer can make in your construction project, Kara answers these questions and more.

This Episode Will Cover: 

• Kara’s background and how she got started with Simply Home.
• Why someone may want to work with a designer.
• The importance of remembering that not all designers are created equal.
• Why collaboration is so important.
• What a designer provides versus a contractor.
• Whether every remodel requires a designer.

Learn More About Ashley, Michelle, & Simply Home: 
• About Ashley & Michelle:
• Website:
• Podcast:
• Instagram: @simplyhomeaustin
• Facebook: @simplyhomeaustin
Episode Transcript

This is the Simply Home Podcast - Ladies Who Build, a podcast for women by women.

This is Ashley Wainscott and Michelle Mullins.

After spending the last 10 years revolutionizing the construction industry and raising the bar of the contracting world.

We are inviting you on our journey as we continuously learn how to be extraordinary and thrive in this industry.

Now, come hang with us.

Welcome to Episode 15 of Ladies Who Build podcast. Today, we have a very special guest. Kara, who is on our team. She comes from a design background and today's episode is really going to be focused on her design background, but also the importance of design in construction. Some key topics we're going to be hitting is why do you need a designer. Kara is going to go into a bit more detail about that because that's what she deals with on a daily basis with clients. What did designers do or what kind of part do they play in this process?

And then basically. lind of that process of working with the designer. It's actually not scary. It's very easy and totally beneficial for your project. So we're excited to jump in.

Yes. Thank you for having me guys.

Yeah. Welcome. Okay. So as Michelle mentioned, Kara Templeton.


Kara has brought a refreshing background to Simply Home in that she has a lot of design experience, but experience in retail and other aspects that really tie in nicely with construction and starting Simply Home, I wouldn't have necessarily thought that would tie in well with construction, but, but it really does and I'm excited for Kara to talk about her background and tell us where she's been and why she's here and what she's doing now.

Yes. Thank you. Thank you guys for having me. Okay. So, I'm trying to think of like how far back I should start.

When you were born.

I was born on a farm, no. I was born in DC, born and raised in DC. I went and ended up going to college in Boston. I went to a women's college, so I already kind of like right out the gate knew I wanted to be around a lot of women. I ended up studying philosophy, fine art, which was not really the most employable option. So my parents were not thrilled. Both my parents were lawyers. They were not thrilled about that. But then luckily, I got a job after college and I was working for Bloomingdale's in their management training program, which to your point, like seems like it's kind of far from design and construction, but it was really good for like interacting with lots of different types of people, managing people, like hustling, understanding all the different parts of selling and what goes into, you know, like creating a successful brand. So I feel like that has actually helped me in my windy road in interior design.

Then I moved to LA and I got a job in like a vintage furniture showroom. And I was helping them with everything from like, E-commerce to website design, to like interior styling. And then it was still, it was still kind of like interacting with the clients on a day-to-day basis, but it was a little bit more of like a class on materials and history and space planning and like being in people's homes and making beautiful things and like understanding how they use their space and what's important and entertaining. And all of that kind of goes into home stuff. And then I got a job with an incredible interior designer and I switched, there was a, like a brief hiatus where I thought I might want to do jewelry for a little bit. And that was very short-lived. So that we don't, we can kind of glaze over that. But I, yeah, I got a job with an interior designer. And same kind of thing like understanding project management, understanding material and like what goes into a custom piece? It's about the upholstery and like the shape of the chair back and how every single item in the living room has like several components to it. So I feel like it was almost like construction for interior design. Yeah. And then I ended up having a kid, so I needed to kind of like take a step bcak, which I love my son, but it was, it was yeah. A little bittersweet.


It's different.

So I did kind of more like the operations side of things and HR and understanding like that side of the business, but still like wanting to be in the interior space. And I moved to Austin. I was doing the same kind of thing, like project management. And I noticed that I just needed, I needed to have a little bit more of a construction understanding because I could, we could design the most beautiful furniture layouts. And if the flooring hadn't been installed properly or the tile hadn't been done well, or like the trim around the windows wasn't right, it was kind of rashonda pig. Like it didn't really matter.

We could put the most beautiful custom sofa in and it just wouldn't look right. So that's what brought me to Simply Home.

Yeah. I mean, well, and I think the most important thing that you bring. I say this because there's so many important things you bring to the team, but we should also say that Kara’s second life should be a standup comedian. Which I feel like you failed to talk about because I think that that’s a bit part of your…

I did forgot my standup comedian hiatus that was in with the jewelry.


I mean, you obviously touched on the most important things like your career and like what brought you up on Makia yet, but let's talk about your comedian status. Because those are where you should have.

Well, that's what, that's what leads to talking to people. You've got to be.

That is true.

You gotta be quick.

You’re talking to people all day every day and you're always bringing the laughs from vendors to clients to internal team.

But does that help with construction? I guess it does.


I guess you have to have a sense of humor because nothing ever goes totally according to plan,

Right. It’s like, why so serious? Isn't that the joker's line? It’s got freebies.

But why so serious?

Yeah, that is true. That is true. I, I mean, construction, I do take very seriously and there's something I take more seriously than like the non-customer pollster piece. But I also have to understand, like some perspective. We are not saving lives. We are improving lives.


But we are. Like this is not life or death.

Yeah. So it's important to keep that perspective.

And we can find a moment in a conversation and make a laugh, which is great.


I appreciate that a lot Kara as well. Then also I take full advantage of Kara’s design background and every time she comes over, I asked her something about my house like how can I improve this space from a design standpoint?


I know how I can tear up the walls.


But then how do I put things in the room that make it feel lovelier if Kara would say?

Yes. I know the team does make fun of me for using lovely a lot which is something that I'm going to work on in 2024.

That's what you were.

So not, not today. I've got a few months.

Okay. So yes, you come from a very important background and I think now more than ever, where Simply Home has kind of progressed. We understand the importance of design clients, understand the importance of design going into this process. Because Ashley and I joke we'll be, we'll never be designed background people. We don't know the first thing about design and so we would always been said like, we're the doers, right? And so bringing in your designer, but having you on the team has been tremendous because yes, you can work with designers, you understand what they're talking about and what they're requesting, but at the same time, you can really kind of make a client feel at ease, like why this is important.

And so I think the biggest thing, and maybe we can kind of start out by you explaining, I guess we can start like the importance of the designer. Like what you know to be true in this process and why it's important to bring them in. And then I guess we can kind of talk about too, like clients, where they come from the questions that they're asking about design world. Just kind of like the day to day you work with when starting off that process.

Yeah. People will ask me all the time, like do I need a designer for this project? Is that even necessary? I've got an HGTV subscription so like, why do I need someone to help me? And I want to say, I think it's great that Pinterest and HGTV exist and also designers still definitely have a place in the construction process. Especially if you are touching more than one space at a time. If you are thinking about how you're going to use it long-term, how you use it now. Like it's not just about furniture plans and kind of individual accessories. It's also about how you lay out the whole space. What finishes you choose throughout your whole home. Like a lot of times flooring selection is going to run through multiple rooms, right?

Or paint colors gonna run through multiple rooms, trim, baseboards, all of those details are things that your designer is considering and they do this day in and day out. Right? So they're going to present you with things that you have not considered. They know how those materials are going to wear. They have relationships with people like in local showrooms to understand what the new stuff is that's coming out, that you don't even know about yet. Right. So although that's my background, I've been out of it for long enough that, like I'm still looking for interior designers to present new stuff to us. Right? I know what I like right now, but I don't know what the new hot thing is that I need to consider.

But I will say as a caveat too, not all designers are created equal and that's a super important thing to note for clients as well, like you need to be very careful with the questions you ask before you bring someone on, how do they bill, how do they manage your project? How involved are they going to be? What are their deliverables? Because there's a wide spread in the design world. Same thing with construction, right? Like there's a wide spread of what a firm can offer you.

And I think people need to have more education on, kind of like what they're getting with a designer package and less focus on what the end result is going to be. Of course, you need to pick someone who's in your style, right? But pretty much anyone can deliver quote unquote, a beautiful package. It's like the experience that you're going to have, how they work with a contractor, how they work with you, how they understand, you know your vision, how they adapt to changes that come up during the construction process. That's the other key thing. Yeah, so it's, to me, it's just as much about like personality and knowledge as it is design aesthetic.

And you know what, I thinks it's really important to, is talking about the designer relationship with the contractor relationship.


And how that background has really played into understanding the design process and what goes into it and what expectations should be from a designer?


And then our role with the designer.

Yes. Yes. I always joke that I speak designer, right? Because I was on that side of things for so long that I understand the pain points from a contractor perspective. And a lot of like contractors have the reputation for being like the good old boys club. And I've done this before. Like you don't need to tell me about grout. I've got it covered. You know, stereotypically interior design is more of like a women's industry and construction is more of a men's industry. And they, I think a lot of designers generally feel like when they work with contractors, they may not be taken seriously, right? Like I'm coming to you with this design idea. I don't need to know how you did it in your last 10 projects. Like this is how we're going to implement it in this project. And they just want to be listened to and heard and respected. And I think that's something that we can, like we definitely have with Simply Home.

But to your question, like there are also things that we expect from our designers on the flip side, right? And ideally the best relationships are a partnership of designer and Simply Homer designer and contractor, whoever it is. And then you work out the solution and then present to client, right? It should never be a triangulation where you, for whatever reason are pitted against the designer, because it's just never going to go well from a process standpoint, from an end result standpoint, everything.

It’s a collaboration.

It’s still a collaboration, right?

It's about communication. It's the collaboration. It's an understanding that some things just may not be feasible once we get into the construction process and like being willing to adapt is, I think what makes us successful relationship.

It is that relationship that makes all the difference when we are working together. When we are all in the same mission, we all have the same vision and reason for being there which is, you know, the project and the client satisfaction. And so if we all keep that in mind and we have a respectful relationship. It really does change that whole planning phase and then once construction starts, then the designers can really be helpful if we have to make pivots like the process if they understand that.

Yeah. I mean, as you were talking to Kara’s thinking for anybody listening, you made so many good points of notes to take when interviewing for a designer or working with one, there was just so many things you said like the things that I would kind of cross check with them. And I think the important one that we kind of, a lot of people skip over is like, what is your process with working with the, with the contractor? How do you like to be present for that? What does it look like after the project starts? Because so many designers are different. Once project starts and then they get pulled in.


How do they bill for that time? So I think, you know, there, we have seen time and time again, when a relationship is really strong with the designer. And we all know that we're collaboratively working together with the client. That, I mean, it just makes like, it's really night and day.

Well, a project can go and how successful the team is and the client is everyone just like, it's a cohesive. It's just really nice. And so I think those are really important questions to kind of buffer and that in the beginning, But this kind of leads us into, you know, from a crime standpoint, the next point of what does a designer provide in the beginning of a project versus what is it a contractor provide?

Yes. Yes. Okay. So typically this is why I say there's such a wide spread between contractors and designers out there.

Typically, designers will provide, and there's, there's some debate about like designers versus decorators. I don't have to go into that, but designers will usually do their own CAD plans. They will most often do their own ordering, so they will. Ideally, they provide you with like a layout, design boards of like, here's your selection for flooring, here's your selection for, you know, your plumbing fixtures, your tile, all of that cabinetry hardware.

And then they'll do the ordering for all of those materials. And they will sometimes do like mood boards of here's, you know, maybe we haven't nailed down the exact finishes yet, but here's how I want the space to feel. They, like I said, they should do CAD plans for you. I'm trying to think of what else they will, a lot of times, like, it sort of depends on if you're designers in the same city as you, but a lot of times they'll do physical presentations where you can come and like see the material in person. Or they can ship it to you. And then contractors are usually there too. I think a successful contractor is there to just implement the vision, right? Like we can weigh in, but especially when we're working with designers, it's super important that it's their vision. And then if there's an issue with something we're presenting solutions that we feel like could align with our ultimate vision, but it's not really our role to change the design or make any kind of recommendations about something aesthetic.

And like, best practices we all have the..

The tickle, yes.

The tickle. Call me Elmo.

So I feel for best practices, we figured out over the last year or so, that working through the design process and being there just to understand the client's vision and to listen and to lalk about budget and how something has been to be installed or what's possible is really more of our role.


We're saying it's not to insert ourselves for the aesthetics or for the design, it's more about, okay in that scheme to increase your budget or that's going to decrease your budget.


And advising on you know, this isn't possible because of permitting and zoning, or this is possible, but you have to do this instead.

Right, right, exactly. I think we're there as kind of a double-check and it's especially come up this year with budget. And this is what designers and architects, this they're not, it's not their job to know that on a day-to-day basis, I feel like it's our job to inform them, but vaulting a ceiling, for example, or doing a mitered edge on a stone countertop can make a big difference or running a slab up as a backsplash can make a big difference in a client's budget. And that may be fine. The client may want that as their priority, but I do still feel like it's on us to inform the designer and potentially the client. This is going to move your budget in this direction. And how important is this element to you. So I always say like, we want the designers to be as creative as, as they need to be. Right. They need to have some space to push clients out of their comfort zone, but not push the budget too far out of their comfort zone.

And that's our role is to educate on that. But this kind of goes back to when you're picking a designer, I say to someone that obviously aligns with you aesthetically, but also someone that you would feel comfortable with speaking on your behalf because, I think the best designer client relationships are when they're so integrated and the designer knows like, oh no, this is not worth it to them. They're not going to want to spend that. Let's find an alternative. And then we come to the client and the client's like, yes, thank you for thinking about all of these. Like, I appreciate you taking the initiative. That's when it's successful.

That's so true. Listening to the client and thinking through when the designer for us or when the designer comes to us and says, you know what, they mentioned that wasn't actually all that important to them.


Do you have other alternatives or should we just mix it for the time being.


And coming up with options because I mean, I say humans’ life options, you know.

That's right. That's right. Well, and also like in construction, we always joke about the snowball effect. Like everything touches every well touches another wall, right? So the client may have started just like wanting to focus on their living room space. And then we realized, well, the baseboard actually wrapped into dining room now, should we change out the light fixture in here? And then you kind of lose you're the forest for the trees and it's important to reel back and be like, you know what. This isn't actually, they wanted to just focus on their living room and we can get into the other spaces later.

Yeah, I think that happens with every client. Or like, what percentage does it snowball?

Well, okay. So I will say if clients are very focused on distinctive rooms, likeespecially bathrooms, kitchens are a little trickier because they do sometimes open up to other spaces. So then it's like, where do you enter the paint? And how do you wrap, how does a spaceport tie into this other space, flooring and all of that.

But I feel like it doesn't happen on projects where they come to us just for bathrooms, because there's a very distinct scope of work in there.

Yes, yes.

If they kind of just generally are like, I want my space to feel more like this. It does snowball.

Yes, because once you start doing it, and it's not because we're pushers. We aren't those kinds of salespeople, but we it's because you're going through the motions you're already there.


You know, you're like, I might as well, I've been wanting to do this forever. I might as well just see what this would take, right? I might as well, I mean, that's usually I feel like the clients’ mindset.


And I think typically too, if clients are in that position and are able to move forward with that, you know, again, we're not the type of people it's like, yeah, we should do your whole house, but it actually does financially make more sense. If you want to do a space down the road, it really does financially makes sense to do it all at one time, because as we all know, construction costs are just continuing to go up, materials continuing to go up and there's really no control we have over that. So, for that factor alone, if you think that you are going to do it later down the road, like let's talk about that.

Because it's almost like ripping off a bandaid. Let's just like rip it off and do it now. But that's also from a designer perspective, some designers, this, another question, some designers have room minimums, some designers have the lead. Like when they can actually take your project on. So that's why I say they are really good at thinking holistically about your full space, right? Some designers, and I've worked for a few, we'll only do a full home, right? They want to do everything from design materials, meaning things that are actually attached to your walls, baseboards flooring, kitchen cabinetry, all that, all the way through to furnishings more like furniture, case goods, all of that.

So you kind of do, if you're bringing a designer on, you do have to align your scope with a designer that you choose as well because some of them aren't just willing to take on one room. Right? They want to think about how this whole space is going to flow together. And they may, even if you don't do all that construction at one time, they may do the full design plan. But to your point, like, it's, it's a better bang for your buck if you, if you're in a place to be able to do this financially, to do everything all at one time from a construction perspective, from a design perspective, from a lead time perspective, if you order all your plumbing for all your bathrooms at once, if you order all of your cabinetry at once, like that's just, it's just more efficient.

Way more efficient.

I was going to talk to that kind of snowballed into timeline, you know, with designers. How typically when somebody has made up their mind in there, thinking, I am now ready for my bathroom. I've been thinking about this for years, but now I'm ready and I want to do it right now.


Right this moment.


But then when you start and they haven't started with the designer, how long typically, one, can not take for a designer to take them on. And then two, for them to even get through of the designs.

Yeah. So that's a great question. It kind of varies designer to designer. I'd say most designers are a few months out. Like it's very rare that designers like, great we will start your project tomorrow. So if you're gonna, if that's something you're wanting to explore, I would adjust your expectations about when they can take you on. I'd say it's probably going to be a few months.

It's probably going to be a few months before they can even get into your project, which would mean to that, it's another few months for them to pull together the design presentations, the floor plans. All of that. I think of going the designer path as delayed satisfaction. We're doing this right. We're doing it one time.

We want to, you don't want to have to pick every single thing just because it's in stock. You want to make the right choice of what's going to be the most durable thing for your family. What's going to look the best, what's going to age well. And sometimes lead times are much better than they were during COVID, but sometimes that means waiting 16 weeks for a plumbing fixture, which sounds insane.

But when you're in the home, living with it, it's nothing. Right? So I don't know if I can answer that question. Cause I think it does vary firm to firm, but I would say go into it with a mentality of this is going to be a longer process and I want to be very intentional about every step so that I end up with a final product that I'm proud of.

Would you say that every client, well, I guess every person who wants to do a remodel should hire a designer?

I hesitate on this question because I want to say yes. I want to say yes. The exception to that would be, if you feel very confident and prepared and you have the space in your schedule to dedicate to ordering your own materials, sourcing your own materials, doing the research for yourself. I'm not going to say it's impossible for clients to do that. It's just most often people think it's going to be like a couple hours a week and it ends up taking a lot more of their time. And that's what a designer is there to do. They, they have years of experience and they've already done all the sifting through. The not so great stuff that's out there. Right? So the stuff they're bringing you is the first choice, otherwise they wouldn't bring it to you.

So I would say you should err on the side of having a designer, especially if you're touching several spaces. Also with an understanding that not everyone can afford a designer. Not everyone, you know, has the luxury of a longer timeline. We work with many people who don't have designers, but they are prepared to do the homework that we need them to do.

We are set up to like kind of, you know, support them with materials, support them with floor plans. We can kind of fill in the gaps. But I think our more successful projects have designers.

You know, it's funny when I think I've mentioned this on previous episodes is that I've closed out, like I do a close out meeting at the end of the project with the client and the clients did not hire designers. Multiple times different people have said, I now understand the importance of hiring a designer.


And I wish that I had.

They got religion.

We got literally it's like, but it's not even because of their choice, but the choices were beautiful, But it was, I didn't even realize how hard this was to like, make sure everything like existed really well in this space together.

But also, I think people don't realize when you act as the designer, you have to be available to make game time decisions.

So what I've realized is, or what they have realized is after the project has started, you have to be available to make game time decisions. And not be stressed out about those game times.


So like a lot of clients are like, I don't know. I can't decide. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. And we've got our guys on site and we need a game time decision. Most of that planning is going to be done on forefront. So it's rare that that happens. But there are times in construction where things start molding together and we need to know how you want this molded together.

It's not our decision because it's truly an aesthetic decision.


And so we want you to be happy with it. And so a lot of times people kind of in those moments, I, I don't know. I don't know. What's going to look best. What do you think? And of course, we'll walk you through it. We'll figure it out. But it's ultimately your decision if you're acting as a designer.

That's right.

So I think that, I think people oftentimes forget, like it's not just picking colors and tiles and textiles. It's how are they going to function? And can you answer questions from the GC once we get started?

That's right. And you start, I do notice we start to lose people when we bring up things like. Grout color or what do you want this slab polished or honed or levered. And people are like, mmm. You know, because a Pinterest image can only give you so much. And you need to think about how you actually use everything and what you're going to be looking at it. So yes, I do. I think people go into it very optimistic. And it does end up being a little more than they can chew once the project gets on your way.

Do we need to think about the amount of educational content and information that lives in all of our heads that you've learned from years of projects and lessons. And the same thing happens with designers. There's a reason that they do it every day and they'll probably know, oh, no, no, no. With this tile, you really need to use this type of edging or like this looks better. And you being the first timer are going to have no understanding of that whatsoever.


And so, yes, you're paying somebody to do all of this and it seems like you can do it.


How it turns out and these game time decisions are really going to impact your project and I mean, how you enjoy it for the long term?

Yes. Yes. Yes. That's the thing it's like, you're already investing in the whole renovation process. So to me, it's like, do it. What does that expression?

Do it.

Buy once, cry once. You know, like do it right the first time and maybe we'll spend a little bit more.

Buy once, cry once.

Like you only buy at one time and it's a little bit more expensive than you're in.

Oh, anticipating.

But it's better to do it right the first time than five years from now, we've got to come back and like redo.

I think, I mean, t-shirts.

I was going to say.

I want to take this advice to my husband and say, listen up…

Oh husband.

It does apply to everything. It appears to wardrobe decisions, renovation decisions, pretty much ever over everything.

Every cars.

Wow. Yeah.

We need t-shirts.

Numbered stickers at least.

What’s the acronym? B O C O.


We're going to be the BOCO group.

The BOCO group.

I like this look for us.

Although Michelle just dropped the word husband.

Oh, yes.

Crazy, right?

You need to put that on the podcast that Michelle is now off the market.

I'm off the market.

Officially off the market.

For six years.

But now the state knows it.

Yeah. Now it's real.

Yeah, right.

Now, legally.

And all your friends and family, they all know.

Yeah. I can't hide it.


Yes, I’ve witnessed that it did happen.

I did have a witness.

I can confirm.

I have a witness.

And I was one of the sober witnesses.

Well, that's another story. One at a time. We don't have enough time for that.

And designers.

And designers. Okay. Another big thing, I think that we should clarify is what is the difference between a designer and an architect?

Yes. Okay. This is a great question. Especially since so many firms out there are designed and built. So that's why I say, be really clear in your questions. What deliverables are you going to provide? Do I get CAD plans at the end? Can I just submit those to the city for permitting? Are you going to do furniture layouts?

Typically architects handle kind of structural engineers, although like we can handle that on our side too, but typically they handle structural engineers. They will build you out your floor plans, your demo plans, your elevations, but they don't really pick. Most often they don't really pick your design materials, like your finishes where a designer usually does design materials and then also everything tied to your furniture. So we're talking about like decorative lighting hardware. I keep going back to tile countertop, all of that. I say this, there are many firms that do both, but most often that's how it's split.

What would you say too for additions? Use architects?


Additions or anything like exteriors structural larger project?

Yes. Yes. If you're like putting in dormers, if you're doing a significant, like patio, Situation definitely with additions, we personally always want to have an architect because it gets a little more complicated how you tie into the roof lines, how you align that with your existing slab foundation. That's I think, a little bit beyond what a designer can offer you.

I've worked on several projects where there's been an architect and also a designer and they collaborate in what the final look will be, because I do think the structure informs the interior, spacing and layout and all of that.

Yeah. And that even separate from the structural engineer.

Yeah, correct.

A structural engineer is just there to make sure your house is involved.


A very important job.

And that's very important.

But yeah, that, that they are separate and they can come through your general contractor or through your architect. I feel like most often architecture firms have their own.


Structural engineer on hand.

It takes ability, you all.

It does.

And that's also, this is a separate episode, but that'll also be separate from landscape architecture.


Because that's a whole other thing. And that is equally important by the way, to the interior stuff.

Oh, so many things.

Yeah. I've learned a lot about landscape architecture this year.

Okay. Now I want to move on to like fun questions.


Okay, to your turn. What's your favorite part of working at Simply Home?

The podcast.




The people. I know that sounds so cheeseball, but I have worked at a lot of great places. The places that I always ended up staying the longest are, it's because of the people. And I really enjoy hanging out with all the Simply Home people. I have, I mean, we do great work and I'm very proud of all of the projects that we've done. But if you are working day in and day out with a team that you don't respect and admire even, it just makes it difficult. So.

Yeah. We have really good people.

Really good people.

We do. I love our people.

Yeah. All right. What's been one of your favorite projects so far?

We did a closet. And it was fully pink. Dead salmon, Farrow and ball.


And I never have lost it over a closet before. But that closet was so good looking.

I think I’m in love.

It was. Yeah. Well, but also it started, the clients were also lovely. The design was really good. I learned a lot about, I noodled with our CAD person on how that layout was going to fit together and work and function well for the clients. Cause it, it was a his and hers combined. But the end result was just, so I learned a lot about what a closet could be. So I'd say that was my favorite. It was on our biggest, that's interesting.

Yeah. I mean, I thought you were going to go big, this massive.

Me too.

I love, I love…

I did not…

I think additions.

I did not expect that.

And you also put a lot of your heart into it and like designed a lot of elements with it.


And closets are secret beast where they seem small, but show because they're so small, how you tie everything together is so important.

It has to be like crazy functionality that’s really on point.

I think that's what I loved about it. And you use it every day.


It's a sacred space that you use every day. So it has to be small, but mighty and I just really appreciate intentional design. I love our big projects too, but sometimes the small moves or the pigment.

Yeah. I'm laughing because I'm imagining you on Modern Family and you worked for closets closets closets.

I've never seen one, never have.


What are you doing? Kara.

Yes, I know.

You weren’t living.

You are missing out.

I know.

It’s truly the best.

It really is so funny.

So, this is actually an intervention to give you two…

Really, this is we're not actually even recording.

Friends and then Modern Family.

I've seen Friends.

And then Parks and Rec.

Okay. Yes, this is another one people always told me, Parks and Rec.

Okay. What has been a common fear you've had your clients tell you when starting the remodel?

There are lots of horror stories out there of general contractors just taking three X the timeline they've promised. Lots of dust, lots of noise, things getting broken. People are just afraid. That's why I always ask, like, have you had a bad experience or good experience? I'd say most often it's timeline that I hear people worried about. Yeah, we try our best. I feel like most of our projects wrap up when we say that's why the planning and development is so important.


Most of our projects wrap up on time.


If you plan properly, that's how it should go.

That's how it should go.


Because you've done your due diligence.


All right. What is now for like our general kind of like fun questions that we ask everybody at the end.

Okay. What's the best kept secret in Boston, Texas?

Okay. So I think it's the mom network. Some of the best moms were here at the playgrounds. And, and, and I say that because all moms everywhere are great, but they are full, complete people and don't just live for their kids I have found. And I don't know what it is about the city. It's like, it's outdoors-y, but it's also techie and it's kind of central and there's like a good music scene. So I feel like the parents here are still their own people and not just parents.

These are some cool parents.

They're not just normal parents. They're cool parents. Yeah.

Okay. What is a hidden talent of yours?

Okay. So in high school, I was really good at punning, but I don't really feel like that's hidden because…



Oh, punning.


I knew this about you.


But it's now been exposed. So I don't really think it's a hidden talent.

Because you go to pun offs.

Because I go to pun offs, pun competitions. And yeah, so it's. I'm pretty much out in the open about this nerdy feature. I would say hidden is my incredible sense of smell. Which I don't really think that I don't know if it counts as a talent, but it's definitely a super power. I can smell, I won't really go into it, it's not, it's not great. It's not great to have this. I maybe, I should just go back to the pun.

I'm like, let me keep my arms.

I know. I just have to think, did I wear deodorant today? Also, what does my house smell like?

I can smell if there's a cheese shop around the corner.

Okay. Wow.



Wait, that's a blessing in that way.

In that way. It is.

Or a pastry shop.

Most other, yeah, if I am like in a plane ever though, it's mostly a curse.

Yeah, you're going to need to get nose clippers.

That's right.

You know? Wow.

Okay. Out of all office supplies, what would be your favorite item?

Okay. I love this question. Also because it's fall and we all want to be going back to school. My answer is in high school, I had, you know, those accordion folders?


I had one that had two pockets, one on either side and I divided my classes into left and right brain classes. So like the more logical ones were left brain. The more creative ones were right brain. So it was a double sided accordion folder. And I feel like no one talks about it.

No, I’ve never.

No one has.

Because nobody really appreciates it.

So I would choose that one.

Okay. You're valued, under appreciated, and mighty.

Really wasn't expecting that.


Okay, last question. What is something positive in the media world that you've seen lately?

Yeah cause there's not much. The team has been made by me because I am building a dollhouse right now.


Constructing a dollhouse. And I've been getting a lot of targeted dollhouse content. I think Dell has this or having a moat miniatures in general or having a moment. And it's always just so delightful when you get miniature content pushed at you.

Yeah. Well for those, people need to follow you in the process because truly, I might laugh in to myself when I watch your videos on Instagram because I can just imagine you working really hard. Long day at work. Relaxing and you're just tweezing away tiny doll house.

I'm just out there like I do, I think about rough-in plumbing all day long and then I'm like but you know it would help me aligned is to think about miniature and I'm that's what I'm doing. But that's also not to go too much into it but like the economy right now, miniatures are about all you can afford.



That’s what I was about to say. It's cheaper than doing it to your own.

Unlacquered brass on a one 12 scale is still unlacquered brass.

And it's still in your house.

That's right.

In a doll house.

That's right. When I say I've got an unlacquered brass, no one asks what size it is. And you don't want to know.

And you do get to brag about the price and quality.

And we are making doll houses as a team and then auctioning them off in the coming months.


So you all need to follow that on Instagram because we will be auctioning them off and then donating the money to our two to three select charities but obviously, you can imagine where this idea came from.

Where it was.


Who created that one?


I don’t, I think it’s a chicken in the egg because we are a construction.

Right. It just makes sense.

So I got the idea from you guys.

Right. That makes sense.




In a good way.

In a good way. I love it.

Okay. Kara.

Thank you so much.

That is so enlightening.

Thank you for joining us.

If you just sit down and talk with us.

It’s so so fun.

Chit chat.

Yeah. We can have a coffee with Kara with a k.

Yeah and we’re wearing our BOCO shirts.

Yes, in our BOCO shirts.

BOCO. I’m seeing like big sale BOCO.

I think buy once, cry once would be a great name for a BOCO.

Yeah. I think so too.

Should we change our…

Spin off.

Spin off, All right. So we are wrapping up for today. Thank you Kara for gracing us with your presence. Thank you to Michelle and myself for continuously being wonderful humans and we will see you guys next time.