Award-winning Houston interior designer Laura Umansky founded Laura U Design Collective in 2006. Laura and her growing team have built a reputation for warm and romantic interiors that are bright, bold and contrasting. For more than 15 years, we have curated and refined what it means to love how you live.
As a full-service studio, Laura U Design Collective comprises a diverse, multi-disciplinary team with backgrounds in architecture, interior design, graphic design, and the Fine Arts. From interior design to entire-home renovations, our highly collaborative team will help you achieve your design goals.
Meet the Team
Meet the dynamic team of professionals ready to enage and transform your space.
FOUNDER AND CEO
Laura Umansky is an award-winning interior designer best known for her warm and luxuriously livable interiors. As Founder and CEO of Laura U Design Collective, she has helped clients all over the globe articulate their unique personalities through the art of exceptional design. “Above all else, my interiors reflect the personality of the people residing within them,” says Laura. “I believe that telling the homeowner’s personal story is paramount, understanding our surroundings is our bedrock, and adding more than a bit of drama and romanticism is necessary.” Her signature aesthetic is a modern interpretation of iconic styles, resulting in interiors that are fun, bold, and romantic. With this philosophy as a guide, Laura collaborates with each client to define a visual concept that seamlessly integrates art, family, and personal joy into every room of a home. “I am open-minded, I love beautiful and unique pieces, and I want to mix them together so I never have to be without something I enjoy. This is my approach to interior design, finding what’s beautiful and beloved, and surrounding yourself with those things every day.”
Laura has her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Houston. Laura – an active member of ASID and AIA – currently resides in Aspen with her husband, Michael, and twin daughters, Liv and Ryan. When not at work, Laura finds her inspiration in great books and the experiences she has leading initiatives for the Girls Empowerment Network, the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, and the Furniture Bank’s No Kids on the Floor campaign.
Laura’s design icons: Carlo Scarpa and Bunny Williams
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Melissa’s experience in marketing started in the ad department at the Chicago Tribune and carried her through the market research industry before she finally settled in Houston. In the past 10 years, she has driven regional marketing efforts for brands like Starbucks and Walmart, steering companies to an effective, story-driven practice. As Chief Operating Officer, Melissa ensures our multi-disciplinary team adheres to our unified vision: the love of home. She also uses her experience in social media, digital marketing, and branding to share the firm’s bold and timeless interiors in various media worldwide. Outside of the studio, you will find her discovering new artists at Sawyer Yards, painting with her daughter, hitting Houston’s live music scene with her husband, or cooking a gourmet meal at home. She has her B.A. in Media Communications from Indiana University.
Melissa’s design icon: Verner Panton
DIRECTOR OF INTERIOR DESIGN
Shannon left behind 10 very successful years in sales to pursue her passion for interior design. She began her career in the hospitality industry, designing luxury hotels all over Asia. Now, with 10 years of experience, Shannon is recognized for her distinctive Modern Glamorous style, inspired by her international travels and time living abroad. Shannon’s favorite stateside project locations have been Aspen and Miami, where she has completed both new construction and full-home remodels in a variety of styles, including Mountain Chic and French Contemporary. When she isn’t in the studio, you’ll find her taking a Barre or Pilates class before hitting the museums and supporting Houston’s vibrant arts community. She loves to travel and ski. She has an enviable knowledge of wine and is a fashionable insider on all things to eat, see, and do in Houston. She has her B.B.A.in International Business and Marketing from Texas Tech and her B.S. in Interior Design from Texas State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Always the jetsetter, Shannon studied at the Catholic Institute of Paris and University of Granada in Spain.
Shannon’s design icons: Joseph Dirand and Jean-Louis Deniot
DIRECTOR OF RESIDENTIAL DESIGN
As a Director of Residential Design at Laura U, Megan oversees all residential design projects – from small-scale remodels to extensive renovations. Early travel with her family to places like Europe and Southeast Asia sparked her interest in the architecture of places, leading her to pursue an Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University. Since graduating in 2008, Megan has accumulated over 12 years of experience in the architectural field, with nearly 5 years in the high-end residential space. Her passion for design is client-centric, powered by a love for creating spaces that are an honest reflection of self. When not in the studio, Megan can be found exploring Houston’s restaurant scene, enjoying parks with her son and husband, doing yoga, and dreaming of new places to travel.
Megan’s design icon: Moshe Safdie
SENIOR INTERIOR DESIGNER
Britian’s passion for design is inspired by the memories she has of growing up in her native Mississippi. With an appreciation for the simple things, she is drawn to beautiful, curated, and cozy interiors. She joined LUDC as a design assistant, where she supported leading design teams with confidence and creativity. Now as a senior designer, Britian takes projects from concept to completion with her exceptional design style. With a background in customer service, she knows the importance of client communication and makes the design process fun and enjoyable for homeowners. Britian is very much influenced by her environment, and when she isn’t in the studio, you will find her painting or exploring an antiques shop to keep her design eye fresh. She has her B.S. in Interior Design from Louisiana State University.
Britian’s design icons: Athena Calderone and Sean Anderson
SENIOR PROJECT DESIGNER
Suy’s innate love for architecture and design was realized early in her life when she would spend countless hours flipping through magazines to admire buildings and interiors. She loved sketching the buildings she saw and would even draw out floor plan ideas and make stories about the people who lived inside. This love for storytelling through design paved the way for her career. After growing up in Houston, Suy received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Houston in 2004 and spent her early career years working on performance arts centers and religious buildings.
Prior to joining Laura U Design Collective (LUDC), she spent 10 years in commercial, retail, and the restaurant industry. As a Senior Project Designer at LUDC, it is very important to Suy that clients enjoy every aspect of designing their dream home and she finds tremendous joy in leading clients through the process. When it comes to design, Suy values function and flow. She especially loves designing the unique aspects that perfectly reflect a client’s personal lifestyle and family needs. When she’s not in the studio, you will find Suy spending time with her family, honing her photography skills, exploring the local restaurant scene, and crafting up the next travel destination.
As an associate designer for the Laura U Design Collective, Athena is essential to the residential design team. Any given day, you can find her preparing architectural and construction drawings while assisting in project designs and deliverables. Her international travels to Europe, Asia and Australia have allowed her to experience a wide array of architecture and design, and how design can be adoptive to one’s unique lifestyle. Her previous experience in design-build permitted her in understanding all the project phases and compositions, while being trained as an interior and residential designer. She gets excited above innovative designs and has a great appreciation for details.
Originally from Houston, Athena has a BA in Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and Master’s in Architecture from the University of Houston. Outside of work, you can find her playing tennis, exploring new places, or enjoying a fresh cocktail.
As a native Houstonian, Megan’s first experience with design was by embracing Houston’s thriving museum district. With a constant and steady flow of rotating art galleries, art car parades, teen fashion shows, and eventually a job at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, she established a strong foundation in all things creative. In 2019, she graduated with a B.S. In Interior Architecture from the University of Houston. After university, Megan was able to apply her love of design to non-profit disaster recovery as well as honing her skills and knowledge in high-end hospitality. Her diverse experience has positioned her to bring an interesting skill set to the role of Residential Design Assistant. She is driven by humanitarian design, narrative storytelling, and learning for the sake of learning. Outside of the studio, you will be able to find her pursuing her hobbies of gardening, cooking, 3D printing, and growing into a distinguished cat lady.
Lisa’s love for design came at an early age when she helped her parents remodel their home by painting walls and installing flooring. As a designer for LUDC, Lisa uses her drive and attention to detail to carry projects from beginning to completion and helps our senior design team create functional and beautiful designs. Her favorite part of the design process is watching the design come to life and seeing our clients’ reactions to their new home. Previously, Lisa worked as an account manager in the contract furniture industry in Austin, where she honed her design skills. Lisa enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, and taking her golden retriever Copper on exciting adventures. Lisa has her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from Texas State University.
Victoria’s love for interior design began at a young age while traveling extensively with her family. She is a proud native Houstonian, but do not let Victoria’s love for cowgirl boots fool you; Victoria is also a citizen of the United Kingdom and has spent considerable time in the UK. This is where Victoria’s interest for interior design, architecture, and her appreciation for art and the history of design originated. For Victoria, a home should be a sanctuary, a place that exudes personal expression and inner peace. With an appreciation for a variety of design styles, Victoria enjoys the process of exploring a client’s personal preferences to create, along with the LUDC team, uniquely elevated spaces that are functional, timeless, and elegant.
Victoria loves fashion, art, music, and traveling. When not in the studio, you can find her at the gym or enjoying time with friends and family. Victoria graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.
Purchasing & Logistics Coordinator
Upon graduating from the University of Houston with her Bachelor’s Degree in Retailing and Consumer Science, Caitlin began her professional career in the service industry where she gained extensive experience as an Assistant Buyer for a large corporation. She now serves as our firm’s Purchasing Agent, where she supports the design team logistically with order management, installation scheduling, and vendor/trade relations. When not in the studio, Caitlin can be found reading, shopping for new houseplants, or curled up on the couch with her cat watching crime documentaries.
Caitlin’s design icon: Danielle Nagel
Purchasing & Logistics Coordinator
Raquel joins the Laura U Design Collective team with vast experience in sales, purchasing, and customer service in the design and architectural industry. As a purchasing and logistics coordinator, she provides outstanding client support and assists the design teams with order management and coordinating installations. Growing up around her families’ remodeling and construction company, she was infatuated with the designs and processes that go into making a home. Raquel’s love for the industry and appreciation of details led her to study at the University of Mississippi and University of Houston for retailing and consumer science. In her free time, Raquel enjoys trying new restaurants in the area, binging her favorite TV shows, and spending time with her family.
With more than 15 years of accounting experience from a wide variety of industries, Kim comes to Laura U Design Collective as an expert in financial analysis and reporting. Kim knew she wanted to be an accountant since she was a teenager, so it’s no surprise she holds a bachelor’s degree in Science in Accounting, an MBA, and a master’s degree in Accounting and Financial Management. She has a passion for helping people understand the accounting process and works to make sure all of LUDC clients have an exceptional experience. In her free time, you will find Kim spending time with her kids and playing roller derby.
With a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management degree from Sam Houston State University, Susie is exceptional at keeping the Laura U Design Collective office and team organized and on track. As the administrative coordinator, Susie handles our recruiting efforts, new employee on-boarding, and the ongoing employee experience. She also oversees the LUDC office and facilities management and makes sure the team has everything they need – from technology to supplies. Susie has a strong interest in Interior Design and loves all things beauty. When she isn’t keeping the LUDC team in check, you will find Susie exploring the outdoors, traveling, trying new restaurants, and doing friends’ makeup for special occasions.
Susie’s Design Icon: Jessica Brigham
Join Our Award-Winning Team
At Laura U Design Collective, our clients are at the core of everything we do. Homeowner, DeeDee shares her experience collaborating with our team below.
BECOME A CLIENT