Over the last fifteen years, esteemed designer Laura Umansky has transformed her boutique interiors practice into a widely celebrated full-service design firm, offering both residential building design and interior design. Today, the Laura U Design Collective (LUDC) serves clients all around the world and is internationally recognized by homeowners and awards committees alike. In the last year, LUDC has been recognized by the Paper City Design Awards, the Luxe RED Awards, the International Architecture & Design Awards, and the Globee Business awards. LUDC is now spearheaded by two innovative, incredibly talented women — Founder and CEO Laura Umansky and Creative Director Gina Elkins. Together, Gina and Laura have established LUDC as a pioneering design firm. LUDC leads clients through the entire home design process — from foundation to furnishings. The team’s holistic approach to design ensures each home is practical and beautiful — embodying the ethos of “livable luxury” LUDC is known for. No matter the client’s lifestyle or the home’s location, form follows function in every LUDC build. Each of these livable spaces serves the needs of the homeowner while authentically capturing their aesthetic vision. Follow below to learn more about the best interior designer in Houston Texas — including noteworthy press, recent projects and the firm’s client-first design process.
History of the Firm
In 2006, award-winning residential designer Laura Umanksy founded her eponymous Laura U Interior Design and Laura U Design Studio. For the last fifteen years, the Laura U Design Collective has served clientele across the greater Houston, Texas area. For each client, she and her team have delivered thoughtful, timeless interiors that combine functionality and artistry. In recent years, the firm has expanded its reach, creating stunning interiors for clients across the country and around the globe. Since founding her firm, renowned interior designer Laura Umansky has been consistently celebrated by local publications.
These include the likes of the Houston Business Journal, Modern Luxury Houston, Texas Living and The Houston Chronicle. Her work has also caught the eye of countless awards committees and major design magazines like House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping and ElleDecor. Laura Umansky has established herself among the best interior designers in Houston and in the United States.
. LUDC BECOMES A FULL – SERVICE DESIGN FIRM IN 2020 .
Fourteen years after Laura founded Laura U Interior Design and Laura U Design Studio, she converted Laura U Interior Design into a full-service design firm. In 2020, the interior design firm expanded to include everything from interiors to residential building design. CEO Laura Umansky and Creative Director Gina Elkins hurtled over barriers that often deny even the most accomplished designers entrée to the architecture space. In doing so, they to successfully transitioned the firm to full-service. With more than fifteen years experience in residential architecture, Gina was the perfect person to tap for this new phase. Over the last year, Gina and Laura have effectively bridged the interior design business and the custom home design industry.
. LAURA U DESIGN COLLECTIVE EXPANDS TO ASPEN – SNOWMASS IN 2021 .
As Gina joined the all-women team at LUDC, the firm embarked on another new adventure — a second show house and studio in Aspen-Snowmass. LUDC established their first show house in 2018 — renovating a 1925 Tudor revival on North Boulevard in Houston, Texas. The firm’s second show house will exhibit LUDC’s holistic approach to design and will celebrate the partnership between Gina and Laura. Together, award winning interior designer Laura Umansky and Creative Director Gina Elkins hope to respond to the landscape and culture of Aspen. They plan to “create an environment that gracefully marries the natural beauty of Colorado with the rich culture and urban luxury [of] Aspen Snowmass.” While a show house for the Aspen-Snowmass community, Mountain Lane will also serve as a home to interior designer Laura Umansky and her family.
Gina and Laura have partnered with Monogram Appliances and Permiano Builders — as well as several local vendors — on the Mountain Lane Show House. Tour ticket sales for the grand opening of the Mountain Lane Show House will benefit the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Anderson Ranch is an internationally recognized arts education center and hub for legendary fine artists that was founded decades ago by passionate educators. Over the years, LUDC has also partnered with the Houston Furniture Bank, the Girls Empowerment Network and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
. THE FUTURE OF LUDC .
Whether in Aspen, Colorado, Houston, Texas or Pebble Beach, California, Umansky, Elkins and their team at LUDC help clients fully realize their design goals. They actualize each and every client vision — whether the project is a small-scale renovation or a ground-up custom home build. Years after founding her own interior design firm, LUDC offers everything from custom house plans to interior design services for residential projects nationwide. The company crafts custom-built homes and creates interior designs unlike anything offered by other custom home interior designers in the interior design scene.
Awards and Recognition for Laura Umansky and LUDC
2008 Texas Gulf Coast Chapter ASID Design Awards Honorable Mention for Residential Urban Living
2012 American Society of Interior Designers TGCC Design Awards for Best in Show
2013 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2013 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Service
2014 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2014 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Service
2015 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Service
2015 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2016 International Design & Architecture Awards for the Rejuvenation Category
2016 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2017 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2017 Houston Business Journal Best Places to Work
2017 American Society of Interior Designers Ruby Awards for Top Design Projects in Small Residence, Large Residence, Outdoor Living and Singular Space
2016 American Society of Interior Designers TGCC for Best in Show
2018 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Service
2018 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2019 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2020 Luxe RED Awards 2020 for Renovation and Best Use of Color
2020 31st Annual ARTS Awards for the Interior Design Category
2020 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2021 Paper City Design Awards for Residential Interior Under 3500 SQ FT
2021 Luxe RED Awards for Wow-Factor Room
2021 HGTV Finalist for Designer of the Year in Color + Pattern
2021 International Design & Architecture Awards for Living Space, Americas
2021 Houzz Award Best of Houzz for Design
2021 Gold Globee Winner, Most Innovative Company of the Year, Women World Awards
For over a decade, Laura Umansky and her celebrated design firm Laura U Design Collective have been recognized by countless magazines. They have also been recognized by a number of professional organizations and international design committees. Laura Umansky has been declared one of the best Houston interior designers. She has also been lauded as one of the most accomplished designers in custom home building nationwide.
LUDC has been honored by the Paper City Design Awards, the International Design & Architecture Awards and the Best of Houzz Awards — among many others. Organizations like the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of ASID and publications like the Houston Business Journal have also celebrated the Houston-based firm. Since 2008, Laura Umansky and her design firm have been honored many times by the American Society for Interior Designers Texas Gulf Coast Chapter. The firm has even received ASID’s prestigious Best in Show award.
. RECENT RECOGNITION FOR LUDC .
Recent residential design projects by LUDC include the Encino Retreat, the Viscaino Conservatory, the Astoria High Rise, Green Tree, and the River Oaks Pied-à-terre. Each of these — and many more — have both graced the pages of magazines and collected a variety of awards. For example, LUDC’s Green Tree project recently won the award for Residential Interior Under 3500 Sq Ft at the 2021 Paper City Design Awards.
The Viscaino Conservatory swept the 2021 Luxe RED Awards, taking home the prize for Wow-Factor Room. The Heights Modern project won the design et al International Architecture & Design Award, Living Space – Americas. Another LUDC project — the River Oaks Pied-à-terre — won a renovation award for Best Use of Color in 2020 at the Luxe RED Awards.
Noteworthy Press for Top Interior Designer Houston TX LUDC
In addition to a wide variety of awards — nearly two dozen at last count –, LUDC has been featured heavily in local and national industry publications. Head interior designer, founder and CEO Laura Umansky is often interviewed and quoted by interior design, décor and architecture writers. Residential design projects by the full-service firm regularly appear both online and in print. National sites and publications like MyDomaine, ElleDecor, House Beautiful, Forbes and The New York Times have referenced designs by LUDC. Regional publications like Western Art & Architecture, Texas Living and California Home+Design have also featured work by Laura Umansky and the Collective. Readers can find LUDC projects in The Spruce, Interiors Magazine, Apartment Therapy and Design Made Simple as well.
LUDC often graces “best of” lists. These include Home Builder Digest’s list of “Best Interior Designers in Texas” and DecorAid’s list of the “Top Decorators and Interior Designers in Houston.” In their post, DecorAid celebrates Laura U for the firm’s “command on glorious color and everyday elegance.” Home Builder Digest notes LUDC’s ability to “bridge the gap between high design and practical living.” Find a complete list of recent features and awards on our press page here.
What It’s Like to Work with the Full-Service Design Firm
As a full-service design firm dedicated to enduringly elegant and effective spaces, LUDC approaches each residential design project holistically. By expanding from an interior design studio into a full-service firm, LUDC is now able to offer oversight and support throughout the design-build process. During the design-build process, homeowners should anticipate a calm, collaborative experience. We explain the many benefits of working with a full-service firm in our LUDC Guide “Building Your Custom Home Today.” In short, homeowners working with the LUDC team can not only expect a stunning custom home but also a seamless design experience.
Because LUDC manages every single detail under a single contract, the budget, timeline and quality of each project is maintained. Each stunning space designed by the Laura U Design Collective engages in a continuous dialogue between form and function. This juxtaposition ensures that every home is as usable as it is beautiful. With experience designing for many different demographics — from young couples to multigenerational households — the LUDC team can craft a custom home for any lifestyle.
. WHAT CLIENTS & COLLEAGUES SAY ABOUT WORKING WITH LUDC .
Clients and colleagues of the Laura U Design Collective often note the firm’s professionalism, creativity and commitment to client satisfaction. Colleagues of LUDC describe the LUDC team as “highly creative and motivated…always bring[ing] fresh new ideas to their work.” They also extol the “extremely high standards of integrity and professionalism” LUDC constantly exhibits. Colleagues note that the firm has “forged a reputation for producing some of the finest design work coming out of Houston.” Read more about what colleagues like Creative Style Furniture, Inc. and Patti Kelly Art have to say about working with the Collective here.
In their reviews, homeowners often point out the ease and comfort of working with LUDC, lauding the team’s “accessibility” and ability to communicate. While some firms push homeowners to over-spend, LUDC clients note how respectful the firm is of their budgets and timelines. Other clients praise the Collective’s ability to understand their specific lifestyles, designing around their needs without sacrificing aesthetics. One client noted that Laura U “made bold choices yet still kept [their] home comfortable and functional.” Read more about what clients t have to say about working with the Collective here.
Custom homes designed by Laura Umansky and her Laura U Design Collective are frequently described as “classically current.” Both timelessly elegant and packed with personality, each LUDC interior is thoughtfully designed for real life while boasting a bit of magic. While each space designed by the Collective is warm and inviting, LUDC does not have a primary design style.
Rather, the Collective approaches each project holistically, focusing on creating spaces that support each homeowner’s lifestyle while bringing their aesthetic vision to life. Homes designed by the Laura U Design Collective often balance traditional and modern features. Each turn-key LUDC home design project prioritizes quality craftsmanship, flawless project management and livable luxury.