Home Renovation Interior Design: A Resource Guide

The brick exterior of Laura Umansky's home on North Boulevard in Houston

One of my biggest joys has been renovating the BLVD house and making it my own. As many of you know, this home was not in the best condition when Michael and I purchased it. Soggy walls, a wet basement, an addition that seemed to be held together by magical forces…all of these issues and a few more plagued this home. But my passion for home renovation interior design allowed me to see the beauty behind its many flaws. Still, I knew that it would take a lot of work. I needed a lot of great people to see my vision and make it a reality! That’s why I’ve created this guide.

While the pay off is getting the home of your dreams, renovations are not easy. There’s A LOT of work that happens in the background. And for a show house like BLVD, the folks behind the scenes are truly special to me. Below, you’ll find out a little more about the people, vendors, sponsors, and hard work that made this house possible. If you are considering an extensive home renovation, especially a historic home renovation, this is the resource guide for you.


Monogram designs luxury appliances that incorporate award-winning technology to raise the bar on what’s possible in your kitchen. I cannot imagine putting together a weekday breakfast or a lavish holiday spread without the effortless flow of my kitchen, and its gorgeous appliances…especially, the enormous Monogram fridge! Our new appliances allow us to cook, clean and entertain like never before. If you’re looking to replace any of your current appliances, you’ll want to read this Q&A with Alexandra from Monogram before you start shopping.


Laura Rathe Fine Art is a leading contemporary art gallery that represents painters, sculptors, photographers and new media artists. This incredible gallery is my go-to when sourcing for clients’ homes as well. Laura is incredibly knowledgeable and shared some of her tips for selecting the perfect pieces of art for your home in this post on Our Jornal.


Symbio Solutions offers home automation services and state-of-the-art touchscreen control for all their lighting, audio, video, security, and home entertainment technologies. Having worked with them for nearly 10 years, I knew they’d be able to bring our home into the 21st century. And now our home is completely connected thanks to Symbio. To find out more about how they were able to integrate the leading technology seamlessly into our home, you’ll want to read this Q&A I did with Symbio.


Bentwood specializes in custom-designed kitchen cabinetry that brings together state-of-the-art interior features with original design.

Madeval uses sustainable processes and raw materials from Ecuador to create modern, custom home cabinetry. My interior design firm has worked with Madeval on several projects, including this gorgeous, mixed metal space.


Marvin Windows & Doors is one of the world’s premier window and door companies and is the world’s largest manufacturer of made-to-order wood window and door products. Since our home is historically perserved, I thought achieving an era-accurate look that was also energy efficient would be a big challenge. Not so with this crew. They were able to select gorgeous and perfectly tailored products for our home.

The Real Carriage Door Company is the leading manufacturer of USA made carriage doors, barn doors and barn door hardware. Each door is made from solid wood and crafted with the traditional mortise and tenon joinery.

TruStile Doors manufactures made-to-order interior doors that blend modern technology with old world craftsmanship. The result? Doors that are beautiful and durable.


Kohler Co. is an American manufacturing company best known for its plumbing products. The company also manufactures furniture, cabinetry, tile, engines, and generators. They’re most definitely the experts in this space, which is why we had a special Q&A with them that you’ll want to see. I sat down with Lori Smith to get all the details on selecting the plumbing fixtures that would give our home that “wow” factor.

Elegant Additions is a plumbing, hardware and lighting supplier providing their clients the very best in kitchen and bath fixtures.


Carol Piper Rugs is a Houston-area showroom for antique and modern decorative rugs sourced from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. According to Carol, if you’ve ever walked into a room and felt like something was missing, then the answer is most assuredly a gorgeous rug. Carol is one of my go-to rug experts, so we asked her a few more questions in our interior design blog. She shared a few tips on how to select the best rug and gave us a sneak peek at the latest rug trends she’s seeing.

M&M Carpet works exclusively with interior designers and architects to provide fine carpets, rugs and wood flooring.

Unique Carpets Ltd manufactures a wide array of fine wool, nylon, and sisal flooring. From decorative accent pieces to high-performance products, they’re engineered to withstand the most demanding applications.

Postmodern Traditions is a custom and contemporary rug gallery that offers clients products that bring together traditional weaving techniques with contemporary designs. They make you feel like a king or queen while you’re rug shopping and are the best at making sure their clients get the most personal experience.

Madison Lily is a rug gallery offering traditional and modern area rugs. Their excellent customer service and incredible selection of rug options makes it one of those places I simply cannot keep to myself. It’s one of my favorite showrooms for sourcing rugs.

Pride of Persia is a full-service Oriental rug company specializing in older and unusual Persian rugs.

Schenck & Company specializes in creating, installing, and preserving custom hardwood floors. Founder of Schenck & Company, Greg Schenck was gracious enough to sit down and discuss his process for choosing the perfect flooring in the BLVD house. Like me, Greg doesn’t back down from a challenge. And during a restoration project, challenges (or as some people call them problems) are sure to arise!

Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries is one of the nation’s top rug galleries and specializes in antique, antique-inspired and custom designed rugs. I love how their team focuses on building relationships with the artisans and works to ensure their rugs are ethically produced. Bringing pieces into my home that are sustainable, durable and make a positive impact on their community is so important to me.


Bernhardt Furniture Company is one of the country’s largest, family-owned furniture companies and global furniture manufacturers. Their award-winning products are designed for commercial and residential use.

Accents in Iron manufacturers custom iron furniture and accessories for the Texas Gulf Coast design community.

Biscuit Home is a home-goods retailer known for their modern heirloom bedding. It’s made in the USA and each pattern and print is designed by hand in their Houston studio.

Carl Moore Antiques offers a collection of 18th-century antiques and modern pieces that are personally sourced overseas. From ornately carved lamps to large casegoods to vintage table accessories, Carl Moore Antiques is sure to have what you’re looking for in nearly every style. I’m a big fan!

Christofle is a prestigious French manufacturer of fine silver flatware and home accessories made with specialized, traditional techniques.

Dedon handcrafts luxury outdoor furniture. They’re known for their modular pieces that allow clients an endless number of possibilities when designing their outdoor space. Their sleek, clean-lined sofas were the perfect contrast to these black egg chairs.

Design House is an award-winning interior design and decor showroom that offers uncommon furniture, art, and accessories. I recommend browsing their awards gallery for a glimpse of what they can do. It’s stunning!

Feliz Interiors offers their clients the finest in luxury home goods.

For All Occasions provides florals, home accents, trees and greenery to the design trade.

John Brooks Houston partners with those in the interior design trade to bring them luxury furnishings and accessories on the cutting edge of design.

FOUND for the Home offers clients home furnishings and art that span the centuries from across the United States and Europe.

Gather & Serve creates handmade, heirloom quality kitchen ceramics inspired by California living. These pieces make it easy to share a meal and create memories that last for years to come.

Plush Home is a home goods retailer offering luxury linens, gifts, and accessories.

Reeves Antiques is a family-owned and operated furniture and art gallery. They specialize in 20th-century designs with a focus on Texas artists from the past and present.

Susan Horne Antiques brings clients one-of-a-kind antique pieces sourced from all over Europe.

Vieux Interiors is a home decor destination that offers clients a selection of custom made and transitional furniture, art, accessories, and lighting.


Blue River Custom Builders is a Houston-based custom home builder and remodeler that offers clients a personalized and boutique building experience. Blue River President Tylor Hearn was one of the participants during my Access Design panel sponsored by the Houston Chronicle. And he was kind enough to give us an even more informative breakdown of the house on our Journal. If you are considering an extensive renovation, this is a really great Q & A.

Carol Rowley has been my Realtor for two major renovations now. Another Access Design panel participant, Carol was the first step in making this whole thing happen. I wouldn’t have been able to call BLVD home without her!

Classic Moves is a full-service moving company that has been serving the Houston area for over 12 years. And they’ve been working with Laura U Interior Design for many years as well.

Newberry Architecture is a full-service architecture firm offering clients capabilities that range from residential to commercial architecture, including remodels, landscaping and interior design. Gina Brown, Principal at Newberry Architecture, is one of my good friends. She was able to see the potential of BLVD, just as I could. We chattedprior to the reno completion, and again at Access Design.


Moss Landscaping, Inc. is a full-service landscaping firm serving the Greater Houston area. The firm assists clients with maintenance, enhancement of existing property, and design and installation of outdoor areas. But with all the rain and hot summers Houston gets, it can be hard to have a beautiful garden. So I sat down with Blair Chestnut to talk about the keys to gardening success in Houston and about the landscaping design for our home.

Stirling Electric is a Houston based landscape and architectural lighting specialist.

WaterLine Designs combines their architectural knowledge with modern engineering advancements to design bespoke pool and water features that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.


M&M Lighting is a family-owned and operated residential and commercial lighting distributor. They recently provided the perfect chandelier for a gorgeous fall fete I hosted in my own front yard! The chandelier’s organic shape and whitewashed finish looked stunning over the table.

Big Ass Fans manufactures fans, lights, and controls for industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential use. Their product line brings together award-winning design, simple automation, incredible efficiency, and complete silence to unlock the potential of ceiling fans. Don’t let their fun name fool you. These guys are professionals.

Circa Lighting is based in Georgia and offers an array of lighting fixtures for indoor and outdoor residential use.

Copper Works is based in Shreveport, Louisiana and offers their clients custom made lighting, vent hoods, tables, and more one-of-a-kind pieces.

Hudson Valley Lighting is a family-owned business that designs and manufactures chandeliers, flush mounts, wall sconces, ceiling fans, and bathroom lighting. They always manage to surprise me when visit their showroom during High Point Market.

Corbett Lighting specializes in creating lighting fixtures with original designs, rich materials, and hand-applied finishes.

Mitzi Lighting brings together form and function to create perfectly harmonious fixtures that mix the classic with the contemporary.


California Closets provides an array of beautiful custom closet storage solutions for any room in your home.


Ann Sacks sells top-of-the-line ceramic tiles. Whether you’re looking for luxe alabaster tile, tile with an industrial edge or a classic mosaic tile, you’re sure to find it here. We’ve worked with Ann Sacks on many projects over the years, including one of my favorite powder rooms, featuring this dramatic black and white tile.

Arto Tile, located in Los Angeles, specializes in handmade ceramic and concrete tiles for commercial and residential projects.

Cosentino is a Spanish family-owned company and global leader in the production and distribution of innovative and technologically advanced surfaces for the home and public spaces.

Vetrazzo is a Georgia based company that invented recycled glass countertops and has been a company I’ve worked with on several different projects. I love these countertops not only because they’re stunning and can stand up to life with my daughters, but because of the story behind them. These slabs are handcrafted and skilled artisans place each piece of glass by hand – talk about a labor of love! So when I had the opportunity to collaborate with them on a Vetrazzo by Laura U line, it was a dream come true!

Daltile is the country’s leading manufacturer and distributor of ceramic tile and natural stone. Over the years, I’ve worked with them to help our clients find gorgeous kitchen backsplash tiles, durable floor tiles and the perfect grout color to go along with all that fabulous tile. When it comes to tile, Daltile knows their stuff!

Oceanside Glass & Tile uses recycled bottle glass to manufacture handmade luxury glass tile.


Crypton Home Fabric develops soft and durable, performance, indoor, residential fabrics that repel liquids, resists stains and reduces odors. Life with kiddos means messes happen, so selecting the right fabric is key. Having a fabric like Crypton that prevents me from worrying about constantly cleaning up, but that’s still luxurious is a lifesaver!

Greenhouse Fabrics is a dedicated fabric resource for those in the upholstery and interior design trade. They specialize in drapery fabrics, upholstery fabrics, and toile fabrics.

Culp Associates carries a collection of high-end textiles, wall coverings, trimmings, furniture, and accessories.

Samuel & Sons is a family-owned company known for their finest quality trimmings made with silk, wool, grass, and wood.

Tribute Goods is a luxurious line of printed linens made in Italy with the finest Egyptian cotton sateen. If you are in the hunt for luxuriously livable pillow covers and shams, this is the place.


House + Town specializes in custom furniture and upholstery for residential, commercial and hospitality fields. From custom benches to reupholstery to one-of-a-kind headboards and everything in between, they’re experts in crafting high-quality pieces. They’re the best!


Gracie makes exquisite custom handpainted wallpaper based on original Chinese designs. Their hand-painted wallpapers are the perfect way to incorporate a more traditional element into your design in a very modern way. They’re a fun alternative to using color to make a statement!

Abigail Borg is a UK based surface pattern designer and illustrator who specializes in wallpapers, fabrics, and soft homewares. Wallpaper is the perfect way to make a bold statement in any space and this navy floral wallpaper is gorgeous.

Graham & Brown is a family-run business and is the UK’s leading wallpaper manufacturer. Their products use special technology that cuts wall decorating time in half and allows the product to be easily removed.

Milton & King uses digital design and production techniques to bring their clients modern, bold wallcoverings. Let me just say, these are definitely not wallcoverings your grandmother would use. They’re playful, fun and daring, which is why we chose to use one in the girl’s playroom.

Sherwin Williams manufactures paints and coatings for both residential and commercial use. While I use a variety of different paint manufacturers in my projects, I like Sherwin Williams’ color visualizer tools and their focus on constant innovation. Just like us in the studio.

Supply Showroom is a boutique fabric, leather, rug, lighting, furniture, and wallpaper showroom located in Austin. The lines they carry are exclusive to them in Texas. And the best part is that these textiles will last for years to come. Whenever they are in the studio, it is a real treat for our design team because we get the inside scoop on new fabrics before they’re even released! We opened our doors to BLVD house in the summer of 2018 with a party worthy of the home’s stunning transformation. While our guests were in awe (especially those who saw the home in its previous condition!), no one could be happier than me when I wake up every morning in what can only be described as my dream home. We hope to share even bigger news surrounding BLVD house throughout 2019. Join our email list to be the first to hear about these special updates! I can’t wait to share them with you.

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