Meet Ginger Curtis, the Founder and CEO of Dallas-based interior design studio Urbanology Designs. Ginger is not just your average designer; she's a design visionary, an author, and a sought-after speaker. Her journey into the world of design has been nothing short of extraordinary, and I am thrilled to share her story with you.
What sets Ginger apart is her unique approach to design. She specializes in crafting relaxed modern interiors that are not just beautiful but also tell a story. Her designs are elevated, curated, and storied, taking one on a journey through aesthetics and emotions. Ginger's ethos drives her to look beyond fleeting trends and instead focuses on creating homes that stand the test of time. Her designs embody comfort, character, and that unmistakable touch of elegance. Ginger is also the proud author of Beauty By Design, a book that encapsulates her design philosophy and expertise.
Get ready to get a glimpse into Ginger's design philosophy, her unwavering commitment to creating spaces that are a beautiful departure from the ordinary, and her dedication to bringing her clients' dreams to life.
So, without further ado, let's welcome Ginger!
Q: Your background is in business, yet you entered the world of interior design. What was your experience breaking into an industry that was entirely new to you?
Ginger: I felt like I wasn't qualified, and I was constantly intimidated by almost everything I encountered. I had to focus my energy on creating a brand and then growing into it. I felt like a toddler walking around in her mom's stilettos!
Q: How did you turn your dream of Urbanology Designs into a reality?
Ginger: By focusing on doing the small things well! We often think it's the big breaks or the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, but in reality, it's all about showing up to do the most mundane tasks with excellence. By consistently delivering perfection in these small, everyday tasks, Urbanology Designs began to build a reputation for quality and reliability. Clients appreciated the attention to detail and the dedication to making their dreams a reality. It's a reminder that success often comes from the cumulative effect of doing the small things well, day in and day out.
Q: Urbanology Designs takes pride in creating “out-of-the-box” designs by defying the status quo and breaking free from conformity. Can you share with us how this has materialized in a few of your projects?
Ginger: Sure! Let's take the built-ins in this Texas ranch guesthouse. We flipped the symmetry and purposely created imbalance by getting playful with asymmetry. The irony is that creating purposeful imbalance creates the best balance of all! We also used an incredibly unique surface material called micro-concrete – a product that is popular in Europe but not so much here in the States. Not only is it durable, but it dries with the most beautiful finish. We also used this same material in the guest cottage shower, bathroom vanity, and walls.
Another example is our Midway Hollow bathroom design. We chose a moody dark green plaster and incorporated more warmth and contrast by adding saturated wood tones. Not to mention breaking away from the standardized oval tub by adding a unique round tub instead!
And while we are talking about "out-of-the-box" designs, discover how we added a floating ledge running across the window in our Urbanology Cottage. It's rare to see a window view obstructed, but in this particular design, we made a deliberate choice to incorporate the window ledge into the decor, resulting in a captivating visual allure.
Q: How well do your clients receive these ideas when the natural tendency for homeowners is to choose a “risk-free” path? Or do you only work with clients who have an appetite for creative risk?
Ginger: We definitely attract those who are chasing the uncommon and have an appetite for creative risk. While many homeowners tend to opt for safe, tried-and-tested design choices, we love working with clients who embrace the opportunity to push boundaries and infuse their spaces with a distinct personality. They understand that in the realm of interior design, it's often the daring choices that lead to the most rewarding and exceptional outcomes. Ultimately, it's about finding that sweet spot where creativity thrives and our clients' unique visions come to life in ways that exceed their expectations.
Q: Walk us through your design process – from the moment your phone rings to the final walkthrough of the completed space.
Ginger: Our process consists of three phases.
In Phase One, we establish our partnership through an initial consultation, tailored proposal, agreement, retainer, welcome guide, design homework, and team introduction.
Phase Two, the design phase, spans 8-10 weeks and involves a site survey, floor plan and inspiration review, space planning, design development, and critical design presentations.
In Phase Three, we execute the design plan, handling ordering and tracking, site visits, shipping and receiving, inventory inspections, and finally, a 1-2 day grand installation and completion, with a timeline based on the project's scope.
Q: Satisfied clients are the foundation of successful businesses. What steps do you take to ensure you and your team successfully capture the design visions of your clients? In other words, how do you get into your clients’ shoes to truly understand their needs and desires?
Ginger: During client interviews, we delve deeply into their lifestyle, desires, and daily requirements. Our comprehensive questionnaire covers personal preferences, art tastes, and dislikes. We set aside a dedicated day to meticulously review their inspirational photos, ensuring we grasp their design visions thoroughly.
Q: I am a big fan of your studio’s beautifully curated Instagram! What goes into sharing your brand with the world, whether online or offline?
Ginger: We use our Instagram platform as our digital home. We craft and curate it just like we would a room. We want it to feel balanced, cohesive, and absolutely stunning. We showcase our exquisite designs and share professional tips from my interior design books, Beauty by Design and Raw Interiors coffee table book with the world.
Q: As a hardworking businesswoman and a doting mother of five, how do you manage to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
Ginger: Years ago, I discovered that a healthy work-life balance is the key to running a successful business while nurturing a family. To achieve this, I established critical boundaries, ensuring that evenings and weekends were exclusively devoted to my family. This didn't happen overnight; it took years to perfect this equilibrium.
Q: Looking back, is there anything you would do differently in setting up Urbanology Designs in terms of your team, processes, philosophies, or anything else?
Ginger: I would have started documenting our processes earlier. In the dynamic field of interior design, where every project is unique, having well-documented processes provides a solid foundation upon which we can build tailored solutions for our clients. It streamlines our workflow, minimizes errors, and ultimately leads to higher client satisfaction. It is something we are deeply invested in now, but it would have saved us a lot of time if we had started earlier. It's a lesson learned and one that reinforces our commitment to continuous improvement in all aspects of our business.
Thank you, Ginger, for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me! I am thrilled that we got a chance to get a glimpse of your fabulous interior design universe!
For anyone who wants to start following Ginger on social media, I definitely recommend finding her on Instagram for some breathtaking design ideas and getting inspired by her latest projects featured on Facebook, Pinterest, and Houzz. ♥