INTERIOR INVESTMENTS

BY LESLIE J. THOMPSON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

In fashion and interior design, a common maxim applies: Invest in timeless staples, and update your look with accessories. Dallas-based interior designer Cristie Schlosser ASID, RID, recently shared this advice with a young couple who relocated to the metroplex and needed help furnishing their entire house. Eager to expedite their move, the pair approached the project with the idea that they could get something in place fast and update the interior again in a few years.

“That’s OK when you’re buying for small kids for their bedrooms, but not for the rest of the house,” says Schlosser, founder and principal designer of Schlosser Design Group (SDG). “If you invest in your furnishings and your finishes, they’ll hold up to the wear and tear of a family, and you won’t be replacing things so often.”

After explaining how certain choices would better suit both the couple’s lifestyle and their budget, the seasoned designer was able to shift their point of view. “Two years later, they are happy as can be,” she says.

Whether working on a makeready of an existing home, a new build or a remodeling project, Schlosser and her team help homeowners transform their space into welcoming environments that fit their daily routine and reflect their unique style. The process begins with a brief consultation to ensure that clients will feel confident about recommendations and that all the personalities are a good fit. “The first thing is building appreciation, trust and communication, and knowing we are going to work well together,” says Schlosser. Only then does she review the space or architectural plans and ask about the client’s lifestyle, what they like about their current home, and features they want or wish they could change.

“We make a list with them, room by room, of their needs and assessments, and then we discuss their budget in more detail than in the first consultation,” notes the award-winning designer, who has been serving clients in the Dallas area since 1998. Despite how easy shows on HGTV make things look, working out a plan with pricing and fullscale recommendations takes between four and six weeks, Schlosser says. “There are always compromises to make, in terms of which things you can work into the plan that help save money. But my ideal client is looking for quality, service and longevity over the cheapest price,” she says.

During her tenure in the business, Schlosser has developed strong relationships with numerous furniture manufacturers and often collaborates with architects and contractors to ensure structural features fit her client’s design goals. Notes Schlosser, “If you’re going to hire an architect or a contractor to complete a project, you also want to hire an interior designer, because they go hand in hand.”

A past chairperson for the ASID Dallas design community, she also is licensed by the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners and can create construction plans for interior spaces, which can be stamped for permitting. Schlosser is equally hands-on with the details of each design project. “Your house is a backdrop for your art, so everything has to be harmonious and inviting, without being stuffy,” she says. “We do the furniture and the artwork and the window treatments. We handle everything.”

Above all, Schlosser and her team aim to exceed their clients’ expectations by creating customized living spaces that are as practical as they are beautiful. The long list of awards earned by SDG over the past decade are a testament to the founder’s abilities and her passion.

“Interior design is a luxury,” notes the designer with a warm smile. “The best thing for us is that we get feedback from our clients three months down the road, a year later and even five years later that they love their home. All the changes they went through were worth it, and the money that they spent was worth every penny.”

Leslie J. Thompson is a Dallas-based freelance writer with a passion for interior design, whose own skill set is limited to selecting throw pillows.