Tag: Houston

The Boulevard Show House Appliance Expert

As we shared back in September, Monogram is the proud sponsor of the Boulevard Show House in Houston, Texas, in collaboration with Laura Umansky. You can learn more about the announcement here and read our interview with Laura here.

Earlier this week the Laura U team talked with Alexandra Skobel, Monogram Designer Engagement Leader – Central Region, about Monogram appliances and the new appliances soon to be featured in the Boulevard Show House kitchen. Read the interview here.

Just wait until you see this vent hood in the Boulevard Show House kitchen!

As you may know all too well, remodeling projects take some serious time and then shift into super-speed. There are lots of exciting updates happening at the Boulevard Show House now! Check out The Boulevard Show House website and Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the progress updates and exciting announcements.



Designer Profile: Laura Umansky

Following our exciting partnership announcement with designer Laura Umansky, we wanted to learn a little more about Laura and her design background.

SRFD: How did you become interested in design?

Laura: Creating beautiful environments has been important to me for as long as I can recall. As a child, I would draw home plans, sketch my room layout, and design my personal space from top to bottom. Luckily, my mother let me have control of this from a very young age. Most likely because she was not interested in interior design at all!

In undergraduate school, I studied Art and didn’t hone in on the profession of Interior Design until late in my college career. After graduation, I knew that I wanted to dive head first into interior design and I started working for a fantastic designer who showed me the ropes. After a year, I enrolled in graduate school and, in 2005, received my Master of Architecture Degree. Studying Architecture definitely had a huge impact on the way that I approach interior design and how I structured my firm.

I started Laura U Interior Design in 2007 and we are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. It is such an incredible milestone and I couldn’t be prouder of our team. I am so excited to see what we can all accomplish in the next 10 years!

SRFD: Tell us about a recent project.

Laura: Currently, I am working on my own home: a 1925 Tudor Revival in a Historic District of Houston. It is a fantastic home and I love the neighborhood. Being a historic home, it has had it’s share of challenges: foundation issues, termites, etc… All things you may expect with a home that is nearly a century old, but none of them are really fun to deal with.

What is fun to deal with is the design of the home and bringing it back to it’s original glory. It will be a gorgeous and stately home when it’s finish; perfect for the Monogram appliances that are going in our new kitchen and butler’s pantry!

SRFD: A trend you’re excited about?

Laura: As I write, I am at High Point Market in North Carolina. I love market because I get to see all of the brand new introductions from the best design houses and manufacturers in the business. Right now, I am very excited to see the classic contrast of Black and White everywhere! I love the crispness of this pairing and you will see plenty of this in my new home when it is unveiled in the Spring.

SRFD: A trend you are over?

Laura: I am never really completely over any trend because it always comes back around at the right time. For example, who saw macramé being 2017s go-to wall art? For this very moment, I can do without large scale floral wallpaper. It is gorgeous but I think I have seen it implemented just enough to get me through the next decade!

SRFD: Why are you partnering with Monogram?

Laura: Monogram is everything my Classically Current design philosophy is grounded in: it is synonymous with luxury and livability. My Monogram appliances are timeless in look yet are modern in performance. As a mother of 5-year-old twin girls, my home must be beautiful, warm and welcoming to our friends and family, and it has to support our busy (aka crazy) daily lives. Monogram appliances easily check each of these boxes!



Dr. Brene Brown Says to Dare Greatly


I recently had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Brene Brown, an American scholar, author and public speaker, give a keynote speech at SXSW in Austin, Texas, last month. That morning she made the trip from her home in Houston, Texas, to Austin to promote her latest book “Daring Greatly” to a crowd of techies, designers and innovators. When Dr. Brown took the stage, she shared a story about her drive over that she swore was true. She had been pulled over for speeding and the officer asked to see her drivers license. When she presented it, he asked if she was aware that it had expired the previous November. Her frustration was further compounded when he asked for her registration and she was unable to produce it. Finally, he asked the purpose of her travel and she replied that it was to give a speech. “The topic?” he asked. “Failure.”

The officer was so amused by the irony that he didn’t give her a ticket. But the story drove home the point that all of us fail at something, at some time in our lives. Some spectacularly, some in more subtle ways, but it happens to all of us. And that’s a good thing, says Dr. Brown. Not that she was advocating speeding. Her point was that in order to succeed in a big way, we have to take risks, to “dare greatly.”

The foundation of her talk revolved around these three pieces of advice:

  1. Choose courage over comfort
  2. Don’t confuse vulnerability with weakness
  3. Be careful about the feedback you let in

For more information on these life lessons, look up Dr. Brown’s books, TED Talks, and this keynote speech on YouTube.

Lastly, she talked about the importance of owning your own story, telling it honestly, and not creating “conspiracy theories.” Only we have control of our story, and only we get to write the ending.

She tells a pretty good story herself.