Kristen Thomas: Timeless, Simple Designs

Today in the Lounge Nick speaks with Kristen Thomas from Denver, CO. They chat about how she got into interior design, how she runs her business with her husband, and how she balances a successful career with family life.

Getting to Know Kristen

Kristen was born and raised in Utah and stuck around until the age of 19, when she moved out of state for college and left permanently with her husband several years later to move to California. She can’t emphasize how much she loves the Golden State, where she has raised her two kids. Kristen says that her house is still unfinished, but she adores her office and its floor-to-ceiling bookcases. When she’s not working, she enjoys listening to books on tape and loves to vacation in sunny Hawaii.

How Kristen Got Started in Interior Design

Growing up, Kristen learned a variety of DIY skills from her father, who was always doing projects around the house. Her Interior Design career began full-time about ten years ago when she left the real-estate world to attend Arapahoe Community College for her degree. While in school, Kristen worked as an assistant and even took her kids to classes. With a natural ability for the real estate industry, she expanded into interior design and launched a firm in downtown Denver with a trusted partner. She and her husband then launched a firm specializing in designing and flipping houses, Studio Thomas.

The Business Today417A7826 (1).jpg

The firm has grown a lot since its inception four and a half years ago and has combined the trades of real estate and interior design — which Kristen says are both money makers. Now, she has a total of ten people on her team: marketing staff, CAD specialists, a personal assistant, lead designers — and she also just recently hired an architect. Her husband also works on the team, specializing in fixer-uppers, and he also uses his expertise as a former lawyer to develop best business practices. Together, they work hard on residential design projects, where they re-design the entire home and increase its value. However, Kristen admits that she has more of a creative personality type and didn’t naturally drift toward business and management. That’s why she focused on building the best team of self-sufficient, driven specialists, and she works hard to ensure that they are being their best selves — even if that means leaving the firm to pursue personal projects. For marketing, Kristen emphasizes connecting with her builders and developers — and she says that approach has been working out: every client so far has been linked to them through a referral. In addition, her marketing director has secured ads in magazines and other podcasts, where they communicate a unique design aesthetic: mixing timelessness, simplicity, modernity, and traditional design. In other words, doing less with more.

Work-Life Balance

Kristen’s family is the most important thing to her, and she arrives early every morning to leave the office by three or four in the evening. She believes that being a mom trumps everything else, although she occasionally works in the evening after her family time. She and Nick both agreed that they’re able to have a great work-life balance because they trust in their team to do their jobs without them. Kristen also believes that establishing a solid work-life balance, trust, and persistent positivity are tantamount when running a business and that these things will naturally move you to your dream career.

        

To learn more about Kristen visit www.studio-thomas.com and be sure to follow @studiothomas on Instagram.

The Chaise Lounge Updates

Join Nick Saturday morning April 14 for his forum “Passion Sucks: It’s All About the Money!”from the Universal Showroom at High Point. Check out all of our High Point events here!

Don’t forget about the #makemychaise design competition click this link for more info.

Resources

DatacolorIf you’ve ever worked with a Benjamin Moore dealer and asked for a color match, then you’ve probably worked with Datacolor without even knowing it. Now, Datacolor has announced the ColorReader, a tool that identifies paint colors from any surface and provides you the closest existing paint match right on the spot! Stop cutting out your drywall or scanning fan decks and start saving time by confirming color with the help of the ColorReader. Revolutionize your color tools and visit www.datacolor.com/may for more information.

Moore & Giles

JLF Collections

Design Manager

Benjamin Moore

Porcelanosa

Universal Furniture

  • Upcoming Events

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com. Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

About the Author
Here in The Lounge, Becca is in charge of 'all things podcast' from management, marketing, branding, graphic design, social media, event planning all the way to managing our interns. Her background is in art and design but that didn't stop her from diving headfirst into the unfamiliar worlds of business, marketing, interiors, and podcasting. Growing up in a small, coastal, New England town, Becca has now been in Denver for five years and doesn't plan to leave the mountains and sunshine anytime soon! On the weekends you can catch Becca hiking, skiing, dreaming about the beach or enjoying the local food, art, and shopping. If you have any questions about the show, Becca is your girl.

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