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Denver Design center

127 – Angela Harris and Trio Environments

Angela Harris and Trio Environments

On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with Angela Harris of Trio Environments. Angela shares her journey from business to design, the story of starting her own company, and how she manages that company.

Getting to know Angela Harris

Trio Environments is located in Denver, where Angela grew up. She loves handbags, long skirts, enjoys Chardonnay and vacations in the Bahamas. Angela is married and has a 4-year-old son. She and her family live in a suburb of Denver on the edge of the mountains, where they enjoy a great view.

How Angela got into design

Without realizing it, Angela started in the industry as a child when she designed and decorated a tree house her dad built. Even in college, she didn’t put two and two together, instead, following the path “she was supposed to.” She ended up with a business degree in marketing and management. She later obtained a master’s degree in sustainable design and is grateful for this path, which allowed for a good left and right brain balance in her work.

After school, Angela worked in marketing at an engineering firm. One day she woke up and decided it wasn’t for her. She left her position and took a job at a furniture store.  Angela worked for the summer and then started in the store’s design program, where she fell in love with furniture and textiles. Angela then went back to school for a two-year design program and opened her own business with $500 in her pocket.

What the business looks like today

Trio Environments employs seventeen individuals, which includes a director of sales and marketing, design directors, a procurement team, three design teams with design associates, and interns. Angela grew up in a family business and inherited her business instincts from her grandfather.

Trio Environments

Her first hire was a former associate from the furniture store, to help in an administrative capacity. Angela loves the people aspect of the business and mentioned that relationships are most important. When seeking new employees, Angela makes sure individuals fit into the company culture and align with their core values of communication, consistency, and creativity.

Trio Environments takes on projects that include builder / developer work, high-end residential, multi-family, and hospitality, and Angela loves it all, as long as they are creative and have fun.


Carrie, Director of Sales and Marketing, joined the conversation to share about the company’s involvement in the community as well as the re-branding of the company. The team is also involved with industry associations and has developed relationships within the real estate market. Other methods of business development and marketing include creating and putting out video content, doing photo shoots, participating in conferences, leading speaking engagements, and being activities on social media.

After seventeen years of business, Angela and Trio Environments hit the tipping point and became an“overnight successes.” The company survived the economic downturn and is now taking on work outside of Colorado. Angela and her team continue to position themselves as a boutique design firm and don’t rely on mainstream design. Projects are treated as one-off, unique, and custom. They handle 75-100 projects at a time.

Angela recommends to be fearless and take care of the people around you. She advises against putting all of your eggs in one basket, as she learned from having 80% of her business with one client. She said she would never do that again, but she learned and grew from it.

Learn more about Angela Harris and Trio Environments at their website or feel free to call directly – 303-663-1285.

  • Upcoming Events

ICFF – May 21 – 24

NeoCon – June 12 – 14

PCBC – June 26 – 28

Las Vegas Market – July 30 – Aug 1

BDNY 2017 – Nov 12 – 13

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

  • Wrap Up

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!

18 – Hand crafted, Custom Rugs

Organic looms

Stephanie Bryant with Organic Looms

Today we are with Slew at Studio D (Decorative Materials) in the Denver Design Center talking to Stephanie Bryan.

From India and Nepal, Organic Looms makes hand crafted rugs with natural products.  We dive into what it is like to order custom rugs, how they are manufactured, what a strike-off is, and overall, how to make sure you get what you are expecting.  Organic Looms is based in Chicago, but is in the process of opening a location in the Denver Design Center…right down the hall from Studio D. SONY DSC

When most people think of hand tied rugs, they think of orientals, and very traditional rugs.  But today’s trends have required manufactures to create the same quality hand-made rugs with modern designs and colors.

A little bit of rug education, we talk about:

  • Vintage rugs – taking old rugs, striping it, and re-dying it
  • What is sustainable
  • Natural materials
  • How to make
  • The dying process – why is this hard to make natural
  • How to know a fraud

If you would like to hear this episode or past episodes, please go to thechaiseloungepodcast.com or listen in on iTunes or Stitcher.

10 – Getting in Print and Window treatments

Brian Workman:  Blind Corners and Curves


On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, we will be going out to Studio D to talk with Brian Workman, owner of Blind Corners and Curves.  Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazine

The Sculpture House in Denver, COMarketing Tips:Getting PR and put in Print

It is the goal of just about every designer to be on the cover of a high end magazine.  But have you ever really stopped to consider if it was really worth it.  After interviewing about a dozen or so successful interior designers from across the country, I am not sure the value of print, is as high as we place on it.  You may disagree with me, but listen in as a plead my case.

Window Blind Corners and Curves Logotreatments are an important part of any interior design project.  Brian’s company, Blind Corners and Curves is a specialty window treatment company that helps designers and homeowners cover difficult and challenging windows all around the country.  BCC is one of the larges Hunter Douglas dealers in the country and receives referrals from Hunter Douglas for fabricating difficult to cover windows.  They have worked on projects all around the world.  Working with installers in the local markets, Brian is able to just ship the treatments without needing to go to each individual installation.  An additional area of specialization for BCC is motorization, even on the specialty sizes.

Blind Corners and Curves ShowroomBlind Corners and Curves works with a lot of designers locally in Denver and throughout Colorado.  The advantage for a designer purchasing through BCC is:

  • The  use of their large showroom and buying power.
  • Designers are able to borrow samples from the showroom to avoid the need to invest in expensive and ever changing sample collections.
  • Service on window treatments is also another great reason for designers to utilize BCC.
  • Access to the full line of products.
  • Full service measure and install…no headaches.

If you would like to hear this episode or past episodes, please go to www.thechaiseloungepodcast.com or listen in on iTunes or Stitcher.

02 – George Harrison and Laura Dahlhauser

Today in The Lounge, Nick and Slew are joined with George Harrison of Harrison Home Systems and Laura Dalhauser of Sonoma Tilemakers. Nick and Slew dive into the worlds of tile and smart homes.

Sarah Lewis (Slew)

Starting The Chaise Lounge series of vendor talks, Sara “Slew” Lewis, from Decorative Materials, joins Nick for interviews at the Denver Design Center. Decorative Materials is a superb source for all Denver designers looking for tile and stone resources.

George Harrison: Harrison Home Systems

Harrison Home Systems, based in Denver, offers high-end residential home automation to residencies in Telluride and Aspen. After 15 years in the business, the company specializes in connecting HVAC, blinds, home security, and audio and visual connections. Smart homes eliminate confusion with multiple remotes, by all being in one central location – an app on your device.

Home Treatments with Harrison Home Systems

A favorite part of smart homes are automated shades and draperies. Lutron, a lighting and dimming company, now has partnered with Savoir – the quietest shade motor company – to automate window treatments.

Collaborating with interior designers, Harrison Home Systems is both programming and designing. There is a solution for every taste, and if the client doesn’t find their desired look, partnering with third-party designers is welcome.

Laura Dalhauser and Sonoma Tilemakers

Regional account manager for the western area of Sonoma Tilemakers, Laura Dalhauser is based in northern California. The 21-year-old business now has a factory in Windsor, Sonoma County, a showroom in Napa, and is now the largest vendor of handcrafted tile in the country, working with 400 dealers throughout the US and Canada.

Sonoma Tilemakers is known for custom mixing their unique tiles – providing carved stone tiles, modern ceramics, old-world looking, tumbled stone, and a glass line including tantrum crackle glass, hard glasses in iridescent and silk, a Tuscany reserve, and an earthy reserve. The company has a new line, the Euphoria collection. The line has 18 colors, five shapes, and five sizes. The raco finish is glazed in Boulder, Colorado and shipped to dealers throughout the country.

Learn more about Harrison Home Systems at harrisonhomesystems.com or hhsusa.comTo find out more about Sonoma Tilemakers, visit sonomatilemakers.com.

Chaise Lounge Updates

We’re covering High Point Market fall 2018! Stay in the loop on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

The Student Lounge is up and running! Visit us to hear podcast episodes produced for students, by students.


Upcoming Markets

BDNY Nov 11 – 12

Wrap Up

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!