Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

MEET TRICIA | INDIANA FURNITURE & FABRIC SPECIALIST

What is your past work experience/education? Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in this field and what experiences brought you to the world of design.
I have over 25 years of experience in the design industry. I grew up helping my father who was an architect in Columbus, Indiana for several years when I was younger. I knew right away what I wanted to study in college. I worked for a designer for sixteen years right after finishing college at Ball State University. I have also worked in retail design, and have had my own design business.

Where were you raised?
Columbus, Indiana

Where do you draw inspiration from? 
ELLE Decor, museums, art, and furniture galleries.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
The most impressive project was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I was in charge of designing a home that I could add my own flair and touch. The client was open and only asked for a blend of New Orleans color and style. It turned out to be a unique and bold project that was different from most.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Some of my favorite product lines are Verellen, Interlude Home, John Richards Collection, Century, Taracea, Palecek, and Made Goods. The design and elegance of these lines are unique and have many beautiful finishes and fabrics. They also have the pieces that blend with the organic modern, boho and transitional styles that I like to work with.

What is your favorite color?
Dark green, black, or camel.

What do you like to do in your spare time? (Hobbies, Talents, Travel, Family, etc.)
I enjoy time hanging out with family and with my cat and three dogs. I am known to travel all over the country to visit friends. I also like to vacation in the Carolina’s.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go and why?
When the Biltmore Estate was finished being built and friends and family were able to stay in 1895. The house and grounds are spectacular and to be able to stay and live the way they did would be a dream of mine.

How would you characterize your design style?
Different eclectic styles from boho to organic modern to transitional glam.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” – Maya Angelou

What is your favorite food?
Enchiladas

What is your favorite TV series?
Law & Order

Tricia can be reached in the Carmel showroom at triciaa@caidesigns.net or by phone at (317) 740-0025 x8302.

MEET MARK | INDIANA SHOWROOM MANAGER

What is your past work experience/education? Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in this field and what experiences brought you to the world of design.
Started in retail merchandising / store display then joined an interior design firm. Eventually became partner in a partner in the firm for over 30 years

Where were you raised?
In the Midwest on a farm in Indiana.

Where do you draw inspiration from? 
Nature provides so much – color, balance, space, light – every day is a new inspiration.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
Working on a Waterfront Design Project in Florida where clients allowed involvement from the beginning with the Architect, choosing all interior finishes, furniture, art and accessories. The trust of the clients and the finished product were extraordinary and very rewarding

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
LEE Upholstery is always a go-to line due to its many designs that fulfill most design projects whether it is contemporary, traditional or transitional. Their furniture styles offer so many options that you can totally customize in both design and comfort.

What is your favorite color?
Green

What do you like to do in your spare time? (Hobbies, Talents, Travel, Family, etc.)
Reading spy novels & killer thrillers and attending live performances.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go and why?
Ancient Rome – such an interesting time of early architecture and lifestyles.

How would you characterize your design style?
The best design style is one that is attuned to the client’s needs and lifestyle.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“No good deed goes unpunished”

What is your favorite food?
Pasta

What is your favorite TV series?
The Voice

Mark can be reached in the Carmel showroom at markc@caidesigns.net or by phone at (317) 740-0025 x8301.

MEET AMY | DENVER LIGHTING SPECIALIST

What is your past work experience/education? Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in this field and what experiences brought you to the world of design.
After 10 years in finance, I went back to design school and pivoted to design-build residential construction.

Where were you raised?
Denver, Colorado

Where do you draw inspiration from? 
Connection: to people, their stories, their background and history

What is your most rewarding project and why?
Winning Parade of Homes’ Best in Design for a custom build.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Bomma Lighting, Foscarini, Hammerton and Hubbardton – I so appreciate the artistry to what they are creating in the field.

What is your favorite color?
Green – always growing

What do you like to do in your spare time? (Hobbies, Talents, Travel, Family, etc.)
My husband and I love to travel; we cycle too.

How would you characterize your design style?
How would you characterize your design style? I am drawn to items that are handmade with traditional lines. I am in awe of the craftmanship of bench made furniture, the artistry of textiles and the endless creativity and engineering found in lighting.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Stay curious

What is your favorite food?
Mexican – and anything with guacamole

What is your favorite TV series?
Yellowstone

Amy can be reached in the Denver showroom at amyz@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6976.

MEET FARIN | DENVER FURNITURE SPECIALIST

What is your past work experience/education? Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in this field and what experiences brought you to the world of design.
My degree is in Interior Design and I was previously at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and Porcelanosa.

Where were you raised?
Denver, Colorado

What is your most rewarding project and why?
Myself and a former colleague designed the family room for the Denver Life Magazine Designer Showhouse in 2019. It was very fulfilling to be involved with the process from start to finish and to collaborate with local designers in the industry.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Thayer Coggin, Taracea, Verellen, and Old Biscayne are my initial favorites due to the look and custom options available. But as I dive into more products, I’m finding amazing pieces within each line.

What is your favorite color?
Earth tones

What is your favorite food?
Philly Cheese Steak

What is your favorite TV series?
Big Brother

Farin can be reached in the Denver showroom at farinf@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6970.

MEET CAROL | SCOTTSDALE SHOWROOM MANAGER

What is your past work experience/education? Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in this field and what experiences brought you to the world of design.
Interior Design has always been a passion of mine, but coming from a small town, I was never exposed to the world of design like I was after moving to Phoenix. After a couple of career changes, I started my journey in design January of 2014 by attending Scottsdale Community College. I have worked in a design showroom, with an interior designer, and with a home builder. I found that working with designers in a trade showroom is the best of both worlds. I get to help design beautiful homes without having the stress of being a designer. I enjoy what I do and can’t see myself doing anything else!

Where were you raised?
Yuma, AZ.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Nature and art.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
Working on full houses. Something about putting it all together and seeing the joy of the client when they start to visualize their new home sparks so much joy for me.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
OBD because of all the custom capabilities. Interlude Home because of their aesthetic.

What is your favorite color?
Jewel tones and most shades of blue.

What do you like to do in your spare time? (Hobbies, Talents, Travel, Family, etc.)
Spend time with my family (husband and 3 boys).

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go and why?
The roaring 20’s!! I love the way they dressed. It would be fun to see how much simpler lives were back then.

How would you characterize your design style?
I would say elegant modern with a touch of earthy.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you will still be among the stars.

What is your favorite food?
Tacos! You can put anything in a taco and it will be delicious.

What is your favorite TV series?
I used to love watching Divine Design with Candice Olson but since she left HGTV, I now stick to watching any cooking show with Bobby Flay or Guy Feiri.

Anything else you would like to share?
I’m excited to bring my experience to the CAI team.

Carol can be reached in the Scottsdale showroom at carolw@caidesigns.net or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x7060.

Meet Law | Troy Furniture Specialist

What is your past work experience/education?
I have a Bachelor’s in Interior Design from Michigan State University. I’ve had a variety of roles in luxury sales: Visual Merchandising, Project Management, and Interior Design positions.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Travel, architecture, and I like juxtaposing antique/ heirloom pieces with new and more transitional designed items.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I love Hickory Chair/ Pearson and Palecek.

What is your favorite color?
Taupe and Emerald Green.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to travel, cook, and spend time with my family.

How would you characterize your design style?
Comfortable Luxury.

What is your favorite food?
Indian.

What is your favorite TV Series?
The Golden Girls.

Law can be reached in the Troy showroom at lawsj@caidesigns.net or by phone at (248) 822-1300 x8224.

Meet Kelly | Scottsdale Lighting Specialist

What is your past work experience/education?
I started my passion for interior design at the early age of thirteen. I always had a fascination for furniture placement and lighting. I attended I.D.I. for my certification in interior design and in 2009 I started working for Olivia’s Interior Design & Accents in Newport Beach, CA as a retail sales associate. As I started learning more about the trade and clientele, I moved up to interior design assistant and lead lighting sales associate.

Where were you raised?
I was raised in Irvine, California.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
The most rewarding project I have worked on was a home in Newport Beach where we custom built indoor and outdoor furniture. We worked hand-in-hand with a high end client of ours that had multiple patents for Ford Motor Company. It was very rewarding to see the finished project and to have delivered exactly what our clients were wanting.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Some of my favorite product lines thus far are Visual Comfort, Hudson Valley, Terzani, Lodes, and Hubbardton Forge. These are some of my favorite lines because I love the detailed work they put into their finishes and the quality of their glass. I love how some of these lines are custom to order and uncommon to see.

What is your favorite color?
Cyan.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
My hobbies include movies, baseball, football, and outdoor activities of all kinds.

If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go and why?
I would go back to the 70’s era in the United States. I love everything about that time including the music, clothing, and interior design.

How would you characterize your design style?
My design style is definitely modern and contemporary. I love items that have straight lines and very sleek looks.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Enjoy the little things in life for someday you will realize they were the big things”.

What is your favorite food?
Lamb with a bed of rice and veggies.

What is your favorite TV Series?
Too many to count. My favorites right now are The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, Law & Order, and Suits.

Anything else you would like to share?
I have a passion for traveling and love to be out and about as often as I can.

Kelly can be reached in the Scottsdale showroom at kellyh@caidesigns.net or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x6937.

Meet L | Scottsdale Customer Service Representative

What is your past work experience / education?
Having an interest in interior design, I took a certification class at the Interior Design Institute in Newport Beach, CA. I also worked at two showrooms in the Stonemill Design Center in Costa Mesa, CA.

Where were you raised?
Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what are some of your favorite product lines and why?
I’m appreciating all of the product lines at C.A.I. Designs because there is a very nice mix of all different styles.

What is your favorite color?
I am drawn to all shades of green.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to bike the canals in AZ, entertain, try new restaurants and travel.

How would you characterize your design style?
Eclectic, I like a mix of old, new, different design styles and a lot of color.

What is your favorite food?
I love Greek food.

What is your favorite TV Series?
Yellowstone.

L can be reached in the Scottsdale showroom at lcowie@caidesigns.net or by phone at (480) 565-3775 x6932.

Meet Heather | Denver Lighting Specialist

Gary Sinise Foundation

What is your past work experience / education?
I started my lighting career about 6 years ago with Savoy Houses’ distribution showrooms. I spent a few years taking homeowner and designer appointments out of 6 different showrooms in North Texas and Greater Atlanta. I moved on to getting my American Lighting Association Certification and transitioned from outside direct to builder/designer sales. I would read electrical plans, assist with whole home selections, bid for large projects/subdivisions, and be on location for install. Because of my field experience, I have become very familiar with the technical side of decorative lighting, lighting code, and the residential building process in general. I was very fortunate to be able to attend the lighting market for the past 6 years in Dallas. I am proud to be able to use my experience to be an asset for C.A.I.’s designers.

Where were you raised?
Southlake, Texas.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the diversity of lighting I come across in everyday life. I find that everywhere I go I am looking up at the lighting. I am especially excited for my honeymoon to Europe next year. I have always been drawn to the contemporary styles of European lighting designers.

What is your most rewarding project and why?
I am most proud of my work with the Gary Sinise Foundation. Being able to contribute to a smart home for a wounded veteran proved to be a very fulfilling experience. My father is a veteran, so I found this project very personal. I worked very closely with this Veteran and his family to make sure the lighting in his home met all of his needs, while keeping to a very small budget from the foundation. The end result left me in tears!

In your experience working with C.A.I. Designs thus far, what is/are some of your favorite product lines and why?
Hubbardton Forge and Visual Comfort have always had consistently amazing originality and quality. But more recently I have developed appreciation for more independent suppliers like Heirloom Lighting, who manufactures only in the USA, or Terzani, an Italian lighting company.

What is your favorite color?
Pearl Pink.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
What brought me to Colorado is its beauty. I spend my free time skiing, hiking, exploring. I also play piano and guitar and love to sing.

How would you characterize your design style?
I have always been drawn to very contemporary design. With LED integration, lights don’t have to be designed around a light bulb anymore. I am amazed with the innovation we are seeing now that we aren’t constricted to such a bulky light source.

What is your favorite TV Series?
The Office.

Heather can be reached in the Denver showroom at heatherh@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6972.

Meet Chris | Denver Showroom Manager

Where were you raised?
Dallas, TX.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
When it comes to design the person I find most inspirational is Paulo Mendes Da Rocha.

What is your favorite color?
Moss Green.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Let us be certain of who we want to be. Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers.” – Émilie Du Châtelet

What is your favorite food?
Dim Sum.

Chris can be reached in the Denver showroom at chriss@caidesigns.net or by phone at (303) 282-8100 x6971