Houston is a prominent economic hub and the most ethnically diverse city not just in Texas but in the entire United States. One of the problems with interior design, especially during the pandemic, is that interior design showrooms are largely reserved for professionals, including builders, decorators, and architects.
However, we’re here to bring you good news: there are ways to get access to the best interior design showrooms, even if you’re just an avid shopper. Here’s everything you need to know about getting design inspiration in Houston by visiting some of the best interior design showrooms in your area.
Decorative Center Houston Campus
Decorative Center Houston
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This place in Uptown on Woodway Drive between Post Oak and Sage is basically a mall for interior design lovers, with a range of vendors selling everything from oriental rugs and euro collections to classic furniture and elite furniture. Known by the acronym DCH – Decorative Center Houston – the room recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in the Houston market.
If you need a little design inspiration or just want a full remodeling experience, be sure to check out DCH’s 37 showrooms, spanning over half a million square feet!
Highlights to visit at DCH
For luxury buyers
For buyers who aren’t intimidated by the price and aiming for top-notch decadence, the Aria Stone Gallery in Suite 1016 is just the ticket. Have you seen Drake’s marble bathroom in his Toronto mansion? For one price, Aria Stone can make this dream look come true. Even if you’re on a budget, you can write down the styles Aria offers and use them as leverage to explore more affordable options.
For fine bed linen and affordable textiles
Do you want to spice up the interior of your home without breaking the bank? Don’t overlook the power of textiles. Globaltex Fine Linens (Suite 1014) offers every imaginable linen made from 100% Turkish cotton. Originally based in Miami, this second location for the popular fabric maker shows you how to incorporate luxurious pops of color in the form of bed linen, towels, throws, and more.
For custom window treatments
We all love natural light, but privacy also has its place on our wish list. The Shade Store (Suite 1070) offers a wide range of product lines and offers you a complete customer experience that proves that you can cover beautiful open windows without sacrificing the stunning factor.
Pro tip: Here’s how to get in
Admission to the individual showrooms depends on the exact guidelines of the individual providers. We recommend deciding in advance which design collections you would like to see and calling each company in advance with an approximate ETA. You can even make an appointment in the showrooms, which are normally closed to public access. This will ensure that you have access.
Houston Design Center campus
Houston Design Center
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Everyone is a true populist at heart – or at least all the cool people! That’s why the Houston Design Center (HDC) brings together many of the city’s leading professional interior designers, builders, and more under one roof without closing their doors to laypeople during business hours. Houstoners from around the city, or the rest of Texas and beyond, can stop by to meet any of their design needs. With a beautiful lakefront on Old Katy Rd north of I-10 and Memorial Park, parking is even free!
Visitors can see showroom after showroom to their heart’s content and get inspiration from furnishings that cover all aspects of the decor, from art to wall coverings and accessories to fabrics, chairs, sofas, surfaces and even lighting. You won’t feel compelled to make a purchase either – its prime Houston location near so many different neighborhoods doesn’t make it alien to browsers just looking for ideas. They encourage walk-ins like you!
A unique experience at HDC
Window shopping at Memorial Antiques & Interiors
Window shopping at MAI
Memorial antiques and interiors
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By window shopping, Memorial Antiques & Interiors (MAI) means this literally. With the advent of e-commerce available so quickly on all of our mobile devices, window shopping seems to have become something of a memory lately. Fortunately, MAI never seems to have received this memo!
This location in the Houston Design Center has 5 large storefronts for the general public to drop by and get inspired. With such a conceptual and timely drive-through function, MAI is a really unique alternative to the other walk-in exhibition spaces for interior design. Most of all, MAI is designed to be informative and to help other enthusiasts who are still learning how to design.
Pro tip: is your style past, present, or both?
MAI doesn’t care too much about the debate about whether or not the good old days or the modern styles are superior. They offer both! Although MAI offers a unique mix of contemporary home furnishings, abstract art, and modern decor, it also features unique antiques and old world beauty that you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking to sell antique furniture, this Houston store even offers select shipping options.
Other must-sees at HDC
For a personalized floor experience
Let’s face it with floors: visiting the big stores can be overwhelming. Combine the huge offerings by trying to determine, for example, the price per square foot, the cost of removing and replacing existing floors, whether laminate is as good as wood, and … Fortunately, Manchester Carpet has just hit the 40 year mark in Suite 100, providing Houston with personalized service. With a showroom filled with samples of Class A carpet, wood, tile, custom rugs, and virtually every surface material imaginable, an exciting floor can be the center of your home again.
For ample lighting options
Proper lighting can make or break an entire room. Lighting Treasures (Suite 151) offers design advice to ensure your home shines with the perfect chandeliers, wall lights and lamps, including a selection of over 2,500 shades to browse.
For home office updates and design ideas
A ton of us work from home these days, but that shouldn’t make you lean over a laptop at your kitchen table. Vanguard Environments (Suite 103) is an absolute professional in space planning and offers first-class ergonomic seating, practical desk layouts and coordinated aesthetics. We recommend a visit to save some ideas for a possible home office renovation.
Pro tip: plan your visit
It never makes sense to zigzag through a store, jumping from aisles 1 to 10, back to 2, then to 9, and so on. Use the same logic when visiting the Houston Design Center. There are over 40 stores in total. So we recommend planning your visit by checking out the helpful layouts before you set off. This ensures that you can get into every showroom on your list in one smooth pass.
No excuses: let yourself be inspired
Actually, there are an excuse or two. If you’re quarantined or uncomfortable, that’s a pretty legitimate excuse. However, if you adhere to best security practices like these preferred showrooms and are ready to scratch your itch in the interior, you’ve come to the right place on our list of shopping malls.
The brick and mortar stores undoubtedly have something special: you experience the magic of seeing the latest trends right in front of your eyes right in your hometown of Houston, without feeling the fatigue of Pinterest.
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