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News & Awards

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    Houston's Best - Prism Awards 2012

         In an award ceremony on October 6th, Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors was presented with two GHBA Houston's Best Awards for residential design.  The Greater Houston Builders Association's prestigious "Houston's Best" Awards have been recognizing excellence and superior acheivement in the home building industry for more than 30 years. Formally the PRISM Awards, Houston's Best honors builders, remodelors, designers and sales professionals in the categories of People, Product and Promotion.

    The 2012 Awards:


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    Out of the Ordinary Bathrooms

    One of my bathrooms is featured in the Home Portfolio for the vibrant colors.  Check out the website for my design and many other great bathrooms!

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    2012 GHBA Residential Design Excellence Award

    Featured in Greater Houston Builders Assocation Magazine, Issue September 2012

    Design by Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors, David Patterson of DWP Architects, and Ted and Yvonne Cummins of Morning Star Builders.

    "Morning Star Builders has been named a 2012 Design Excellence Award winner by Residential Design + Build magazine. The annual awards program recognizes residential design and construction firms for excellence in the single-family custom home market.  The judges chose Morning Star Builders for its success at addressing challenges, design creativity and overall dedication to success and as proof of the firm’s unwavering quality as the nation’s housing market begins its slow recovery.  This award winning master bathroom features a barrel vaulted ceiling finished in exquisite glass mosaic tile, a digital shower controller with bedside remote, heated towel warmer, candle fireplace, air tub, furniture styled vanities and a TV hidden behind the mirror with two way glass," as quoted from the People & Places section of the GHBA magazine.

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    Grand Style in Cypress

    "Grand Style in Cypress"
    Houston House and Home

    October 2011

    Southern Living Showcase Home by Morning Star Builders celebrates rustic luxury

    Written by Chris Day
     Photography by Kolanowski Studio, Inc.

    "The mantra adopted by Morning Star Builders CEO Ted Cummins is "the difference is in the details." With one glance at the interiors of this custom home in Hidden Falls, the visitor knows that Cummins takes this mantra very seriously. This Tuscan-style villa is a 2011 Southern Living Showcase home in Hidden Falls, a gated community in Cypress, Texas and boasts over 5,000 square feet of gorgeous details, including a stucco/brick exterior with custom wrought iron accents. The intricately patterned bricks are just one of many recurring motifs that flow throughout the house."

    To read the rest of the article, click here.

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    Houston's Best 2011


    In an award ceremony on September 24th, By Design Interiors was presented with two GHBA Houston's Best Awards for residential design.
    The Greater Houston Builders Association's prestigious "Houston's Best" Awards have been recognizing excellence and superior acheivement in the home building industry for more than 30 years. Formally the PRISM Awards, Houston's Best honors builders, remodelors, designers and sales professionals in the categories of People, Product and Promotion.

    The 2011 Awards:
    Residential Interior Design: BathroomDesigner: Cindy AplanalpThe clients’ favorite vacation spot in Indonesia was inspiration to create the perfect couple’s retreat in their newly acquired bay front vacation home.

    Residential Interiors: Family RoomDesigner: Cindy AplanalpThis space offers a variety of lifestyle options, from cozy fireside seating in the family room, to the open engaged kitchen and eat-at bar, to the spacious dining area perfect for large sit down dinners and gatherings around the custom 130” dining table.

    2011 Finalists:
    Specialty Room - Study
    Designer: Cindy Aplanalp

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    Bright and Beautiful

    Houston Design Resource 2011

    By Design Interiors, Inc.
    Designer on Project: Cindy Aplanalp, ASID Allied

    Assistant Designers on Project: Amber Reddoch and Erika Barczak
    Photography by Brad Carr, bradforcarr.com

    "From curbside of this home you know you've arrived someplace spectacular, as a mix of modern lighting shines through traditional paned Palladian windows.  The two most important elements of this space are the flooring- a custom blend of Jerusalem travertine in a Versaille pattern- and the lighting.  "This caliber of lighting cannot be found in your everyday lighting stores nor can you reliably shop online," explains Aplanalp. The Spectacular lighting was selected after man hours of sourcing, sketching elevations and laying it out on the floor plan in order to determine how it would relate to all aspects of the space and home.  "I don't know what I would have done if I had been faced with the decisions and potential mishaps on my own- that's why I hired a pro! explains the homeowner.  Lighting is the icingon the cake for Aplanalp.  "I always do my best to utilize my client's budget wisely.  One area where they will get the most for their investments is in the lighting!"

    To read the rest of the article....click here!

  • "Texas' Textured Walls can welcome wall covering- After a step"

    Houston Chronicle April 10, 2011

    "These days when someone hears the term "wall covering," the response is usually a combination of goose-bumps and a "you've got to be kidding me" look.

    However, according to RueMag.com, wall covering never went out....it just went into hibernation for a while.  The wall coverings that are available today are not the wallpapers your grandmother (or mother) would have on her kitchen walls. There is a wide variety of beautiful (yes, beautiful) fresh, durable, textured and rich wall coverings that can enhance any wall in your home."

    "Although wall covering is coming out of hibernation, we are finding there is one hurdle that must be overcome in Texas: textured walls.  Almost every home in this state has textured walls.  Unfortunately, wall coverings cannot be applied to a textured wall or ceiling.

    If you have textured walls (and you probably do), don't lose heart. There is a solution; it just make take an extra step.  The surface will need to be floated out and smoothed over in order to apply a fabulous roll of two of the great-looking paper.  Although this is a solution to the Texas textured wals, this added expense can often deter people from selecting wall coverings. However, if you are considerings a remodeling project, it would benefit you to consult with a professional in order to help you think ahead.  As you acknowledge walls and ceiling thats make the perfect location for thie design element, you will be able to prevent the extra step and expense.  Make sure these identified walls are not textured in the building phases and they will be ready for the faculous wall covering you have selected to compliment the spaces.

    The following is a list of great spaces for wall coverings:
    *Laundry room,
    *Powder Room
    *Child'e bedroom,
    *Study or home office,
    *Your "fourth wall," the ceiling; or the backs of bookshelves.

    Do not let Texas' textured walls limit creative options when updating your space.  Professionals in the industry can assist in the selecting just the right walls to update with this once-said outdated design element and enhance the beauty of your environment."


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    2011 Bedroom Design

    "Simply Stunning Sophistication"
    By Design Interiors, Inc.
    Designer: Cindy Aplanalp
    Assistant Designers: Amber Reddoch and Erika Barczak
    Photographer: Brad Carr

    By, Jack Frink
    Texas Home and Living, March/April 2011

    "'Design is a living, breathing thing- it can comfort and offer joy,' Houston-based Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors, Inc., philosophizes.  'I always begin by asking my clients how they want to feel in their space and how they plan to live in it.  In this room my client wanted to feel elegant, and have an environments where she could connect with her daughters.  Therefore, with a soothing palette, rich materials, glamorous textures of silk, leather, fur and a mix of metals and antique mirrors we were able to create the space the client had envisioned.'"

    "Aplanalp counts herself as fortunate because she was able to work on this entire house- 'top to bottom,' as she puts it.  This bedroom threw a few complications Cindy's ways as the worked to completion; the couple wanted to keep their bed which was a big, brown and heavy wood structure.

    "'Technically, we did keep the bed, we just changed every aspect of it,' Aplanalp reveals.  'Platinum leather upholstery was added with tufting and we changed the finish from brown oak to a very 'glammy' metallic.'"

    Cindy, when talking to Texas Home & Living before, insists that, with each new project, she tries to never do what she has done before.  For Aplanalp, that's 'the best part of my job.  Tapping in to the uniqueness of the client for inspiration always allows for new techniques and design opportunities.  In this case, I had never worked with this mix of a color palette before, nor had I done a custom acrylic bench (which turned out amazing)- so that was an adventure.'"


  • "Let there be light from the beginning"

    Houston Chronicle February 6, 2011
    By Cindy Aplanalp and Erika Barczak

    "Choosing the correct lighting during a remodel or new-construction project is one of the most important considerations when putting together a space.  Proper lighting provides the necessary illumination, it defines the atmosphere of your space, creates a particular mood and provides accent to your architectural style.

    Begin the project with your lighting.

    Evaluate your current lighting and determine what needs to be changes: Is it enough? How can it be better? Do you have enough control over it?

    Study a space you find to be well lit- what makes it function so well?

    If you are swapping out only fixtures, try a layered look by selecting pieces that will go together though are not necessarily from the same collection."

  • The 2011 Bathroom Design Special

    "Sensuous Master Bath Escape"
    By Design Interiors, Inc.
    Photography by Brad Carr

    By, Jack Frink
    Texas Home and Living, Jan/Feb 2011

    "This particular client found lauded designer Cindy Aplanalp on the ASID's website (asid.org) and was intrigued by her master bath renovation that won the 2009 Houston's Best Award (formerly the Prism Award).  Almost everything about this bathroom was transformed from an outdated, amost unusable space to a stylish bathroom retreat."

    Read full article here.


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