North Texas native Shelly Lloyd took a circuitous route to her career as an interior designer, discovering along the way that her fashion acumen, passion for art, and globetrotting translated beautifully into creating sophisticated, authentic interiors with unexpected twists.
“What separates us is working with a variety of styles, from classic to contemporary, formal to playful,” Lloyd said. “We’re really good at mixing pieces.”
Her Dallas company, LeDaire Design, is in for an eventful year, expanding to a satellite office, rebranding in February, and building on an original concept called “Work the Room” that marries her professional expertise with a client’s DIY creativity. Jump to read more!
Lloyd grew up in Colleyville and graduated from Grapevine High School before pursuing her undergraduate degree in Colorado. From there, she headed to the prestigious Parsons The New School for Design in New York City to study fashion design.
Degree in hand, she took New York by storm and lived there for 17 years, much of that time working for Ralph Lauren. That job afforded her the opportunity to travel the world each season under Lauren’s direction, seeking fashion inspiration. Destinations included Morocco, India, Milan, Paris, London, Berlin, Geneva, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Shanghai. She lived in Europe for a year, as well.
It was during her time with Lauren that Lloyd became fascinated by color, textiles, antiques, and the distinct beauty of different cultures, all of which serve her well today.
“Working with someone like Ralph, we pulled inspiration from travel, fashion, food, pop culture, and movies, and I still do that,” she said. “That’s where I honed my aesthetic and my ability to interpret someone’s lifestyle—so much of that is transferrable into people’s lives and homes.”
In 2008, after her oldest daughter was born, Lloyd moved back to Dallas to raise her child and figure out her next career steps. Noting Lloyd’s skill set and natural business acumen, a West coast client and friend encouraged her to consider interior design, which gave her the needed push to set up shop in Dallas.
“I’ve always had a passion for architecture and interior design, and I had worked on some places in New York and on the West coast,” she said. “We’ve been [working in Dallas] for three years and all my business has been referral and word-of-mouth. We’re really growing.”
Lloyd’s projects in Dallas, New York, and the West Coast have indeed won her a diverse and devoted residential and commercial clientele. Building on that success, she plans to move LeDaire Designs to a new studio space, which will likely be located in the Dallas Design District.
Plans are also in the works to open a satellite office in 2015. Lloyd said New York City is the most likely location.
To capture the energy of all this exciting change, Lloyd is rebranding her company entirely in February, changing the name to Shelly Lloyd Design, launching a new website (www.shellylloyd.com), getting a new logo, and launching a new look for her marketing.
In speaking with Lloyd, her belief in the power of great design is evident, as is a certain spirit of democratization, which says all people deserve stylish design, no matter their income.
To that end, she’s working hard in 2015 to expand her “Work the Room” services, which empower clients to create the look they want on their own, but with her expertise and guidance. It’s a marvelous adaption on her part to the do-it-yourself (DIY) trend brought about in the age of Pinterest.
Clients choose which rooms they want designed by Lloyd, she provides detailed instructions on how to do it, and clients do the legwork to create what they want in a quick and cost effective way.
After an in-depth client interview to discover personality and lifestyle, Lloyd and her team create a CAD-generated floor plan with customized furniture layout, as well as an image board with specific selections for a room’s look, like fabric swatches. Clients also receive a personalized shopping list, and specific lists of furniture, products, and accents to transform their space themselves.
“The two biggest mistakes people make [in DIY] is that they don’t know what products or materials they need to choose that will stand the test of time, and they buy products that don’t fit the room, items that are the wrong scale or proportion, for example,” she said. “More import, though, Work the Room exposes people to the value of having a designer, what a designer sells: our real product is intellectual property—we know about color, scale, design, and more.”
Work The Room is for anyone looking to redesign, enhance, or spruce up any space for a reasonable designer fee. It also brings Lloyd people that may want to start small, but later become full-service. With one New York client newly out of school, Lloyd worked via Skype and email to create a Work the Room option for him. A few years later, he bought an apartment there and asked her to return for a full interior design.
“I think it’s important to tier service,” she said. “I have million-dollar jobs, and I have smaller jobs like this. It’s all fun and it gets people excited.”
Lloyd thrives off that excitement and interpersonal exchange.
“I love the face-to-face aspect of interior design—it’s so rewarding to work directly with the client. That’s been one of the perks of this business versus the fashion industry,” she said. “There are a lot of people in Dallas interested in the arts and in design. I think that’s one of the reasons I have a great clientele here—very educated.”
Travel and art are Lloyd’s biggest inspirations as she creates warm, beautiful, comfortable homes in styles ranging from uber modern to quite traditional. Keep an eye on her this year—it promises to be a breakthrough period for her business as she takes the next steps to grow her clientele and share her creative gifts with a wider audience.