Paula Paine - CEO & Founder, Paula Paine Interiors

Paula Paine believes in the power of beautiful interiors to transform and enhance daily life. Paula is an interior designer of residential and commercial spaces in Houston, Texas with over 20 years of experience. She has a superior sense of style and is skilled at creating beautiful surroundings with a variety of requirements. Paula guides her clients through every phase of the process and cultivates valued relationships. She helps them reach the best overall version of their vision. Paula understands the pressures and demands her clients face daily and is dedicated to providing living and working spaces of ease and comfort.

Starting out, Paula Paine learned the trade on the job as an assistant to another designer in Houston. She also graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s degree.

Furthermore, Paula Paine has a background in event planning and development for non-profit organizations such as Texas Children’s Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Menninger Clinic, and the Council on Recovery. Outside of design, Paula has a passion for mentoring high school-aged girls encouraging them to recognize their value and worth. She loves most in life her husband of 25 years, their three children, and growing spiritually. She also enjoys running, hiking, cooking, antique fairs and traveling.

Paula Paine has combined her love for captivating aesthetics and functionality into a thriving business. She is most fulfilled helping clients, as well as adolescents, realize their dreams – whether it be in designing a welcoming environment or affirming a young lady’s self-worth.

 How did you get started?

I got started when my husband and I purchased our first home.  It needed extensive renovations and so I educated myself on every aspect of home improvement and remodeling, because at the time we did not have the budget to hire anyone.  I then realized how much I enjoyed the process and went to work for an established designer in Houston as her assistant.

 What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired to start this business because many of my friends were at the same stage of life I was and needed guidance with decorating and renovations.  Also, I have a great love for surroundings that evoke feelings of hospitality and warmth.     

 How do you make money?

I charge hourly or cost plus 20%.

 How long did it take for you to become profitable?

I became profitable quickly, because my overhead is so low.

 When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?

When I started out, I was not certain I was going to make a profession out of design work. I thought that perhaps I would just complete a few projects and that would be the end of it. However, the projects kept coming!

 How did you get your first client?

My first clients were friends that visited my house and loved how I had transformed the space and wanted me to help them do the same with theirs.

 What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?

In terms of marketing strategies, I have found that word-to mouth is most effective and therefore maintaining satisfied clients is what I have mainly relied on, but I’m open to expanding that range.

 What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision I have had to make in the past few months was whether or not we should allow a college student with a troubled home-life live with us for the summer. My husband and I agreed to it and it was absolutely the right choice. He has been a joy and a great addition to our family.

 What do you think it is that makes you successful?

What makes me successful is the fact that I listen attentively to my clients. I grasp what their ideas are and am able to actualize them.

 What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

My most satisfying moment in business was when I attended the first service at the church that I helped design.  Hearing the voices of the choir in the new space, seeing the light stream through the stained glass window, and meeting the grateful congregation was a highlight that I will not forget. 

 What does the future hold for your business?

My youngest child will be attending college in the fall, so my husband and I will be empty nesters. I plan to dedicate even more time to my business and volunteer endeavors. I am excited about the new opportunities.

 What are you most excited about?

Upcoming, I am most excited about doing some work on my own house! I will be updating my kitchen and dining room as these rooms receive the most use and need some TLC.

 If you could give advice to someone starting out what would it be?

I appreciate the quote “Good design is good business.” Completed projects speak for themselves and are the engine of prospective future clients.

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