Eclectic Elements Timeless Interiors
Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors is the vision of Teena Caldwell, an interior designer with twenty plus years' industry experience, and her daughter, a recent Southern Methodist University graduate, Lauren. Their vision: to create a comfortable, beautiful store and design center featuring eclectic elements for timeless interiors.
With Teena's experience as an interior design professional at her own firm, Interiors by Teena, she knew could fill a space with elements that were comfortable, intriguing and beautiful – elements that appealed to consumers. "I have a knack for connecting with people and realizing what it is they are going to like," explained Teena. "I can visit with them for thirty minutes and come back with fabric selections they will like, and I try to be very conscious of what price point people want to work at. I get as much satisfaction out of doing the small job as the 10,000 square foot home."
Teena has utilized her talent by filling Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors with a unique array of items for the home. "We wanted Twenty-Two Fifty to be unique and different." The store focuses on exclusive, along with one-of-a-kind items hand-crafted by artisans, in a variety of price ranges. "If there's an item that is pricey, there's a reason," said Lauren. "That's a question that we ask as we are selecting items for the store. We advise clients to spend their money where it counts, and to get great design, you don't have to spend a lot. It's so important to put yourself in your customer's shoes when selecting items."
The Dream Team
The mother/daughter duo spent over a year researching – and shopping, a lifelong passion for both women – for Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors. While Teena knew that she wanted to continue her interior design services in the venture, she also knew that expanding into the retail market would require a larger commitment. "Lauren was just getting out of college, and we began to talk about working together," said Teena. "I always wanted to have a retail space but trying to run a store, along with my interior design business, was overwhelming to me. Lauren and I had just gone to market, and we met a lady there who had a retail space and loved it. She encouraged us and told us that we could be successful if we had a passion for it." Passion was one thing this designing duo was not lacking. Their passion for design, good taste and the unique is evident when you walk into Twenty- Two Fifty Interiors.
"It was a great time for us to partner with me just getting out of school," said Lauren who graduated in 2009 with a degree in Marketing. "We spent a year shopping diligently for the store and attended numerous markets throughout the United States for a year. Everything in this space has been carefully thought out."
That includes the beautiful, aged wood on the walls that was reclaimed from Teena's grandparent's house where her dad grew up in Ganada, Texas. "We actually pulled the wood off of the house – the molding and the white siding," said Teena. "It's kind of neat. It's as if my father is here with us every day."
Trends in home décor are featured throughout the store and include the use of reclaimed wood just as Teena did from her grandparent's house. "Reclaimed wood for the kitchen is a big trend," said Teena. "Taking what you have and making something new out of it can really add a unique element to a home."
Teena's "outside of the box" perspective in design is showcased throughout the store, which also includes a full-service interior design studio. Whether a client is in the market for custom draperies, a kitchen remodel or an entire house decorated, Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors can accommodate all areas of custom design. In addition to the working studio, the store features a model kitchen featuring the reclaimed wood along with various design trends.
Both women have had an integral role in the creation of Twenty-Two Fifty, and now that their dream is a reality, they take a team approach to managing the business. "Lauren has more of the business and management responsibilities for the store," said Teena. "It works well for us that she can handle that aspect of the business, develop relationships with our clients and put a face with the store."
Teena focuses on her first love: design. "She truly knows the ins and outs of design," said Lauren of her mom's work. "She's very focused on people being happy in their homes." Of course, it doesn't hurt that in addition to design, Teena is well-versed in construction. "I know construction and that does help a lot. I actually subcontract the work myself on remodels. Many of my subcontractors have been with us for a long time. We maintain those long-standing relationships that make a huge difference on projects."
Much of Teena's design business is returning customers. While she may do a small project initially for a client, they almost always return as their needs change. "We are seeing many remodels right now of kitchens and bathrooms," said Teena. "People are staying in place and remodeling their existing homes."
While working together can create challenges for any team, this mother/daughter teams' mutual respect for one another is clear. "It's fair to say we both have our moments," said Lauren. "But my love of design is through her, and she's very good at what she does."
Lauren has devoted her creativity to insuring that the store is filled with items with a unique character. Whether it's vintage jewelry, custom glass wear or art, Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors provides a memorable shopping experience for consumers. "Our goal was to create a store with unique, one-of-a-kind finds," said Lauren. "I'm amazed at how many visitors come here from out of town and comment on how much they like the unique items in our store."
Expanding the Vision
Though the women opened their new venture just this year, these designing women had an additional venture in mind for the holidays. "I love Christmas, so we wanted to have something special for our clients for Christmas," said Teena.
In November, Twenty-Two Fifty opened a Christmas Store dedicated to the holidays directly across from their original location. And, of course, the Christmas store is equally as intriguing as Twenty-Two Fifty. "We removed the doors out of my grandparent's house and made vignettes for the holidays," explained Teena. "We also used wood from the back porch to create extraordinary displays for the holidays." Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors' Christmas Store opened on November 4th and will remain open through Christmas.
While their days are filled with design, the women still find time to give back to their community. When the store opened, a percentage of the sales benefited a cause close to their heart: Child Advocates. "I usually participate each year in the CASA Home Tour," said Teena. "I take the client to market, let them purchase all of the decorations they like at cost, and we go in and decorate." The women also created the centerpieces for Fort Bend's Friends and Neighbors for their Fall Coffee and support the Fort Bend Education Foundation. "We feel strongly that you should give to the community you live in," said Teena. "It pays off over and over again to be a good steward of your community."
Whether it's designing a home on the West Coast, helping a customer select the perfect gift or decking out your home for the holidays, the women of Twenty-Two Fifty Interiors can do it all. And most importantly, they can do it all with style, a timeless design sense and a clear focus on what's most important to them: clients and community.