Brittany Lyons has a biology degree, which worked well in her job as a chairman’s office coordinator at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
But when her side hustle as an interior designer became too much to juggle with a full-time job, she had to choose.
The 32-year-old Oak Cliff resident quit her job in September 2020 to focus on the design career she never intended to have.
Growing up in Mississippi, Lyons’ parents frequently moved into fixer-uppers and occasionally flipped houses before eventually building their own house.
“I think it’s just a God-given gift,” she says of her talent for home interiors.
Her first commission came in 2015, after she moved into her first place, fixed it up cute the way she wanted and posted pictures to Instagram. A friend from high school saw it and asked her to makeover her house, and that began a steady stream of clients gained through word-of-mouth.
Lyons and her husband moved to Dallas in 2016, and she used social media to market herself here.
She works on everything from massive suburban homes to in-town apartments.
“My main goal with any project is to help my clients experience self-care through peaceful, functional design,” she says.
What’s the most challenging thing about running your business?
The biggest thing in this industry is finding good help, contractors, painters, installers and people who will do the work and not charge an arm and a leg but still give you quality. Now I have a crew that I trust. But it’s making sure the people who represent me are honest, integral, show up on time, don’t leave a mess or do damage. Making sure anyone doing work on behalf of my brand is a good reflection on me and my company.
What’s one thing your business couldn’t survive without?
What is the biggest project you’ve worked on?
I recently completed a new build in Lucas, Texas, a $1.5-million custom-built home, and we were selecting everything from flooring, to paint colors, to stone, to lighting. I found the things my clients wanted to put into the space to make it truly their own.
But you do apartments too?
Regardless of how large or small a space is, it deserves to be nice. There’s something about a pretty space. You just enjoy it more. You use it more.
Do you have any tips for smaller spaces?
Go with lighter paint colors. Paint the ceilings the same color as the walls and use mirrors to give the illusion of space. Don’t have overly sized electronics. You would be surprised how many people buy a 70-inch TV that’s just way too big for their space.
What is your favorite room to redesign?
I like bedroom projects. I’m not sure what it is about that space, maybe it’s because it’s so personal. I like creating peaceful spaces. There’s so much that can be done with the headboard and all the linens and pillows.
What do people misunderstand about hiring an interior designer?
Even though it’s considered a luxury, there is so much value in hiring an interior designer. I don’t think people realize what all goes into it. I make sure things come on the right day, that I’ve received the correct item. I run errands to Home Depot or Lowe’s. I help them decide what type of grout to buy, how far apart their lights should be. I hire contractors. There’s just so much involved in the design process, and a good designer should make it less stressful for you. The biggest value, when it comes to hiring a designer, is just time. We save clients so much time. It’s worth it to have a designer because you’re paying a fraction of the total cost of the renovation to get it done right the first time.
What is the best thing about your job?
It’s a pretty stressful job, but I do like the reward that comes with it. Seeing a client walk into their newly designed space for the first time. It really brings me joy when clients tell me after the fact how it’s affected their lives.