Nicole Zarr & Associates - Weaving Stories into Spaces
Nicole Zarr & Associates - Weaving Stories into Spaces

Nicole Zarr & Associates – Weaving Stories into Spaces

5 minutes, 52 seconds Read

In the design world, where every space tells a story, Nicole Domercq Zarr brings the aspirations and lifestyles of her clients to life, through the art of interior design. This editorial delves into the remarkable journey of Nicole Zarr and her firm, Nicole Zarr & Associates. We will try to uncover the inspirations, challenges, and triumphs that have defined her path as an entrepreneur.

Nicole’s Inheritance of Style

Nicole is a native Houstonian that grew up with an interior designer as her mother. Leaving for school in the morning with her house being one way and returning that evening to a new wallpaper or paint color was a normal occurrence in her household. While in her third year of an interior design degree at The University of Texas, a mechanical engineering drafting class got the best of her which evoked her mother to say “Nobody can teach you color sense or sense of scale, you were born with it”.

She didn’t realize but her ability to put clothing together or rearrange furniture and hang pictures by instinct was something she had inherited and found invigorating. In 1997, after the sudden passing of her mother, Nicole inherited her mother’s firm, Triangle Interiors, and hit the ground running transforming houses into homes with an inherent sense of color and passion for finding the perfect mix of both old and new pieces.

The Rebranding of Nicole Zarr & Associates

In 1997 after her mother’s sudden and unexpected passing, Nicole took over her mother’s firm Triangle Interiors. In the face of adversity, she navigated the challenges and transformed them into opportunities. She utilized her business sense from an earlier corporate position in sales and marketing at a start up company to put together her own business plan and trusted her inherent creative side to bring in clients. In 2019, after 22 years of dedicated services,  Nicole rebranded the firm as Nicole Zarr & Associates, putting the growing firm under her name. This strategic move reflected its commitment to offering a broader spectrum of services and going beyond traditional interior design.

Design Philosophy: From Classic to Contemporary Elegance

Photos by Nicole Zarr & Associates.
Photos by Nicole Zarr & Associates.

Nicole Zarr & Associates is more than an interior design firm that weaves narratives into residential spaces. Nicole and her associates are committed to reflecting their clients’ lifestyles and personalities in each space, adhering to a design principle of current but classic with a knack for layering patterns and colour. The firm is known for its contemporary reinterpretation of classic French and English interiors, seamlessly blending modern elements with the charm of the old world. Their projects range from South Texas ranches to Lake Travis Lake houses, penthouses to yachts, and single rooms to ground-up new constructions. For them, each project is a unique project reflecting the individuality of its inhabitants.

Comprehensive Offerings

Photos by Nicole Zarr & Associates.

Nicole Zarr & Associates is a full-service interior design company. The firm caters to both residential and commercial clients. They offer a wide variety of services, including construction consultation on ground-up rebuilds alongside clients’ architects and builders as well as large-scale remodels. The firm assists clients an extensive range of design sources, from plumbing hardware to tile selection, exterior and interior paint colors and finishes, and all the final touches that bring their space to life. image6

Navigating the Design Process

Nicole’s approach lies in understanding her clients closely. Before the initial meeting, they have a preset questionnaire that gives Nicole a better idea of the client’s taste, and what they like and don’t like.  It helps Nicole delve into the nuances of her client’s tastes and preferences. Once the project is confirmed, the design journey becomes a collaborative exploration. While walking clients through their properties, Nicole helps clients decide on what to keep, repurpose, or discard. She looks for options to breathe new life into the existing elements.

Obstacles and Triumph

Nicole candidly shares about the challenges she has faced on her entrepreneurial journey. Juggling family and business. According to her inheriting a legacy from someone she cannot ask questions had always been challenging. She finds it arduous at times when you can’t convince clients to trust her vision. Although the best houses are the ones that get on board early and trust the entire process. Still after 27 years, nothing is more rewarding than installing a project they have worked on for over 2 years and seeing a happy client with the finished project.

Challenges are always overshadowed by the numerous milestones the firm has achieved namely numerous publications and an impressive 27 years in business.

Staying Ahead

The world of design is dynamic and to succeed staying ahead in adapting to new trends is the key. Nicole ensures she remains updated by attending prestigious events like Paris Dec Off and Kipps Bay Show houses. However, she stays current with old and new publications. Looking to the future, Nicole envisions maintaining her creative prowess and potentially aligning with a furniture or textile house, a testament to her commitment to innovation and excellence.

Balancing Act

Maintaining a work-life balance is an art, especially in the demanding field of interior design. Nicole humorously shares that “Wine and Minimal sleep” is more than 75% of this industry… She also loves to travel and try to make little getaways with family and friends as part of a recharge.  “Don’t let the client control your time, you have to maintain a realistic schedule in order to be most productive. You can always drop the pillow off but you can’t always see your son score a touchdown”, Nicole.

The Keys to Success

For Nicole, success is rooted in kindness, and maintaining connections with everyone. She suggests getting dressed every day as it will have a positive influence, they are selling a brand and image is important in this industry.  Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women in the design realm, revolves around building a robust support system. She insists on hiring the right people, staying organized and maintaining perspective. “Don’t let a disgruntled client get the best of you…we’re not curing cancer, we’re picking fabrics and furniture.”

Closing Thoughts from Nicole

Nicole imparts wisdom gained from her journey – the unexpected stresses of entrepreneurship, and the non-stop nature of the job. She is amazed at her mother’s ability to navigate the design world without the conveniences of modern communication like cell phones and emails.

As Nicole Zarr & Associates continues to shape spaces and stories, their narrative stands as a testament to the transformative power of design and the indomitable spirit of a visionary entrepreneur. The journey unfolds and the spaces continue to speak echoing the ethos of Nicole Zarr & Associates – where every design is a crafted dream.

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