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Design Boom

Mary Anne Smiley Interiors is designing for the times.


Last year was the biggest year I’ve ever had,” shares Mary Anne Smiley, founder and lead designer of Mary Anne Smiley Interiors in Dallas. “In spite of the challenges of Covid, we did more business than ever. And momentum is still building.”

In addition to sheer perseverance, Smiley attributes the boost in business to several factors, including longtime clients coming back ready to redo their projects and new clients, at home more than usual, having more time to focus on remodeling projects. “It’s a renewal for both our clients and us,” she notes.

Smiley is widely renowned—her studio has clients in many states, as well as in Kuwait—and the work she has done over the years has earned her and her firm many accolades, from regularly making Best of Houzz for Design and Service to being named to the Dallas Best Designers List for many years. In addition, the firm has been awarded for numerous winning projects and has been featured in many publications.

Consistently, Mary Anne Smiley Interiors’ projects—luxury new-build homes, condos, remodels, additions—are deeply personal, livable, comfortable and, above all, colorful. “I love, love, love all color, any color, and especially pure color,” she shares emphatically. “It’s been a passion of mine since I was a small child. Understanding how to use it correctly and how it affects a space and how the color wheel works is critical to the successful use of color.”

Big picture: Everything from wall color (besides the flooring, walls are the biggest area in the house, according to Smiley, and they provide a background against which other elements will stand out) to artwork to furniture and finishes is meticulously considered in proportion to the whole.

Before any of that is even considered, however, Smiley addresses space planning. Working on AutoCAD, a computer-aided software application that allows for the creation of 3-D drawings, she specifies furniture and space planning and even structural changes when required. “It’s the preliminary work that we do that makes the rest happen and why a space functions perfectly and looks fabulous when it is complete,” she says.

For the project on these pages, Smiley needed to curate a significant collection of the client’s existing colorful artworks and furnishings from a previous home into a new home, and then source and integrate new pieces according to a perfectly designed space plan. Different walls, shapes, directions and colors all work together to create a really exciting space.

Currently, Smiley is launching a newly formed company, MA Smiley Design & Build, which will enable the firm to handle the contractor piece of a project. Along with specialist and project manager Lisa Doolittle, who is new to the team and well-connected with subcontractors in the area, the new company is already taking on design-build projects, including remodels. “It brings together the design piece, led by our design team, and the construction piece, led by Doolittle, and melds it all together for a seamless project under one hat. It’s a much better experience for our clients,” Smiley says.

Senior designer Dani Burbidge not only assists with each project but also is taking the lead on many new projects. “Our firm is in a growth period, branching out in every direction possible, including possibly doing a custom line of furniture,” say Smiley. “In the coming year, we anticipate increasing our team to include other professionals and associates as well. We’re very excited.” *

Linda Hayes is an Aspen, Colorado-based freelance writer specializing in architecture, design and the luxury lifestyle. Her articles have appeared in LUXE, Hawaiian Style and Elle Decor.

Mary Anne Smiley Interiors LLC
6215 Royal Crest Dr.
Dallas, TX 75230

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