THERE’S A DISTINCT DIFFERENCE between furnishing a home and styling it. Furnishing requires little to no vision, no eye for detail, and anyone can do it simply by selecting the basics: places to sit, tables to put things on, lamps for lighting. Styling, however, is what makes a home stand out, what gives it panache and character. It’s what makes one’s eye stop dead on a page while glancing through a magazine, what makes someone feel truly captivated when they enter a room. And for Terri Becker, styling is the axis on which her world spins.

A professional designer since 2012, Becker’s sense of design can be traced back to her childhood—evidenced by the frequent changes she made to her room in the middle of the night—and then followed her through 20 years spent in a corporate career. Her passion was always there, but it wasn’t until she experienced some major changes in her personal life that she took the leap and launched Terri Becker Designs.

“To be honest, I hated the corporate life,” Becker admits. “I did well and had the chance to move up and work for some big companies, but there was no creativity in it. I’d left to be a stay-at-home mom, but when I was going through my divorce eight years ago, I considered going back to corporate work to pay the bills. Still, I loved being home with my toddler. While I was trying to decide my future, a friend of mine, who had seen the renovations I’d done on my own home, convinced me to remodel their house. I fell in love with it and decided then that—no matter what —I needed to make this my life.”

Determined to be successful, she enrolled in design school at El Centro College at the very same time she was hanging her shingle as a boutique interior designer and remodeling expert. Over these past eight years, Becker has become a highly regarded member of the industry. Her transformations of residential and commercial properties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are gaining wide acclaim and earned her the number one spot for Outdoor Living in the ASID Celebrating Texas Design Competition, as well as a 2020 ASID Dallas Ovation Award and Best of Houzz in both 2019 and 2020.

“I think one of the things that is unique to my designs is that they are all different, fresh and out of the box,” says Becker, who is currently enrolled at Collin Community College to finish additional LEED certifications and expand her green design offerings. “My process is all about the client, and my first step is to feel out what they want and then figure out how to make it bigger and better than they could have dreamed. I’ll sit down with my clients and talk with them about how they want to feel in their new space, what works for them and what does not. I learn about what inspires them, and then I go to work. That’s the fun stuff. It takes over my thoughts, and it’s all I can think of!”

Naturally, her favorite part of her projects is seeing her clients’ reactions to the finished product. “One client asked,‘How did you get inside my head and figure out what I wanted without telling you? You gave me everything I could have wanted and then gave me more. You expressed me far better than I could have imagined.’ That was such a huge compliment,” Becker says. “My overall goal is to create a space that takes your breath away.” 

As a small remodeling firm, Becker hires subcontractors to make the magic happen and tries to commission local artists whenever possible. “My preference is to bring in the people I know for projects whenever I can. That’s one of the benefits of knowing so many artists,” says Becker, who is an artist herself. “I have developed some great relationships with vendors, and they are always looking out for me and keeping me updated on what is new and wow-worthy.”

Whatever she’s put her hand to, Becker’s love for her work is clear in the result. “Design is my passion, and it’s always on my mind,” maintains Becker, who loves repurposing unconventional items into fantastic design items and considers Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper her “spirit animals.”

“They’ve created an empire, and I love that they’ve done so by being good human beings and trying to do great things for others. They’ve transformed Waco, and that’s pretty powerful,” she observes.

While she may not be transforming DFW on such a scale, Becker is certainly doing her part to transform the homes of her clients into a true reflection of their personalities, making them really love where they live. *

Liesel Schmidt lives in Navarre, Florida, and works as a freelance writer for local and regional magazines. She is also a web content writer and book editor. Follow her on Twitter at @laswrites or download her novels, Coming Home to You, The Secret of Us and Life Without You, at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

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