Terri Becker is a creator of intoxicating spaces—a self-professed artist in constant pursuit of beautiful design. She is a specialist in both residential and commercial remodels who thrives on challenge, innovation and out-of-the-box creativity. A celebrated Dallas designer, Becker is also an ambitious self-starter whose inspiration to set out on her own began with a pink slip from a former employer that was downsizing. Undiscouraged, she charged forward full steam, energized to pursue what she loves. Launching Terri Becker Designs just four years ago, she has since received numerous accolades for her exceptional work, including two Dallas Ovation Awards, First Place for Outdoor Living in Celebrating Texas Design, Best of Houzz for 2019–2022, and several publication features. She also was voted Best Interior Design Firm by Dallas Morning News People’s Choice Awards.
Today, Becker’s impeccable reputation has put her in high demand and in the driver’s seat for doing what she does best—making clients’ dreams a reality by walking them through every step of the design and remodeling process. Her most recent undertaking, and one she affectionately named “The Savannah Project” for its location in the colorful, far north suburb of Dallas, demonstrates her deft transformation skills. The homeowners, a fun and vibrant family with two teen children, came to Becker through mutual friends to remodel and design their home. After all was said and done, their 3,200-square-foot project turned into a total gut job and full home remodel. Becker’s design philosophy? Going through a complete home remodel is a major undertaking that’s always worth it in the end. She firmly believes it is an instant return on your investment and some of the best money you can spend, especially in today’s economy.
“This house had a major glow up,” says the designer with a laugh. “My skilled tradesmen brought my design to life. We renovated the entire home and transformed it from a bland builder-grade into a sleek, contemporary space the homeowners are looking forward to living in for many years to come.”
From the project’s outset, Becker helped the clients take their home to a new era. They moved into the house 17 years ago and had entertained the idea of moving but felt they had missed the bubble for selling. So instead, they decided to make the house truly what they love. Becker inspired them to change every surface down to the paint, cabinets, doors, lighting and stairs. They refreshed everything—not a simple feat when dealing with a large home. The designer admits it was a war zone for a bit, but her clients could not be happier with the outcome.
“I love doing full home remodels—it gives you a magic wand to redo the entire home, the whole vibe of the space,” she says. “And, boy, did we ever. They are so proud of it all and made the push to finish the final steps to move back in and make it their dream space.”
Going into the project from the beginning, Becker embraced that her clients had a clear idea of what they wanted. Professionally, she uses this as her foundation—a building block that makes directing the project more fluent. However, the designer also relishes the proud moments she often has in client relationships when they trust her enough to edge them into a design feature or solution they wouldn’t have thought of themselves. A case in point? When her client initially wanted to go with all-white cabinets in the kitchen, she urged her to think of two-toned cabinets—white uppers and navy blue lowers with a waterfall quartz island to amp up the style of the room.
“I always urge clients to go for a bold impact in each space,” says Becker. “Giving contrast with color engages the eye and makes it more aesthetically pleasing. From there, you can layer texture to create a room that has dimension and impact. I love that the spaces flow with the cool and artistic vibe of the entire house.”
To ensure each room had unique characteristics yet echoed the house’s overall style, Becker selected unifying blues and whites throughout all the spaces. Her primary goal was to create a tailored, fun and vibrant style using the striking blue and white color palette and anchoring the rooms with black finishes. In addition, she added high-end luxury vinyl flooring and plush new carpet in some areas to ground the home. She also replaced an outdated bolster-style staircase with new stair risers and a sleek black metal railing to achieve a contemporary, clean-lined aesthetic. She finished the look with bold pendant lighting fixtures featuring black metal and new state-of-the-art fans.
Bryce Smith at RenCollection was Becker’s rug artist. “He is not just a showroom manager but a master of rug design as well as customer service,” she says. He worked with her throughout the process, from narrowing down the options to white glove installation. “He feels your inspiration and expertly navigated me toward the rugs that would work best in the space within a budget,” she adds. “Bryce’s selections are perfection and tie in beautifully with this home. I believe having a great rug along with bold and unique art are the finishing touches to a room—the jewelry of your space.”
For this project, the kitchen and primary bath are the rooms Becker felt she transformed the most. Both rooms were builder-grade before the remodel, and through her redesign and choice of product, they now have an entirely new lease on life. The geometric shape of the glossy white backsplash tile echoes in an accent wall she added to the dining room. “The kitchen, dining room and living room are all connected, and after updating the kitchen, the fireplace looked sad and rejected,” notes Becker. “So, we gave it a fresh coat of paint and new tile that blends beautifully with the new spaces. Who wouldn’t want to step into these rooms and sit back, relax and unwind?”
For the primary bathroom, Becker removed all the dated tile and wood flooring and replaced it with glossy blue subway tile for the shower walls and a multitone, hexagonal porcelain tile for the shower floor and niche accent tiles. The custom shower niche spans from a shaving height for optimal foot placement to taller spacing up top to accommodate large shampoo bottles. The homeowners were adamant about using a state-of-the-art shower fixture with a magnetic pull-down arm.
A sculptural soaking tub replaced the outdated existing tub and offers a soothing spot for reading and relaxation. For the cabinetry, Becker incorporated a dark gray tone and added extra storage by installing a cabinet tower over the counter. Lustrous white quartz countertops counterbalance black matte hardware and light fixtures. “This bathroom is now wow-worthy,” Becker says with a laugh. “Upstairs is the kid zone, so we had fun incorporating whimsical accents into their rooms, bathroom and living room.”
Before finishing the project build-out, the designer visited Dallas artist Christopher Miller’s home and viewed some of his work firsthand. Becker says the experience was like “peeping into his creative genius, into his process—the dream and passion of it all. Chris’ art speaks to me, and his use of color is divine. It was then that I knew we had the finishing touches to finish this space. The bold and innovative feeling of his artwork is the expression that these rooms bask in.”
For the designer, walking into her own home feels much the same way. Filled with original art she and her daughter created, all the pieces work together to bring an effortless and smooth artistic flow to the spaces. “I composed a unique piece for these clients as well,” says Becker. “I am exploring a new medium with acrylic flow paint, so this work was created just for them and their newly remodeled space. My gift to them, my hope is they enjoy it for years to come.”
As with any project, the designer admits there were a few hiccups along the way—unforeseen situations with products, vendors and contractors. But this is where Becker excels, working quickly on her feet, solving problems and getting everyone over the finish line as painlessly as possible.
“Pushing clients creatively is my sweet spot,” Becker adds. “The trust is key. When you sit in the finished space at the end of your project, you all look around in awe, and they say, ‘I’m so glad I trusted you. I was nervous about it, but you were so right.’ That’s the good stuff!”
What’s next for Terri Becker Designs? In 2023, Becker will be taking over as Chair of the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) for the Dallas Design Community. One of her key plans for the chapter is to align with Habitat for Humanity of Collin County and its new sustainable and eco-conscious shipping container development in McKinney, Texas, called The Cotton Groves. *
Jeanne de Lathouder currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where she works as a freelance writer for books and publications across the country. A former writer and editor for Southern Accents magazine, her work appears regularly in Florida Design, Southern Home, Charleston Style & Design and Dallas Style & Design. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.