Terri Becker is not a novice to interior design, but she was blown away when readers voted her 2021’s best interior design firm in Dallas Morning News’ annual competition only three years after striking out on her own at Terri Becker Designs.
It’s not the only award she has earned in her three years flying solo. She also has Best of Houzz in 2019, 2020 and 2022; two Dallas Ovation awards; and first place for outdoor living at Celebrating Design Texas tucked under her belt.
Although she has worked in the design industry for many years in larger corporate settings, she appreciates the newfound ability to design a wide variety of homes and commercial spaces as an independent designer. And her clients seem to love her.
“I immediately liked her,” says client Candy LeBlanc. “Terri is remarkable and can think of all the design possibilities.”
Becker is known for her bold design choices but also her knack for listening intently to a client’s needs so their wishes shine through in finished rooms. “I love the dramatic before-and-after of the rooms I renovate,” she says, “but the changes must make sense and be functional for the homeowner.”
When LeBlanc began working with Becker to update her Arlington, Texas, home, she requested better functionality in each room. Becker reimagined the kitchen, a media room with attached kitchenette and other projects throughout the house, including two fireplaces, a butler’s pantry and built-in shelving. LeBlanc also wanted to modernize these spaces, which had not been renovated since the previous owner built the custom house in 2000.
In the kitchen, Becker removed dated granite countertops and replaced them with the dynamic movement and veining in Azul Imperiale quartzite. She lowered the countertop height to open up sight lines to the main living area and added a waterfall edge to the kitchen island. Again removing dated granite from the backsplash, she added an updated linear tile in its place to contemporize the look. Additional touches such as modernized pendant lighting and a custom Roman shade further refresh the kitchen.
“Terri traveled to the tile store with me and allowed me to point out what I liked, guiding me along the way,” LeBlanc says. “It was a practical way to make decisions amid an overwhelming number of choices.”
In the media room, Becker once again aimed for modernization and functionality. “The room shape is long, narrow and awkward,” LeBlanc says. “Terri had a vision, asked great questions and really listened to what I wanted. I am terrible at choosing colors, so I told Terri I envisioned a smoky blue in the room and she pulled it off, meshing three different paint colors in the space.”
Becker pulled together a team to design and install comfy custom leather seating and high-end AV equipment for ease of use. Unlike many dungeon-like media rooms, this one now has an open and flowing feel to it.
Although Becker has designed several media rooms and kitchens, she really loves project variety and has designed beautiful and functional outdoor living areas, bathrooms, living rooms and commercial spaces for clients. “What I strive to provide are turnkey experiences for my clients complete with white-glove project management service,” she says.
In this spirit of variety, Becker looks toward what is next. She plans to add even more diversity to her portfolio. First on the list: taking on more Airbnb renovations. “I enjoy working on a budget, and these types of renovation projects usually have a budget and schedule associated with them. I get a chance to design right down to the plates and towels!” she says.
Becker also has her mind set on designing and building shipping container homes. “What a perfect mother-in-law suite for someone’s backyard!” she adds.
Another focus over the next few years is starting a nonprofit organization for wounded veterans. “I’d like to honor my father, who recently passed away. He was a veteran and Purple Heart recipient. I have a heart for helping those who have been wounded during military service transition to a new job or trade,” Becker says. “One day, I’ll put together a team to build houses for veterans.”
As she is learning exactly what she is meant to do with her design skills, Becker is keeping a long-term goal in mind. “My five-year plan is to manifest a TV design show,” she says. “Whatever I do, I want to make a difference and make my mark on the world.”
Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and art.