Announcing Designhounds KBIS 2022 – Meet the Team

Announcing Designhounds KBIS 2022 – Meet the Team

We are super excited to announce Designhounds KBIS 2022, our 10th Anniversary Tour in collaboration with KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show which takes place February 8-10, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

We could not be more proud of the huge impact our Designhounds network of influencers has had on the industry through amazing coverage of events, trade shows and our loyal sponsors via social media and blog platforms and we truly look forward to the next decade of covering KBIS and other industry events.

Please meet the 2022 team below and be sure to follow their social handles and follow along on #designhoundsKBIS on all your social media platforms.

Amala Raj Swenson, Amala Raj Interiors

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For Principal Designer, Amala Raj Swenson (she/her), interior design is a family tradition. She grew up in the industry, crediting her parents’ 30+ years of experience as suppliers of unique natural and recycled stone materials for helping her recognize the power of design. Amala pursued her passion at the New York School of Interior Design, where she went on to cultivate her skills. Amala went on to be the principal designer and founder of her own Interior Design business. Her noteworthy designs have been featured in Home and Gardens and earned her San Diego Kitchen of the Year in 2019 and San Diego Children’s Room of the Year in 2020. Amala currently uses her experience to share accessible design tips as the on-air interior design expert for The List TV. Amala has also been featured in publications such as Forbes,, MyDomaine, SDVoyager and more. Amala uses her platform and skills to advocate for her community. In 2020, she founded the BIPOC Design Collective, a mutual aid group encouraging the interior design arts to feature BIPOC designers and create growth within the BIPOC design community. Additionally, her “Giving Back” initiative for several local non-profits was featured in a front page spread in The San Diego Union Tribune to encourage others in the kitchen and bath industries to implement similar programs to aid their own communities.  She is a proud supporter of the following non-profits: Food on Foot LA, Maitri,The Trevor Project, and The Animal Rescue Mission. Amala currently resides in San Diego, California with her husband and two dogs. When she is not crafting up a home remodel, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and kayaking. She is extremely grateful and honored to represent Design Hounds at KBIS 2021.

Ashleigh Underwood, Ashleigh Underwood Design

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Known for her luxe-eclectic aesthetic—high-impact color, a mix of contemporary and antique European furnishings and fabrics, and an emphasis on unexpected materials Ashleigh brings a unique point of view to each project.  Her journeys have taken Ashleigh around the globe and this has influenced her design work in very distinct ways–color, texture, details all have been transformed by what she has seen.  With a passion for fashion, art and the humanities and a BA in International Relations she was always been drawn to design. Having decided to follow her instinct sixteen years ago, Ashleigh began by working initially with Mark Cutler Design and subsequently Amy DeVault Interior Design before starting her own firm twelve years ago.  It was also by chance that Ashleigh lived in the same city as one of the best Interior Architecture schools in the nation, UCLA, where she worked on her Masters in Interior Architecture.  Callin LA home for almost 20 years now, she shares her home with her beautiful 4 year old son and two sweet pups 

Christine Conte, Christine Conte Interiors

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Christine Conte Interiors is an award winning, full service boutique interior design studio located in Huntington, Long Island.  With a primary focus on residential design, Christine takes pride in creating stylish and functional homes that are as unique and special as the people who live in them.

Christine’s working goal is simple; “to create a space for you that is highly reflective of your personal style, one that functions well and feels right for the current way you live, that solves the current challenges found within your home and provides you with a high level of enjoyment for years to come. Whether we are working on a full-scale remodel or a single room, I hope to creatively inspire you, to expose you to quality pieces and materials that excite and speak to you, and that you find the experience easy, professional and fun”.

Projects by Christine Conte Interiors have appeared in House Magazine, The Pulse and The Long Island Press along with being quoted in House Magazine, Newsday and The Long Island Press for her professional opinion and advice. She is currently a contributing partner for House Magazine. Christine is a member of the ASID NY Metro Chapter as well as a member of The Interior Design Society of Long Island. She is the current ASID Metro Chapter Long Island Liaison. Recent award-winning projects included 1st place in the BIDOLI for a dining room project awarded by the Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design and a “Designer of the Year” award for a living room project given by The Interior Design Society of Long Island. In addition to working at her firm, Christine also currently teaches the “Professional Business Practices” class at the MIID to interior design students.


Jessica Duce, JDuce Design

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Jessica Duce is the owner of JDuce Design LLC and Vacation Rental Designers.  Jessica is based in the Houston, Texas area. Jessica has been designing for residential clients for over 12 years.  Her award winning residential design style is considered “affordable luxury.”  Their clients are local and nationwide. Jessica and her team have also created a niche design for AirBnB and VRBO properties.  Their sister firm, Vacation Rental Designers, works with vacation rental owners across the country to create beautiful and performance based properties for profit and longevity. Jessica has been a Design Hounds Influencer Finalist, Speaker at High Point Market, guest on several industry podcasts, and a Ethos Collective approved Luxury Designer. Jessica is also a Brand Ambassador for Revolution Performance.

Emma Carole Paradis, Impeccable Nest Design

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A mother-daughter team with a love of design. Originally from Manhattan Beach, California, now based in Bedford, New Hampshire, we bring a Southern California cool and New England tradition to our design.Not only do we work together…we also live together in a multi-generational home…and a home that they are known to design for others.  Interior Designers. Native Californians. New Englanders.  Eclectic. Collected. Unique. Impeccable.

Jennifer Hutton, Grau Building Company

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Jennifer Hutton is a creative designer who has built on her formal education with years of hands-on experience in the industry. An environmental design degree from the University at Buffalo and an interior design degree from Villa Maria college bolster her already substantial knowledge on design, trends, materials, and finishes. While working in Buffalo, NY as a kitchen and bath designer at Artisan Kitchens and Baths since 2013, Jennifer has showcased her work in numerous magazines, blogs, television shows and in 2020 was presented with one of the NKBA’s coveted Thirty under 30 awards. She also found herself teaching a course in kitchen and bath design at Villa Maria College in their accredited interior design program, sharing her expertise with the next generation of designers. In the spring of 2021, Jennifer relocated to Durham, NC, and is currently spearheading the creation and development of the interior design department at Grau Building Company, a boutique building firm, and coordinates many aesthetic and functional aspects while also acting as a project manager. Jennifer has a passion for coordination and style, ensuring each project looks just as good as the space feels, while still maintaining a level of practicality unique to each client. When Jennifer isn’t busy researching the latest in design, you can find her running trails, trying new recipes or remodeling her own house with her husband and two Australian shepherds.

Kelly Finley, Joy Street Design

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Creative Director Kelly Finley is a lawyer turned interior designer turned serial traveler and entrepreneur. Since stepping away from a decade-long career in law, Kelly has chased color, diversity, and joy wherever they can be found… and created them wherever they can’t.Kelly started Joy Street Design in 2011 and has grown it into a bi-coastal, nationally acclaimed design firm with notable features in The Today Show, Architectural Digest, HGTV Magazine, Veranda, House Beautiful, + more. Mission-driven at heart, Kelly donates 10% of all design revenue to Joy Street’s nonprofit, Joy Street Initiative. When she’s not in the studio breaking design rules, you can find Kelly seeking inspiration in far-flung corners of the world with a glass in her hand (always) and her husband and daughter in tow (sometimes).

Lori Miya, Miya Interiors

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Luxury doesn’t happen by accident. It’s always intentional. It’s a conviction that has driven Lori Miya to spend two decades creating perfectly luxurious spaces for clients throughout the globe. As a premier luxury designer, her design eye is nothing short of show stopping, it’s Lori’s hyper-focused attention on business and project management that allows clients to enjoy the process. “Whether we’re drafting plans or adding the finishing touches, we rely on a structured, business-oriented process,” says Lori. “Our clients lead busy, professional lives, so they need a team who understands their vision and can execute it flawlessly.” With an eye for finding the unusual, Lori brings a diverse skill set to the table, making plenty of space to incorporate the nuances of her clients’ lives into any design aesthetic. “ I’m driven to find beauty in the smallest details. I love building client connections, and it’s a gift to combine their lifestyle and their needs into a meaningful design.”

Marbé Briceno, Marbé Designs

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Marbé has had a passion for Art & Design since a very young age. She gained early inspiration from her mother, who is an Impressionist Artist. The two would spend time together as her mother painted in her studio. During this time, she was also taught to create Art with oil and acrylic painting. Growing up, Marbé spent most of her time surrounded by the outdoors, encompassed by beautiful mountains and astonishing beaches, whose stunning colors and patterns can be found in the natural world. For over two decades while living in Miami, FL., she became fascinated by the exotic Art Deco architecture. Now a Los Angeles resident for more than seven years, Marbé’s ability to create is fostered by the fusion between landscapes, architecture, and eclectic scenes in her surroundings. She is also influenced by multiple trips worldwide, enriching herself with different cultures and lifestyles, which give her more sensitivity towards Art and creativity in what she does. Marbé has a pronounced Architect in Interiors-Design degree, giving her a solid understanding of the architectural and design world, which is essential in the industry. Through her natural talent, proven skills, and real-world experience, she stands out in the crowd. Graduating Cum Laude within her Art & Architecture in Interior Design program in Miami, Florida, has enhanced her talent in the Design, Art, and Architectural world. After earning her degree, Marbé was awarded a scholarship to take Masterclasses in Europe. These classes included Art, Interiors of the World, Furniture, and Photography,
in the prestigious University of Salamanca, Spain, with extension Masterclasses in France, Italy, and Portugal. Aside from her innate talent and acquired education, Marbe gained industry experience while working with a prestigious architecture firm and distinctive interior designers. Along with some challenges, all have paved the way for the organic birth of Marbe Designs, Inc. Now, almost five years later, Marbé Designs has a prestigious Award-Winning, full-service Architectural Interior Design Studio based in Los Angeles, California, specializing in High-End Residential and commercial sectors across the country and overseas. With an eccentric knowledge of creating refined and authentic spaces with luxury elements such as natural stones, a mix of metals, woods, and good lighting, Marbé Designs keeps a clean and exclusive vision, making any room safe and functional. Marbé aims to create aesthetically appealing projects, incorporating the mysterious beauty of nature, the Art of design, and the science of architecture. Marbé is an IIDA and ASID Allied and is currently studying to obtain her National Council for Interior Design Qualification Licence (NCIDQ) to become globally recognized at the highest standard in Interior Design.

Marina V Umali, Marina V Design Studio

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Marina is a certified Interior Designer & Feng Shui practitioner in New York & New Jersey. Marina has a highly innovative approach to interior design. Like other interior designers, she focuses on the aesthetics and functionality of a space, but her approach also includes a common-sense application of universal Feng Shui principles, which promote harmony and balanced energy throughout a space. She cares deeply about helping people create lasting improvements in their lives. And she does that by creating lasting improvements in their environments. Her favorite thing about Feng Shui is that it combines her experience and expertise in design and architecture with her innate desire to promote health and well-being. Being a Vegan designer as well as LEED & WELL AP accredited, Marina always strives t o create eco-friendly and cruelty free interiors that promote health and wellness. Marina is a professional member of ASID and was just elected to the Board of Directors at the New Jersey chapter of ASID as Communications Director. She served on the board of the International Feng Shui Guild  in the past and is currently a Red Ribbon professional member of The IFSGas well as a member of the Vegan Design Council.

Michelle Blemel, Amberleaf Inc.

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As Owner and lead Designer at Amberleaf, Inc. in Pasadena California, Michelle Blemel has over 25 years of experience in all phases of design and management. She leads a full service design firm facilitating all aspects of design from concept to completion. Michelle is known for her creative approach to customized design. With clients in high-end residential as well as high-dollar commercial projects (including restaurants, ski resorts, hotels and medical offices), Michelle has distinguished herself as a creative problem solver, providing innovative solutions to tough design questions. Unique, one-of-a-kind furniture and art pieces have become her signature.“It’s not just about a beautiful design, it’s about design that represents your style.”

Shea Pumarejo, Younique Designs

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Shea Pumarejo is the owner and principal designer of Younique Designs in San Antonio, Texas. Shea began her Interior Design career in the furnishings and soft goods industry but later fell in love with construction and seeing a home completely transform during the renovation process.
Younique Designs is a full service Interior Design Firm, though their specialty is Kitchen and Bath design for residential remodels.
Shea has won 10 national design competitions including 7 wins from the NKBA and is proud to have recently earned her CMKBD.

Suzanne Winston, Suzanne Winston and Associates

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Suzanne Winston is the owner and lead designer of Suzanne Winston and Associates, an award winning interior design firm specializing in kitchen and bath design and renovations. Suzanne’s portfolio spans the Gulf Coast (and beyond) and she is known for her Coastal Chic style and her use of color and pattern to create happy spaces for her clients. Prior to launching her design career, Suzanne was a TV news reporter and producer where she honed her skills at managing a team and pulling together the multitude of details required for a successful production, skills that serve her well in the design world. Her work has been featured in Southern Living,Forbes, Mobile Bay Magazine and Portico.  Suzanne is a member of the NKBA, and is an approved Ethos Design Collective luxury designer. She is also the founder and proprietor of Towne+Beech, a one of a kind showroom and retail shop located in a renovated 1920’s cottage. The shop features her curated collections of just about everything one needs for a home… from wallpaper to appliances. Towne+Beech came about through Suzanne’s love of design and travel and is a venue for sharing her finds with others along the way.

Tristan Gary, Tristan Gary Designs

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Tristan Gary is a renowned interior designer with a wealth of experience from staging to custom design, to Design Build work. Tristan’s passion and perseverance has been proven throughout her career and in all aspects of her life. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Tristan brings her warm personality and Southern hospitality to interactions with her clients. Unsurprisingly, these people become lifetime clients and friends. She’s committed to culture, home, family, community, and especially, her clients. After traveling the world, Tristan received her B.A. from Seattle Pacific University in Interior Design, and quickly jumped into founding her own design firm. She has brought her wealth of travel and life experiences to her creative endeavors for more than a dozen years in helping clients bring their dreams to life in the Northwest and beyond. As of 2018, Tristan is currently working alongside her husband and partner, Seth, on projects all over the U.S. exclusively in the Design Build space. A devoted mom to three boys, Tristan’s big heart extends beyond her clients, and she’s been a dedicated volunteer to non-profit organizations for many years.

Wanda S. Horton, Wanda S. Horton Interior Design

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Founder and interior designer, Wanda S. Horton of Wanda S. Horton Interior Design, was introduced to the interiors’ world at a young age, antiquing with her mother and grandmother. Though fascinated with the history behind their discoveries, she chose to study healthcare during her first years at university. She ultimately shifted her major, earned a degree in interior design, and followed her childhood interest with a new lens. Wanda began to see not only what suited a space, but also witnessed the effects of modifying a living environment for one’s well-being. “I had, and still have, a strong belief that our surroundings impact our lives. They can uplift, calm, invigorate, and more; entirely altering your state of being. Seeing a client’s reaction to a space that supports them in every way—both physically and emotionally—reaffirms my decision to pursue design.” With a timeless approach to interiors, Wanda finds and merges meaningful layers of both new and existing treasures. She believes, upon completing a project, walking into your home should bring a sense of welcome and living in it, a familiar comfort. Since the inception of her firm, Wanda’s appreciated the recognition of her work featured in publications and blogs such as: This Old House Magazine, Charlotte Home + Garden, Queen City Exclusive, The Charlotte Observer, The French Garden House, The Decorating Diva, HFC’s Blog – “Live an Exceptional Life” and as a Style Spotter for the High Point Furniture Market.  

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