Pamela O’Brien Reflects on Her Journey Through 2023 — From Personal Travels to Big Accomplishments at Her Houston Interior Design Firm

January is a great time to reflect on the former year. I’m looking back on the accomplishments at my Houston interior design firm and in my personal life. This practice helps me focus on all the good things that happened throughout the year and reaffirms my ongoing efforts to make gratitude and reflection a part of my daily life. 

I thought it would be fun to run through last year and hit some highlights. I’ll enjoy this, too, because when we are in the middle of doing all of the design tasks, it’s easy for me to get bogged down in the details and logistics. It can be nice to go back and review the end results without worrying about managing deadlines, challenges, and solutions.

New Year, New Connections

The year started off with a bang. My friend and one of my favorite builders, Brian Foster, introduced me to his new client, and we really hit it off. I had worked with Brian on several wonderful projects, including a renovation for his family. I was delighted to be selected to work with this new client and be on the design team along with Brian, his staff at Sugar Creek Living, and architect Bat Oggero of Sullivan Henry Oggero.

Below is an early rendering of the home. 

Home Renovation Houston Interior Design Firm

Interior Design Trips

A highlight of early spring was visiting the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach, Florida. I have been to the show houses in New York, Dallas, and Palm Beach. They are always a treat, and this trip was no different. What made it even better was that two of my design besties, Wrenda and Susan, live in Florida, so we spent a few days together and enjoyed gracious hospitality staying at Susan’s gorgeous and exceedingly comfortable house. 

Learn more about these fabulous women and their coastal design styles at Refeather Your Nest and Spectacular Spaces

Palm Beach Interior Design

Home Renovations

We had the honor of renovating a home for a celebrity sports figure and his young family. They wanted a country property where they could spread out and relax and raise their horses. While they found a great home, it had too much of a country feel. We cleaned up the design by painting, wallpapering, and adding new flooring, lighting, and window treatments. We completely renovated the primary bathroom and decorated a chic primary bedroom. To top it off, we created a sweet nursery and designed a fabulous media room with custom-built sofas and storage ottomans to his exact specifications. 

Our Vacation Down Under

My husband, Jon, and I had a fabulous summer vacation in Australia and New Zealand. Exploring the vintage charm of Newcastle, Australia, was a delight for me while Jon did his coursework in piloting for the first week. 

We were busy tourists in New Zealand, enjoying the small ski town vibe in Queenstown, the exotic landscape of Rotorua, and the sophisticated, yachty atmosphere of Auckland.

Our Houston Interior Design Team Stayed Busy!

When I returned from Australia and New Zealand, there was plenty to catch up on because Danna and the summer interns did an excellent job keeping things going. We quickly booked a few photo shoots, and I look forward to sharing more of these projects with you.

We focused on a family home project where we updated their Creole-style design with fresh new colors, a refinished vintage floor, a renovated kitchen, a new primary bathroom, modern furniture, art, and accessories for the first floor.

Venturing North to Alaska

Fall started with a later-than-usual trip to Alaska. We checked on our family cabin, which has made great progress with a new contractor on board. Jon and I have taken on the project and hope to have it finished for next summer’s season. We also enjoyed several trips in our boat.

 The best part of this trip was tying up with family members in a private little cove and spending the days and nights going from vessel to vessel to share food, cocktails, and fun! On one of our outings to a family dock, we were treated to a personal “SeaWorld Show” from a pod of Killer Whales who happened to be passing by.

Fall Weather and Life’s Transitions

October is one of my favorite months, other than it being hurricane season. I love fall weather, and while we may not have it in October in Houston, I get my fall fix by attending the furniture market in High Point, NC. I spent several days networking and learning about the new products and designs. After this busy week in High Point, I was able to wind down with a trip up toward Asheville to visit family members and revel in the harvest atmosphere.

We had several family events in November, including some celebrations and one celebration of life. We watched my nephew graduate from basic training and become an Air Man in San Antonio, and we had a fun Hill Country Thanksgiving in Bandera. At the end of the month, we traveled to Bainbridge Island, Washington, to honor the passing of my father-in-law. 

Project Photo Shoots

We were proud to have several additional photo shoots to celebrate our clients and the completion of their beautiful homes. We photographed a cosmetic renovation that created a pretty, all-white palette and a decorating project in an elegant, traditional abode that housed some lovely family pieces and wonderful collections.

A Bucket List Adventure

My year ended with a dream trip. I visited a friend in Basel, Switzerland, and had a ball doing all the Advent activities they plan each year. We went to concerts and ate raclette in the streets. We went to a spa in the Black Forest of Germany and bought Christmas candies in France. I visited many Christmas markets from Basel to Colmar to Strasbourg. It was pure holiday magic.

End of Year Celebrations

I returned home just in time to celebrate with the team. They wanted to do an escape room, which I thought was a great idea. We went to lunch, followed by an escape based on an art heist. 

Houston Interior Design Firm - Team Photo

It wasn’t easy, but we worked as a team and got out with 42 seconds to spare! What fun!

Danna takes off a week or two around the holidays, so Natasha and I were back in the office to finish client work, clean up around the studio, and prepare for 2024.

Jon and I hosted a small family Christmas and then needed a little together time. He had been working long hours, and I had been away quite a bit. We decided on a last-minute trip to Cabo San Lucas. I have traveled to Mexico many times but never made it to Cabo. 

Cabo San Lucas

I love desert climates, and Cabo did not disappoint. The weather was wonderful. I did yoga every morning overlooking the Sea of Cortez. My whale-watching experience in Alaska prepped me to be the first to spot whales breaching offshore as we did our downward dogs. 

Everything was so colorful and pretty. I was in awe of the bougainvillea hedges. Visiting a Mexican holiday art walk just a week or so after European holiday markets was fascinating. Lots of contrasts and similarities. 

Thank You For a Wonderful Year

It was an incredible year. I am so grateful for the clients, projects, and opportunities that come our way. They inspire me endlessly.

Until next time. Find your inspiration, or call us to help you discover it.

— Pamela

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This