Meet Our Interior Designer: Karen Stillwagon

What do the best interior designers think?

How often do you get an opportunity to sit down and talk shop with an interior designer? HPA Design Group is proud to pull back the curtain for you to get to know one of the best interior designers in our Dallas headquarters. From multifamily interior design to hospitality interiors, HPAD designers create fresh solutions.

For this interview, HPAD’s Director of Interior Design, Karen Stillwagon, shares some inspiration and philosophy about projects and design.


Karen Stillwagon, Director of Interior Design, HPA Design Group-best-interior-designers-dallas-tx

Karen Stillwagon, Director of Interior Design, HPA Design Group


What is your role at HPA Design Group?

KS: As Director of Interior Design, I oversee design, ensuring the original design intent that is presented to the client, is followed through from start to finish. I also meet with clients and research property locations to assure our design has a demographic appeal. Best of all, I get to mentor young designers in the dawning of their creative career.



The Palladium, Midland, TX


Do you have an interior design specialty and/or favorite theme?

KS: My theme is successful projects. My specialty is interior architecture, space planning, architectural finishes, and accents. Therefore, successful projects are all about a great space plan and the details!


Do you have a favorite interior design city or place to visit?

KS: I don’t have a favorite design destination, per se. Fortunately, in my role, I have frequent travel opportunities. As a result, I get to experience the uniqueness of a city or region where our projects are located. Most of all, I love to take in the local culture, architecture and interior design of the areas I visit. Because as a designer, it is imperative for me to see the world and refresh my vision.



Springs At Winchester Road, Lexington, KY


What are the most important elements affecting interior design trends today?

KS: The best interior designers know fashion and art are always catalysts for what goes on in the interior design world. Most noteworthy is the style and environment due to the area where a project is located. As a designer, it’s important to consider trends of that area. Especially relevant, this is always a factor with student housing and multifamily interiors.



OSU 405, Stillwater, OK


If you could create any space on any project, what would that be?

KS: I have always loved old movies. Especially mystery/suspense movies. Seems like it would be so fun to create a “secret room” or secret passage hidden behind the cliché bookcase.


What 3 design elements would you take to a deserted island?

KS: First of all, I’m assuming these are 3 design elements that are part of my carry-on bag and not my checked luggage? If that’s the case, I pick a sketch pad, pencils, and Prisma colors. Because I could dream, sketch and color all day long! I’ve got to keep busy while I wait for the boat to return, of course!



The best interior designers in Dallas, TX


What wisdom can you share with the next generation of interior designers?

KS: Find a firm that has great mentors. The best interior designers know this. So, learn everything you can from mentors, including the good and the bad. As a result, you will know what kind of design leader you will be one day.



HPAD Marina Riverbend Clubhouse design features mock-up (FF&E) board


In conclusion, what is interior design’s function to the world?

KS: We improve lives by making the world a beautiful place for others to live and work. Furthermore, we only live once. So, why not work or live in the best interior design environment possible?