Home is a place better felt than described. And yet, however elusive, we believe its pursuit is worthy of our most thoughtful endeavor, that we are the best version of ourselves in the spaces that ease and inspire us. In our decade-plus as interior designers, we have come to appreciate that home is not a place fashionably contrived so much as it is an experience beautifully realized. We have the remarkable privilege of working closely with clients in this discovery of home, in uncovering the quietly wondrous spaces that will shape and bear witness to the lives that unfold within.
Our clients are our muses, their families the true foundation of every home we touch. What you cherish matters. What you come back to means something. How you move, play, pause, indulge – it is all worth noting, and accounting for. We have found that, like the people they envelop, each home has a melody. It is our challenge to listen carefully, to draw that melody forth, to refine and reinterpret the unique strands of your story across and within every wall of your space – from the widest window to the most intricate fastening – weaving into coherent harmony a place that celebrates your vision, your values, your being.
Marie Flanigan is an award winning interior designer whose passion and achievements in design have positioned her as one of the nation’s best. As a classically trained and practiced architect, Marie unlocks a unique level of depth through her mutual consideration of interior and structure; her homes revealing the magic that transpires when each is made to augment the other. Her trademark style is evident through the sophisticated use of color, texture, and light, and every home she designs receives her personal signature of timeless elegance and innovative simplicity.
Her distinguished designs can be seen in luxury homes and commercial spaces throughout the country, and her work and expertise have been featured by premier publications and websites including Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Vogue, Southern Living, Domino, Traditional Home, Elegant Homes, Southern Home, and Luxe Magazine. She regularly shares her design and lifestyle advice with TV audiences, including her most recent role on HGTV’s internationally broadcast series, Property Brothers: Brother vs. Brother.
Melanie grew up in Danville, Virginia where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Averett University. Continuing her education, she moved to Houston to pursue her PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Rice University, with a primary focus on how the human brain processes visual information. Following graduation, her husband’s profession as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer meant Melanie would be moving to exciting new cities across the nation and overseas. These experiences fueled her interest in the many ways our environment can powerfully affect our sense of joy and happiness, and she decided to return to her studies; this time, with a focus on interiors. She earned a Master of Science in Interior and Environmental Design from Illinois State University and continued to grow in knowledge and experience through an internship at Fredman Design Group, a renowned residential design firm in Chicago. Eventually, Melanie found herself back in Houston, where she continued to hone her trade and earned her LEED Green Associate credential before joining the MFI team in 2016. With a steadfast focus on enhanced comfort and function, Melanie’s designs deliver extraordinary style and purpose while expertly sharing each client’s unique story.
Kelsey Grant graduated with honors from the Design, Housing, and Merchandising program at Oklahoma State University in 2011. Shortly thereafter, she and her husband moved abroad to the United Kingdom where she continued to hone her aesthetic preferences and professional skills through travel and freelance design communities. Upon settling in Houston, Kelsey served as an Assistant Designer for a local fine furnishings boutique. During this time she cultivated significant industry relationships and a keen understanding of organizational procedures. Kelsey brings a uniquely global perspective to the MFI design team, which facilitates her interaction with diverse vendors and clientele. Her precise standard of detail management makes her an asset to the completion of each project.
Kristin’s passion for design developed at a young age when she began collecting interior inspiration images and pinning them up around her room. Her interest eventually blossomed into a calling and Kristin pursued studies at The University of Texas where she received a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Upon graduation, she accepted a position at Rottet Studio, a firm specializing in corporate and hospitality design. Kristin spent six years with Rottet assisting in the coordination and scheduling of interior projects for notable clients across varying industries nationwide. Feeling drawn to residential interiors, she joined the MFI team in 2019 bringing a fresh, sophisticated design approach. Kristin is a Texas Registered Interior Designer who creates timeless interiors with a powerful focus on the delicate balance between form and function.
Ashlee was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she quickly fell in love with the power of interior design after watching Martin Short, playing impassioned designer Franck Eggelhoffer, unveil a stunning nursery for the Banks family in Father of the Bride 2. As Ashlee grew, so did her love for all things architecture and design, leading her to study interior design at San Jacinto Central College. Following graduation, she continued to expand her industry knowledge by serving as a designer and sales associate for premier furniture vendors and local retail boutiques. With a meticulous eye and authentic vision, Ashlee employs a graceful touch, adeptly creating spaces that celebrate a sophisticated sense of simplicity. Away from the office, Ashlee dedicates her time to volunteering for animal rescue groups throughout the greater Houston area and to traveling, where she embraces all of the beauty and inspiration our world has to offer.
A native Houstonian, Sydney attributes her eye for design to growing up surrounded by beautiful, well-appointed spaces. She moved east for college, attending the University of Mississippi where she initially studied psychology. While there, she felt drawn to the world of design and the power it has to enhance the human experience. That pull eventually shifted the focus of Sydney’s studies to interior design and, upon resettling in her beloved hometown, she spent seven years with a luxury residential design studio sharpening her technical knowledge and building a respected name in the local design community. Sydney joined the MFI team in 2017, bringing a passion for customer service and the boutique client experience with her. Drawn to rich, saturated colors and organic patterns, Sydney designs homes that celebrate and enhance functional luxury for the families who live within.
Samantha Pendleton graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York School of Interior Design before beginning her career in luxury retail and workplace design. Her aesthetic is informed by her life experiences, growing up in a family that celebrated creativity. Having called Virginia, Colorado, California, England, New York City, and Houston home, Samantha’s design philosophy is inspired by her vast travels and the idea that home is more than just a place. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, traveling, visiting museums, and watching documentaries.
Julie graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Journalism and began her career as an event coordinator and marketing director for numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the Houston area. After taking several years off to spend quality time with her children, Julie returned to the workforce and transitioned into the accounting department at an oilfield services company where she spent three years effectively overseeing accounts payable and receivable, tracking rental equipment and expenses, and managing daily communication with vendors, customers, and bank representatives. In 2015, Julie joined the Marie Flanigan Interiors team where she puts her attention to detail and strong organizational skills to work, ensuring the effective ordering and tracking of design purchases from across the country. Our creative team works closely with Julie on a daily basis to guarantee that our clients’ furnishings, lighting, and décor are received on time and in excellent condition.
Kristen Emerson attended The University of Texas, earning her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. After college, she lived on the East Coast while working for Shell Oil and 3M, then moved to Chicago and London, before returning home to Houston with her husband and three children. Having grown up in a creative household, where her mother was an interior designer and artist, Kristen has always had a passion for the arts. She values excellent craftsmanship and beautiful, one-of-a-kind items. Her excellent eye and love of design are valuable assets to the Marie Flanigan Interiors team. When not working, you can find her poring over coffee table design books, studying textiles, or traveling the world with family and friends
Marketing Communications Manager
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Michaela was drawn to marketing and public relations by her deep admiration for words and the power they hold. Following graduation from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Michaela honed her skills in public relations, social media, digital marketing and crisis communication at Dallas Market Center and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. In 2014, the oil and gas industry brought her and her husband to Houston, where she began work with Dancie Perugini Ware Public Relations (DPWPR). During her time with the agency, Michaela moved quickly into a leadership role, guiding and assisting client relations teams in a range of industries. Her notable clients included Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Simon Property Group, The Welch Foundation and Texas Medical Center. Michaela joined the MFI team in 2018, marrying her interest in design with her passion for effective communications.
Creative Development Manager
Rachel graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. Following graduation, she joined the team at Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, PC, a law firm in Dallas, Texas where she served as Recruiting and Marketing Coordinator, effectively managing the coordination and execution of large-scale events for the firm and its clientele. Life and love moved Rachel to San Antonio, where she served as an accountant for a commercial real estate company. While there, Rachel was encouraged to contribute to ongoing renovation projects, fueling a newfound passion for architecture and interior design. Rachel joined the Marie Flanigan Interiors team in 2016, where her wealth of knowledge and expertise in business, customer service, and event coordination contribute to the success of ongoing marketing and PR efforts.