Experience & Expertise
For over 15 years we have helped Houston-area realtors, homeowners, architects, and builders transform houses into homes.
By listening to our clients and gaining a crucial understanding of how space is used, we bring out the best qualities of a house and increase the overall value of a property. We work across all styles of design in order to create spaces that make sense to buyers and appeal to the sensibilities and goals of listing agents.
By using a common sense (we call it “house sense”) approach, coupled with a broad range of experience, we bring a unique perspective to every job. Our approach is consultative and holistic in nature, and our execution is flawless. The end results are sublime.
I am proud to be a native Houstonian. I spent my college years in Norman, Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma, where I took a job at the original Harold’s clothing store. My manager recognized my talent for staging and gave me the responsibility of keeping the store windows and interior displays decorated. After graduation, I married my husband, Billy, and we moved to Dallas where I worked in sales for a technology firm. Even though my day job was sales, my free time was spent renovating spaces for my friends and family. It soon became evident that while I enjoyed sales, my passion was decorating and design.
My husband and I moved back to Houston after 10 years in Dallas, and we began our family. While raising our children, I continued to work as time permitted for friends and family to help them decorate their homes. In 2010, corporate officers from Anthropologie noticed my work. I spent 14 months on a consulting team giving feedback on their brand’s aesthetic, including merchandise selections, online shopping experience, and the overall visual design of their space. I was honored to be part of such a group, and it helped me to realize that there was the potential to create a business around the artistic gifts that came naturally to me.
I initially started with remodels of existing spaces, including working with contractors on reconstructions, and soon added staging for real estate professionals into my business. “Staging” soon became my most requested service, and in 2013, Designs by Starr was born. I also provide services to help my clients imagine their spaces in a different configuration–I call this “Renewal.” “Styling” is a hybrid of the two–I use my own objects in addition to the clients’ to emphasize their living spaces.
All of my clients find me through word of mouth–I do not advertise–and I have a great appreciation for the good words spoken about me and my work. I have been busy non-stop since I started my business just through these referrals.
My passion for decorating and design is evident in my work, and I feel truly fortunate to be able to help others to love their homes. I welcome the opportunity to meet with new clients and explore ideas in decorating and design together.
"Starr goes beyond staging to consider every detail of a room to enhance it. She transformed my dated decor into a fresh, transitional look! Consequently, we sold our house super fast! Starr has the eye, experience, and resources to update or tweak a room in the most beautiful and creative way, and she makes it all happen so quickly! Thank you, Starr, for sharing your amazing talent and friendship!"
"Designs by Starr has been part of my preparation for listing and selling houses for years! I almost don't want to share this talented designer! Starr has transformed many homes with her great vision & confident style. When she initially meets with Sellers, she comfortably suggests the best way to "restyle" their homes. Many times, she utilizes their existing furniture to enhance it with pillows, accessories, and general layout. Most sellers LOVE Starr's end result and hire her to decorate their new homes!!"
30+ Listing Agents
"When we decided to downsize from our home in Bunker Village after living there for 18 years, we wanted to make a splash when we put our home on the market. Our realtor recommended Starr Zaleski and we are forever grateful! I am convinced our home sold as quickly as it did because of Starr. She is amazing! I didn't want to move!! She then helped us with our new home that was under construction. She is fun to work with and knows how to star on budget and the end result is beautiful!"
Diane Kingshill. Realtor, Compass RE
"Starr has been such a resource to me with some of my listings. I have worked with her in a variety of ways from just rearranging the furniture in a home to completely staging an empty house. I have had several of my clients hire her to design their new home after seeing the work she did for me on their listing. She is also very good with color and has transformed dark and yellow tinted homes to lighter and more on-trend homes with just paint."
"When we decided to sell our jome and go high rise, our realtor suggested Starr for staging. By either repositioning or removing selected furniture and artwork, Starr made the interior seem much more spacious. The house sold in 15 days, and I am convinced Starr's design contributed greatly to that. Her expert knack for decorating pumped new life into pieces we've had for years. I most highly recommend Starr. We won't make any decorating decisions without her. She made me a believer."
"Working with Starr was terrific. She brought a fresh, new eye to the project. She has helped as pre-construction design. She could see what my style is, and made it shine through. I definitely look forward to working with her again."