I’ve had the incredible good fortune of practicing interior design for the past 30 years. An art and practice that I am truly passionate about, I find that it’s an honor to work with clients and families who have engaged me to discover the ‘style soul’ of their businesses, homes and living spaces, and then create completely personalized interior designs for them. – Karen Rapp
Karen Rapp was thinking about the interiors of homes long before she ever considered making a career of designing them. Raised in Salt Lake City, as a little girl, she would draw imaginative floor plans in chalk, on her parents’ driveway.
Today, as a resident of Phoenix, this Master of the Southwest award winner still summons fanciful visions, only now they are given actual shape, form and reality in remarkable new and remodeled homes that delight her clients.
Karen Rapp graduated from Arizona State University in 1984, with a Bachelor of Science degree, with an emphasis in Interior Design.
Following graduation, she worked locally in Arizona for a Salt Lake City-based design firm. When the owner unexpectedly closed his business, Karen said she had no choice but to “hang out my shingle.” She then built her own design practice—Karen Rapp Interiors—and later added design assistants and interns from local-area colleges.
Despite her three decades in business, Karen’s love of design and her work has enabled her to keep an open mind and heart to bring new, design-related ideas and practices to her firm. And she credits many for her success.
As she says: “In my career, I’ve been blessed with several wonderful mentors, beginning with my Daddy, John Rapp; family members; friends; clients; and colleagues who have coached me, offered me sage advice and supported me in this field of interior design. It’s all led to my continued success and joy in my profession.”
What Karen Rapp liked about interior design a quarter of a century ago, she still finds exciting. “I love living my clients’ lives,” she says. “Part of the design process is imagining parties, families and how they live in their homes, and where all their things are stored or displayed.”
She also still finds it a thrill to keep her clients engaged every step of the way. When she has an epiphany or a striking idea, Rapp says she still gets goose bumps. “I want my clients to get goose bumps, too, when, together, we discover something remarkable in our ideas and plans.”
“In her egoless way, Karen listens to your vision, your needs, then pulls it together, from furniture to fabrics to light fixtures, and the result is an authentic and unified look that is strictly yours and appears effortless in how it comes together. Nothing is contrived.” – Susan Taylor, Client
“She approaches each project on its own and strives to make each a unique reflection of the clients and their lifestyle. Karen creates rich, dynamic interior designs that are truly specific to each client, exceeding their expectations while respecting their vision and their budgets.” – Cathy Hayes, Architect, Hayes Studio
“I remember one hot summer day when she and her assistant marked all the furniture placement on a concrete floor for a large new home. We were placing light fixtures the next day with the client, architect and lighting designer, and Karen wanted to make certain that everything was perfect for the walk-through. She does whatever it takes to get the job done right.” – Jerry Meek, Owner, Desert Star Construction