I’ve had the incredible good fortune of practicing interior design for more than 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
The daughter of an engineer and general contractor, Karen Rapp’s father was a major influence on her love of all things related to design, architecture and construction.
“His mentorship and expertise provided me with a healthy respect for the construction process, and what it takes to create designs that can actually can be built,” she said.
Karen graduated from Arizona State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree, with an emphasis in Interior Design.
In 1987, she founded Karen Rapp Interiors, which grew into one of Arizona’s most highly respected residential interior design firms.
For more than three decades, many home and business owners have attested to Karen’s dedicated vision and pure professionalism.
Her interior designs were featured in numerous publications, including Luxe, Phoenix Home & Garden, Arizona Foothills and Gardens Southwest. In March 2009, Rapp was named a Master of the Southwest by Phoenix Home & Garden magazine.
While she has thoroughly enjoyed building her namesake brand into a highly respected interior design presence, Karen is thrilled with her decision to join Wiseman & Gale.
“It offers me the opportunity to collaborate and work alongside some of Arizona’s most talented design professionals, and allows me to focus even more on serving the design needs of my cherished clients,” she said. “This transition is all about my growth into the next phase of my career,” Rapp added.
“As a building and business owner these past many years, I’ve been missing the design and client-side experience. Now I can spend more time doing exactly what I enjoy.”
Today, Karen enjoys a stellar reputation for creating unique, distinctive designs that perfectly reflect their clients’ personal tastes. Her deep and wide-ranging knowledge of the design discipline enables her to draw from an array of design influences—from Traditional and Modern, to Spanish Colonial, French Country and Mediterranean.
“In any discussion on “meaningful” interior design, the name Karen Rapp will (or should) inevitably surface. You might have to dig a bit, because let’s face it, Karen is not (Thank God) one of those heavily-publicized trendy, flavor-of-the-moment, generic – well, uninspiring (there, we said it) designers who are all too common these days. Rather, she seems to quietly prefer more of a purveyor, spectator, observer presence in the industry… probably one more reason her work has so much depth.
For those who seek a refined way of designing, believe us, she is there at the top of the list. Karen’s work always has its own very unique and developed personality … layers of texture, rich textiles, furnishings and accessories, which are steeped in tradition and filled with memories are orchestrated in a rather uncomplicated, and somewhat simple manner.
Often reminiscent of a soft and subtle Bennison interior — or at other times, the colorful work of Kathryn Ireland — there is something very handcrafted that is recognizable and consistently flows through each of Karen’s projects.
It’s hard to say whether this is a direct reflection of her clients taste, or more likely a wonderful interpretation therein on Karen’s part. Regardless, her ability to merge the clients needs and desires into a cohesive plan is something she is widely adept at doing.
Karen Rapp has been practicing design for over 3 decades now. Although clearly her passion for beautiful, sincere objects, antiques and works of art (and folk art!) were embedded in her from a very early age. She has a vision she was most likely born with, and continues to develop over the years.”
Michele Perillo, Publisher, Southwest Style Magazine
“Karen Rapp has helped our entire family with projects including offices, homes, college dorms and first apartments.
“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
“Karen’s firm commitment to designing a space personal to the client is evident in all her designs. Her able, dedicated team made the experience that much more enjoyable.” Bravo!
“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.”
Catherine Hayes, Architect, Hayes Studio
“Karen’s vast experience is evident. She has an incredible eye and knack for spaces. Does great design, is responsive and organized. We have worked with her on several projects and can never wait to see finished product. Highly recommend.”
Michael Ellsworth, Builder, Thunder River Construction
“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