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Exploring Life & Business with Audra Wrightson of Audra Interiors

Today we’d like to introduce you to Audra Wrightson.

Hi Audra, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I attended and graduated from the Design Institute of San Diego and graduated with my Bachelor in Fine Arts in 2002.

During design school, I worked for a few model home firms and gained valuable hands-on experience and tons of knowledge in all phases of the design process.

I designed a minimum of 6 model homes at a time including resourcing and selecting all of the furnishings, material surfaces, and color palette for each one, as well as lighting, artwork, and window treatments throughout.

I was also at the construction job site meetings, overseeing the projects. And when they were completed I coordinated and installed all of the furniture in each home, so it was showcased and ready to sell to the public.

Shortly after graduating I moved to Orange County, CA, and started my own design business. I started with a few whole house clients and grew recognition in the community. In 2009, I earned my CID, Certified Interior Designer, to gain more education regarding the structural and construction part of the design, similar to an architect. And I also received my own architectural stamp, which I use for the CAD drawings that I submit to my clients.

In 2010, I was honored to be asked to design 7 bathroom vignettes for Orange County’s first interactive appliance and plumbing fixtures store, PIRCH, located in Costa Mesa, CA. I was thrilled that my business took off and I was busy with many whole house clients and became known for kitchen and bathroom remodels. An award-winning designer recognized by ASID, NKBA, and several local magazine publications.

When the pandemic hit, I decided it was time to move. In June of 2020, I moved to Yuma, Arizona, where my design studio is currently located. My childhood friend lives in Yuma and I would visit her every winter to take a break and relax from my busy life in Orange County. It was nice to have her and her family close during my move.

Yuma is growing in leaps and bounds and I saw a great opportunity to expand my business from Southern CA, where I still have clients, and eventually grow my business throughout Arizona. In 2022, I opened a new office location in Downtown Phoenix, at Expansive Spaces, within the Heard Building.

I miss and love city life, and I look forward to growing my business here. I look forward to serving homeowners and business owners to transform their homes and offices into what they envision, so they can be surrounded and inspired by what they love. I have a signature design process that makes the design and remodeling process seamless from concept to completion.

I design it and select all of the materials, fixtures, and furnishings to speak to each unique client’s style and budget. When we’re done working together my clients have a solid plan, which is the most important part of the remodeling process.

I take all the guesswork off their plate and deliver CAD drawings, which communicate exactly what goes where, and all of the materials, color, fixtures, and finishes, and then all they have to do is hand it over to their contractor to do what they do best, build it.

The plan ensures more accurate labor bids, which means less time and surprises.

Everything is ordered and delivered to the Jobsite before the demo, and this is what makes the construction process run smoother and faster. The plan saves a ton of time and money because everything is designed, purchased, and built properly the first time around.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As with anything, trial and error is life’s best teacher. Mistakes and challenges are what kept me moving forward and made me a better designer and business owner, and for that, I am truly grateful. Thankfully, I learned at a very young age to never give up and go after my dreams.

I worked for Tony Robbins, the motivation speaker himself in San Diego, CA, prior to attending interior design school. Little did I know that the tools and personal growth I practiced were the tenacity, grit, and positive mindset that fuels my passion for interior design today.

Being a business owner is not a walk in the park. I wear several hats and juggle many tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis.

I’ve headed up many charity events and found my love for giving back to the community, held leadership roles in the design industry, and been a part of many Philharmonic design house projects, all of which have taught me the gift of building relationships and well as setting healthy boundaries.

I’ve worked with many challenging clients and contractors, but I can say that they are the ones who taught me the most.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I’ve been an interior designer for 25 years now, including my education as well as experience in my profession. My specialty is residential design, and I consider myself an expert in home remodeling and custom homes. I love the process of design and working with each unique client.

It is my goal to tap into what they love and what makes sparks joy within them. It is my job to transform spaces that envoke energy, inspiration, and a lifestyle that is the starting point of what their life will become. Remodeling a space is life-changing and I’ve seen amazing things happen in every single one of my clients after the remodel is completed.

Some have retired and traveled the world, others met the love of their life and lived happily ever after. A dream space is just the start of whatever you envision in life. Like a fresh canvas, I get to paint and create what’s been in their head and make it come to life so they can experience it for themselves for years to come.

What sets me apart is not only the experience I walk you through but the complete design plan you get after working with me. During the pandemic, I sat with myself and really took a hard look at what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, as well as what I did not want to do. The answer was this, I just wanted to design and deliver dream spaces for my clients.

I didn’t want to manage contractors or job sites on a daily basis and make millions of phone calls to ensure that all the details were communicated and implemented so that my clients were happy with their completed projects. So in turn, I created my very own signature design system where I design and deliver everything and put it all into a notebook for my clients.

This notebook has all of the drawings, details, links, and resources for every single material, paint color, fixture, and all furnishings, so all my clients can purchase everything on their own and all their contractor needs to do is show up and build it per the plan.

I do offer purchasing and project oversight services, for clients who feel more comfortable having me manage everything, but I offer a done-for-you service so that my clients can now handle it all on their own if they wish. The best thing about it is there is no mark-up on the products, they only pay for my design fees and expertise.

So this way I can do what I do best which is design a custom plan, and my clients get everything they need to start their remodel project.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I stay in the know and I am always taking classes and learning about the new products so my clients don’t get stuck in the trends zone. My design aesthetic is timeless and contemporary with a touch of sophistication. My goal in designing for my clients is so they don’t have to renovate every few years.

By staying away from the trends, but still updating their home with beautiful modern touches, they will be able to enjoy their newly renovated spaces for years to come. Before the pandemic, I attended tradeshows regularly throughout the year, including my favorite, KBIS, the largest Kitchen & Bath Show in the home renovation industry.

And I traveled to many of the new manufacturer’s showrooms to train and learn about their products. Travel also keeps me inspired. Every year during the holidays, I visited New York City to see the beautiful storefront windows and all of the new styles, fashion, and colors that were up and coming, as well as the architecture, history, and energy of city life.

This is why moving to Arizona was so exciting to me, to explore and see new places, and experience the beauty we’re surrounded by here in the desert.

Pricing:

  • Kitchen & Bathroom Remodels vary in scope of work, I charge $250 to meet with you, learn what you’d like to achieve, and then put it into the design proposal, so you can understand my design fees, what’s included, and how to proceed, once you hire me I’m off and running with the design process.
  • You can learn more by going to my website, clicking the About page, and then clicking on the drop down tab, The Value of Hiring a Professional Interior Designer.
  • I also offer complimentary phone calls to learn more about your project and explain my process and the value of having on board.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Rod Foster Photography

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