“Our designs are only limited by our imagination, so we constantly explore new options and engage each client in the process.” BETTY DUFF, OWNER
The ladies don’t always solve design problems by going for the most expensive items. While an NBA design budget may offer unique design opportunities, they look forward to projects of any size. Proudly and professionally, Design Innovations gives the same attention to a half-bath redesign as they do to a 35,000-square-foot mansion. The attention that Duff and Hoene provide is grounded in their service-orientated approach to interior design. Working with so many NBA clients, they have embraced a team approach to their work practices and act more as lifestyle advocates than just interior designers. This task is easy for Duff and Hoene, since they become like family with each client, especially ones who require a large amount of discretion and privacy. Good customer service takes on a new meaning for Duff and Hoene, who personally drive a truck from their offices in Edina, Minnesota, filled with
furniture, art, and most everything else needed to complete a project. Much of the fun these ladies experience is found attending NBA games as guests of their player-clients, but driving the truck cross country fills their business with adventure. “Every day is fun. No two days are the same,” Hoene says. Duff and Hoene think like their clients, and attribute that to their continued success. “For many of our clients, media units are as important, sometimes even more so, than a place to eat. They need multiple televisions throughout the house, even within a single room. I give them what they want, stylishly, and design around it,” Duff says. The media center is not left to the audio/visual experts; Design Innovations makes this requirement a part of the overall design and only conceals the media equipment in formal areas. Design Innovations also engages each client in the design process, often directing them to magazines
UPSCALE ENTERTAINMENT For former NBA star Tyronn Lue, Design Innovations designed an entertainment powerhouse for Lue’s many friends, family, and fellow players. The party starts in the Las Vegas-style dining room with a contemporary dining table from New Contemporary Designs of Minneapolis. The table is flanked on by Charles and Ray Eames sofas and custom TW Senders host chairs (twsenders.com) in Pindler and Pindler upholstery (pindler.com). Lue required a television in every room, so the illusion mirror camouflages a flat screen that turns on with a simple button click. The great room’s walk-up bar divides the informal eating area and the family room, with enough space to accommodate friends and family for many game wins. In the office, on top of the basketball-court-style floor inlay sits a replica of the desk from the original movie The Godfather. Lue’s collection of NBA memorabilia and autographed shoes is all the artwork that this upscale office needs.
for ideas, inspiration and expressing their taste when words fail. Duff also charges only for her time, and a small markup on items bought at wholesale prices. She doesn’t seek compensation for the overall project. “What makes a designer unique is his or her knowledge and ability to translate each client’s wants and needs into something physical,” Duff says. While Hoene is preparing to eventually step in as lead designer, Duff does not see herself ever completely leaving the design industry. Not only does Duff’s portfolio include the homes of Kevin Garnett, Tyronn Lue, and Jimmy Jam and Lisa Harris, just to name a few, they are now designing for the children of previous clients. These second generation clients will continue to keep Design Innovations at the forefront of the design field. For Betty Duff and Christine Hoene, continued open communication is key to being successful, fresh and ensuring that every project goes smoothly.
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