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Spotlight: Michelle Troxell of Grace Thomas Designs

By: Steve Worth
Posted In: Design Log

In our ongoing Designer Spotlight Series, we talk with interior designers and architects to see what inspires them, and get insights to how they approach creating beautiful spaces… in this Spotlight we caught up with Michelle Troxell of Grace Thomas Designs after we saw this awesome kids room she created using our Fanwall product.


My favorite project using Stikwood products has to be a basketball themed room for an eight year old boy. The most important thing to him was to have a basketball hoop in his room, so we took it above and beyond and used Fanwall!

Stikwood: How long have you been in business as an interior designer?

Michelle: Grace Thomas Designs has been in business since 2011, so we have been open for nine years now! Prior to opening my firm, I spent several years working for another design firm in northern Virginia.

Stikwood: Tell us a bit about your business and experience:

Michelle: We have designed interior and outdoor spaces for some of the Washington, D.C. metro area’s finest homes. Grace Thomas Designs works in a large range of styles and aesthetics, with a strong emphasis on achieving both fabulous and functional results on every project. Everything we do is centered on the client and giving them the results they want. We try to bring personal touches to every room, while giving what we call “Ritz-Carlton level service.” Outside of focusing on our clients, we make sure to stay up to stay on the pulse of new trends and ideas to keep our designs fresh in a way that will stand the test of time.

Stikwood: We love how you incorporate personality into the rooms you design. Tell us how Stikwood helps you achieve that.

Michelle: Stikwood has absolutely helped us incorporate more personality into the rooms we design. Texture is very important in our rooms as a layer of design, and we love to provide a “wow factor” to punch up a wall beyond just painting it as is standard. Additionally, there are so many varieties of Stikwood, that it helps bring something of the client’s personality into the room too! It is important to us that our rooms are not just beautiful, but that they also speak to the family that lives in them and the uses they have. So whether our client is a sucessful businesswoman that likes elegant, rustic barnwood or a twelve year old boy that likes basketball, Stikwood helps us create something they’ll love.

Stikwood: What would you say is your “signature style”?

Michelle: Grace Thomas Designs specializes in transitional designs. We design our rooms with performance fabrics to withstand family use, and use a lot of neutrals in our palettes so that our designs remain timeless—they’re investment pieces for our clients, and we want them to remain fresh! Then, we layer in a mix of colors, metals, and textures to give the room visual interest.

Stikwood: What was your favorite project using Stikwood products? What made it so special?

Michelle: My favorite project using Stikwood products has to be our most recent—a basketball themed room for an eight year old boy. The most important thing to him was to have a basketball hoop in his room, so we took it above and beyond and used Stikwood’s Fanwall product behind it to give him a whole basketball wall! We painted his closet door to look like a locker, framed his favorite jersey, and even found cute basketball sheets to put the whole thing together. This junior client has been through a lot of loss and life changes recently, so it meant a lot to us to be able to give him a sports room of his dreams in a way that he won’t be quick to grow out of as he grows up.

Stikwood: What is your best piece of advice to offer someone who wants to redecorate a room on their own?

Michelle: Have a plan! It is everyone’s instinct to replace things in a room little bits at a time as you find things you like. However, this could leave you with mismatched pieces and a room that isn’t as cohesive as it could be! Even if you’re planning on buying over time, make sure you do a full room plan in advance, so you have something to follow as you go.

Learn more about Grace Thomas designs

To find out more about Grace Thomas Designs and view some of their past projects, visit gracethomasdesigns.com. They are also very active on Instagram! Follow them at @gracethomasdesigns and see progress pictures of our current jobs every day on stories.

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