Our new favorite for interior designers

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Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty is an opportunity. Interior designer Ginger Curtis might just be the poster child for that sentiment. After a difficult childhood followed by a prolonged battle with an aggressive form of cancer as an adult, Ginger emerged with a renewed sense of her future. Drawing on her creativity, Ginger sought transformation and catharsis, which led to the creation of Urbanology, an interior design firm based in Dallas-Fort Worth and largely led by women.

His vision delivers elegant simplicity to homes across Texas (and beyond), with an emphasis on design longevity and details that shine. Additionally, his recently published book, Beauty by design: refreshing spaces inspired by what matters most, offers insight into how to embrace your inner beauty and let it inspire your home aesthetic. Please welcome our newest interior designer crush, Ginger Curtis of Urbanology.

Please welcome Ginger Curtis from Urbanology, our new interior designer crush! Picture: Amber Tice Photography

What inspired your career as a designer and what was your first big breakthrough?

My design approach was most certainly inspired by my childhood: summers spent in my grandparents’ house building forts in the forest, climbing rocks and the river among the cypresses, and lazy days spent in the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean. The organic and wild beauty of nature has put a very deep well of inspiration in my heart, and I draw from it daily.

My first big break came when I was still a team of one (me, myself and me), wearing 12 different hats – a baby entrepreneur trying to find my way. I designed a nursery that has become the most popular nursery in the world on Houzz. It went viral and was featured in more countries than I can count! It gave me some credibility on the street.

How was Urbanology born?

The design firm embarked on one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced – an 18 month long battle with an aggressive cancer diagnosis. I came out with a new breath of life and a new perspective. I was finally ready to face the dreams that were beginning to surface in my heart when I realized the gift I had been given – not just a skill in the gift of creativity, but the gift of life itself. !

Tell us about the urban fire station. This might be the coolest “office” we’ve ever seen!

Oh, why, thank you! (Big smile) This will always be one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on. What started as a rundown and abandoned old fire station ended not only with our new office space, but also with the most inspiring place to work. The fire station was originally one story. I built a loft and a staircase so the design company could be perched high up with a fantastic view. The building’s front elevation is 34 feet of glass, allowing light to flood the engine room.

The space is also a full-time venue, the Urban Fire House. During the evenings and weekends, it is very lively with weddings, parties, receptions, conferences and much more. We have also transformed former firefighter rooms into private offices available to local contractors.

Exterior of urban fire station in Texas.

The modern and cozy urban fire station is the perfect reception venue and office space. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

The interior of the urban fire station

Floods of natural light flood Urban Fire House’s interior office space. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

A food court at the Urban Fire House.

“He embraces organic and earthy palettes and materials, clean lines and simple silhouettes,” Ginger says of his design style. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

How would you describe the aesthetic of your design?

My design aesthetic is modern, with a more minimal approach than traditional or transitional styles, without being cold. It embraces organic and earthy palettes and materials, clean lines and simple silhouettes while allowing for beautifully timed detailing to bring a wonderfully orchestrated balance to a space.

What is your favorite project so far?

The bungalow project is definitely my favorite and most sentimental! It all started with an old garden shed and a noble reflection on its potential and what it could be. I quickly requested a bungalow for my birthday present that year, and my husband’s only question was, “What is a bungalow?” He worked hard for six weeks to turn a shed into a tiny house (which is a crazy, impossible timeline) for my birthday. I worked to select paint colors, flooring, furniture decor, and unique pieces and artwork from my grandfather’s collection.

A wide-angle view of Urbanology's dining room, with an arched mirror.

Earth tones abound in this dining room from Urbanology. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

Shelf with wood and white themed vignettes and added greenery.

Open shelves with neatly organized vignettes provide casual elegance in this kitchen. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

Bathroom designed by Ginger Curtis, with ornate blue wallpaper

This bathroom design combines vintage pieces, contemporary fixtures, and pops of color for a space that impresses. Image: Lissa Gotwals Photography

Can you tell us about your book, Beauty by design?

OK, so I know I said cancer was my hardest battle, but Holy Moly, it’s definitely up there with the hardest things I’ve ever done. The book was born out of a desire to share not only the extreme highs and lows of my journey, but also the deepest inspirations of my heart in hopes of inspiring others, not only in their homes, but in their life. It’s unique because it’s a design book, but it’s a design book with a heart and soul that goes deep. My favorite chapter is “You are worthy of beauty”.

What design advice can you offer us to enhance our own homes?

My book! Truly, this is the toughest field guide. I will also say [it’s important to] design for you – for what matters to you, not for popular trends. Design your home around what you really love. Pinterest can be a bit of a trap. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or feel pressured to follow trends that seem to be everywhere. The motto of my life and my business is: “Challenge the status quo”.

    monochromatic nursery from Urbanology Designs.

This monochromatic nursery is an impeccable display of sophistication with just the right touch of whimsy. Image: Danielle Sabol Photography

Black patio doors open into a black and white living room.

Masculinity and femininity merge to create a comfortable and dramatic office space. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

A black canopy bed with white duvet, designed by Urbanology.

This bedroom designed by Urbanology shows just how dynamic minimalism can be, with eye-catching details that add a bit of pizzazz! Image: Matti Gresham Photography

What is your favorite space or design element in your own home, and why?

The bathroom at my guest house. I know it might seem like a random place, but when you walk into this bathroom, you feel like you’ve come onto the Bali vacation scene. You are carried away by inspiring textures, materials and moments of reflection.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world, be it another designer or a dream client, who would it be?

I have to say Athena Calderone at EyeSwoon and Bella Karragiannidis at Ful-filled. These two women have incredible taste and style, and they are also both artisan chefs. What would I do to create a dreamy tablescape for the food they so soulfully prepare! True Story, Bella and I almost got to work on a stylish shoot together, but an unexpected opportunity to move to Greece to live in a lovely villa on the ocean (I can’t imagine why that sounds appealing) changed our plans. So close !

PS: I have this thing with tablescapes. It’s one of my all time passions and favorite things to do when I have a few spare moments.

Can you describe your design philosophy in a few words?

Relaxed, organic and cosy/modern with eclectic touches!

A close up of the kitchen island and open shelving designed by Urbanology.

Natural wood elements offset the contemporary style of this North Dallas kitchen. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

A sitting area with leather armchairs and black and white murals.

This chic seating area is perfect for picking up a book and resting for a while. Image: Matti Gresham Photography

A wide angle view of a Ginger Curtis dining room that features navy blue and white walls and basket lighting.

Warm and welcoming, this dining and conference space is a quiet gathering place for food and ideas. Image: J. Turnbow Photography

To learn more about Ginger’s work, visit her website, urbanologydesigns.com.

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