Maple Grove’s Katie Lyons was always drawn to design, but it took her a little longer to find her niche within the broad category. Katie always had passion for art but struggled to bring it into her life as frequently as she wanted to. “It wasn’t until recent years [Katie’s husband] Don and I found passion for furniture art and design,” she says.
Together, Katie and Don started KT Lyons Design. But the business didn’t always feature the reclaimed furniture customers from Maple Grove and the surrounding metro area know and love. The duo started off as what Katie calls “furniture flippers,” people who paint furniture “looking for a fast sale.” They ran their business through buy/sell groups on Facebook and through small local boutiques.
After dipping their toes into the furniture world, Katie and Don realized that they had the ability to accomplish a whole lot more than they were doing at the time. Now, Katie says the team has “surpassed [furniture flipping] with experience, education, product knowledge, design knowledge and award-winning credentials.”
Their accomplishments speak for themselves, but Katie defines their improvements best: “We’re now known as furniture artists, specializing in design,” she explains. “Transforming a piece of furniture gives us the opportunity to get creative and visualize the possibilities. If it’s not a client-owned piece, we have the freedom to express our design and artistic abilities.”
Although furniture isn’t what first comes to mind when one thinks of art, looking at KT Lyons Design’s portfolio can change that. The pieces are classic but unique. Each item looks as if it’s created by an artist, who loves what they do, and boy, is that true.
KT Lyons Design offers a number of services to its clients, but Katie says the most important one it provides is a personal connection. “You can purchase furniture from many stores, but when doing this, you don’t have the opportunity to meet the artist.” For Katie, meeting the clients is one of her favorite parts of the job and definitely the most important.
KT Lyons Design also offers services that will bring new life into older pieces. From refinishing, applying a new coat of paint, completing repairs or repurposing, Katie and Don can revamp just about any décor and furniture piece.
“We love meeting [clients] and learning the plans [they] have for one of our pieces,” she says. Especially when it comes to older furniture that may have been passed down through many generations, Katie says hearing the history of each piece makes her day. The best pieces the team has done are the ones that come with a backstory.
In a KT Lyons Design piece, clients will notice techniques like decoupage, gluing cutouts onto a piece for decoration, blending and foils. “These three techniques have a style of their own and can transform a piece into a beautiful work of art,” Katie says.
Just like KT Lyons Design’s work, each experience with the duo is unique. Clients will come to Katie and Don with pieces they want to redecorate in some way, and Katie and Don are able to offer their fresh perspectives, based on their artistic points of view and experience.
Painted wood is the name of Katie and Don’s game, but some may question the trendiness of the technique. Katie says that painted wood isn’t going anywhere no matter what other furniture artists have to say. “While some see painted furniture as a trend, it has actually been around for over 20 plus years,” Katie explains. “There are so many variations and techniques now being added to the design. Whether it’s staining, decoupage, blending, distressing or a classic solid painted piece, they’re all wonderful choices. We will see painted furniture remain well into the future.”
For a custom KT Lyons Design piece, clients can submit their ideas through its website. Customers can bring the piece to Katie and Don themselves, or have the pair pick it up. If a client doesn’t have a piece of his/her own in mind for KT Lyons Design’s decorating, the design team also has a selection of furniture that it can design for them.
KT Lyons Design also has completed pieces available through its website. Prices range from $150 to the lower $1,000 range. From desks to dressers to tables, the business supplies refurbished furniture for prices that can fall into any price range a customer could want.
Katie and Don are dedicated to the business, but somehow, they find time for their family; Katie has two children, and Don has two adult children living out of state. If they didn’t already have a lot on their plates, Katie also watches her friend’s daughter full time, and Don drives a school bus for the local school district.
From their work to their family, the motto “reclaiming beautiful” seems to perfectly suit KT Lyons Design, and Katie and Don together. Katie and Don find inspiration in everyday life. From nature to architecture, being inspired is a way of like for the couple. “We can see inspiration in the most unlikely places,” Katie explains. “I was once inspired by the look I noticed on someone’s acrylic nails. It really can come from anywhere.”