Pillars of Professional Success in Interior Design

Interior designer Leslie Murphy talks about building a successful business that serves clients’ needs.

Written by:Diane Conrad

Cambria design shown: Ironsbridge™

The path to the career you were “meant” to have isn’t always a straight line. For Leslie Murphy, principal of Nashville-based Murphy Maude Interiors recently featured in Cambria Style magazine, that path took a detour through the business world before finally leading her to interior design. “I was always an artist, but I started out with a career in business. Then, after building my own home, I decided to make a change and formally pursue interior design,” she says. 

Murphy quickly realized that although she had a strong vision and innate talent for interior design, to create a company that lived up to her own demanding expectations, she’d need to hire highly trained design experts. Pros in place, the business grew by leaps and bounds—not quite 10 years later, Murphy Maude is a 12-person team headquartered in Nashville and Memphis with an expertise in high-end residential design that’s quickly expanding into boutique commercial projects.

a kitchen with gray cabinets, white quartz countertops and backsplash, and white upper cabinets.
a kitchen with greige cabinets, white quartz countertops, a wine fridge, and open shelving

Cambria design shown: Ironsbridge

Murphy sees three important pillars behind her business success. Consider these when evaluating the design professionals you want to hire for your next project.

Ask your interior design pro about establishing project milestones for accountability:

For Murphy and her “Maude squad,” they use a set series of milestones for every project. This process allows them to track and troubleshoot the progress of each project to make it “seamless and effective” for the client.

Can your design pro offer visualization through technology?

All of Murphy Maude’s designers and architects are highly skilled in 3D digital modeling tools that allow them to show clients exactly what their new spaces will look like.

Customize your interior spaces using art elements:

Murphy has always looked at design “through the lens of art,” taking care to bring something unique and personal to each space. Fabrics, wall coverings, and artwork are essential ingredients in that process, and she has launched her own custom studio, Mable Originals, as well as a cabinetry collection, M2 Designer Cabinetry. “It’s really beautiful to create something from your imagination and then to realize it,” says Murphy. “It gives us a lot of freedom in our designs.”

Cambria can help you find a professional in your area.

Discover More

Get our beautifully curated collection of lifestyle stories, interior design trends, and expert advice sent straight to your home and email inbox with a complimentary subscription to Cambria Style magazine.

Ready to explore Cambria quartz designs in person? Contact a Cambria consultant or use our retail locator to find a professional in your area for project support and planning, material selection, or visualizing what’s possible.

Follow us on social media for daily design inspiration.

Get the Look

Explore the designs featured in this story.