Since arriving on the design scene almost 50 years ago, Culp Associates has been a coveted one-stop-shop for designers on the hunt for timeless and elegant treasures. Considering their diverse assortment of high-end textiles, wall coverings, trimmings, furniture, lighting, and accessories, it's safe to say they seamlessly cover all bases. Read on to learn more about this female-led business and why designers continue to remain loyal to both the Culp brand and showroom.
Tell us about the background of Culp Associates and how the Dallas Design District showroom came to be.
Well-known interior designer Walter Lee Culp launched his showroom in Dallas in 1972, featuring renowned textile designers Jack Lenor Larsen and Angelo Donghia. Walter’s charming personality along with his sense of style met immediate success and he soon added other luxury textiles brands and selected furniture collections to its portfolio.
In 1974, a second showroom in the Decorative Center of Houston opened. In 1992, Kelly Hardage joined Walter as President of both showrooms and moved from Oak Lawn Plaza to the Design Center where we reside now. At the time, only a handful of showrooms were present in the Design Center.
In 2003, Kelly purchased the business from Walter and changed the business name to Culp Associates. Cammie Marrs, who joined Culp in 1994, was promoted to VP/General Manager after Hardage purchased the business. In 2017, Cammie became President of Culp Associates and part-owner along with Vice President Jessica Salmons in Houston. Kelly, Cammie, and Jessica continued to cultivate strong relationships with both suppliers and customers. Culp Associates further expanded its offering of textiles, furniture, and accessories making it among the most design-diverse premier showrooms in the country.
Fast forward to the present, in January 2021, Kelly retired and sold his portion of the business to good friend Karen Rogers-Still. Karen’s great sense of style along with her design background has been a wonderful addition. “We love the Girl Power”, says Rogers-Still, Marrs, and Salmons. “We are excited about what the future holds for Culp and continued plans for expansion. We look forward to providing the high level of design style and service the Culp name stands for!”
What do you enjoy most about having a showroom in the Dallas Design District neighborhood?
The convenience for our clients. We want to be a one-stop-shop for designers. If our clients cannot make it to us, we will go to them. Designers are limited on time and our staff is available to assist with whatever is needed.
What can visitors expect when they visit the Culp Associates showroom?
Our showroom can be overwhelming if you are visiting for the first time. Having a friendly and knowledgeable staff is so helpful to our clients. Many of our staff have been with us for over a decade, thus, they are very familiar with our product lines as well as many of the designer’s styles and preferences.
In your opinion, what sets Culp Associates apart from other local + national interior design showrooms?
We greet every person who walks through our door. Relationships are key. Designers are not only brand loyal but also showroom loyal. If a designer feels comfortable shopping in our showroom and knows our staff will follow up and take care of them, they will always return.
If you had to describe Culp Associates style in one word, what would it be and why?
Elegant…but not stuffy.
Tell us about some of your favorite new design trends, products, or collections.
We are loving all the color and pattern that is coming back into style. Beautiful floral wallpapers are also a continuing trend. Neutrals but with lots of texture are still a favorite but now with small pops of color being added. Boucles and textures are very on-trend for 2021. Elegant but relaxed, which is exactly our style!
Complete this sentence: “No room is complete without _______________.”
No room is complete without Culp!
Seeing as how they prioritize client relationships and strive to take care of them from the moment they enter the showroom, there's no doubt that you're in phenomenal hands with the crew at Culp Associates. Next time you're in the neighborhood, take a trip to their DDD showroom to experience this first-hand. And in the meantime, scour their website to get a more comprehensive idea of all of Culp's offerings and services, and be sure to give them a follow on Instagram for a daily dose of the design inspo they're constantly dishing out.