kimiko designs is recognized in the furniture industry for its dynamite team of knowledgeable experts. From offices across the United States and Canada, our team offers a vast range of furniture-centric specializations, technical experience and strategic vision. We maximize our clients’ furniture assets and projects, bringing a level of expertise and attention to client service that’s rare in the industry. And we pride ourselves on giving our all to every project we undertake.
Click the markers on the map below, or continue scrolling, to learn more about our team
dianne murata, cheryl barta, yadira hernandez zavala, rachel johansen, sessily norris, anastasia thormahlen, sarah white
Des Moines, IA
amanda farrell, valerie jones, jill mcbride
St. Augustine, FL
Lake Country, BC, Canada
Bachelor of Interior Design, University of Manitoba
Dianne founded kimiko designs in 2000 after putting out fires at a furniture dealership and realizing a need for comprehensive furniture expertise. She is our furniture chief and champion of thinking outside the cube. Her lifelong obsession with excellence, service and creativity translates into a company culture that empowers our kimiko crew to focus on helping our customers do more with less.
Dianne was a bartender in Canada, Australia and the Cayman Islands before getting a “real job” in Texas.
Bachelor of Arts, Interior Design, University of Oklahoma
Ginger is the Maestro of all things furniture. She has been a furniture planning conductor at kimiko since Y2K, and was in the industry back when Paula Abdul still topped the charts. She is an industry leader in planning, strategizing, value engineering and training people about furniture. She also loves mentoring designers and developing their strengths to help them create a life they love, even in the midst of furniture tidal waves.
Because Ginger loves people, she is a reality TV junkie. She’s also a card-carrying member of over achievers anonymous.
meet our team
Furniture + Move Guru
Bachelor of Business Administration, Sam Houston University
Cheryl’s organizational skills spark not only joy but also energy, efficiency and enthusiasm. She uses the leadership skills of a Certified Professional Organizer and her project management logistics experience to coordinate complex move management projects. Cheryl’s interests and passions are as intriguing and diverse as her skillset: Child Advocates recruiter, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo member, and life member of PTA – including President 6 terms in 3 schools.
Though Cheryl has performed project management or move coordination services for the relocation of 145 clients throughout Texaxs, she and her family have been firmly rooted in the same house in Houston for over 30 years.
Des Moines, IA
Bachelor of Arts, Interior Design, University of Northern Iowa
Marissa’s dream of working with a great team in this field is only natural. She grew up in Dyersville, IA*, played team sports, and earned a BA in Interior Design from CIDA-accredited University of Northern Iowa. Marissa’s engaging manner plus top-notch skills in AutoCAD, furniture planning/specification/rendering, and creative design software make her an all-star on #teamkimiko projects.
*Marissa’s hometown of Dyersville is the location of “Field of Dreams”.
Bachelor of Science, Interior and Environmental Design, Illinois State University
Masters of Business Administration in Project Management, Keller Graduate School
Cora has mastered a variety of design positions including flooring sales, kitchen & bath design, and even granite fabrication, but her true passion is commercial furniture planning. She is a strong technical designer and project manager. What makes her unique is her uncanny ability to juggle a multitude of details within a project from start to finish.
As a little girl, Cora would lay out floorplans using shoestrings and then “design” the floorplan with Barbie furniture. For real!
Furniture Guru, Allied ASID
Bachelor of Science, Interior Design, University of Central Arkansas
Tamara is jazzed about learning. She adopts tech trends and cool apps like some of us collect shoes! This passion has led her to be invited to speak as a power user at annual industry conferences. An active member of ASID since college days at Central Arkansas University, Tamara is the Chair for the South Central Chapter. She loves being an influencer, especially onboarding and training new designers and is always looking for a new or better way to improve environments for clients as a kimiko furniture guru.
Super-techie Tamara prefers a paper planner over a digital one. It’s been the Happy Planner brand for this happy furniture planner for the last 5 years.
Furniture Guru, NICDQ #023211
Oklahoma City, OK
Bachelor of Science, Interior Design, Oklahoma State University
Amanda is an Okie with Texas ties. With experience as both an Interior Designer and a Sales Representative, she can manage any project with confidence (and most likely an intense color-coded system). She has an uncanny ability to be detail-oriented, but not lose sight of the big picture. Fueled by organization and commitment to clients, she will execute every project with persistence and joy!
When she is not cooking up projects, you can find her creating custom cookie sets for local events.
Bachelor of Science, Interior Design, Abilene Christian
With 15 years’ experience as designer and project manager, Amanda enjoys twice the satisfaction from a beautiful job/job well done. As
Despite her right-brain/left-brain skillset of design and project management, Amanda is strictly left-handed, and so is her Mr. Right.
Grimsby, ON, Canada
Diploma in Architectural Technology, Mohawk College
Matthew is Kimiko’s International Man of Intrigue and pulls from both a manufacturing and software background in the furniture industry. He has worked as a designer, project coordinator and manager, technical product specialist and design team leader. He’s even been a DIRTT bag. His combination of mad furniture skills and broad experience allows him to be the Edward Scissorhands of furniture for his clients.
In his spare time, Matthew likes to flex his culinary muscle with his smoker and will bbq almost anything!
Bachelor of Arts in University Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale Associate of Science in Interior Design, Vincennes University
Karie’s inherent skillset was matched for interior design and commercial furniture from the very beginning. The analytical side of her brain loves the puzzle of space planning and building furniture from parts and pieces, while the creative side imagines all aspects of a project coming together. She is known for her incredible attention to detail, accuracy, and efficiency, as well as her sense of humor. Karie is one of kimiko’s CET software champions and a certified Herman Miller Living Office Placemaker.
Karie has been practicing yoga over half her life and can finally do a headstand!
yadira hernandez zavala
Bachelor of Interior Design, Monterrey Center for Higher Learning of Design, Mexico
Yadira brings a dash of international spice to Team Kimiko. Her interest in commercial furniture was ignited by an opportunity with a major manufacturer in Monterrey, Mexico. As subject matter expert to dealer-design teams in Mexico and Kuala Lumpur, Yadira was liaison to some of the largest dealerships in the USA. She applied this unique experience to a position with one of the largest furniture dealerships in Houston, TX. Yadira is proficient in design and specification software including 20/20 CAP and Configura CET Designer.
Yadira longed to play the piano since childhood and becoming a computer keyboard whiz did nothing to satisfy the dream. Now she’s happily taking piano lessons alongside her 6-year old son.
Furniture Guru, LEED AP
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design, Savannah College of Art and Design
Rachel contributes her knowledge and passion for interior and sustainable design to the Kimiko team, based on a foundation formed at architectural firms. She loves to research and ask questions to solve intricate furniture puzzles – she has a true hunger for knowledge. Rachel strives to inspire others with innovation, responsibility and most of all, compassion – which is why at kimiko, she leads the ‘free furniture’ efforts; connecting used furniture donations to non-profit organizations.
In her spare time, Rachel is crossing countries off her bucket list – 14 down, 181 to go!
Associate of Arts, Dallas Community College
Val is the special projects captain that keeps the kimiko ship sailing. From the helm in North Texas, she steers our invoicing, internal processes and keeps the engines running. Working for non-profits in her other life, Val loves helping others better the world and is an expert in navigating complex logistics
For 2 years, Val lived on the road in a bus, with 10 other people for 5 months at a time.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing/Advertising Art, University of North Texas
Jill’s analytical mind thrives on attention to detail – the perfect skillset for a furniture guru. Over her 20+ year career, Jill has skillfully handled hundreds of furniture projects of all types and sizes. She masterminds solutions for everything from custom products to multi-phase reconfigurations. Jill digs the nitty-gritty detail of complex systems projects, and
As a state-ranked high school athlete, Jill played tournament tennis in Texas. Later, she advanced to the national scene as an ace furniture guru with
Bachelor of Arts, Interior Design, The Art Institute of Houston
A native Texan, Sessily played all the sports and joined every club her small-town high school offered, preparing herself for multiple projects and responsibilities of a busy Kimiko furniture guru. Having earned a BA in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Houston, Sessily built her career in commercial design, furniture planning, and project management. We’re so glad she joined Kimiko Designs and puts all that energy to good use on our clients’ furniture planning projects.
Sessily’s mom bought a Barbie house to focus her little girl’s obsession with rearranging furniture in the homes of their family’s friends. A furniture nerd was born.
Lake Country, BC, Canada
Bachelor of Applied Arts, Interior Design, Ryerson University
Yvonne is kimiko’s International Woman of Intrigue. She spent the first 20 years of her career working at one of Canada’s largest furniture dealerships. During her years in Toronto she led (some secret) projects for corporate and government agencies. Her 007 assets include loyalty, a strong work ethic and laser-focused accuracy; plus other things that we can’t tell you because of her top secret clearance.
Yvonne didn’t speak a word of English when she moved from Poland to Canada in her twenties.
Furniture Guru, NCIDQ #018300
St. Augustine, FL
Bachelor of Interior Design, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
As an NCIDQ certified interior designer, Brandy has experience in managing multi-location projects with a broad scope of responsibilities. She has a high level of proficiency with large and complex projects, and is a mastermind in total project execution from initiation to completion. She brings a passion for service and attention to detail that will blow you away.
Brandy interned in college creating faux finishes in a mannequin manufacturing plant.
Furniture Guru, RID TN, NCIDQ 029281 Knoxville, TN
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, University of Tennessee
Melissa earned her BS in Interior Design from CIDA-accredited University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She worked to achieve meaningful credentials during her career: LEED AP, NCIDQ Certification, and Registered Interior Designer in the State of Tennessee. Early experience in architecture and construction laid a strong foundation for Melissa’s career in the contract furniture and design industry. Her love of furniture, art, and design and her proficient technical skills are great assets to her clients and Team Kimiko.
Melissa is a TN-licensed cosmetologist. Color-coding floor plans or coloring hair, Melissa’s got style to spare.
Highland Village, TX
Brook’s background in account and project management couldn’t be more action-packed if it included taming wild horses. Originally from a tiny town near Denton, TX, Brook says she was there before it was cool. Her strong work ethic and exceptional leadership qualities have been honed through intensely involved, highly responsible positions with top furniture and architectural wall dealerships including Knoll, Allsteel, and DIRTT, in major Texas markets. Brook is relied upon by fellow kimiko furniture gurus for her combination of project problem-solving abilities and client relationship-building skills.
Brook’s first real job was designing and drawing security systems for TX state prisons.
Furniture Guru, RID TX 09396, NCIDQ 015611
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design, University of Houston
Anastasia harnesses her 28 years of design industry experience to execute furniture planning projects with thoughtful detail and precision. Whether crafting realistic budgets, coordinating with the furniture dealership, serving as a corporate facilities planner, or as an interiors project manager; Anastasia’s experiences have always included her passion for finishes and furniture.
Anastasia has a passion for rescue, which encompasses rescuing project schedules, furniture budgets and lots of cats for a local non-profit.
Media Maven, Allied ASID
Bachelor of Science, Home Furnishings Merchandising, University of North Texas
Sarah shares the coolest obsessions with team kimiko––a love of problem solving, furniture, puzzles and design. With a BS in Home Furnishings Merchandising from the University of North Texas, Sarah has impressive technical skills and style to boot. Besides managing kimiko’s admin and social media worlds, Sarah deftly serves as right hand to the Chief Happiness Officer.
While living in Qatar, Sarah experienced the thrill of dune bashing—high-speed slipping, sliding, and spinning across the desert dunes in an SUV.
Diploma in Interior Design, British Columbia Institute of Technology
A grommet is a kid who likes to play around on a skateboard – that was Kevin. He went on to become an accomplished, sponsored skateboarder, and now, an accomplished grommet specifier.
Masters in Sniffing
Daisy is the in-house furniture testing expert at kimiko designs and lover of all things soft/cushy. She is a kind-hearted senior Saint Bernard and was rescued from a shelter in Arlington, TX. She now spends most of her days under Dianne’s desk or walking around the block during conference calls. She is one of the inspirations for kimiko’s charitable giving during the holiday season.
Daisy has been on the television show Good Day Houston not just once, but twice; supporting local animal rescue groups!
We understand the furniture industry from the back to the front and all 360° surrounding it. Our clients trust us for expert furniture planning, technical specification, and capturing their imagination in this 24/7 digital world.
Address: 1030 Gardenia Dr, Houston TX 77018