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, rachel johansen, caryn ogier, sarah white
little rock, ar
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 Guru, NCIDQ #32424
Bachelor of Science, Interior Design,
University of the Philippines – Diliman
Ash loves tropical island life with its rich culture, food and sports—and great weather! He grew up in Manila, Philippines, and lives there now with his wife and young daughter. For several years, Ash worked as a designer in Hawaii. He is a math whiz, but also loves to draw. With a background of projects in virtually every market—corporate, higher-ed, government, hospitality, high-end residential—Ash enjoys being a well rounded designer specializing in furniture.
Ash debated going into medicine or computer science, but because of his love for art, interior design won.
Furniture Guru, NCIDQ #019687
Bachelor of Science, Interior Design,
Denise is both a problem solver and a team player. From working out complex furniture plans to becoming a certified/registered interior designer in two states, Denise draws on her diverse skillset and life experiences for success. Growing up, her military family moved often, stateside and abroad. Professionally, Denise possesses technical expertise with top furniture brands and specification software. This furniture guru’s savvy approach to the plot twists of life prepared her to confidently guide clients through their own.
This soccer mom of three is an avid gardener and wishes there were a way to grow her own chocolate to share with furniture friends everywhere.
Bachelor of Science, Interior Design,
Bowling Green State University
Inspiring + functional. This combo illustrates Chelsey’s very full work/life balance. Kimiko’s WFH remote model suits her perfectly. She grew up with a dad in construction and a mom with an eye for style. A career in interior design specializing in furniture speaks to those dual points of view. Combining creative and functional elements for exceptional results is Chelsey’s favorite challenge.
Chelsey loves the whimsy and utility of vintage furniture, décor, and clothing, and is an avid collector of historic oddities.
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 Director of Finance 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.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design, Design Institute of San Diego, CA
The kimiko culture and the benefits of working remotely are perfect for Amanda, a high energy person with busy professional and personal lives. With depth of dealership design and leadership experience, Amanda thrives when teams are actively engaged. Furniture specialization feeds her creative and technical drive and she enjoys making a positive impact on the workplace where people spend their greatest amount of waking hours.
Amanda earned the Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Sharpshooter Device Medal during her eight years in the Navy aboard three different forward-deployed aircraft carriers. Then as now, Amanda aims to please.
Furniture Guru, NCIDQ #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.
Furniture Guru, NCIDQ #35536
Bachelor of Science, Interior Design,
North Dakota State University
Ashley traces the origin of her interest in furniture and interior design to her early obsession with Legos. She sees similarities in the versatility and way components work together to create something altogether new. As an analytical problem solver, Ashley loves the technical aspects of furniture, but delving into the aesthetic side provides creative balance. She drew upon both to pass the NCIDQ exam and earn certification. Ashley and her husband enjoy living on the edge at their lake cabin right on the ND-Canada border.
Ashley shares creative expression with her two cats, Echo and Tars. She has an especially ornate sleeve tattoo and they are Bengal cats, known for their exotically patterned coats.
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.
Furniture Guru, NCIDQ ASID
Little Rock, AR
Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design, University of Central Arkansas
Victoria is an Arkansan, born and raised in “The Natural State.” She’s an avid environmentalist and enjoys hiking and camping. Victoria shines on the technical side of commercial interior design, and is intent on developing expertise in one specialization: furniture. She earned interior designer certification from NCIDQ and is an active member of ASID, in which she recently served as Chair for the Central AR Design Community Board. This furniture guru has lots going on and we’re happy to be part of the action.
Victoria was homeschooled in grades 3-12 and active in 4-H throughout, including winning a prophetic competition in “Home Furnishings.”
Director of Spec Services
St. Louis, MO
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Lisa has the drive and talent for understanding the nuts and bolts of all the things, especially if they’re furniture-related. In true furniture nerd fashion, she gets a thrill from project challenges and thrives on developing clever solutions. Using a wealth of client-facing skills, Lisa has led high-profile projects, planned and managed complex corporate facility moves—and managed dealership design, showroom and marketing. Known for her great sense of humor and highly organized style, Lisa is well-suited as kimiko’s director of spec services.
Lisa worked at Blockbuster Video during high school. Nowadays you can find her bingeing TV while “quality testing” furniture items.
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 Fine Arts, Interior Architecture, Ohio University
Like so many kimiko furniture gurus, Justin gets a kick out of creating something from nothing, especially on a furniture design project. Taking a project from concept to reality through the process of design is very satisfying. As part of the LBGTQ+ community, Justin enjoys participating in related charities and organizations in his home––vibrant Columbus, Ohio.
Justin put his side hustle of baking on the back burner to pursue flipping houses in partnership with some friends.
Associate of Applied Science, Interior Design, Baker College
With a decade of experience, Lizzi works from a dual base of knowledge in the design and dealer sides of our industry. She possesses the organizational and technical skills kimiko furniture gurus are known for and also has a love for aesthetics that is key in specifying ancillary furniture and materials. Lizzi says that’s where a client’s space comes to life. Lizzi and her husband live in an eclectic Detroit suburb where they enjoy walking to parks, nightlife, and the arts.
Lizzi’s weirdest project to date involved an inventory of used private office furniture with an inordinate number of custom components. Over 50 additional specials were required on the project, testing (and showcasing) this furniture guru’s determination and attention to detail.
Project Management Maven, AIA, LEED AP, PMP, NCARB
Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Arts, Rice University
Caryn thrives in an environment of collaboration and shared goals. Her constant project priorities are owner advocacy and the end users’ experience. Caryn has managed literally millions of square feet in construction, renovation and interior buildout projects in the healthcare and corporate markets worldwide. She is a Registered Architect and Interior Designer in the State of Texas. Art is Caryn’s personal creative outlet, and she enjoys hiking and hanging out with her husband, son and pets.
Wonder why Caryn is proud to be a member of the same book club for nearly two decades? Long term relationships add character(s) to your story.
St. Louis Park, MN
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, University of Wisconsin Stout
Heidi brings a can-do perspective to her projects, shaped by her personal experience and deep understanding of the furniture process. Her Midwest sensibility makes her mindful of how we connect to our surroundings. Heidi particularly enjoys the technical side of interior design and furniture and loves solving problems by creating their solutions, piece by piece.
It’s a good thing Heidi thrives on teamwork and collaboration. This lifelong, loyal Packers fan lives in the heart of Vikings territory.
Furniture Guru, NCIDQ #029281
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.
Bachelor of Arts in Business, Bethel University
Onju has 30 years of marketing experience. Her industry background includes consumer packaged goods, financial, healthcare, start-ups and non-profits. Successful at cultivating strategic partnerships, she managed the Pillsbury Bake-Off with Oprah announcing the $1M grand prize winner. She raised $6M for hurricane recovery efforts through the Thrivent donor match program. In 2021 she received the National Digital Health Award for Optum HouseCalls. Born in Seoul, South Korea. Onju has lived mostly in Minnesota – plus two years in Bentonville, AR.
Every organization uses acronyms and in her previous roles she was the BO Manager (Bake-Off) and Director of MES (Member Engagement Strategies).
Banff, AB Canada
Bachelor of Interior Design, University of Montreal
Eloise is a cosmopolitan citizen of the world, having traveled to luxurious destinations in 36 countries including international studies in Barcelona and Hong Kong. She was influenced toward a career in design by her father, who included her in the process of renovating all five of their family homes. Eloise thrives on the mix of aesthetics and technology as a furniture specialist. An admitted perfectionist, Eloise finds the kimiko signature obsessive attention to detail to be a perfect fit.
Eloise is a city girl who enjoys walking everywhere; in fact, she has never owned a car.
Media Maven, Allied ASID
Bachelor of Science, Home Furnishings Merchandising, University of North Texas
Sarah is a dynamic force fueled by her passions for marketing, graphic design and furniture. With a BS in Home Furnishings Merchandising from UNT, she possesses an impressive blend of technical expertise and style to boot. Managing kimiko’s marketing strategy, initiatives and social media channels while crafting proposals and presentations, Sarah ensures brand standards align across kimiko’s expanding team. She’s the secret weapon behind your screen.
Sarah is an avid photographer of interiors and landscapes—her work has even been published.
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