Raised in Salt Lake City, Karen Rapp was thinking about interiors of homes long before she ever thought of making a career of it. As a little girl, she would draw imaginative floor plans on her parents' driveway. "I also used to build little pieces of furniture out of twigs and leaves and leave them under our lilac hedge," she adds merrily. "I thought little fairies lived in the bushes." Today a resident of Phoenix, this Master of the Southwest still has magical visions, only now they are given reality in remarkably put-together new and remodeled homes, say clients and peers. All speak of Rapp's talent, keen attention to detail, and warmth. Starting out as an English major, then having a change of heart, Rapp graduated from Arizona State University in 1984 with a bachelor of science degree in home economics; its emphasis was in interior design. "After graduating, I worked for a designer from Salt Lake City who was doing work here, and when he went back to Salt Lake, I ended up finishing projects for him." Smiling, she adds, "I started working from my house, and I've never left." There, she has a staff of four, including two design assistants.
"In her egoless way, Karen listens to your vision, your needs, then pulls it together, from furniture to fabrics to light fixtures, and the result is an authentic and unified look that is strictly yours and appears effortless in how it comes together. Nothing is contrived."
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