The textile studio is an important part of Charbonneau Interiors.
Founder Nancy Charbonneau (Photo by Charbonneau Interiors)
The workroom at Charbonneau Interiors has a large custom table, allowing the seamstress to easily manipulate larger lengths of fabric. (Photo by Charbonneau Interiors)
Custom bedding and drapery panels are just part of what comes from the in-house workshop at Charbonneau Interiors. (Photo by Charbonneau Interiors)
Munira Kapasi has been in charge of the Charbonneau Interiors workroom for the past 10 years
Pillows are just part of what Charbonneau Interiors creates in-house.
A fixture on The Woodlands scene since 1999, Charbonneau Interiors has been through several incarnations — as a retail store for 18 years with furniture and accessories to becoming a full-service, custom interior design firm in 2018 and now with a relaunched online retail store to complement the design business. Now with a team of 13, Nancy Charbonneau finally has her dream business. Rooted in dual passions, one for high-quality craftsmanship and the other for beautiful textiles, Charbonneau Interiors also boasts a full-service textile studio and workroom.
Nancy Charbonneau grew up in a family that liked to create things. Her mom loves to sew and her dad loves to build things. Dresses, doll clothes and curtains were always in the works for Nancy, and as a teenager she thought a career in fashion design would follow.
“(I had) a huge blank sketchbook that I filled up with designs,” Nancy Charbonneau tells PaperCity The Woodlands. ”It was a fantasy world designing creative clothes on paper without a care in the world. I made my dresses for dances and events and made most of my pants and shorts as they were super easy to construct. I so loved getting to select the fabrics for these creations.”
In 1999, Nancy Charbonneau’s love of textiles led to her opening Woodlands Fabrics & Interiors. That store carried beautiful textiles, decor and furnishings. From those days of wall-to-wall bolts, Charbonneau Interiors now carries a highly curated collection of fabrics, trims, sheers and more in its in-Studio Resource Library. Frequently refreshed and updated, this collection is for the exclusive use of their design team and clients in the in-house workroom.
That workroom, helmed by Munira Kapasi, is one of the only of its kind in the entire region. The workroom specializes in couture textiles, including drapery, bedding and linens.
“Given the reality of supply chain disruptions and product delays in the world today, having our in-house workroom gives us one area where we are more in control of our creative process,” Nancy Charbonneau notes. “Having this capability right at our fingertips has been an invaluable resource for both our team and clients.
“Instead of waiting on delays and shortages, we’re able to pull from our own curated resource library, envision custom designs and create one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pieces that our clients can enjoy for years to come.”
Kapasi has been part of the Charbonneau team for more than 10 years.
“When I emigrated from Moshi, Tanzania to Houston 20 years ago, my first job in the United States was as a part time seamstress at an alteration shop,” Kapasi says. “Now, I am proud to say that I am the lead seamstress. Who knew that the diploma course in sewing which I took in Dar es-Salaam when I was 16 years old would culminate this way?”
Right next to the studio, you’ll find Charbonneau’s sister company — Designers Hardware. Founded by Dave and Nancy Charbonneau in the early days of Woodlands Fabrics & Interiors, Designers Hardware specializes in custom drapery hardware and ironwork and boasts its own fully equipped workshop in the back to create completely custom pieces. In addition to being a to-the-trade business, Charbonneau Interiors uses Designers Hardware for many of its projects.
“So we manufacture a lot of our own drapery rods for all the draperies that we do,” Nancy Charbonneau says. “And then we also wholesale drapery hardware to other designers and work rooms. We are kind of spoiled because we have an install tomorrow and just realized that one of the rods was cut too short — so instead of having to cancel the whole install we can take care of it.”
Utilizing technology to communicate clearly with clients is another way Charbonneau Interiors tries to set itself apart. A proprietary Slack communication program was developed internally, keeping contracts, clients and the design team current in real time on each and every project.
“We have a client communication Slack channel with all of our clients on their project and every room has a channel and then all the information for every single room is put in that platform,” Chabonneau says. “We don’t generally do project communication via text or emails. All done through this app which is really nice because it’s just eliminated the time that it takes to find information.
“Every single thing gets put in a schedule and then the contractor gets this as well so that there’s absolutely no confusion as to what’s to be done. All of this gets into the client’s channel so that they always know where to find things. They have the information and the data to find things quickly and easily.”
Charbonneau is designing luxury homes and businesses all over North America, from Calgary to Cabo to Colorado and right here in The Woodlands at the new much-anticipated Ritz-Carlton Residences, The Woodlands project. These designing gurus always have a plan.
Charbonneau Interiors can be found at 11200 Cox Road in Conroe.