Awards and Press about Cindy Aplanalp

Best of Houzz 2014

February 4, 2014 – Cindy Aplanalp-Yates of Houston, TX has been awarded  “Best Of Houzz” 2014 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design.  

The “Best Of Houzz” award for 2014 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. 

Remodeling and Home Design

Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractors and other residential remodeling professionals.  

Remodeling and Home Design

Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the community of millions of monthly users, also known as “Houzzers".

Featured in 2013 Kitchen & Bath Magazine

3 Page article and the cover featured designs by Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors and Matt and Jenny Sneller with Sneller Custom Homes & Remodeling

Matt and Jenny Sneller with Sneller Custom Homes & Remodeling along with Cindy Aplanalp-Yates of By Design Interiors created a home that could be described as a "Modern Mix in a Traditional Setting".  This kitchen and bathroom was featured on the cover as well as in a 3 page spread of the Kitchen & Bath Design News, November 2013.  Click here to see the entire article.  

More great kitchen and bathroom ideas can be found in the Kitchen & Bathroom Design News Magazine.

2013 Houston's Best Prism Award

3 Times winner for "Vintage Eclectic" project by Cindy Aplanalp and Gyphon Builders.

- Remodeled Specialty Room
- Private Residence Interior Design Specialty Room
- Private Residence Interior Design Family Room

Houston's Best Award Finalist:

Private Residence Interior Design Bathroom Finalist

Private Residence Interior Design Family Room Finalist

Private Residence Interior Design Specialty Room Finalist

Remodeled Bathroom under $50,000 Finalist with Sneller Custom Homes & Remodeling

2013 Star Awards

2013 Star Awards have been announced!  Best Specialty Room over $50K goes to a project by Gryphon Builders and Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors!

Photo compliments of Gryphon Builders

"Best of Houzz" for 2013

January 22, 2013 – Cindy Aplanalp-Yates of Houston, TX has been awarded  “Best Of Houzz” 2013 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design.  The very talented Cindy, was chosen by the more than 11 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

 The Houzz “Best Of Houzz” award for 2013 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractors and other residential remodeling professionals.  Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the community of 11 million monthly users, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 124 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app.

Check out my Houzz portfolio to see more.

Houston's Best - Prism Awards 2012


In an award ceremony on October 6th, Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors was presented with two GHBA Houston's Best Awards for residential design.  The Greater Houston Builders Association's prestigious "Houston's Best" Awards have been recognizing excellence and superior acheivement in the home building industry for more than 30 years. Formally the PRISM Awards, Houston's Best honors builders, remodelors, designers and sales professionals in the categories of People, Product and Promotion.

The 2012 Awards:


Out-of-the-Ordinary Bathrooms

One of my bathrooms is featured in the Home Portfolio for the vibrant colors.  Check out the website for my design and many other great bathrooms!

2012 GHBA Residential Design Excellance Award
Featured in Greater Houston Builders Assocation Magazine, Issue September 2012

Design by Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors, David Patterson of DWP Architects, and Ted and Yvonne Cummins of Morning Star Builders.

"Morning Star Builders has been named a 2012 Design Excellence Award winner by Residential Design + Build magazine. The annual awards program recognizes residential design and construction firms for excellence in the single-family custom home market.  The judges chose Morning Star Builders for its success at addressing challenges, design creativity and overall dedication to success and as proof of the firm’s unwavering quality as the nation’s housing market begins its slow recovery.  This award winning master bathroom features a barrel vaulted ceiling finished in exquisite glass mosaic tile, a digital shower controller with bedside remote, heated towel warmer, candle fireplace, air tub, furniture styled vanities and a TV hidden behind the mirror with two way glass," as quoted from the People & Places section of the GHBA magazine.

"Grand Style in Cypress"
Houston House and Home
October 2011

Southern Living Showcase Home by Morning Star Builders celebrates rustic luxury

Written by Chris Day
Photography by Kolanowski Studio, Inc.

"The mantra adopted by Morning Star Builders CEO Ted Cummins is "the difference is in the details." With one glance at the interiors of this custom home in Hidden Falls, the visitor knows that Cummins takes this mantra very seriously. This Tuscan-style villa is a 2011 Southern Living Showcase home in Hidden Falls, a gated community in Cypress, Texas and boasts over 5,000 square feet of gorgeous details, including a stucco/brick exterior with custom wrought iron accents. The intricately patterned bricks are just one of many recurring motifs that flow throughout the house."

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Houston's Best 2011

In an award ceremony on September 24th, By Design Interiors was presented with two GHBA Houston's Best Awards for residential design.
The Greater Houston Builders Association's prestigious "Houston's Best" Awards have been recognizing excellence and superior acheivement in the home building industry for more than 30 years. Formally the PRISM Awards, Houston's Best honors builders, remodelors, designers and sales professionals in the categories of People, Product and Promotion.

The 2011 Awards:
Residential Interior Design: BathroomDesigner: Cindy AplanalpThe clients’ favorite vacation spot in Indonesia was inspiration to create the perfect couple’s retreat in their newly acquired bay front vacation home.

Residential Interiors: Family RoomDesigner: Cindy AplanalpThis space offers a variety of lifestyle options, from cozy fireside seating in the family room, to the open engaged kitchen and eat-at bar, to the spacious dining area perfect for large sit down dinners and gatherings around the custom 130” dining table.

2011 Finalists:
Specialty Room - Study
Designer: Cindy Aplanalp

Bright and Beautiful
Houston Design Resource 2011

By Design Interiors, Inc.
Designer on Project: Cindy Aplanalp, ASID Allied

Assistant Designers on Project: Amber Reddoch and Erika Barczak
Photography by Brad Carr,

"From curbside of this home you know you've arrived someplace spectacular, as a mix of modern lighting shines through traditional paned Palladian windows.  The two most important elements of this space are the flooring- a custom blend of Jerusalem travertine in a Versaille pattern- and the lighting.  "This caliber of lighting cannot be found in your everyday lighting stores nor can you reliably shop online," explains Aplanalp. The Spectacular lighting was selected after man hours of sourcing, sketching elevations and laying it out on the floor plan in order to determine how it would relate to all aspects of the space and home.  "I don't know what I would have done if I had been faced with the decisions and potential mishaps on my own- that's why I hired a pro! explains the homeowner.  Lighting is the icingon the cake for Aplanalp.  "I always do my best to utilize my client's budget wisely.  One area where they will get the most for their investments is in the lighting!"

To read the rest of the here!

"Texas' Textured Walls can welcome wall covering- After a step"
Houston Chronicle April 10, 2011
By Cindy Aplanalp 

"These days when someone hears the term "wall covering," the response is usually a combination of goose-bumps and a "you've got to be kidding me" look.

However, according to, wall covering never went just went into hibernation for a while.  The wall coverings that are available today are not the wallpapers your grandmother (or mother) would have on her kitchen walls. There is a wide variety of beautiful (yes, beautiful) fresh, durable, textured and rich wall coverings that can enhance any wall in your home."

"Although wall covering is coming out of hibernation, we are finding there is one hurdle that must be overcome in Texas: textured walls.  Almost every home in this state has textured walls.  Unfortunately, wall coverings cannot be applied to a textured wall or ceiling.

If you have textured walls (and you probably do), don't lose heart. There is a solution; it just make take an extra step.  The surface will need to be floated out and smoothed over in order to apply a fabulous roll of two of the great-looking paper.  Although this is a solution to the Texas textured wals, this added expense can often deter people from selecting wall coverings. However, if you are considerings a remodeling project, it would benefit you to consult with a professional in order to help you think ahead.  As you acknowledge walls and ceiling thats make the perfect location for thie design element, you will be able to prevent the extra step and expense.  Make sure these identified walls are not textured in the building phases and they will be ready for the faculous wall covering you have selected to compliment the spaces.

The following is a list of great spaces for wall coverings:
*Laundry room,
*Powder Room
*Child'e bedroom,
*Study or home office,
*Your "fourth wall," the ceiling; or the backs of bookshelves.

Do not let Texas' textured walls limit creative options when updating your space.  Professionals in the industry can assist in the selecting just the right walls to update with this once-said outdated design element and enhance the beauty of your environment."

2011 Bedroom Design
"Simply Stunning Sophistication"
By Design Interiors, Inc.
Designer: Cindy Aplanalp
Assistant Designers: Amber Reddoch and Erika Barczak
Photographer: Brad Carr

By, Jack Frink
Texas Home and Living, March/April 2011

"'Design is a living, breathing thing- it can comfort and offer joy,' Houston-based Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors, Inc., philosophizes.  'I always begin by asking my clients how they want to feel in their space and how they plan to live in it.  In this room my client wanted to feel elegant, and have an environments where she could connect with her daughters.  Therefore, with a soothing palette, rich materials, glamorous textures of silk, leather, fur and a mix of metals and antique mirrors we were able to create the space the client had envisioned.'"

"Aplanalp counts herself as fortunate because she was able to work on this entire house- 'top to bottom,' as she puts it.  This bedroom threw a few complications Cindy's ways as the worked to completion; the couple wanted to keep their bed which was a big, brown and heavy wood structure.

"'Technically, we did keep the bed, we just changed every aspect of it,' Aplanalp reveals.  'Platinum leather upholstery was added with tufting and we changed the finish from brown oak to a very 'glammy' metallic.'"

Cindy, when talking to Texas Home & Living before, insists that, with each new project, she tries to never do what she has done before.  For Aplanalp, that's 'the best part of my job.  Tapping in to the uniqueness of the client for inspiration always allows for new techniques and design opportunities.  In this case, I had never worked with this mix of a color palette before, nor had I done a custom acrylic bench (which turned out amazing)- so that was an adventure.'"

"Let there be light from the beginning"
Houston Chronicle February 6, 2011
By Cindy Aplanalp and Erika Barczak

"Choosing the correct lighting during a remodel or new-construction project is one of the most important considerations when putting together a space.  Proper lighting provides the necessary illumination, it defines the atmosphere of your space, creates a particular mood and provides accent to your architectural style.

Begin the project with your lighting.

Evaluate your current lighting and determine what needs to be changes: Is it enough? How can it be better? Do you have enough control over it?

Study a space you find to be well lit- what makes it function so well?

If you are swapping out only fixtures, try a layered look by selecting pieces that will go together though are not necessarily from the same collection."

The 2011 Bathroom Design Special
"Sensuous Master Bath Escape"
By Design Interiors, Inc.
Photography by Brad Carr

By, Jack Frink
Texas Home and Living, Jan/Feb 2011

"This particular client found lauded designer Cindy Aplanalp on the ASID's website ( and was intrigued by her master bath renovation that won the 2009 Houston's Best Award (formerly the Prism Award).  Almost everything about this bathroom was transformed from an outdated, amost unusable space to a stylish bathroom retreat."

Read full article here.

"Our Favorite Christmas Decorating Ideas"

November, 2010
By Chelsea Bowen

"Dazzling Table Decor

Create an easy decoration for any table in your home. Barnhardt suggests gathering favorite ornaments, in colors that complement your decor, and mix with pine cones or pods into bowls. Photo courtesy of Cindy Aplanalp."

Click here to visit HGTV's photo gallery.

"20 Gorgeous Holiday Table Settings"

November, 2010
By Kayla Kitts

"Non-Traditional Colors

"Christmas doesn't always have to be green and red,"designer Cindy Aplanalp says. "You can extend your fall decorations into the winter by using gold as a holiday color." Cindy's holiday table setting brings in hints of Christmas hues, but allows natural tones of golden yellow and brown to shine through."

Click here to visit HGTV's photo gallery.

Houston Business Journal
"Renovation Rebound: Economy, residential market driving more homeowners to work with what they have."

Week of October 22-28, 2010
By Casey Wooten

"Houston Remodelers are finding plenty of work as the still-sluggish real estate market is causing homeowners to think twice before putting their homes on the market.

But still, the size of such projects is shrinking.

Large-scale, ostentatious add-ons and expansions are few and far between, replaced by more practical projects that add to the overall value and marketability of the home, industry insiders say."

See more of the article by clicking here.  Or pick up this week's Houston Business Journal at any local Randalls or HEB.

The Designer Next Door
Cindy Aplanalp, By Design Interiors, Inc. wins four “Houston’s Best Awards” for greater Houston interior design.

Houston, TX - September 18, 2010: Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors, Inc. was awarded four Houston’s Best awards in the category of “Interior Design: Private Residence” in an award ceremony hosted by the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) on September 18, 2010. By Design Interiors, Inc. swept the floor in the same category, being deemed “Houston’s Best” for five interior design projects in the greater Houston area.

TheGreater Houston Builders Association’sprestigious “Houston’s Best” Awards have been recognizing excellence and superior achievement in the home building industry for more than 30 years. Formally the PRISM Awards, Houston’s Best recognizes builders, remodelors, design and sales professionals and the categories of People, Product, and Promotion. The judges are chosen from a regional and national list of respected industry professionals. The top three highest scoring entries in each category were designated finalists, with the highest scoring entry awarded the title of "Houston's Best."

Read full article here.

GHBA Houston's Best 2010

Winner of Houston's Best:
*Interior Design: Best Family Room
*Interior Design: Best Dining Room
*Interior Design: Best Bedroom
*Best Remodeled Bathroom under $50,000 with Peggy Fuller of By Design Interiors, Inc.

September 18, 2010

At the GHBA Houston's Best Awards Ceremony on Saturday, September 18th, Cindy Aplanalp took home three of Houston's Best Awards for Interior Design with two other projects selected as finalists.  Her "Champions Forest" residential design won for "Best Family Room," "Best Dining Room," and "Best Bedroom."   Cindy's project with By Design Interiors, Inc. owner, Peggy Fuller won Houston's Best "Bathroom Remodel under $50,000" and Peggy won for Best Interior Design, "Best Living Room."

The annual Houston's Best Awards honor Houston area builders, remodelers, designers and associates for their work in the design and building industry.  Awards are given in several categories including, Custom Building, Remodeling, Green Design, Humanitarianism, Marketing and Advertising, and Interior Design. 

"An Exercise in Restraint"
Kitchen Interior Design by Cindy Aplanalp, ASID Allied
By Design Interiors, Inc.
Photography by Erika Barczak

By, Jack Frink
Texas Home and Living, Sept/Oct. 2010

"The Clark residence kitchen was featured in the September/October 2010 issue of Texas Home and Living. "Its heartbreaking when a builder leaves a project halfway through a project.  That sad eventuality is what faced the homeowners of this luxurious kitchen in Houston near Memorial Park for seven stagnant months. Luckily for them, Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors came to the rescue.  She introduced the clients to William Shaw and Associates who accepted the daunting task of completing this project. This kitchen is a story of triumph over adversity."

Design Happens
"Designers: Cindy Aplanalp"

August 3, 2010
By Karli Sanders 

Throughout the past seven months, I have been consistently uploading my design projects to HGTV's "Rate My Space" and "Designer's Portfolio."  HGTV has provided an incredible outlet for design and a place for designers and non-designers to share, consult and interact.  These outlets have allowed my spaces to be seen, rated and commented on by thousands of people all over the United States.  The amazing praise and constructive criticism have been essential in my growth as a designer. 

When asked to do an interview to be highlighted as a designer on HGTV"s blog, Design Happens, I was thrilled.  The blog post was published on August 3, 2010 and highlights my design background, philosophy, styles and even a little personal info.

Click here to read the entire blog post on Design Happens. 

"Plan Could be Green Element in Remodel"
Houston Chronicle July 23, 2010

By Cindy Aplanalp and Erika Barczak

This article relates My philosophy of green design which, is slightly different than the norm- but just as friendly to our environment.  My goal every time I design a space is to create a room that will be perfect for my clients for years and years.  Instead of designing within a current fad, I try to define a style and incorporate functionality the coincides perfectly with the lifestyles of my clients.  That way, their homes, offices, outdoor living areas, etc. remain as functional and aesthetically pleasing from the beginning to end and only require minimal updates.   

Read entire article here.

"A Sand Blast"

Houston Chronicle June 11, 2010

By Roberta MacInnis and Michael Paulsen

The By Design Interior Ladies were spotted in the Houston Chronicle in their article about the AIA Sandcastle Competition in Galveston Texas.  The caption under our photo read, "Life's a Beach: Sixty-two enthusiastic teams competed for various honors."  We were incredibly enthusiastic with out fake mustaches, water guns and holsters, cowboy hats and cowbells, and definitely with our loud "yee-hahs!"

2009 Winner of Houston's Best:

Remodeled Bathroom under $50,000 
By Larissa Caramanidis

"A Cindy Aplanalp, ASID, allied, of By Design Interiors, Inc was recently honored with a ‘Houston’s Best’ award by the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) Sales and Marketing Council. The Interior Designer received the award for ‘Best Bathroom Remodel under $50,000’ category.

This bathroom transformation was inspired from the homeowner’s comment encouraging Cindy to design something that will ‘make my wife smile’. Taking hints from the wedding photos of the couple in Bali, Cindy transformed an outdated, uninspiring bath into a spa-like retreat for soothing the senses and calming the soul."

Read full article here.  

"Repurposed Space"

Featured in Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Texas Home and Living

by Larissa Caramanidis 

"After moving from Florida to Kingwood, the client, a couple, realized a small home office area was never being used. The project began with the goal of taking the unused space and repurposing it into an “upscale man-pit” for the husband to relax and enjoy the wines he had been collecting on their travels.

"For interior designers Peggy Fuller and Cindy Aplanalp, function must come first and the aesthetics can be layered in. If a project does not meet its intended purpose, it is not successful. Incorporating the couples love of Argentina, bottle count, display appeal, case storage, and the ability to maintain a 55-degree environment were all design considerations. Fuller and Aplanalp enlisted the help of William Ardon of AWP services to help with cooling, insulation, placement of the condenser, etc. Rudy Ardon contributed his expert carpentry skills and knack for creating storage solutions."

Read full article here.

"The Designer Next Door"

Featured in Homestead Magazine, Sept. '09 

By Larissa Caramanidis

"Eclectic Style: 

Most of us have some pieces of furniture that we like and want to use as we approach a design project. Additionally, the expense for starting from scratch can be a little overwhelming. Designer Cindy Aplanalp of By Design Interiors, Inc. decided to use an eclectic style when decorating her home. Utilizing in her design all the things she loves and has collected over time. As it applies to the world of design, eclectic style is a blend of furnishing from a mixture of sources and time periods. An eclectic room should feature pieces that have things in common to create harmony within the space; tying everything together by a shared theme or component. This is definitely not a hodgepodge or jumbled assortment of random items, rather a well planned and deliberate design style. 

With furnishings that relate to each other in color, pattern, scale, texture, finish, and/or shape the eclectic design style is brought together. The color schemes used can be diverse, however, as a general rule, neutral colors are important both as a backdrop and for large furniture pieces. Perfect colors for this use include white, cream, gray, black, brown, taupe, and putty. In Cindy’s home, a “candlelight white” color is used on the walls and the window treatments in order to draw your attention to the other elements in the room." 

Read full article here.

“The Secret Language of Interior Design”

Featured Houston Design Resource, Issue I 2009

By Larissa Caramanidis


"Most of us are not familiar with the language of interior design. Words such as space planning, form, scale, and depth sound like a foreign language to anyone that is not a designer. However, "every one of us has experienced being in a place that just feels like ‘home’ from the moment we walked in. Although we may not be able to describe why, we know that it is comfortable, or inviting, or simply beautiful,” comments Peggy Fuller, ASID and licensed designer #3904, of By Design Interiors, Inc. 

Given that your home is more than likely the principal investment of your lifetime; the expert advice of a designer is priceless when it comes to creating an exceptional interior. As a consumer, it is sensible to be informed about the products and services you are purchasing, and knowing the language associated with them is invaluable. It is the job of a designer’s to transform a client’s desires into a plan and define how it will be executed."

"Trust Me for Relocation"

Featured in Houston Newcomer Guide, 2010

By Cindy Aplanalp


"Trust me, I’m a Designer…

As a result of the popularity of many home improvement shows, Interior Design has become an area of interest to an increasing number of home owners. In contemplating your move to Houston, whether you want to build a custom home or purchase an existing, you may want to consider placing your trust in an Interior Designer to help you fashion a beautiful home.


An Interior Designer knows how to coordinate color, space and objects to achieve your design goals. The designer you select will be able to assist you with everything from the blueprint stage to placing the last accessory. Enlisting the able assistance of an Interior Designer for your new home has several benefits. Working with a design professional early in the process can save you time, money, and grief by helping to create a cohesive vision for your space and eliminating costly mistakes."