Cullen’s Home Center’s Laura Johnson and Emily Stock

Filed in Design and Decor by on June 1, 2015


by Jackie Jenson | Photography by Janssen Photography


Talented and timely, Laura Johnson and Emily Stock are a one stop interior design shop situated within the Cullen’s Home Center Fergus Falls location. Working together for more than a year now, this dynamic designing duo has an eye for style and a bead on top trends that can bring your dream house plans into clear focus.


What types of services do you provide and how long have the two of you been working in design?


Collens-0059Laura: If cabinets touch it, we work with it from flooring to lighting, bathrooms to bars and everything in between. I started 12 years ago coming from a construction and real estate background. Emily went to school at Alexandria Technical and Community College for Interior Design, and recently joined us.


Emily: I did my internship with Cullen’s Home Center. I worked with Laura who taught me everything I needed to know and more. My job is to help the customers design their dream kitchen ─ layout, cabinetry, countertops and much, much more.


What are some of your favorite design projects and why?


Emily: I can’t say I have a favorite because every customer and project is different. My favorite [thing that I do] is making someone’s dream come true. When I can make the customer say, ‘Wow, I love it’, that is the best.


Laura: I love the projects where I can be creative and incorporate a unique feature into the design. Kitchens are fun, but designing a custom entertainment center to match the wet bar and the fireplace – those projects give me a chance to show off my creative side.


Cullen’s Home Center is known for offering quality products and personalized care. How do you blend style trends and a client’s personality into your designs?


Collens-0045Emily: By getting to know our clients, not just their design style and what they want in their home; we connect in a personal way. I also keep myself informed by looking on Houzz, Angie’s List, various magazines and as a member in NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), we have lots of resources.


Laura:  Thanks to the internet and HGTV, people have strong ideas about the look and style they want, so we go over the pros and cons of their choices, and then work to make them fit into their space and the family needs.


With so many new tech tools out there today, has the design process changed over the years?


Emily: Yes I believe it has, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is a designer’s taste. That can’t be taught.


Laura:  The graphics are the most amazing these days. We can draft a plan and have the sun and shadows in the room placed according to the time of day and then do a time lapse to show how the room would look as the sun sets.


What are some of the trending textures and products for 2015?


Collens-0026BLaura: I feel trends depend on where you are. The east and west coast see trends several years before they hit here. Some people may think of that as a bad thing but I think of it as a filter. By that time though, only the best and brightest trends make it here.


Emily: Gray has become popular in most products like cabinetry, countertops and carpet. Bright colored islands and textured countertops are also common as are kitchen seating areas instead of having a formal dining room.


Cullen’s Home Center is a large home store with lots of different product offerings. What are some of the advantages to doing everything in one place?


Emily: For the people who have built new, they know how difficult decisions can be. For the people who haven’t, there are so many choices that it can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in to help sort through those choices and find the ones that fit best.


Laura: The Cullen’s team is our greatest asset for our staff and for the customer.  A fantastic kitchen only looks better when the flooring and the lighting compliment the cabinets and counter tops. We often work together to make a project “flow”. Once one of us is done with our area of expertise, we tag the next expert.


What size projects do you usually take on and do you do remodels as well new construction?


Collens-0032Laura: We can take on everything from selling you a sofa to helping you build a new 5000 square foot home. Again, team work is the key to any project Cullen’s works on.  Just like you wouldn’t visit an optometrist for a broken leg, we don’t expect our fireplace expert to sell you granite counters. We have an expert on hand in each area of home building remodeling.


Emily: We will take any size project on — size doesn’t matter. We do remodels, as well as take on new construction. Some years we do more remodels than we do new builds; other years it is the other way around.


Why do you enjoy working in the home design world?


Emily: I have always known I would become a designer. When I went to college, I fell in love with kitchen design. The programs we used showed me so much more than I ever thought it could be. I love to create. It brings happiness to people that want their dream home.


Laura: Your home is your biggest and most valuable possession. Everyone wants a place they can be proud of. Helping people with any project that makes their home more beautiful, more valuable or more comfortable is a rewarding job. I’m not saving lives but I do hope I’m making them a bit better.


Tags: , , , , , ,