Our Mission

Started by Chris Johnson with a simple goal; to provide clients with new concepts and innovative design, while maintaining consistency, integrity, and the highest levels of client service.

About Us

We are a boutique interior design and merchandising firm that values quality over quantity. We pride ourselves on providing our clients the highest level of service with attention given to every detail. We strive to deliver innovative and exciting design within the given parameters of our client’s timelines and budgets. We love what we do and are passionate about excellence.

Since we began over 40 years ago, Design Tec has been awarded more than 75 of the industry’s most prestigious local and national merchandising awards including Gold Nugget, Silver Nugget, MAME, ELAN, Sam, Homer and The Best in American Living. In addition, our founder and president, Chris Johnson was awarded the coveted Max Tipton lifetime achievement award in 2013. Our greatest achievement however, is the loyalty and support we have built with our long-standing clients. We continue to evolve with the ever changing world of home environments and love collaborating with our clients to bring both their new home and multifamily community dreams to reality.

Our Services

Since its inception in 1978 by Chris Johnson, Design Tec has been providing full service interior design and merchandising expertise to the homebuilding industry. Specifically, we offer plan critique, design development, space planning, architectural and finish specifications, purchasing of all merchandise and final installation services. We specialize taking a project from inception all the way through to completion, supporting and collaborating with our clients on every detail through every phase. We consistently deliver creative, targeted and compelling interiors that sell homes for our clients. In 2018, Design Tec Commercial was created with the addition of several talented commercial designers to our team resulting in vital diversification for the firm.

Design Tec Commercial specializes in multifamily, hospitality, corporate and senior living spaces. We offer a complete design experience from interior-architectural detailing, innovative space planning and a creative balance of color, texture and form. Our goal is to integrate interiors with solid architectural design and a timeless quality that captures the soul of the property. Please contact us to discuss opportunities to work together on your next venture.

Our Leadership Team

Chris Johnson

Founder, President | Design Tec, Design Tec Commercial, Studio88

With over 40 years of interior design experience, Chris has devoted her energy and expertise to honing the skills and talent of Design Tec.

In 2018, Chris opened the West Coast’s first design co-working space Studio88 in Newport Beach, giving her an outlet to mentor and give back to the design community she loves. Most recently, Chris expanded Design Tec with the addition of the Commercial/Multifamily division that adds a vital diversification to her firm. Learn more about Chris’s leadership style on Episode 37 of Rick Campos’s Design Biz Survival Guide Podcast.

Lana Canova

Vice President | Design Tec

“Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life” … that has been true for Lana. She joined forces with Chris almost 40 years ago and has worked alongside and guided a team of talented interior designers into the world of Model Home Merchandising.

Lana and her team remain committed to redefining boundaries and staying ahead of the trends. She is excited for the next 40 years!

Lee Ann Engel

Director of Business Operations | Design Tec, Design Tec Commercial, Studio88

With over 30 years in both international and domestic service-related industries, Lee Ann brings expertise in operations, process and implementation, finance and HR management. With focus on efficiency, Lee Ann has bolstered Design Tec’s resiliency by streamlining operations, adapting strategy and navigating the many market fluctuations of the past 15 years. Recently, she was a key player in the successful transition and integration of systems in bringing Design Tec Commercial Division under the Design Tec umbrella.

Alicia Turner

Creative Director, Marketing | Design Tec

Alicia works directly with builders to define their target markets and develop effective and appropriate lifestyle merchandising strategies for their models. With 30 years of experience in the industry, she has had a key role in the success of countless award-winning communities for prominent home builders in her many years at Design Tec. In addition to her design roles, she collaborates on internal marketing and branding efforts.

Alicia brings attention to detail, creativity, and an authentic passion for a job well done to all her projects.

Priya Chawla

Director of Design | Design Tec Commercial

Priya brings over 18 years of global experience in hospitality and mixed-use design. Her career started in India where she grew to be the principal designer of an interior architecture firm and accomplished several projects throughout the country.

As a licensed interior designer in the state of California, Priya’s ability to translate conceptual vision into feasible design schemes, collaborate with consultants, mentor internal teams, and control budget and expense has led to successful and long-lasting partnerships.

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