Designing duo

Kara and Tim Paslay have big dreams of owning a design business and having their own interior design TV show — and they are close to achieving them



Tim and Kara Paslay met in high school, married in college and are now business partners completing freelance design and television work.

Kara and Tim Paslay are former high school sweethearts who have become business partners as well as wife and husband.

Kara is a determined young woman who set her sights on becoming a professional basketball player even though she was only 5 feet 2 inches tall. She did that.

Now she has set her sights on having her own interior design business and television show, with Tim as her associate and partner.

She’s got them on the way, having appeared in January in a segment on “The Nate Berkus Show” (Berkus was the designer for Oprah Winfrey before she retired from her own show). Some of their designs have been featured on an HGTV website and other Internet design sites. She and Tim were also part of a design team on an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which aired in November 2011.

And the home they re-did together as a learning and design start will be featured this spring in DIY magazine.

They have a name for the business, Kara Paslay Designs, and a title for a show: “’Til Design Do Us Part.”

They also manage to keep busy doing freelance design and television production work for a number of companies. Neither holds a full-time job because, Kara says, “freelancing is a full-time job.”

That caused Kara to give up a position as a decorator for Anthropologie, a women’s clothing and home décor store in Utica Square.

Their journey to their current career path includes a few twists and turns.

Kara grew up in Springdale, Tim in Fayetteville, neighboring communities in northwest Arkansas. They met through a mutual friend.

Kara came to The University of Tulsa on a basketball scholarship after graduating from high school and Tim followed the next year, on a National Merit scholarship. They married before her senior year at TU, in 2005.

Kara became fascinated with interior design as a sophomore, but TU did not offer such a program, so she studied and learned on her own. Tim began college with aspirations of medical school but decided that was not his field and received a degree in biochemistry.

Kara went to Lithuania to play professional basketball for a year while Tim finished at TU. They then decided to focus on her design goals.

They bought an old house in midtown Tulsa and began remodeling it.

“We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we knew we had to do it,” Kara says. “Neither one of us had any experience in renovation, but we knew we had the capacity to learn and the determination to finish the project.”

Tim also took a job with a remodeling company to gain experience.

That’s the house that will be featured in DIY magazine.

They have also done window and retail design and television set design and helped on the production of commercials, in addition to other endeavors.

“Throughout our three years of being in business, we have taken on any job that allows us to flex our creative muscles,” Kara says.

“What we love to do is design,” she continues. “But we feel that our calling is to inspire others to pursue their own dreams.

“When we design a space, we take into account the owners’ passions, their backgrounds and their dreams. Our goal is to create a space that encourages them each day to go after their goals with all their heart.”

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December 2018

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