Michelle Blunk says it all starts with a conversation. What are your personal tastes? What do you hope to achieve? How comfortable are you with thinking out of the box? What is your budget? Those important conversations go on daily at the two companies that Michelle leads – Conceptual Designs Inc. and WITHIN. A passion for design excellence, innovation and detail mark Michelle’s style. She brings years of experience and savvy in residential and commercial design to her companies and sees them in a symbiotic relationship. “Every commercial client lives in a home; every person has a residence who either works, shops or plays in a business.” Her focus on customer expectations and satisfaction is backed by research and market trips to the places where trends have their roots. “We pride ourselves on a design staff who are experts. We have all of the talent you need to design all your projects,” she says. Michelle, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Iowa State University, also believes in giving back to the community. She returns to ISU annually to meet and mentor the next generation of designers and is a founder of the Women’s Downtown Bettendorf Task Force.
Liz Keltner has a passion for interior design and for creating spaces that people want to work in, live in and play in. She admits to always having been “artsy and craftsy,” and those talents extend to painting, crocheting, ceramics, silkscreen, printing and woodworking. “I just like taking things and making them better than what they are,” she said. The graduate of Harrington College of Design in Chicago says she is not afraid of color and pattern. “Most people are. I usually try to push, get people out of their comfort zone a little bit,” she said, but emphasizes, “We try to achieve their vision.” Examples of her creative work can be seen at the Genesis HealthPlex in west Davenport, Jewell Tool in Davenport, and also showcased at the new Coffee Hound and Cheesy Cow restaurants in Bettendorf. Lyla Mae, Conceptual Designs’ “director of morale” (see profile below) is happy to be Liz’s boss outside of the workplace. Liz is particularly fond rural living, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Lyla Mae visits Conceptual Designs Inc. regularly to quality check our designers’ work for the “cool” factor. Her role also includes boosting our spirits with her playful energy and the occasional case of the “zoomies.” Lyla keeps us focused on the most important tasks which include constant demands for belly rubs.