Designer Crush: Angela Harris of TRIO Environments


1. You took a leap of faith to launch TRIO in 1999 — where were you at in your life that prompted you to make a risky move and pursue your dream?

I was at a point in my life, where nothing seemed to be coming together, both professionally or personally. I felt like there was a constant push against what was happening in my life and what I really wanted. It wasn’t until I started to notice that things always happen “for you” and not “to you” that I was able to shift my perspective.  Once my focus was realigned with the natural flow and synchronicity of the Universe, I had no fear in pursuing my dreams. I LOVE design and being creative, in general. It has made an incredible impact on my life and I am so grateful that I get to do this every day. It pushes me beyond my limitations and continues to inspire me.

2. You founded TRIO on the premise of providing “pure authenticity in design;” what did that mean to you and what did you feel was lacking in other firms that TRIO could provide?

Simplicity: There is something so beautiful about simplicity.

Unexpected Design: The design space is very crowded. I love delivering the unexpected and creating things and spaces that make people stop and think. Whether you like it or dislike it, I think there is a lot to be said for thought-provoking design.

Truth: I think the art of embracing imperfections is incredibly liberating.

3. Why did you feel it was important to earn your degree in Sustainable Design?

For me, there is something so beautiful about the challenge of fusing together beautiful spaces and the natural environment. Embracing, and more importantly, preserving our natural surroundings through the design process is my way of celebrating beauty and all the gifts that I have been allotted.

4. Describe TRIO’s three-part brand.

The TRIO brand is made up of three sub-brands. The first is a collection of homes designed specifically for and by TRIO, the second is our interior design consulting agency, and the last is a collection of beautifully designed home products/merchandise.  

5. What’s a typical work day like for you?

It is always so different. It is the perfect combination of interior design, team collaboration, client interaction, product design, and business strategy planning.

6. TRIO is based in Denver but has been doing a lot of work on the West Coast — what are some of the California projects that you’re most excited about?

We work all over the world, but CA is one of our favorite spots. It’s a place with a lot of history, personality and charisma. My favorite CA project, was a 3600 square-foot custom home we designed in Palm Desert. It perfectly aligns with our design aesthetic of simple, authentic and beautifully designed contemporary architecture. It was just recognized for Best Interior Design in the Country, by the National Association of Homebuilders. We were so proud and thrilled with the recognition.

7. Describe your ultimate dream vacation.  

Anywhere that I have my husband and 4-year old son by my side. We travel a lot and have such great experiences every day, that it is hard for me to think about taking a vacation from my day to day life. I am fortunate to live a life that I feel I am on vacation most days!

8. Which movies, albums, or books have you drawn creative inspiration from?

There is a new magazine out that I just picked up at the airport on my way to NYC, called SUCCESS. It was a great read, and certainly inspiring. Other books and movies include Ian Schrager: Works, Jean-Michael Basquiat: The Radiant Child, and Alice & Olivia’s Instagram page. I find most of my inspiration through the stories of others and through travel.

Lightning round!

9. Surf or ski?

At this point in my life, surf!

10. Stripes or polka dots?


11. Jimmy Choos or Chuck Taylors?

I have both and love them both for very different reasons.

12. Pancakes or waffles?


13. Karaoke queen or dance machine?

Dance Machine.

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