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CONSTRUCTION NEWS - Covering the Industry in Texas
DALLAS / FORT WORTH | Industry News | Wellspring of Bling
11/29/2018 18:00:00 | Glynn House-Murray, owner of Architectural Bling Inc.
DALLAS/FT WORTH - For someone who likes to put the “Bling” in her clients’ spaces,
Glynn House-Murray says she was decidedly non-glamorous as a child.
“I was the biggest tomboy – no bling!” House-Murray, owner of Architectural Bling says, laughing. “I traded snakes at school with the boys and was not interested in anything being girly or pretty. I used to tell people I should have been a boy. With a name like Glynn, I actually got drafted for the Vietnam War in 1968 and had to go to the draft board to remind them that I was not a boy! My mother, however, had the most exquisite taste and so it finally rubbed off on me when I hit my 20s”
House-Murray first recognized her thing for bling when she was a young woman decorating on a dime.
“When I got out of high school, I got married and had a bunch of children very young and learned very quickly, since I didn’t have much money, how to paint everything with a spray can. Starting from a very young age, in every little apartment I had, everything had to match. If it didn’t match, I would go get a can of spray paint and make it look like it all went together with a pair of cheap curtains from Sears. I’ve always kind of had that flair but didn’t realize it.”
House-Murray went on to work as an engineer for energy controls company Johnson Controls. She remarried and moved with her husband to his native Canada in 1990. After they bought a grand but rather ugly spec home, House-Murray set about beautifying it using large-scale architectural moldings. Unfortunately, her ceilings and walls were unable to support heavy plaster moldings without significant work and expense. Luckily, an acquaintance connected her with someone who used large-scale faux moldings in casinos.
“I ended up finishing the entire house with these gorgeous, big polyurethane moldings,” she says. “I ended up putting in less than $100,000 in finishing in the house, even though the molding made it look like Versailles. It was gorgeous. People would come over and go, ‘Can you do that for me?’’’ After completing projects for ambassadors’ wives in Ottowa, House-Murray decided she had to find a way to do it full-time. Seven years ago, she moved to Texas from Canada and decided to make Architectural Bling official. There was a problem, however.
“My husband hated the name and thought it was stupid!” she says. “Then, he told me I was too old to do it at 60.” Undeterred, House Murray found the perfect spot at Turtle Creek and launched her business.
“There was no showroom like this anywhere in North America,” she says. “Everything in it had to be green, sustainable and faux. We entertained a lot in the showroom in the beginning to introduce people to it and it caught on almost immediately. It was incredible. All of a sudden, I had design groups, like hotel design companies, calling me for something. I may have had no idea how to get it, but I never said no. We built our business around what was asked of us. Now we have a completely diversified company that does a bit of everything and then some. It all has to be sustainable because I’m one hair short of tree hugger!”
Today, the business is located in Irving and House-Murray has three employees (one of which is her husband!). She performs most of the design work on her projects, most recently a 8,000sf restaurant.
“I would like to make this into a legacy business to where my children could keep running it,” she says. “I would like to have it run itself actually so I could finally retire one of these days, but I don’t feel like retiring yet. We’re still full speed ahead and I’m amazed how much we have accomplished in such a short period of time. I love making something out of nothing. My mother used to say she loved making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. That’s what I do.”
Supplier Architectural Bling in Irving provides green, sustainable polyurethane building products. –mjm