The Houston Design District is excited to announce that Lucinda Loya, Courtney Hill Fertitta, and Kelly Gale Amen have been inducted into the prestigious Leaders in Design program. This recognition celebrates their exceptional contributions to interior design and architecture, solidifying their places among Houston’s elite design professionals.

In a warm, intimate gathering, the three honorees stood before an audience of around 65 family members, friends, and fellow designers at the Houston Design Center showroom. The event, marked by its sophisticated yet friendly atmosphere, took place at the Houston Design Center showroom. Guests enjoyed fine wines from Rombauer Vineyards and savored exquisite cheese and charcuterie while admiring art from Thornwood Gallery Fine Art, McClain Gallery, and Tony Magar Gallery.

The Leaders in Design program, which has been dormant since 2019, has been revived this year by Design District Managing Director Denzil Hollingsworth. With new sponsorship and a renewed vision, the program aims to honor outstanding Houston-area interior designers and architects. The first set of honorees in this new era includes six distinguished designers, with Lucinda Loya, Courtney Hill Fertitta, and Kelly Gale Amen being the stars of the April ceremony.

The Glamorous Visionary

Lucinda Loya
Lucinda Loya, founder of Lucinda Loya Interiors, is a prominent figure in the design world and a dedicated philanthropist. Her journey in interior design began organically; moving between the Midwest and Houston during her youth, she ultimately chose to make Houston her home. After high school, Loya quickly established herself in the city, finding a job and setting up her interior design business.

Loya, known for her glamorous and sophisticated style, reflects a deep connection to fashion and art in her work. Her ability to blend elegance with comfort has made her a sought-after designer in Houston and beyond. Friends and clients who admire her taste and creativity turn to her consistently for her unique vision of transforming spaces.

Blending Residential Elegance with Hospitality, Flair

Courtney Hill Fertitta is a Houston native whose design journey took her to New York, where she honed her skills under the tutelage of renowned designers Victoria Hagen and Greg Jordan. With a solid foundation in design principles, she returned to Houston to establish Courtney Hill Interiors. Her firm has primarily focused on residential projects, creating beautiful and functional homes.

Fertitta has recently expanded her repertoire to include hospitality projects, bringing her sophisticated touch to notable establishments such as Navy Blue, Bludorn, and Carrabba. Her ability to adapt her residential design expertise to the unique demands of hospitality spaces demonstrates her versatility and creativity as a designer.

Hill Fertitta

The Timeless Innovator In Design

Kelly Gale Amen, originally from Oklahoma, has been a vibrant part of Houston’s design scene for nearly five decades. His work is characterized by a classic design style that transcends trends, ensuring his creations remain timeless. Amen’s contributions to the design world are extensive, including patterns for upholstery and rugs and the design of unique furniture pieces.

One of Amen’s notable projects includes the creation of cast aluminum benches, which have been featured at Space Center Houston and the Stafford Air & Space Museum in his hometown of Weatherford, Oklahoma. His latest venture is a collection of cashmere and pashmina scarves and shawls showcasing his textile designs. These luxurious items are produced in Kashmir, India, in collaboration with his longtime tailor’s son, Amjid Gulzar, reflecting Amen’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

Celebrating Excellence

The event celebrating these three designers was made possible through the generous support of Thorntree, the presenting sponsor, and Memorial and River Oaks Lifestyle magazines, the media partners. The ASID Texas Gulf Coast chapter also played a crucial role as the industry partner, ensuring the event’s success.

Lucinda Loya, Courtney Hill Fertitta, and Kelly Gale Amen’s induction into the Leaders in Design program not only honors their past achievements but also looks forward to their future contributions to the field of interior design. Their creativity, dedication, and passion continue to inspire the design community in Houston and beyond.

Lucinda Loya team
The Houston Design District