Confidence Begins at Home
Pamela O’Brien, Principal Designer
I discovered my love for design at the age of 12. I came home from school one afternoon to find my mother and her interior decorator had transformed our family living room. I remember thinking, “Our house is beautiful!” I grew to love architecture and décor and I was obsessed with European art and culture. By the age of 21, I’d done the Grand Tour and lived in Italy and France—life-changing experiences that enriched my approach to design. After training with a well-known Manhattan designer and author, studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and completing a home-building course, I followed my passion by opening Pamela Hope Designs in 1999.
As the principal designer at Pamela Hope Designs, I provide creative solutions to a variety of residential and commercial clients. I’ve completed hundreds of projects throughout the greater Houston area as well as in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the Texas Hill Country. I’ve worked with clients coast to coast, from Kennebunkport, Maine, to Ketchikan, Alaska.
Our commercial work includes many local and national companies, including Bellows Construction, Tradition (now Prosperity) Bank, Allergy and Asthma Associates, Cricket Communications, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency, and Jansen International. Tradition Bank Plaza, the adaptive reuse of the former Plaza Hotel, won a Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston. Most recently, we’ve helped transform the historic former Houston Star Soda bottling factory into a wealth-management office and leasing space.
In addition to winning design awards on national and local levels, we’ve received extensive media coverage. Our work has been featured in many publications, including the Houston Chronicle, House Beautiful, Houston House & Home, and Bayou City Magazine. I’ve enjoyed many television and radio appearances as well as co-hosted the popular Home Improvement Hotline with Tom Tynan.
I am active in the local design and construction community, with memberships in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Greater Houston Builders Association, and the National Speaker’s Association.
In between design projects, I enjoy speaking on a variety of design-related topics, including decorating, color, and Feng Shui.
I live in Houston with my husband, Jon, in our own new-construction home that we designed and built. We have a black cat, who answers occasionally to the name of Bartholomew. He is a textile aficionado who eagerly critiques any new pillows, linens, and rugs. When not designing, I enjoy yoga, travel, food and wine.
Danna Smith, Managing Designer
I also found my love for design at an early age. By the age of 10, my Barbie Dolls were less interested in their wardrobes and instead enjoyed newly designed spaces every week. A deck of cards became an ottoman, a paper towel made the perfect area rug, and upside-down Tupperware containers stood in for tables.
Fast-forward to college, after finishing my basic studies, I considered design as a major. After taking Interior Design 101, I was hooked! I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor’s degree in interior design and have more than 25 years of experience in the design industry. Since joining Pamela Hope Designs in 2015, I’ve had the pleasure of working on some of our most beautiful and interesting projects.
I’ve worked in many areas of the design industry. I’ve had the opportunity to be a buyer and merchandise manager at four custom, luxury showrooms in Houston and at two in Dallas. Prior to joining Pamela, I was the lead sales person for the Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils Showroom in the Decorative Center of Houston.
When I’m not hard at work, I’m relaxing at home with my family—my husband Chris and twin daughters, Taylor and Mia—cooking a great meal, shopping with my girls, or taking my two dogs, Sunny and Jack, on walks.
Pamela is an active member of the Houston community and believes in giving back. She and her husband, Captain Jon Halvorsen, chaired the Eighth Annual Savor the Hope Gala for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health. She was on the executive board of Crisis Intervention of Houston and chaired their community relations committee for several years. She served with one of her clients on the Houston Symphony Ball committee. She was also a member of the University of Houston Honors College Advisory Board and decorating chair for their award-winning fundraiser, the Great Conversation. She is a member of Phi Mu sorority and assists with many other philanthropic activities.
With her love of architecture and historic preservation, Pamela has enjoyed being involved with the Houston Heights Association as a committee member, speaker, and docent. She also served as the decorating consultant for a Woodland Heights Home Tour. She has done several historic renovations for adaptive reuse for commercial space and is delighted to be currently working with several clients living in historical homes.