Alumni Profile: Tracy Adams Burns & Matthew Edmonds

Commercial Design Interiors, LLC
Baton Rouge, LA

Provide an educational background including professional experience.

Tracy: I am a member of the American Society of Interiors Designers and International Facility Management Association. I am also a registered Interior Designer in the state of Louisiana and a NCIDQ certificate holder with 14 years experience in commercial interior design. Prior to establishing Commercial Design Interiors in 2004, I was an interior designer at a prominent local design firm and previously worked for Mathes-Brierre Architects in New Orleans. I hold a Bachelor of Interior Design from LSU and am currently an instructor in the program.

As a partner and designer with the Commercial Design Interiors Healthcare and Corporate Facilities Studio, I have design and project management experience on a multi-million dollar scale across the country. My experience includes healthcare facilities, financial institutions, regional libraries, corporate headquarters, retail establishments and hospitality. My expertise is in all areas of interior design including space planning, programming, code compliance, cost estimating and budgeting, finish and furniture selection, contract administration and facilitating installations.

Matthew: I hold a Bachelor of Interior Design from LSU and am currently the Professional-in-Residence in the LSU School of Interior Design. I am a LEED Accredited Professional, member of the American Society of Interiors Designers, and member of the International Interior Design Association. I am also a registered interior designer in the states of Louisiana and Texas, and NCIDQ certificate holder with 14 years experience in commercial interior design. Prior to establishing Commercial Design Interiors, LLC in 2004, I was a senior design manager with GAP, Inc., where I was responsible for new concept development and new store design implementation. As part of the GAP store design team, I also led the details team developing specialty details and construction documents for use throughout the in-house architecture department.

Why did you choose LSU for your education?

Tracy: When I realized I wanted to pursue a degree in interior design I began researching several different design programs across the country to see where I could get the best education. Everything kept pointing back to LSU. It was a nationally ranked program that allowed me to stay close to home.

Matthew: My decision to choose LSU was simple: a nationally ranked program, beautiful campus, proximity to family and Tiger football! I chose interior design because of my curiosity and passion for furniture design and woodworking. My dad had a typical “garage” shop filled with woodworking equipment and from a young age I was building furniture for friends and family.

How did your LSU degree help to prepare you for your profession?

racy: LSU’s design program has always been strong and greatly prepared me for working in the profession. I was told when I graduated that many firms only hired LSU graduates because they were so well prepared upon graduation. Now, as a professional who hires interns, I see this more clearly and truly understand and appreciate the education that I received from LSU. Another benefit I received from my education at LSU is many friendships that still remain today. I met my current business partner, Matthew Edmonds, while both attending LSU’s Interior Design Program.

Matthew: The LSU program gave me the ability to develop design skills and methods, and an industry to use my skills within. Today, the education, experience and guidance received from my time at LSU has led to a fulfilling career with Gap, Inc. and currently as a partner with Commercial Design Interiors, LLC. I continue to seek out new challenges. As an instructor with the LSU School of Interior Design and a host to several interns, I have found a synergy between both the educational and professional realms that continues to grow my students and my business.

What current or past research and projects/exhibitions have you done?

Tracy: Over the years I have been involved in many memorable projects. Among those of which I am most proud are: the Shaw Center for the Arts, Lamar Advertising Operations Headquarters, several local libraries and educational facilities, and the new campus for Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge.

Matthew: My project experience includes design and project management in all areas of interior design—project phasing, space planning, programming and program management, code compliance, facility evaluation, value engineering, document preparation and contract administration, cost estimating and budgeting, FF&E specifications, and facilitating installations. My areas of specialization include AutoCAD and design related software applications, presentation rendering, furniture design and construction.

Among our companies’ notable projects are the following:
Woman’s Hospital—New Campus, Baton Rouge, LA.
Lamar Advertising—Operations Facilities—Various Locations.
Shaw Center for the Arts—Baton Rouge, LA.
The Manship Theater Offices—Baton Rouge, LA.
Sweet & Sassy—Retail—Various Locations Nationally, Puerto Rico.
Woofers Home Theater—Retail— Baton Rouge, LA.
NexGym—Retail—Various Locations Nationally, Portugal.
Southern University, Library Lobby Renovation—Baton Rouge, LA.
Tiger Gift Center, LSU—Baton Rouge, LA.
Stadium Club at Tiger Stadium—Baton Rouge, LA.
Governor’s Office Renovations, State Capital—Baton Rouge, LA.
Governor’s Mansion Renovations—Baton Rouge, LA.
Capital One Branch Location—New Orleans, LA.
Platform Crane Services—Slidell, LA.
Thanh Thanh Vietnamese Restaurant—Gretna, LA.
United Community Bank Main Street Branch—Gonzales, LA.
Hampton Inn & Suites—Shreveport, (Under Construction)
Regal Nails—National Concept Development.

Please list any awards or special recognition that you have received.

Tracy and Matthew:
2009 Top Woman Owned Business—Baton Rouge Business Report.
2009 Top Interior Design Firm Ranking—Baton Rouge Business Report.
2008 South Central Chapter of ASID Gold Award—Chic Bebe.
2008 South Central Chapter of ASID Gold Award—Woofers Home Theater.
2008 IIDA Award of Excellence—Retail, Woofers Home Theater.
2008 IIDA Award of Recognition—Retail, Sweet & Sassy.
2008 IIDA Award of Recognition—Hospitality, Thanh Thanh Vietnamese Restaurant.
2007 South Central Chapter of ASID Gold Award—Sweet & Sassy.
2007 South Central Chapter of ASID Bronze Award—Platform Crane Services.
2004 South Central Chapter of ASID Gold Award—Zachary Branch Library.
2004 South Central Chapter of ASID Silver Award—Surgical Specialty Center.
2003 South Central Chapter of ASID Gold Award—Louisiana Lottery Corp. Headquarters.
2003 South Central Chapter of ASID Gold.
Award—Louisiana Bankers Assoc. Corporate Headquarters.
2003 South Central Chapter of ASID SilverAward –Catholic High School Health & PE Addition.
2002 South Central Chapter of ASID Silver Award –Country Club of Louisiana Main Clubhouse.

What are your plans for the future?

Matthew and Tracey: Our firm has seen continued growth over the past five years and we contribute our success to our different philosophy towards interior design. We are less concerned with promoting a particular design style and more concerned about designing dynamic environments. Much of our work involves bringing new life to tired spaces. To transform an unproductive part of the built environment into a vibrant, integral part of the community. Through these philosophies we have seen tremendous success. We both remain active with the LSU Interior Design program and feel this is a very important relationship in keeping up to date on current trends and technology, as well as keeping us in contact with students. We are excited in the growth of our firm and look forward to the future and watching its continued success.