Each year, Houzz, an online platform for home remodeling and design, selects the top home remodeling professionals throughout the nation. The Best of Houzz 2016 is a homeowner-to-homeowner guide of the best home builders, architects, interior designers, landscape pros, and other professionals. This year, there were several Traverse City winners including Urban-Diversions, Kitchen Choreography, B.C.D. Interiors, and Sara (Dakoske) VanderStelt with Creative Kitchens.

There are three categories for the award: design, customer service, and photography. Kitchen Choreography, B.C.D. Interiors, and Sara (Dakoske) VanderStelt took home awards for customer service, which are based on several factors, including the number and quality of recent client reviews.

Urban-Diversions earned a Best of Houzz for design. Being selected for a design award means the winners’ work is the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. We talked with Dale Campbell, the owner of Urban-Diversions, about what a Best of Houzz means to those who receive it, and what inspires his designs.


Dale Campbell

How does it feel to win Best of Houzz 2016?

“It’s an incredible honor to be singled out and recognized for what you do. It’s the best validation, and people know they can trust you.”

When did you start your career?

“I began designing 16 years ago with no previous experience. I had experience in art but not in design. I had gone to school to be a banker like my uncle, but within my first three years I had received furniture’s highest award, The Pinnacle, it was like winning an Oscar.”

What’s your design process?

“I work with my clients from the start of the project to the end. We begin by looking at the blueprint. Space management is huge, and I take into account everything from how the furniture will fit to where the light fixtures will hang and door placement. At the end of the process, I go to the house when the furniture is delivered to help with installation and to make sure the client is happy. It’s like the frosting on the cake seeing if their home is everything they hoped for.”

What inspires your designs?

“I was very lucky at a young age to be able to travel the world. I spent a lot of time in Europe and Asia and was exposed to lots of different architecture and design. Our experiences influence us and sometimes we don’t even know it. I recently created my ‘Marsh Grass’ chair based on a pond in my backyard. Design can be inspired by everything around you and everything you’ve experienced. Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate expectations of the final product, paying attention to every detail. Noting; space management and esthetics are equally important to comfortable living.”

What do your clients say about you?

“So far, I’ve gotten five-star reviews on Houzz. Someone described the store as Alice’s rabbit hole.”

Below is the mentioned quote from the client on Houzz. 

“I wandered into Urban Diversions and I felt like Alice going down the rabbit hole. The breadth of diversity and quality of everything was astounding. Dale was a wonderful host and was attentive to every detail and knew the story behind each and every piece.

Having lived in Asia, I appreciated how he blended some Asian pieces with modern touches.

Be warned. Some people may get their highs from certain stimulant inducing elements, but this experience far exceeds that! I was so taken that I had to go back again, and of course, purchased several pieces. Highly recommend the experience!”

For more design inspiration, check out MyNorth’s directory of home services

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