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Meet John Gravelle of Say It Loud Say It Clear Furniture Placement and Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Gravelle.

John, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Spending the first 20 years of my adult life in downtown Chicago and while being young, I didn’t have much money. I created whatever looks and furniture pieces I could to complete my apartments. I was often told I should be an interior designer, but the idea never struck me as something I wanted to do, Later in my twenties, I decided to take a job in what I thought, would be a temporary position at Marshall Fields on State Street, inside Chicago’s downtown loop. I never realized I had a passion for design until that first week assisting customers with their designs and furniture selections. Within 3 months I was the tops sales person on the floor. Not because what I felt was being a natural at sales, but because I was a natural with design and my passion and excitement for it, came through. From there I went on to discover so much more in the design world. From creating my own custom furniture pieces to modern art and antiques. I have been to three countries experiencing factory tours learning the fine details of furniture manufacturing and craftsmanship. I now have a well-rounded background in Antiques, French, English, German, and Chinese. Collectibles, such as antique silver, art glass, crystal, porcelains, fine China. Kitchen and bath remodels, as well as exteriors, windows, siding, doors, and even roofing.

Plus I am pretty handy with creating some of my own accents and accessories. In the photo of me, the large wreath took me about 4 hours to make. I have done several pieces like this one. I love Christmas and often, if I can’t find the piece I am looking for, I’ll make it myself.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Some of the biggest struggles have been dealing with 9/11 and the housing bust of 2008. These to catastrophes hurt the economy as well as hurting my previous design business, “Windswept Interiors”. After the housing market crash, I took a sales position with a well-known company in roofing, siding and windows. This was a great opportunity to learn and discover the intricate details of exterior remodeling and exterior design. It may have been a big jump from what I was doing but in the end only made me a better and more knowledgeable designer. Of course starting a new business in itself is bumpy and does not go without a few struggles. Marketing and updating is never ending.

Please tell us about Say It Loud Say It Clear Furniture Placement and Design.
With all of my background, I have decided to focus on bringing new homes together with most of the furniture pieces a person or family already own. Of course adding new items where needed. These days it’s not uncommon for an older couple to down size and feel lost when trying to figure out which pieces to use and which ones to pass along. Many couples are on their 2nd or 3rd marriage and need assistance bringing two households of cherished furniture and accessories together. I have done several of these kinds of design projects in the past. Since today we seem to be living in a very service oriented society, a new business like mine is very beneficial to those who feel lost or simply do not have the time. I call it an “Interior Design Stylist”. My service is very affordable, and each design layout is easily customized to an individual’s needs. I can do the entire house or just a few rooms. From placing the furniture pieces to actually hanging the art and placing accessories. Balance and flow are the most important factors in what I do.

I specialize in transitional design and balance. Everything we do in design and even life is about balance. Furniture placement and room layout based on how one lives is often very different from staging a home to sell. Laying out a room for everyday living, it’s important to not only keep it aesthetically pleasing, but functional.

I am most proud of my knowledge and my background. It took me close to 30 years to gain the knowledge and experience I have today. I feel very well rounded.

I am looking forward to the projects that will come my way and love meeting new people and learning about their lives. Houston is exploding with opportunities these days. I can’t wait to see what projects come my way……

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t believe there is anything I would have done differently. I took years to gain the knowledge and experience I have today and I have enjoyed it every step of the way!


  • I can work hourly. Prices start at a $100 an hour. The average job for organization and room layout does’nt take as much time as one may think. An average 2500 sqaure foot home or just 5 or 6 rooms takes between 15 to 20 hours. Phone consultations are free. In home consultations are a $100..
  • Design projects vary from hourly, drawing costs when and if needed, plus a retainer fee of $2500 to $5000 Retainer fees are determined based on the size of the project.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Randy Gravelle

    January 23, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    John is my brother. I’ve watched him grow and embrace his interests and talents in the world of design over the years. I’ll never forget years ago we were roommates in our 1st apartment together in Chicago. John found a “dead” ficus tree in a pot and brought it home and spray painted it glossy black. It made for an interesting architectural element of “sculpture” if you will. We were both surprised and delighted when the glossy black tree sprouted tender new green leaves! That “dead” tree went from sad to sensational because of John’s imagination and magic touch. He is creative, talented, insightful and very easy going. You can really feel his passion for design and get a sense of his extensive knowledge on topics ranging from antique Chinese art to terra cotta roofing just by talking with him. His excitement and passion for design is infectious. Give him a call and you’ll experience what I’m talking about. Bravo John. Go get ‘em tiger.

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