ABOUT AHR Designs
Big picture thinkers
“How YOU live informs how WE design a space. The first step is a deep dive to uncover what you really need and want from your home. We zero in on what’s currently missing and what’s needed to meet your design goals.”
We are a team of big picture thinkers who offer a unique and powerful perspective. We optimize our clients’ aesthetic goals while maximizing their resources. Our process is thoughtful. We value getting to know you and your preferences so that you feel seen and heard. Our goal- happy clients who love their transformed homes.
MESSAGE FROM ALEXA
In 2010 I was working on my Interior Design certificate at Parson’s with marathon long Saturday classes when a couple casually asked me at a cocktail party if I would please help them with their house. I said “Yes” even though I didn’t have a clue how this “business” thing worked.
A decade PLUS later I’ve figured out a thing or two but the fundamentals of what I knew, even then, remain the same- a love of color, a need to make a house feel like a home specific to it’s residents, and an ability to overthink things just to the point of eclectic perfection.
We’ve grown in the past few years to a team of dedicated designers and design supporters who work to bring your project to life. Our goal is to make the experience enjoyable and seamless and to leave you with beautiful livable spaces that holds up to your family’s lifestyle for years to come.
MEET THE TEAM
ALEXA HARRIS RALFF
Founder & Principal Designer
I’ve always loved all things design. When I was a little girl I was constantly making, drawing, and creating stuff. I still have my childhood dollhouse which has several layers of wallpaper and some makeshift rugs and drapery I created from scraps of old fabric from the craft store. My teen years had me split between art class and Saturday marathons with my musical theater friends. I loved the comradery of the theater. The collaborative nature and all the “feels” that putting on a show brings still make me smile.
I took a step back from art for a bit. I went on to college and continued performing on stage and doing acapella at UVA. Pitch Perfect (any and all of them are my favorite movies fwiw). I even went on to pursue a life in the theater after I got out of school and was a successful commercial/voice over actress for a decade plus.
When my daughter was born I had this overwhelming feeling of needing to be in creative control of something. I started to return to my art roots and was reminded of all the things I loved about design. I enrolled at Parson’s and the rest is history!
Today I live with my awesome husband, 2 teenagers, and 2 labradoodles in Maplewood NJ. (Our office is a mile down the road in Millburn-lucky me!)
CATHERINE BRUNELL PETERSON
Catherine came to AHR when I needed help and didn’t even know where to begin to ask for it.
She created systems where there were none and continues to maintain all the order in the office. From onboarding new clients, to dealing with orders and delays and all the customer service headaches in between she handles it all with patience, kindness, and sometimes even a song!
Catherine lives a double life as a Broadway actress and is a quadruple threat.
She’s the mom to 3 teens and an adorable dog. Everyone LOVES Catherine- everyone!
Victoria joined AHR in 2021 as a Junior designer and team player extraordinaire. Her love of design is infectious as is her obsession with space planning.
We share a love of color, eclecticism, and a fully upholstered chair.
Victoria was a chemical engineer in her former life and is completing the Parson’s Interior Design program this year.
She magically maintains a house with 3 kids (under the age of 5) and a zoo-like amount of furry animals.
“We have worked with Alexa for years and through three increasingly large projects. We know that we could not have completed any of them without her. Her style is a perfect mix of function and gorgeous design. She has an eye for just the right amount of color and fun, saving us from what would otherwise me a home of gray and white.
Our most recent project was a full renovation of an 1890s home and she helped us modernize it both from a flow perspective, and via furnishings and finishes- we could not be happier with the end result.
Finally, she has saved us countless hours by coming to us with a few well thought-out choices and ideas for each room and space for which the only problem is choosing our favorite. We look forward to working with Alexa again in the future!”
“We used AHR Designs when we were moving from the city to the suburbs and totally overwhelmed with how we could use pieces we had, work with a new space/more room, while also buying new quality items. I’m so lucky I stumbled upon AHR on Houzz because after our first meeting we walked away feeling like she just “got us.” We were hesitant to even use an interior designer because we thought we could do it ourselves, but Alexa was a godsend.
She is a true design expert, but beyond that, she is hilarious, warm, creative, open minded, organized and actually made our experience stress free and FUN. She never pushed purchases, stayed 100% within our budget, and was completely receptive to feedback. We were very impressed with the knowledge and ease with which she worked with our contractor on the gut kitchen renovation.
We are beyond thrilled with how our spaces turned out – we still get compliments on them every time a new person comes to the house. We can not recommend AHR Designs and Alexa highly enough!”