About Us

about
For more than 44 years, J/Howard Design Inc. has created beautiful, unique interiors that reflect the personalities and individual lifestyles of their sophisticated clients. Our knowledgable team’s originality, impeccable taste and focus on design, function and comfort can transform ordinary houses into one-of-a-kind homes. We have earned a widespread reputation for our professionalism and our ability to create floor plans, architectural details and custom designed furniture and other interior features. The hallmarks of our extraordinary client service is organization in every aspect of the job and building strong working relationships with architects, builders and contractors. The firm has delighted clients in Florida, Colorado, and in cities such as New York, Montecito, Mont-Tremblant, Greenwich, and The Hamptons. Most of our clients return again and again, as well as the second generations. That’s because the J/Howard Design Inc. team and our clients both enjoy the collaborative creative process as much as the final result which is timeless classic.
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Judy Howard Harpel is a Florida Licensed Interior Designer, a member of ASID and NCIDQ, and President of J/Howard Design Inc. Born in Montana, she founded J/Howard Design Inc. in Denver, Colorado, in 1972 after earning a BFA degree in Art. Interior Design and Architecture from the University of Colorado. While in Colorado, J/Howard Design Inc. built a strong portfolio of residential work as well as commercial and hospitality projects that included country clubs, restaurants, banks and ski lodges. In 1986, Judy brought J/Howard Design Inc. to Southeast Florida, along with her years of interior design and architectural experience, her artistic talent, and her reputation for professionalism. Judy exhibits continuing excitement about her field and always looks forward to bringing her creative talents to new design projects.
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Linda Perry, a Senior Designer at J/Howard Design Inc., has been a part of the design team since 1991. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia and worked for a residential firm on the Main Line before moving to Florida and teaming up with J/Howard Design Inc. She has worked with Judy Howard Harpel on projects throughout the U.S. as well as homes in Country Club Communities, Highrises and Ocean Front Properties.
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Susan McMenamy has over 25 years’ experience in accounting and business management, many of which have been spent as the Controller at J/Howard Design Inc. She has the challenging tasks of fiscally managing each project, crunching the numbers while seamlessly handling the day-to day operations of the office. Susan draws on her wide range of experience and a degree from Palm Beach State College to make her an invaluable member of the team.
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Vee Merklen grew up in Marseille, France and Madrid, Spain. Aside from a degree in Interior Design and over 13 years of experience, she acquired her knowledge and life interests from her parent’s collection of antiques and accessories. She has a passion for every aspect of our industry and works closely with the designers on selections and shopping, administrative tasks, scheduling and installations. She also speaks fluent Spanish and French.
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Alison Wright comes to J/Howard Design Inc. as the Expediter with almost 20 years’ experience in the design field. She gained her love of design at a very young age from spending many hours with her father, an architect. A graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, this British-born multi­ national focuses her energy at the office on supporting the designers and following up on orders.
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Debbie Meltzer started with J/Howard Design Inc. as an Expediter but now works as a Design Assistant who oversees installations and takes care of clients’ every need. She is a well-rounded professional with a diverse background, including sales, marketing, public relations and design. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she has owned a successful retail store that specialized in designing, fabricating and installing children’s rooms.