Refine Design Boutiques at 616 Texas Street welcomes two new businesses to their fun, eclectic space at 616 Texas Street.

We Want The Funk is a vintage vendor featuring one-off vintage wear that includes clothing, shoes, accessories and kitschy decor and games. If you need a perfect 1970s look, are in dire need of an ugly seasonal sweater (yes, Christmas is coming!) or just love the color-blocked look of the 1980s, you’ll want to stop by and peruse We Want The Funk merchandise.

We Want The Funk offerings.

Another addition to the store is the Bayou Boutique, featuring alligator decor, & Louisiana gifts and souvenirs. This will be your downtown location for Louisiana-themed gift baskets.

Refine Design is also now home to the new and very expanded Appli-Ks Embroidery and More, the owners of which are ecstatic to have made the move from a 427 SF space to something much more expansive.

Chris, holding down the fort.

The additional square footage will allow owners Chris and Katy Rhodes to really show off all the fun lines their shop has to offer- Royal Standard socks, pajamas and slippers,  their new line of trendy and cute Scala hats (for women and men), Blue Q socks that will make you laugh out loud, Happy Everything home decor, Pixie Mood purses, and a new men’s section that includes Elvis items, fun lighting made of liquor bottles, vintage items and more.

A small sampling of the new stock.

It seems that the merging of Appli-Ks and Refine Design is nothing if not a match made in retail heaven. Come by Saturday to see the newly-reimaged space, try a nibble, take advantage of a special and see all that these small businesses have to offer.

We’ll see you Saturday, 10 am- 8 pm!

Story posted June 15, 2023

If it’s been a while since you stopped in at Refine Design in the 600 block of Texas Street, it’s definitely time to return.

Owner Tanya Yates put her interior design skills to big use last week, moving and decorating up a storm, completely changing the interior look and feel of the fun and funky retail space.

The Garden Shop.

The beautiful space now flows from home to garden to clothing, with creative and fun decor, gifts and food items all along the way.

The Spa Shop.

Need something for your bedroom, bath, kitchen, garden or outdoor space? Find it here. Looking for a perfect Father’s Day gift? Ditto.

The Bedroom Shop.

Stock up on Hummer’s Honey, art, jewelry, dishes, pillows, paper party goods and vintage items, too.

The gifts of Refine Design.

Refine Design is open 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday. Once you drop in, I guarantee you’ll come back -often!

P.S. Another cool thing about Refine Design is the history of the building that once belonged to a gent named Herman Zodiag.

Read about the history of the Zodiag Building and its namesake, here. 


April 21, 2022

One of downtown’s most attractive storefronts is in the process of becoming even better. 616 Texas Street, the building constructed in 1926 by Austrian immigrant Herman Zodiag, is going back to its roots.

Read the wonderful story of Zodiag’s Department Store, here.

Original design of the Zodiag Building by Edward F. Neild.

For at least 20 years, 616 Texas Street, designed by famed local architect Edward Neild, has languished in an ‘in-between’ land of uses.  New owners Mark and Tonya Yates have a vision of what the Zodiag’s future should be and Refine Design Decor Boutiques and More was formed.

Entrance to 616 Texas St., Refine Design Decor Boutiques & More

Tonya Yates’ background is fine design, from the design of homes to creation of events to home staging. She is a one-woman ‘package’, offering a wide range of interior design options to clients, both large and small, residential and commercial. She is bringing all those skills to 616 Texas. The formerly mauve-colored space has been transformed using a color palette that is both unexpected and striking; dark green and teal cover the ceiling and walls, now anchored to a neutral gunmetal gray floor.

The interior comes together.

Construction of the greenery walls is still underway and items for the display windows are still being moved in, but it is easy to envision what the space will be and how it will function. Up to 24 individual shops will house everything from clothing to home goods, jewelry to candles, art to personal care items. The concept is similar to the popular Painted Tree Boutiques in Houston (see story below).

Working on the greenery walls to divide the shops.

Ten of the spaces have been leased, leaving 14 traditional spaces and several vertical ones. Spaces can start at 10×8 and can expand to fit the needs of the shop. The base price is $5 per foot and 10% of sales for the traditional spaces, $2.50 per square foot and 10% of sales for the linear (vertical) ones. Tonya has special pricing for those who opt in now for a 6- or 12- month lease.

One of the display windows at 616 Texas St.

Included in the lease price is a single Point of Sale (POS) system and a full time sales associate. Individual shop owners will have the luxury of coming and going, choosing to be in their shop or not, knowing that Refine Design staff will handle questions and sales for them. Yates says the POS system will also keep up with inventory; even print out labels.

Refine Design owner Tonya Yates (right), and Brandy Harper, Lofts at 624 manager.

Plans are for a mid-May opening and initial Refine Design hours will be Monday-Fridays 10 am – 6 pm and Saturdays, 10 am- 7 pm. Interested in getting more details about a space at 616 Texas or in the Beauty Bar concept planned for next door? Contact Tonya Yates here. 

The Boutiques of Texas Street- first posted Dec. 16, 2021

A new marketplace is coming to the beautiful buildings at 616 and 620 Texas Street. The ground floors of the deep-fronted 2-story Zodiag Building and the 3-story  building adjacent to the Lofts at 624 are being reimagined by businesswoman Tonya Yates as the the Refine Design Boutiques. Yates and husband Mark will soon be the new owners of the three buildings that make up the Lofts commercial space and high end apartments. “I’ve been thinking about things to do with that great space since we started looking at the buildings,” Tonya told me.

She is in the planning stages of a concept that will play on the high visibility location and available square footage and make it available to retailers, artists and others who crave an upscale, functional brick-and-mortar space that won’t break the bank. Her idea is spaces that can be configured according to space needs, but will look like a million dollars. “I plan to have a single cashier working every day who will handle the transactions for all of the spaces,” Tonya says. “That way, the boutique owner won’t have to be here, they can be at their other job while making money here.”

Inside the Painted Tree Boutiques, Houston.

The concept will be very much like the Painted Tree Boutiques in Houston.” The Painted Tree is touted as ‘the Big Way to Shop Small’; hundreds of shops under one roof featuring a huge variety of home decor, fashion items and gifts. This ‘co-retailing’ has been a hit around the country, a way for small business owners to test business models and merchandise and to make money in their ‘shop’ while working their other day jobs. “I won’t be trying to compete with local vintage and antique malls,” Tonya says. “Our boutiques will be a different type of concept.”

Tonya is currently space planning the Refine Design Boutiques for 25+ vendor areas; that number could change depending on the size of spaces vendors would like. She would love to bring in a food or beverage vendor – a smoothie shop or cupcake bar- that would help encourage foot traffic and lingering. She will already have help in that regard by the strong foot traffic created by Rhino Coffee, just next door.


The overall look of the space will play on greens and the outdoors. Tonya wants to bring the outside in with a live wall inside 620 Texas just as you walk in, hanging wood chairs and vendor spaces set off with cedar casing and faux boxwood hedges. Lots of wonderful lights and large industrial fans will complete the look, but inside their spaces, vendors will be able to create whatever feel they wish. “I would love to see interest from people who sell candles, socks, jewelry, interior design services, hats, olives…there are just a variety of things that would work well together.”

She intends to create a pass through that will allow easy back-and-forth to the Zodiag Building, home to the new Jess and Jane Beauty Bar that will offer facials and other beauty treatments.

In addition, Tonya plans to add some small kiosks to the large lobby at the Lofts of 624. If you are interested in talking to her about any of these spaces, she would love to hear from you, to help create an area that will be perfect for your needs. Contact her here.