The Tran + Thomas Team

Tran + Thomas design studio owners, Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas have a unique story in that their brothers have been best friends for over two decades. It is that relationship which brought them together in 2011 to form Tran + Thomas Design Studio. Their uniquely varied strengths complement one another perfectly, making for a powerful alliance that benefits their clients in ways other interior designers can’t compare.


Jill Tran IDS

Owner / Principal Designer

Jill Tran comes from a long line of successful designers and craftsmen and has been a buyer at the International High Point Furniture and Accessory Market for more than 30 years. Her paintings have been commissioned for conference centers and her lamp designs have been sought after by retailers such as Horchow, Roche Bobois and Neiman Marcus (including one piece that was featured on the sitcom Will & Grace). Tran’s interiors have won numerous awards and her articles on design have been published in a multitude of local and national interior design magazines.

Some of her greatest joys are spending time with her family (they love Game and Popcorn Night), cooking up a storm of Vietnamese food and teaching her children about art, the world around them and good health.

Carmen Thomas

Carmen R. Thomas IIDA, ASID, LEED AP, NCIDQ CERT. NO. 28327

Owner / Principal Designer

For three years prior to joining Jill Tran; Carmen Thomas channeled her formidable energy into Florida’s spectacular Amway Center Arena (home of the Orlando Magic), leading the interior design for more than 60 suites, 13 hospitality spaces, and a myriad of restaurants, bars and retail venues while working for the local architecture firm Populous. Thomas pursued both interior design and business degrees at Kansas State University, following fine arts studies at the University of Arizona. Her diverse skills, experience and portfolio are supported by industry licensing, LEED accreditation, and numerous design awards and publications.

She loves spending her free time with family and friends camping, boating, SUP boarding, skiing, hiking playing tennis and just about anything that takes her into the great outdoors.


Melody Mirakian

Senior Designer

Although native to St. Louis, Melody has called Kansas City her home after obtaining an Architecture degree from Kansas State University. During her design studies she was drawn to the art of storytelling, specifically through theatre, and accomplished a minor. During her two decades in the field, she has explored design through various lenses in both commercial and residential applications. From notable projects such as the Kansas City Chiefs training facility, various tenant build outs in Corporate Woods, magazine-worthy residential interiors and a KC Design Award, it is clear that Melody has a great passion for guiding clients through a dialogue driven creative process that ultimately results in design solutions that convey a powerful story and provide an optimized user experience.

Aside from the profession, Melody enjoys nothing more than her family. They are avid world travelers, curious about cultures, natural and urban landscapes and uncovering new design perspectives. Weekends often consist of a cocktail with her husband, a soccer field watching her son, dance parties with her daughter and, of course, a good book.


Patrice Mendelson

Designer II

Born and raised in upstate New York, Patrice’s love for interior design and art started at a young age. After college, she began her career in the art world, working both in the showroom and retail realms. After raising her children, and earning her degree in interior design, she combined both art and design in managing a local art gallery and consulting with clients about their needs. She took a position at a high-end designer showroom, working with textiles and wallcoverings, where she met Jill and Carmen and instantly clicked.

Patrice enjoys being with her husband and three children, hiking in the Rockies, biking, playing games, seeing live music, attending art museums and festivals, and sipping a glass of wine on her new back porch with good friends.


Emile Batrouny

Designer I

Emile Batrouny serves as an Interior Designer, specializing in technical CAD aspects of the design process, furniture and casework design, as well as fabrication techniques. Prior to joining the team, he gained valuable experience working at an architectural firm in Texas and pursued doctoral studies in architecture. Emile holds a master’s degree in interior architecture and Product Design from Kansas State University, with an emphasis on furniture design.

When he isn’t drafting plans or envisioning new design solutions, Emile enjoys spending quality time with his family and two dogs as well as designing and building furniture in his spare time.


Lori Wallis

Purchasing Manager / Office Manager

Lori grew up in Owego, New York and moved to Kansas in 1996 to attend college. She loved Kansas City so much that she stayed.  She received her degrees in Business Administration and Interior Merchandising and began her career working at a local interior design trade showroom for over 15 years. She then started her own business, WALLS Design, doing professional organizing and interior design. “Organize. Simplify. Design.” is her motto! Her path led her to Tran + Thomas in 2022 where she fell in love with their vibe and team energy.

Her fabulous kids, Lillian & Levi, always keep her busy. She enjoys working out, reading, being outside and visiting local coffee shops.

Brandi Hendrix

Brandi Hendrix


Brandi Hendrix has been counting beans since the tender age of 16 when she took her very first accounting class in high school. After college, she started down an ambitious career path with a large accounting firm but decided to take a step back when her first daughter was born and work with small business owners. She now has both a thriving career and 2 thriving daughters. When not working, Brandi enjoys watching her daughters play volleyball and taking them on adventures all over the country.

Bryann Brophy

Designer I

Originally native to the Quad Cities metro area, Bryann Brophy has recently come to call Kansas City her home. Prior to her work at Tran + Thomas, Bryann gained experience at an architecture firm in Springfield, MO designing interiors for multifamily, senior living, hotels, retail and corporate office projects.  She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Iowa State University’s College of Design. Throughout her time at college, Bryann developed a greater appreciation for finding creative solutions to problems, and believes that good design can change lives. Her time at Iowa State provided her many invaluable experiences, most notably studying abroad in Italy and being a national finalist for the Hospitality Design Awards in the student project category.

When she isn’t enthralled in her work, Bryann enjoys spending time traveling with friends and family, reading, buying houseplants, cooking up new recipes, observing and creating art, and relaxing with her cat, Chai.