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Common Interior Design Dilemmas: An Interview with Lisa Wolfe of Lisa Wolfe Design, ltd.

By Lisa Wolfe

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Lisa Wolfe Design is a boutique firm focused on residential design. Her clients will tell you she is famous for pushing them out of their comfort zone to get the beautiful end result. Her style is rooted in classicism but she infuses each concept with a Boho spirit and layers upon layers of color, texture and pattern. We are anything but boring and view every Client's project as an opportunity to create a unique product that they will live with and love for years.

What are some of the services your company provides?

Lisa Wolfe is a full service design talent, offering interior design, architectural, construction and custom-build services for the residential market. She has partnered with Design Studio 24, LLC and Abington Builders (among a few) to be a one-stop shop where collaboration, insight, experience, and a spectacular set of knowledge and eyes will carry you through the process from beginning to end. Not everyone needs a full renovation. Lisa also works with clients on room-by-room as well as a consulting-only basis. Lisa Wolfe Design's full range of interior design services include:

- Entire home or single room transformations
- Architectural plans & renderings
- Kitchen and bath renovations
- Space planning & elevations
- Color palette & wall textures
- Furniture & lighting specification
- Architectural detail & millwork design
- Custom furniture & built-in cabinetry
- Outdoor spaces/rooftop decks
- Kids rooms
- Custom window treatments
- Move in & Install
- Art & accessory selection
- Financial/budgeting
- Project management

What are some decorating mistakes you notice when you walk into a home?

- Art hung too high or too low
- Insufficient lighting
- They play it safe so the entire home is a vanilla/beige color
- No concept of scale or proportion; furniture is too big, or they put really large next to really tiny pieces
- Too cluttered (picture frames, knick knacks - no groupings)
- Area rugs are too small

What tips do you have for themes, color choices, furniture when decorating a long lasting room for a young child?

Your children are going to change as they grow up. It is not realistic to think that you can decorate a room for a two-year old and that they will still love it when they are 10. If you choose a theme, avoid the predictable execution that might result in frilly lampshades, lots of stuffed animals and pastel colors. Choose furniture, lighting and colors as though you were designing for a teenager; use more sophisticated palettes, less baby details.

How do you deal with combined living and dining rooms?

Although these are 2 distinct spaces, you need to ensure there is a connection between the two -- chandeliers, pendants, color palettes need to compliment each other . There also has to be a balance between the two rooms via furniture style, overall heaviness/lightness of space, fabrics, wood finishes. Don't forget about the circulation/overall floor plan.

What current trend do you think people will become tired of in five years?

Tile that looks like wood.

Do you ever have trouble finding inspiration? What inspires you today?

I never have a problem finding or gaining inspiration, I sill go through my magazines and rip out images that speak to me. Ten years later, I have five enormous binders that I call my "Idea Bibles". When I'm looking for inspiration, these notebooks are generally the first place I go. I also enjoy walking through the Merchandise Mart to see the latest collections and installations. My clients are a great source of inspiration- it is important that I understand their aesthetic ideal and get in their heads before I start "conceptualizing".

Another favorite vice is grabbing a cup of coffee and walking though vintage second-hand stores.

Do you have any personal design secrets you'd like to share?

I don't have any design secrets per se, but a big part of my job is getting Clients to overcome their fear of change or willingness to settle. I do think Clients in general underestimate the power of a beautiful light fixture, sconces, a great chandelier. I feel that I fight for this all the time because the Client feels their four recessed ceiling cans are "just fine".

Wallpaper is another tool that has been given a bad rap because it reminds them of their grandmother's dining room. The textures and pattern and colors can transform a room in a heart beat. Clients are consumed with the fear on how to get rid of it if in 10 years they want to do something different. It's easy ? Just rip it down!

What is the best way to reach you or your company?

email: lisa@lisawolfedesign.com
office: (847) 234-3021
cell: (312) 593-1710
website: www.lisawolfedesign.com

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About The Author

Lisa graduated with honors from Harrington Institute of Interior Design in Chicago...

Phone: 312.593.1710

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