Lauren Liess Interiors
luxury interior designer

As a decorator & a textile designer, this is my place to muse... Reality and charm fascinate me; perfection isn't really my thing. Fresh floppy flowers from the garden over long-stemmed roses any day, I love it when things are slightly off and tell a story.



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{The pressed fern frond I found on my nightstand this morning... love those boys}


I just watched as my screen deleted a post I'd been writing for the past hour and a half.  :/  It's Friday night and I don't have the will to write it all over again.  It was an attempt to fill you in on what we've been up to at work lately after my grandmother called me this morning and asked that I write a post because it's how she "keeps up with me" ;)  Suffice it to say, things have been great and pretty exciting over here-  lots of installs, photo shoots for the book, and new projects underway.  I hope you're well and I'll be back next week!!  Have a grrrrrreat weekend!!  I'm off to eat disgusting amounts cheese with wine.  HAPPY SUMMAH!!!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
For general questions, please write to me at mail@laurenliess.com.


I just came across this photo of our home office -taken almost a year ago- that I'd never shared and had honestly forgotten we'd taken.  

The room is no longer really an office...  (see pic below) we've since rearranged it into more of a family room/ kids art/drawing space.   I keep craft supplies I pretend we'll one day use in there, along with wrapping paper and that kind of thing.  There's now a wall of taped up kids' art that's fun for the boys.  I've been doing some writing in there because it's a bit more removed from the rest of the house and have aspirations of working from home in there every now & then, though that hasn't quite happened yet.  I love being in the room so much more now that we've moved our office out of the house into the studio.  Anyway, thought you might like to see it.   




The room is sort of an ever-evolving hodgepodged space.  It's got lots of storage which seems to keep the rest of the house neater.  (You can check out another view of the room here.) We already had pretty much everything in the room except for the light over the table and I had curtains made out of my "thistle" linen.  It never really feels very together, but I weirdly love it.   Nothing matches or has been put in here for any sort of decorative reason, and it's always a little messy in, but it just feels good to me to be in this room.   It's no doubt one of the worst-looking spaces in our house but I like that the room has no real plans...  it sort of feels like this untapped potential my house has that I get excited about sometimes. (We've all but run out of book space so the idea of more built-ins one day keeps coming back up. )

Anyway, I'm off, but happy Friday & have a great weekend!!!  

*1st photo by Helen Norman

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
For general questions, please write to me at mail@laurenliess.com.

I often think about creativity in terms of input and output.  For me, creating, whether it's in the form of decorating, drawing, writing, cooking, speaking, organizing, building, etc. makes me feel excited yet it also expends energy and brain power, while sitting back, listening, reading and absorbing things around me always inspires me, restores creative energy and makes me feel ready to go again.  



I might feel tired of the same old food we always cook at home and then get a new cookbook and am all over cooking again.  Not only am I into the new recipes, but I start to have fun with my own recipes inspired by the ones in the cookbook.  (My current obsession is Jerusalem btw ;) 

{this weekend we made mini turkey-zucchini burgers- yay for leftovers!}

There needs to be the right balance of input and output and it's different for everyone.  I'm not exactly sure what my necessary output/input proportion is yet, but I can feel myself always trying to get more "input" (time spent absorbing, listening/ reading and taking in) time in because because in my line of work, I'm pretty much always "outputting."  When I'm "off" (of work) I feel like I need to get refilled.  My design business itself operates on output, but in addition, I write the blog which is almost all output, design textiles, do lots of of photoshoots (which is some seriously crazy output!!) and am now working on the book, which is even more "output."  I think we naturally try to balance ourselves out so it makes sense to try to figure out what it is we need to feel balanced.  


(it takes so much energy to get a room "photoready" ... and that's before you add in a pup!;)

For instance, I've figured out that when I have too many full weekends in a row (even when filled with fun things) between workweeks, I begin to feel depleted.  Although most people might describe me as outgoing and sociable, I still need my "alone" time to get re-energized.  (When we took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test in a communication class in college, I was an "ENFP" but just barely an "e" (extrovert) over an "i" introvert...  I think the older I get, the closer to an "I" I probably get, as nowadays that I'm "outputting" so much more for work --oops than I did when I was a college student!! ;) ;)--  time alone with my family- hanging out, playing eating, reading etc-  refreshes me and helps me feel ready for work.  

And the same applies to taking in...  travelling, learning, seeing new things, reading about them, watching them, and looking at others' work & creations are all forms of input and I feel re-energized and excited to get to work afterwards.  It's that balance that's key.  (You know that "I'm back" feeling after a relaxing vacation??  It's awesome...  but I would go crazy if my whole life were a vacation...  Don't get me wrong, I could go for longer vacations, ;) ;) but if my whole life was one, I'd feel unchallenged, antsy and useless.)



{me & my boys}

I haven't quite personally assessed other areas the way I've assessed the social time/ alone time thing, but I'm going to start thinking about it more.  I want to make that there's enough coming in, so that what's going out is interesting & fresh instead of old & tired.   Have you thought at all about this?  Any idea what your ideal input-output ratio is??

I'm headed out today to shoot projects 4 & 5 for the book- wish me luck!!


If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
For general questions, please write to me at mail@laurenliess.com.

Although I'd generally refer to myself as a "decorator," I think of myself first and foremost as an entrepreneur.  Design is the field I've chosen to work in (because I fell in love with it shortly after graduating from college) but there's no doubt in my mind that if I wasn't working on homes, I'd be involved in some sort of business of my own in another creative field.  Every couple of months I come up with random concepts for other companies I'd start up if I had a clone and/or lots and lots of money.   (One in particular that I can't shake and am dying to do one day!!) A fun Saturday morning or Friday night for me often consists of working through a random business concept with my husband, visualizing how it would be branded, how we'd get it going, logistics, who our audience would be, and how much capital we'd need (always the kicker ;) 


{textiles... one aspect of our business}

In our design business, I weirdly enjoy coming up with processes and ways of doing things and implementing them. I started the business years ago with no business processes in place.  I understood the creative/client part of the process but didn't have a concept of how to efficiently and smoothly take a process from start to finish behind the scenes.  Every time I would come up with a way of doing things, it became the standard.  When I hired my first employee (Meghan Short, also my first intern five years ago) I had to start writing down and refining our processes.  Having to explain my processes to someone else and write them down for her to learn, aided in making them better.  We changed things and every time we came to a snafu of any sort, we learned and we changed our processes to better account for issues like those.  (we still do that...  it seems in this business that no matter how many bases you think you'd cover you're always learning ways to avoid mistakes in the future.)

About a year and a half ago, in January when I made it my resolution to make our company run more smoothly,  I did an internet search for interior design business blogs.   I came across Julia Molloy's blog (a design luxury branding consultant)  and spent hours on it, reading through old posts, taking notes and setting goals for our business.   I went in that first Monday after reading it and we had a team meeting and we made plans for refining & improving everything we did- from our meetings to our paperwork to our attitudes.   I wrote a blog post about Julia's blog and she contacted me...  we ended up working together, and  Julia's advice has been invaluable.  I felt like I knew her form our video calls, but she recently came to visit our studio for a two-day intensive "Molloy Makeover" and we had so much fun!!  (loved her btw.)  Our main goal in Julia's trip was to help define team member roles further (which is incredibly efficient when it comes to being productive and making sure we're all doing our jobs) ... discussing our goals and plans for growth, and having Julia assess what everything we've been putting "out there" (including signage, websites, client meetings etc.) has been saying about our company and our brand.  She's incredibly quick and her advice is always straight-forward, logical and concrete.  We've already implemented some of her suggestions and we've all become more efficient.  



{In the studio with Julia for our 2-day intensive}

So... The BOLD Summit.  The BOLD Summit (formerly the BOD - Business of Design- Conference) stands for The Business of Luxury Design and Julia recently took it over and amped it up a bit.  It's a 2-day intensive conference for interior designers looking to make their businesses better through better use of time, better branding/PR, being published, learning about wealth management.  There will be some sure-to-be-amazing presenters there including designers  Maria Buatta and Vicente Wolf (who often shares great business advice on his blog) along with luxury branding experts, magazine editors, an award-winning writer-producer, and businesses & wealth experts and of course, Julia herself.  I'm incredibly honored to be included and will be speaking in a panel about how writing a blog has been instrumental to my business. (wish me luck!!) 



{Julia}

It's in Las Vegas on Thursday, August 28th and Friday August 29th at the Wynn Hotel.  If you're a serious designer looking to learn, to be re-energized & inspired and to meet new people  in the industry , I highly recommend checking it out here.  This is going to be way more than a feel-good "let's make friends" little conference... I have no doubt you'd leave with concrete goals and action steps to improve your business and achieve your goals.  

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
For general questions, please write to me at mail@laurenliess.com.

This week, we’re installing a project we’ve been working on for over a year and I CANNOT wait!!!  (And neither can our clients, who have been waiting patiently to move in!!) 



I was completely in love with the house from the moment I first stepped inside it last year.  Built at the turn of the century, it had wonderful bones but was in need of some love.  It was incredibly charming but the floor plan needed a little updating and reworking to fit our clients’ lifestyle and their young family.   My clients worked with the team of architects at Cunningham Quill who created a beautiful plan that’s timeless yet filled with modern conveniences & really has a new level of functionality.  The house has a seamless indoor-outdoor connection, which is one of the most important characteristics to me in a home.  You can't help but imagine doors flung open and curtains blowing in this place.  



{the new stair hall- almost finished!!  I can't get over all of the beautiful sight lines in the house!!}


Our clients’ style is fresh and colorful.  They like to mix furnishings-  from Mid Century Modern to English antiques- and wanted to bring in modern touches to their historical home.  Most of our architectural/ hard goods selections - such as the stair rails, flooring, woodwork, tile etc.- were in keeping with the traditional nature of the home, so we're bringing the fun in with fabrics, furnishings and art.   This has been such a fun and creatively satisfying project because our clients will say things like, "go big or go home," and they've been so open to stepping outside of their comfort zones.   (They are also hysterical.)  They have a very defined style but are incredibly open-minded design-wise.  We're mixing in family pieces with new ones and are bringing in lots of bright colors- navy, blues, mossy greens, oranges and corals.



{the living room- being painted!!}

I hope you enjoyed this little under-construction peek!!  Fingers crossed that all goes well over the next few days!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.
For general questions, please write to me at mail@laurenliess.com.


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