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Designed with a Deadline: Lisa Mende

Posted by Denise McGaha
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Today I am excited to introduce blogger, interior designer and friend Lisa Mende!  Lisa and I became friends via her blog and I loved her even more when we met in person this year at Blogfest 2012.  This lady is an inspiration and I know you will love her post today.  Make sure you check out her great website, Pinterest page and blog below!  Thanks for joining us today Lisa.






Hi, My name is Lisa Mende, owner of Lisa Mende Design and I am from Charlotte, NC.  I want to thank Denise for having me on her blog today to share my tricks for designing on a deadline.  I have been a residential interior designer since 1998.  Over the years, I have had my fair share of projects with quick turnarounds.  I actually met Denise because of this very topic.  I had read about her process for “designing on a deadline” online and contacted her to see if I could learn something, that would improve the service, I was offering in my own design practice.  Of course I wasn’t surprised when Denise returned my email, within the hour! She is “The Design On A Deadline” Diva, right?    We exchanged emails, became fast friends and the rest is history!  When Denise asked me to share my tricks on her blog, I remembered our initial conversation, where we both agreed that even though each designer has a unique approach to the process, there are some key elements that have to occur for a success:

1) Be realistic about what can be accomplished

2) Make a plan and stick to it

3) Everyone on the job has to be committed to the deadline

4) Communication is key

5) Always have a back up plan


Once these elements are in place, you are good to go.  However, every well laid plan can have some glitches. That’s when you are thankful for plan B, so having a back up plan may be the secret weapon that designers have learned is the most important aspect.  It’s often times what saves the client the most money!  Learning to devise a back up plan is not for the faint of heart, it is born from battle wounds of having glitches occur.  Designers learn early on to embrace the glitches, because there isn’t anything you can do once they happen, but keep calm and carry on!  Often the glitches can be that little serendipitous twist that makes the project unique.


 Ok, so enough of the banter of what has to happen.  I know you tuned in here because you want secrets, right? Here are a couple of my tricks for designing on a deadline that are totally free!!! 


1) Olioboard!  Do you know about it?  If not, click over and sign up.  You don’t have to be a designer to do it.  Best of all, it is free.  I call it the modern day way to building “Barbie’s Dream House”!  When I was a child, I would spend hours making sure Barbie had the perfect setup!  Olioboard is the same thing, only there are no messes to clean up and everything is at your fingertips.   Olioboard helps me work with my clients fast and more efficiently, without spending hours on detailed drawings that could end up getting scotched in the long run and cost the client lots of money.  I can quickly put together a room using the specified items for the room and email them to the client in a few minutes.  The client can then see the concept in 3D.  It’s amazing!



2) Pinterest!  I invite you to pop over and check out my boards! Everybody is pinning these days, so it’s a concept most people understand.   When I am working with a client, I will make a board for them on my wall so I can quickly pin things I want to share them.  That way, I can refer back to the board anytime to see the items I have chosen.  It’s like having a virtual pin up board straight from your office, yet the client can see it in their home.  It saves money by eliminating unnecessary meetings.  Time = Money folks, so if we cut out unnecessary meetings,  the client is saving money.  If the client doesn’t  have a pinterest account (kidding, right?) I have them set one up and start an inspiration board for their project.

Gone are the days of buying magazines to clip inspiration pictures to take to your designer!   Pinterest not only saves your inspirations, but has them where they are readily available without time consuming searches or damaged when your hubby decides to use your favorite picture for a coaster.

Also, if a client can’t visualize a room layout or a paint color, nine times out of ten, it can be found on Pinterest!  How cool is that?  Have you tried typing a certain paint color in the search bar to see what pops up?  If not, go do it, you will be amazed!  




3)  I also use “Chip It” By Sherwin Williams.

Have you ever used this tool to help pick paint colors?  If not, you should.  They make it so easy even my five year old niece can do it!  All you have to do to start “chipping” is drag and drop “chip it” bookmarklet to your tool bar. Once “chip it” is activated, it turns blue and you are ready to go. Next, choose a picture, hover over it  and click”chip it”.  It will then give you a palette of  suggest Sherwin Williams colors that closest match those in the picture. It’s really that simple!


4) The last tip I am going to share is to work with a professional.  That way you have everything picked out, before you start your project.  The plan really is important and key to getting it done right. Don’t go willy nilly to the furniture store and buy a sofa just because it is on sale.  Work with a professional, let them help you pull the entire design together.  Once you hire your designer, trust the process.  Allow them to work their magic! If you try to control the project, you will not get the best results.  An experienced designer will not only save you time and money, but lots of headaches along the way!


Ok, so there you have a few of my easy, time

saving tricks to help get the job done a little faster!

I hope you enjoyed learning about these online

resources if you didn’t already know about them.

If you did, I invite you to pop over to my blog Lisa Mende Design 

and see what I am up to today!

Thanks again Denise for having me on your blog today! 

Sunday Smiles: My A-Ha! Moment Blog Is a Winner

Posted by Denise McGaha
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I am SO excited to share with all of my readers that after Blogfest 2012, we were asked to share our A-HA moments in our career.  Mine is HERE!

House Beautiful chose their favorites and my post was one of the 10 chosen.


So excited…over the moon!!!

Check out the House Beautiful Pinterest Page to see all the other winners and a big congrats to all of you!!!


Sunday Shortcut: Wallpaper Trick

Posted by Denise McGaha
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I had the opportunity to spend time with my good friend and fellow designer SL while in New York for Blogfest 2012, and one evening I toured her new apartment.  While sittong on the sofa late that evening, I noticed this great little wallpaper shortcut on her entry hallway wall.

Since there was no immediate stopping point in the space and she is only renting, she didn’t want to paper the entire stairwell.  See how she cut out half of the pattern to almost feather it into the painted wall?  My elegant and wise friend always has the best tricks up her sleeve!

She has papered the space with Farrow and Ball wallpaper and painted the floors in white.  What a fresh space and I am delighted to share this Sunday Shortcut straight from a designer’s own toolbox!

Stay tuned for my guest blog at NY Spaces Magazine in June!  I can’t wait to share it with all of my readers!

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