Designer Spotlight: 5 Questions with Designer Lisa Mende

January 16, 2015

During the ASID conference last year, we were so inspired by guest speaker, designer Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design, that we decided to feature her in our Designer Spotlight. We got to chat with her about design trends, current projects, and even her favorite color. Here are our 5 design questions with Lisa Mende. Enjoy!

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What made you want to pursue a design career?

Interior Design was a second career choice for me. My first degree was apparel design/fashion merchandising from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC . I worked as a buyer for five years for a small regional clothing store chain, before returning to design school in my thirties. I didn’t really find design, rather it found me.

Friends kept asking for my help with their homes, which made me realized I had natural talent for Interior Design. I decided to return to college to pursue a FIDER Interior Design degree, because I thought I wanted to do kitchen and bath design. My senior year of design school, I did an internship for a kitchen-and-bath design firm here in Charlotte and worked there after school for about nine months.

I loved my boss but decided I wanted to do more than just kitchen-and-bath design. I love paint, fabric, and fringe too much to be limited to the kitchen and bath. I am happier doing full-service interior design rather than specializing in limited areas.

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What is it about your surroundings that inspires your design?

If I had to choose one thing that inspires my work it would be original art. Often my designs begin with a painting or a handmade rug, and the room develops from there.

Name a recent project you’re particularly proud of and why?

I am extremely proud of my work on The Hooper-Kyser house, which is is the oldest house in Chapel Hill, NC — located on Franklin Street. It was built in 1815 and is protected under the North Carolina Historic Preservation Registry. We had to take special care to maintain the property while updating it for a modern family. The owner, who is a single gentleman, and his son wanted the house to be decorated in a livable decor with easy-care furniture and fabrics. The house has been on tour on three occasions and each time, we get comments on how comfortable yet chic the house feels, even though it is 200 years old. It is a beautiful property with original wide plank hardwood floors.

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I’m also very proud of my new design studio located at 2935 Providence Road in Charlotte, NC. I share the studio with another designer, Traci Zeller. We love our new space, which functions as a studio and as an art gallery, where we showcase art from local artists from the South.

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Are there any new design trends that excite or annoy you?

As a three-time style spotter for High Point market, I have been spotting trends for quite a while. I am always excited to see what is trending even though I don’t necessarily subscribe to the trends in my work.

Currently, I am loving the return of brass and am annoyed by the thought of macrame.

What’s your favorite color?

I truly love most colors when used in the right application. I adore happy colors like orange, pink, lavender, Kelly green, and aqua. One of my all-time favorite paint colors is Antiguan Sky #3040-60 by Benjamin Moore. It is a beautiful aqua that reminds me of the Carribean.

Learn more about Lisa Mende by following her on Twitter, BlogspotFacebook or Instagram.