A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design | Designers | Business |Interior Design Success

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design | Designers | Business |Interior Design Success



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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 30, 2016

Charles founded Pavarini Design nearly 30 years ago and it is a full-scale New York based Interior Design Firm that specializes in Architectural Interior Design, Custom Furniture Design and Lighting Design.  

Charles has sat on the Designer’s Lighting Forum of New York, board of directors for twenty-eight years.

And his talent has earned 21 awards for excellence in design over his career. The list includes the most prestigious of lighting awards, the coveted Lumen Award. In addition he has received the Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award for Architectural Lighting, an Award of Merit from the Illuminating Engineering Society for Lighting, a 2014 International Property Award for the Americas, an ASID Design Specialty Award, a CODA Works Award for a Public Art Installation,a Circle of Excellence Award and now lets add- to the list an award for Best in Show Architectural Digest Design.

You can see the full show notes at

Mar 28, 2016

Today on the show we have Nancy Ganzekaufer! Nancy is an art and accessories consultant. She is the founder and owner of her business Expressive Living. Before her business she worked in banking all the way to vice president! After this she was a stay at home mom and then became a personal trainer. While trying to figure out what to do next she got a phone call from her mother one day that would change career plans. Her mother wanted to get rid of her art work. Nancy started having home art parties and this is how her business in art and accessories all began.

Nancy shares with us:

  • Build relationships
  • “Niche is rich and broad is broke”
  • Research, research, research!
  • Tools to success
  • New business???
  • Free giveaways!!

Links Mentioned:

Mar 23, 2016

Rock star designer Malene Barnett created and built her business specializing in handcrafting custom carpets and dabbling in wall design and tile design. She has a background in surface design from F.I.T (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York. Malene has some great advice to share with us!

Show Notes:

  • Inspiration from experiences behind her work
  • How to get from point A to point B starting out
  • Growth plans
  • E-guide series!

Links Mentioned:


You can get all the resources at

Mar 21, 2016

Jeff Brooks has been a designer in business for 30 years! When he was starting out in the design world he did a lot of kitchen design until he decided to open his own design firm in 1986. He does a lot of residential work and has been interested in earth work and environmental design. Jeff has some fantastic advice for designers starting out or even designers who have been doing their thing for any amount of time!  

Show Notes:

  • What is the best use of a space?
  • Hospitality and public spaces
  • Execute a plan!
  • How to let someone know if the designer is within their budget      
  • Where does the inspiration come from?
  • Be kind

“Plan every project by starting with the intended result”. Jeffrey Brooks


Links Mentioned:

Jeff’s Website

Mar 16, 2016


Today my guest is Ren Miller: editor in chief of Design New Jersey! Ren has a background in design and editorial management. He worked with newspapers and then worked with a jewelry magazine. On 9/11 he caught a bus to get to his home in New Jersey and made the observation that the other people were just trying to get home because home is safe. That was his aha moment when he realized he wanted to work for a magazine that portrayed homes. He applied to Design New Jersey and was fortunate enough to get the job. Ren has worked his way up to where he is now and has been doing a fabulous job as editor in chief! 

Ren Miller shares with us:

  • Why should designers want to put their work in publication?
  • Know the magazine
  • Keep up with the trends
  • White rooms in publication
  • Background
  • How to get accepted
  • The “No’s”

Links Mentioned:


Mar 14, 2016

Robin LaMonte is an amazing interior designer who is based in Atlanta. She spent 13 years in New Jersey building her name and then she and her husband made the decision to move to Atlanta. Robin has started her empire from scratch…again. Today’s show is all about re-establishing yourself and your business after a move to a new city or state. But truthfully the strategies we discuss apply if you are beginning your interior design business or even if you need to give a boost to your established firm.

Robin shares with us how she has accomplished this and gives advice for other designers who are starting out in today's episode!

Mar 9, 2016

Denise and her team deliver diverse and fashionable designs for those who live on the fast track. Her company specializes in turnkey, concierge-level services---in as little as 90 days! They execute high-end interior design projects with their organization and signature deadline-driven design solutions. Denise honed her business practices, sophisticated methodology, and solid business acumen while working with Neiman-Marcus. You will be impressed with what she accomplishes with her relatively small staff. Join us for more from Denise!

In this episode, you’ll hear the following:

  • Denise’s business is built on a three-tiered philosophy: Delivered in 90 days, Designed in a Day, and Designer Full-Time. Stay tuned to learn more!
  • Denise’s full-service design came first, as she found a niche for people who want things quickly.
  • “Doing the job faster means getting your money faster!”
  • The niche was needed in the industry; Denise asked, “How can we brand it and make it happen?”
  • Her systems are driven by project plans, timelines, and a very scheduled process.
  • There are multiple team members working on multiple projects.
  • Organization and precise communication are essential for the Delivered in 90 Days option!
  • The client has to be ready to make decisions and move fast, just as Denise’s team does.
  • Every decision, order, and email has a deadline attached to it to keep the process moving.
  • This business requires a strong team who are ready to work within the timelines, and requires respect and trust from clients.
  • Surprisingly, Denise accomplishes this with just THREE employees!
  • The initial timeline is 2-4 weeks until presentation is made to the client, and then the team hits the ground running when a contract is secured.
  • Denise operates in other locations outside the Dallas area, but those are more difficult and present greater limitations.
  • Not every client comes to Denise for the 90-day timeline; many come for the design quality.
  • For other designers who question this process, Denise asks, “How much time did you spend and how much did you bill for? What if you compressed the time? How much time is wasted from week to week?”
  • The Designer Full-time option is a complete project, with construction, furnishings, etc. These are large projects that take 1-2 years to complete.
  • Denise implements a screening process for clients so that she can understand their needs and the scope of the project.
  • She gives great advice for accepting clients and knowing which clients are NOT a good fit; it all comes down to chemistry!
  • Designed in a Day gives Denise the opportunity to get out of the office for a day to help a client who wants a quick update with what they already have in place. 
  • Denise runs down the entire process of her Designed in a Day option, which is an unusual niche that fosters a face to face relationship and connection for the future.
  • Denise explains her partnership with Curated Kravet, the sponsor of our podcast. They are one of her favorite vendors, and she explains why!
  • Denise designed vignettes for them with their fabrics and in-stock items. You can view it online!
  • Denise’s advice for designers:
    • Make a plan for all that you do and your processes.
    • See where you can be very, very efficient.
    • Work smarter, not harder.
    • There is no need to fret over decisions.
  • Denise explains her upcoming project Show House in New Orleans, already in the design process!


Mar 7, 2016

Today on the show we have the talented, go getter Rona Speigel! Rona started her own business, Lifestyle Designs in 1980. About 4 years ago she started another business, Red-Zebra. Red- Zebra started out as just photography but then grew into something extraordinary!

Rona shares with us in this episode:

  • How Red-Zebra came to be
  • The “sideline”
  • What is ADA?
  • The process of post-production 

Links Mentioned:

Mar 2, 2016

Today’s guest is the queen of show houses: Barbara Ostrom! Barbara attended New York University and New York school of Interior Design and then went on to get her masters in architectural design from Pratt and received a graduate certificate from Sorbonne in Paris. After working as, a designer’s assistant for 8 years and then working with a company that designs stores she decided to start her own business. When Barbara first started out showhouse rooms were not popular. Since then she has really shown that she knows how to work the showhouse rooms. You can check out some of her fantastic showhouse rooms in her book: “Curtain Up!: Thirty Years of Spectacular Showhouse Rooms”.

To read the full show notes click here.