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: July, 2016
Jul 29, 2016

Diane Gardner is a tax coach and the author of Why Didn't My CPA Tell Me That? and Stop Overpaying Your Taxes. You are going to be blown away today by the information Diane shares. She saves her clients thousands of dollars in taxes with every consultation. Many times we look backward in dealing with our taxes, and a tax coach looks at the future and plans it exactly how you want to be.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What is a tax coach and why do you need one
  • How you can plan where your tax liability be
  • Why your accountant isn't your tax coach
  • Why tax filing is different than tax planning
  • How your legal entity can make you pay less in taxes
  • Why it's almost a guarantee that you are paying too much in taxes



Stop Overpaying Your Taxes
Jul 27, 2016

Today we are going to talk about going to market with Deb Barrett! She specializes in a niche for attending the different furniture and accessory markets: High Point and different markets around the world. Now she is specializing in bringing groups to these markets so that they have the best experience at market as opposed to walking in circles and not knowing where to go. Today we are very lucky because high point is about two and a half months away! This is a great time to listen to Deb with her expertise and knowledge on how to make the best of attending markets in general but we are going to be talking about High Point because it’s coming up soon.

Show Notes:

  • Why should people attend High Point?
  • What is High Point?
  • How do you know if you should go to High Point?
  • How should you go about pre-planning?
  • How is High Point divided?
  • What advantages come with registering?
  • Why would designers want to think about expanding internationally?
  • Be up to date on business etiquette

For more details on this episode, please go to:

Jul 25, 2016

LuAnn Nigara is an award winning window treatment authority, author, and host of the 5 star-rated podcast, A Well-Designed Business, which serves the design industry as an overall business dynamo.

Based in Livingston, New Jersey, LuAnn got her start in 1982 when she, her husband, and cousin, purchased a franchise of the Florida based, full service window treatment company, Window Works. With LuAnn at the helm of sales, they quickly expanded from New Jersey to serving the entire metro area from Philadelphia, to the Hamptons to Connecticut and became the leading showroom in gross sales of the more than 120 stores Window Works stores around the country.

“I have always been fascinated by sales and the components of a sale,” explains LuAnn, who brings an unmatched passion and expertise to the business of window design. “At ten years old my Aunt gave me the book, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino and I quickly looked for every book like it. That was the beginning of what became my obsession with the art and skill of the sale.”

Soon after running Window Works leading franchise, LuAnn thought of something no one else had: Why not work directly with interior designers? “Back then I thumbed through the phonebook,” laughs LuAnn who recalls cold calling designers and asking them to partner with her. Today, she counts Sussan Lari Architects, Alexandra Angle Interiors in Los Angeles, Anyon Designs (San Francisco), House of Funk in NJ, Pembrooke & Ives and Charles Pavarini as clients.

After more than thirty years of designing, creating and installing window treatments for the most discerning clients, LuAnn is now recognized as a leading voice in the business of design. In addition to speaking at the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID-NJ) and the world-renown Hunter Douglas conference, she is regularly called on by Design NJ as a resource. She’s been featured in Design NJ and appeared on House Smarts TV. In 2012, LuAnn authored the e-book, 10 Things to Know About Window Treatments and was featured in Big Bold Business Women of NJ.

In the summer of 2015, LuAnn was searching for radio shows that spoke of her interest in the business of design--and found nothing. That was her “Ah Ha! Moment” and she decided to start a podcast. Today, she hosts a weekly 60-minute podcast ‘A Well-Designed Business.’ The twice weekly Internet show features in depth conversations with industry professionals on just about every subject on the business of interior design, from “Branding for Designers” “How to Get PR,” and How to Structure your Fees.

LuAnn lives in New Jersey with her husband. After more than three decades in business, she has no plans to stop any time soon.

Learn more about Luann and her work here:


Connect with her on Facebook:


Jul 22, 2016

Welcome back to another Power Talk Friday! I’m happy to let you know that we have David Duncan Livingston with us today! He is a professional photographer from the San Francisco Bay area. He has worked in over 40 states and 4 provinces! His particular skill, in addition to his photography, is that he works with interior designers as a producer, art director, and stylist when doing professional photography for you and your projects. He really works with you to get to the story that you are trying to produce with each project. I have to tell you that once you look at his website you will see that he does exactly what he says he does. For this power talk Friday David and I have to decided to talk about Houzz and we are going to pick his brain on how each of us can maximize our Houzz platform.

Show Notes:

  • What happens in the initial phase?
  • How do you decide what kinds of pictures to post on Houzz?
  • Is there such a thing as putting too much on your profile?
  • How do you organize an idea book?
  • Why is it important to keyword your photos?
  • What are some tips for iPhone users?

Learn more at:



Jul 20, 2016

Today we have a treat because Veronica Solomon is a rock star powerhouse woman in interior design. I came across Veronica and I thought she is a smart lady, she has some great things to share and always seems to have good advice. Then I browsed her website. I had to be picked up off the floor.

Once I was off the floor I probably spent as much time on her website as I have on other designers’ in the past 8 or 9 months that I have been interviewing. She has so much information and it's put out there so organized, clear, and user-friendly; and talks to the consumer. Today she is going to share with us how and why she decided to organize her website.

Show Notes:

  • What is a “how we work” page?
  • Be up front!
  • How does having the price figures on her website help her with business?
  • Who created her website?
  • How does “wix” work?
  • What is her plan for the fall?
  • What are some of her future goals?
  • How did she grow her group?
  • Are live videos the future?


Read the entire show notes and access resources at:

Jul 18, 2016

On the show today we have James Swan! James is the host of the podcast Million Dollar Decorator. This is in addition to his illustrious career as an interior designer. Being the host of this podcast and speaking with James about being guests on each other’s podcasts I really started doing research on him. I am very impressed at what a high level accomplished interior designer he is. Let’s be honest there are interior designers who make it big in their hometown and have a good 25 to 30-year career. But then you have interior designers that do things in a high level way and that is James! And this is what we are going to talk about today.

Show Notes:

  • What’s the scoop on his career background?
  • Delegate!
  • What are some things to think about when starting a business?
  • Why is training so important?
  • What’s in his book?
  • Will there be another book?
  • How did he end up in Maine?

To learn more about James Swan, please  visit

Jul 15, 2016

Welcome back to Power talk Friday! I am pleased to have Fred Berns back with us! If you remember he was on the show a couple of months ago and he discussed how to create a killer bio. I am aware that you all love his show so much that Fred and I have been talking about him coming back on the show. So he is here today! If you have not heard his episode you should go back and listen to it! It has a lot of terrific information in it. If you did miss his show Fred is a coach who trains professional designers worldwide on how to promote themselves and how to more effectively and dramatically increase their sales. I have to say what he says he is going to do he is going to do. Today he is going to tell us the keys to a killer website.

Show Notes:

  • What are interior designers doing wrong on their websites?
  • What elements should be on the homepage?
  • “Four seconds and two clicks”
  • Why do you need more than images?
  • How can you make it easier to navigate your website?
  • What should you avoid?
  • Why should you “think links”?

You can read the full show notes and access all the resources at

Jul 13, 2016

Gail Davis has a very interesting past that would be very helpful to her colleagues. Interior design is her second career. Her first career was in fashion. When you hear her story about her career in fashion, I think everyone will understand why she went into interior design!

Show Notes:

  • How long was she in fashion before switching to interior design?
  • Why interior design?
  • How did she “walk” into her internships?
  • What is the biggest difference interning at a younger age vs being older?
  • What sort of questions should you ask yourself when designing a room?
  • Were there certain things that were the same between the two designers?
  • What business practices did she learn?


Instagram:  gmdinteriors


Jul 11, 2016

Welcome back everybody! Barbara Viteri has such an interesting trail leading to where she is today with her Designerlebrity

Barbara had a very successful business called Viteri Style Management where she was a consultant for interior designers. But Barbara is pivoting her career now. She is going to share with us about how she got to where she is now.

Show Notes:

  • What did she do in Viteri Style Management?
  • What exercise can help with hiring?
  • What is Designerlebrity?
  • How did she come to her new career move?
  • Be real! Don’t pretend!

Resources: ~ @viteristyle


Jul 8, 2016
 Krista Coupar of Coupar Consulting returns to the show to talk about billing and hourly fee’s.
How To Effectively Bill Out Using an Hourly Fee Structure:
• Step 1: Understand your existing pipeline
• Step 2: Do an analysis of your current client base and your average monthly billing
• Step 3: Determine utilization rates for yourself and your team
• Step 4: Match up current project initiatives with the hours the team has available to work
• Step 5: Evaluate if you need to add to your team
You can read the full show notes and access all the resources at
Jul 6, 2016

Today on the show we have Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill! They have their own design firm in Charleston, South Carolina. They also deal with fine arts, have a retail store and deal with gallery events. Putting on an event is one thing but putting on 10 to 12 events a year successfully is quite another thing. They put on an event at least once a month usually.  Michael and Tyler are going to share with us they came upon the idea of putting on events.

Show Notes:

  • What was the original plan?
  • What is the one thing that they will always have part of their business?
  • How was charity introduced to them?
  • What should you not go cheap on?
  • What are some ways to let people know when there will be an event?
  • Who are the fabulous staff and what do they do?
  • How did their collection come to life?
  • What are the follow up processes?


You can read the full show notes and access all the links and resources at

Jul 4, 2016

Today we have Farrha Hyman on the show! You may be thinking where have I heard that name before? Farrha is the designer that Kae Whitaker mentioned in her interview from a previous episode! She is going to share with us her story and what can happen to your design firm when you reach out and get help and expertise from someone who knows more than you do.

Show Notes:

  • When did she realize she needed help?
  • How did she hear about Kay?
  • Trust the process!
  • How different is it just being in business and running a business well?
  • Why is it important to share some personal information?
  • What two actions have to happen when bringing someone new into the business?
  • What personal struggles did she have with change?
  • How did she use her knowledge from previous hires?
  • Where does she plan to be further down the road with her firm?

You can read the full show notes and access all the resources at