After graduating from college and landing a job in PR, Lauren Liess got busy decorating her first apartment. So busy, in fact, that in office meetings she found herself doodling elevations and floor plans instead of paying attention. She took that as a sign that her future belonged to design and left her day job to take design classes and help friends decorate their homes. After a stint working for another designer, Liess debuted her own firm, Lauren Liess Interiors, in 2007 and started a design blog (purestylehome.blogspot.com) in 2008. It now has more than 70,000 readers and this year Liess launched her own line of furniture and fabrics.
Before embarking on a project, Liess gets to know her clients, honing in on an “emotional connection” that will give meaning to a space. The Herndon, Virginia-based designer recently converted a family’s formal living room into a functional space for homework, projects and playing music. She collected leaves on the property with her clients’ kids and had images of them blown up on canvas . A generous worktable stores books and accessories at one end. In the designer’s own home, personal mementoes adorn her ever-changing mantel.
“We like to focus on the feeling that someone is going to have when they’re at home,” she says. “For every mood, a room can still look a million different ways.”