After years of doling out decorating advice without pay, Lisa Puchalla, mother of three, decided it was time to turn her passion into a calling. She took courses at the Corcoran School of Design and hung her shingle in 2007. Her Chevy Chase firm, Lily Mae Design (named for her two daughters) has been thriving ever since. “I grew up here so I have a big network of people who know me,” she explains. “Most of my clients are referrals.”
Puchalla’s goal is to integrate her clients’ lifestyles and personalities into timeless spaces. “I can tell just by walking into a house what people are going to want to do,” she comments. “I bring all the parts together based on the information I get from talking to clients and observing them.” She tries to make the process fun and collaborative with a laid-back approach and “the understanding that these are people’s homes—not mine.
“I want the spaces to last,” she continues, “and for clients to be happy in them for the next 20 years.”
INTERIOR DESIGN: Lisa Puchalla, Lily Mae Design, Chevy Chase, Maryland.