California Designer

S21 E19 – Spanish-Californian Design for the Bay with Isolina Mallon

Today, on this mid-Market episode of the Chaise Lounge, Bay Area-based, Barcelona-born designer Isolina Mallon is here. Mallon is a crusader for modern and contemporary aesthetic in all her projects and tries to include it in all the work she does for Silicon Valley types.

267 – Laura Muller: Four Point Design Build

Welcome back! Today in The Lounge, Nick chats with Laura Muller, CEO of Four Point Design Build. The two chat about what it means to be a CEO and designer, education, and networking. This is a wonderful episode to listen to for inspiration to step up your business!

251 – Wendy Glaister: Bringing Your A-Game to Business

Today in the Lounge, Nick chats with Wendy Glaister of Wendy Glaister Interiors from the Bay Area, to talk about how she came to be the head of her own firm after deciding not to go down the path of being an attorney. Learn about her tactics for marketing in the digital age and how she stays centered as a designer with a plate that’s always full.

250 – Barrie Livingstone: The Endless Horizons of Design

Hey everyone! Today in the Lounge, Nick chats with Barrie Livingstone for the 250th episode! The two talk about the growing Airbnb design market, Barrie’s new book, selling homes, and Luca Boffi’s new endeavor.

133 – Sanja Radovanovic: Home Staging from Rome

Sanja Radovanovic: Home Staging from Rome

On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with Sanja Radovanovic on home staging, her ambassadorship with IAHSP in Europe, and what’s next for her in the world of home staging.

Getting to know Sanja Radovanovic

Sanja Radovanovic, born in Serbia, currently lives in Rome, after residing in at least eight other countries. She met Nick at the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP). Sanja speaks five languages and loves men’s watches, sunglasses, and high heels. She also enjoys Nutella and wine.

How Sanja got into design

Sanja states that interior design has always been a part of her. As a child, her mother’s job kept the family moving, which meant constant renovations and redesigns. Now, she is married to a diplomat, which keeps her family moving as well.

She has been involved with IAHSP over the last year and is on the board of directors. IAHSP is the longest running industry association and is dedicated to advancing the education for stagers and realtors. The organization provides ongoing education throughout the US and is expanding into Europe.

For Sanja, the switch from interior design to home staging came naturally. She was always attending open houses, though she mentions it’s a tough market educating clients on what staging is. She prepares a home to bring in top dollar in the least amount of time.

Sanja initially established her business in Chicago but has moved, again and again, restarting from scratch, feeling like she has to work twice as hard. She relies on social networks, industry associations including IAHSP, and professional relationships to build her business wherever she is.

What her business looks like

Sanja has never worked for someone else. She has always run her own firm. Interior design clients ask for home staging when selling, and then ask for help designing their new home after they’ve moved. Much of her business has been brought in through word of mouth.

Sanja mentions that interior design requires designing for someone else, which means you need to listen and understand what they need and want, whereas staging is for a home must appeal to a wide number of individuals, so it can sell, not the current owner.

What’s next

Sanja is investing a lot of time and effort with IAHSP expanding across the globe. In Rome, there is less design work currently due to economy, but IAHSP founder, Barb Schwarz, says, “The world is full of money, you have to find it.”

Learn more at Staged Homes and The Art of Staging.

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  • Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

85 – Jenn Feldman: Accidental Interior Designer Killing it!

Jenn Feldman Designs

Jenn Feldman: Accidental Interior Designer Killing it!

Joining me in the Lounge today is my friend Jenn Feldman, owner Jenn Feldman Designs.  She is out in Cali, and growing an incredible design business…all by accident.  Let me explain.  So, she entered a contest as a homeowner that has designer her own interior.  The contest just happens to be put on by Oprah, she wins, and the next thing she knows, she has Nate Berkus in her house for a photo shoot. After the show airs, she starts getting inquiries from people wanting her to design their homes.  After the show re-airs six months later, she takes the cue, quits her PR business, and heads straight into interior design.  I love how each road into interior design is different.

The Accidental Start

Like many successful designers we come across, Jenn came into Interior Design from a different path. She had been living and working in New York in Public Relations when love called and she moved to LA. New to the West coast entirely, she was in the midst of re-starting her career in PR when an opportunity presented itself– an opportunity with the likes of Nate Berkus and Oprah Winfrey.

For a special in Oprah’s O At Home magazine, Nate was looking to feature homeowners in who had decorated their own homes. Jenn applied, almost in secret, only to be chosen as the winner and featured on Oprah’s Home Run Homes segment. After that, calls started rolling in. It took Jenn a while to wrap her mind around a career change, though. When the show aired again, she got a second chance and went for it.

Through a lot of trial and error, she found the formula that worked for her. In many ways not having the education or mentor to model her business after allowed her to create a business that’s truly original and ones that’s completely authentic to her values. It’s still hard for her to put a finger on exactly how she did it. She worked hard, with a lot of integrity, but also feels like there was just an innate talent inside. “I don’t always know how to define what I know, but I know that I know it.”

The Firm Today

Today she works in both residential and commercial design with a team of five employees. It was the geographical nature of the work that prodded her to hire her first employee. A big part of the business is showing up on the job site and it eventually became clear that she couldn’t physically be all places at once.

She still makes sure that each project has her touch and that she is the main point of contact for the client. Being an artist at heart, it is very important to her that she stay connected to the creative process. “I am still to this day the only one who shops for bookcase accessories because it’s just my favorite part and it’s my art and it’s the thing I can do, and somehow it’s just not replicable.”

What’s next for Jenn? She’ll continue to tweak the business, experiment with new marketing techniques, and keep changing as technology changes. To learn more about Jenn and see some of her amazing work visit or follow her @jennfdesigns on Instagram.

Wrap Up

If you are interested in posting a job you have in your design firm (you need an intern, a JR designer, a SR designer, etc) please visit our new Job Board for interior designers.  If you are looking for an internship in interior design, an interior design job, or anything related, see our open jobs.

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at  Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business.  See ya!