Local Interior Designer Dishes On Her Own Home

Lisa Moriarty has been designing homes in the Chicago land area for 20 years, so Patch got a behind-the-scenes look at how she designed her own home.

Ever wonder how interior designers decorate their own homes? Patch caught up with Lisa Moriarty and asked her to give us the scoop on designing and helpful tips that she used to furnish her own home. Moriarty is no stranger to Glen Ellyn or designing. She lives in Glen Ellyn and has been designing homes in the area for 20 years.  

What is the most important thing to remember when decorating your home?

Whether a home is palatial or modest, the most important thing is that it has a sense of curiosity and its own personality.

When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?
I always knew I wanted to be an artist. This job is a way of expressing my desire to create art.

What do you like most about your job?
I like helping people. I really enjoy listening to people and getting to know the different passions that they have. I love to make their home something that reflects who they are. It makes me so happy when a client calls me and says something like, 'I am at home right now having a cup of tea and I just love my home!' 

How does your own home differ from the homes of your clients?
With my clients I plan everything out and organize everything! With my own house everything is just haphazard and not planned at all.  

I notice that you have a lot of your own artwork around your house. Where do you get your inspiration for your color choices?
My moods. Whatever mood I am in, if I crave a color I will go buy that color in flowers or a pillow or something to make me happy.

Your home is over 100 years old. How do you keep everything so well organized?
Editing on a regular basis, and keep the things that you use close to where you intend to use them.                                                                        

You chose an older home that you have said is smaller than many of the homes you decorate. What do you appreciate most about a modest sized, older home?
I just love vintage charm. I love looking for inspiration from the past and adding modern touches to it. It may be a piece from my travels, something from the Merchandise Mart, or even something from Target. If I see something that I have a connection with I will buy it! I take it home and find a place for it.

I’m sure this kitchen did not look this way when you bought the house. When did you purchase your home?
The original house was built in 1906. We purchased it in 1998 and added an ‘L’ shaped addition to the original kitchen.

Tell me about this unique floor.
These are Mexican terra cotta tiles peppered with dog prints throughout. We bought them with the dog prints already set in--that’s the charm. I like when there is a story behind the product.

This buffet and hutch looks like it has a story behind it.  
This is my grandparents hutch. It was built into their home in Berwyn and they used it as a tool chest. It had so many coats of paint on it! I salvaged it and stripped the paint off. I then had the hutch made by Jamie Simonite (owner of Z&O Stuido AIA Inc., in Glen Ellyn). I painted the hutch myself 11 years ago and added some quirky knobs.

How did you choose your modern sofa?
We needed a solution for this odd shaped living room with its front door in the center, staircase and opening into the dining room. Our previous sofas always bugged me. I moved them around every month trying to make them look better.  I decided I needed to make the room look a little larger and make use of the wall space. It’s a mid-century modern sectional from Room and Board called “Reese." I like the armless side so guests can put their shoes on. It’s great for cocktail parties.

Where did you find a round bed?
Ikea. This is my daughter Samantha’s room. She is a sophomore in high school. She picked out the color, she picked out all the furniture in her room by herself. I even got her approval on doing that painted scene behind the bed. It’s really difficult to go shopping so we tried to pick it all out in one day. She just loved the round bed. I know it is way too large for the room but I wanted her to be able to pick her own things out.

Lisa’s office is decorated in crisp white, shiny chrome with a splash of hot pink and a bold blue. The chaos of her passion is carefully organized to make the most of the intimate space, making sure Lisa’s loyal clients' needs are scrupulously filed away.  

Your house is so well organized!  What is your secret?
Thank you! I am a busy working mom so I have to keep things where I can find them. 

For more information about Lisa Moriarty's work contact her at:
Lisa Moriarty Art and Interiors

Lived in 5 other metro areas... April 22, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Hello, I think that your video and photos were nicely done. I enjoyed seeing a home that is casual, real, lived in, and doesn't grab me by the throat and say, "Look at me! I'm a professionally designed home, with really expensive things and btw, don't touch!" Ms. Moriarity's home is very welcoming. It makes me want to hire her! I will when I get another job! Thanks for inviting us in.
Susan Klimala April 23, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Nice house Lisa -- really well done. I like your tip on constant editing, I think this is the key to enjoying what you already have.
Hanna lee April 26, 2011 at 01:08 AM
Your home is perfect! I love your style and how livable it is. We're searching for an inter designer at the moment and would love to chat with you.
Renee Gough May 11, 2011 at 01:20 AM
Hi Hanna, You can reach Lisa Moriarty via her contact information located at the end of this story. Thank you for posting!


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