My dear and hilarious friend, Lorri, is incredibly talented. A graduate of Stanford undergraduate *AND* Stanford Business School (don’t you hate her already), she worked in the corporate world for many years, had two kids, and then realized that she needed a change in professions. So here she is now, a blogger and a “decorating enthusiast.” She writes a fabulous blog about decorating and home inspirations AND has her own decorating business.
Lorri believes that by creating a beautiful home, we return to our best selves. So that’s how Return To Home was born – Lorri personally feels creative, comfortable and liberated (her best self!) when her surroundings are beautiful and organized. So interior design it was! She soon discovered that many people felt like her, especially overworked professionals or parents of young children, who already feel overwhelmed and anxious and then come home to surroundings that add to the stress. So basically, Lorri created a business where she helps people take their homes to the next level, but without the decorator fee or minimum!
Beautiful, blonde LORRI!
Tell us about yourself and your career PRE-design?
My blog Return To Home and subsequent interior decorating business is the result of a life-long passion for interior design. But it took me a while to get here! Among other things, I’ve been a foreign policy aide in the US Congress and was an executive recruiter for nearly six years. I also picked up an MBA along the way. I’m so happy to have had these experiences – but nothing compares to the creative thrill and satisfaction I get from the world of interior design.
What is the difference between you and a decorator?
I suppose I am a decorator because I help people make decisions about their decor! But I’m not what people often assume I am in the traditional sense of the word. Often, traditional decorators are perceived as being super high end and they go custom on everything, which I don’t do. I also really try to respect what you already have in place in your home. Not that another decorator wouldn’t respect someone’s space! – it’s just that often decorators are brought in to completely overhaul a room. I don’t necessarily do that. I work with what you have and then add new things in if necessary.
How did you put this business together? I mean, obviously you knew you wanted to switch careers and design made you happy, but how did it become THIS?
Lorri and her son, Charlie.
It started with my blog. I just wanted a voice, a place where I could say, “look at this room! isn’t this AMAZING?” It was a creative outlet for me. And then, in terms of growing out my client-facing business, I kept thinking what would *I* want if I were hoping to better my space? I personally would want someone to come for a few hours to brainstorm with me, to give me some killer ideas, and then to follow up with specific colors and items of furniture that I could then purchase if I wanted. I still want that for myself! I think it really resonated with other young professionals and moms who have a great eye but not enough bandwidth (or confidence!) to do it all themselves. The rest is history – one client has led to another and another. It’s been very organic.
How did you develop your eye for decorating without any formal training?
My mom always had a decorators license and she was forever decorating our houses. We moved a bit when I was younger, so she decorated seven homes over my childhood! I was always her eager apprentice. I got bit by the bug early – I was redecorating and moving furniture around my room when I was nine years old, and drawing endless pictures of floor plans with my colored pencils.
How do you find your clients?
It’s all word of mouth and traffic from my website. I have a suspicion that Pinterest helps! People find me and they say “oh I like that aesthetic!”
Lorri’s Pinterest board.
What is your decor style?
Down-to-earth, accessible, clever, beautiful, the best-that-you-can-be home decor.
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