Want to know what Life Area DeAnna gets asked the most about? Want to know what Integrative Lifestyle Design means? Want to know how you can get a customized design to help amp up your ROMANCE vibe? This is the place to check...
What is DeAnna's background & how did she become interested in using interior design as a way to achieve goals/dreams?
We invite you to check out the About Us page for more info & here for her official bio. DeAnna has always been interested in design & using this medium as a way to solve problems/issues to increase efficiency & productivity-as shown by her years in retail management as Director of Operations for The Nature of Things Store (& in mgmt at other department & big box retailers). Merchandising & traffic plan lay-out has a direct impact on store sales, inventory accuracy & employee efficiency-when DeAnna decided to start her own design company, Bante Design LLC, she just translated this skill set into residential & office spaces.
DeAnna actually started out w/a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, a double minor in Political Science & Psychology from Marquette University. She also has an Interior Design degree from MATC in Milwaukee, as well as certifications in Feng Shui & Niche Breakthrough Method..
What is Integrative Lifestyle Design?
Integrative Lifestyle Design is the fusion of the Eastern philosophy of Feng Shui and Western interior design principles and incorporating them into a coherent design for the client that suits the function of the space, brings the occupant’s personality into the space and is healthy for all occupants/guests. ILD takes the lifestyle, goals and/or dreams of the occupants of the space and uses the above-mentioned principles to create a unique, balanced and supportive space for them.
What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is a 5000+ year old science that takes the energy (chi) movement of the Earth and geographic features, along with color and the five elements, into account when analyzing a space. There are three schools of thought: The Compass School, The Form School and the Black Hat Sect/Bagua School. DeAnna is schooled in the Black Hat Sect/Bagua School.
The inspriation for the above books was actually workshop attendees & clients! DeAnna had been asked for a couple of years for a more substantial, written packet of information that they could have for reference. The books are based off of DeAnna's signature system: Top 10 Tips for Everyone & Every Space. The Designing the Life of Your Dreams from the Outside In is geared towards adults, & Feng Shui for Teens is for kids 12-17 yrs old.
Explain the different divisions of DesignLEAN & what they offer.
The first is the DESIGN division which is DesignLEAN. This division focuses specifically on interior design-a specialization on BEDROOMS & HOME OFFICES. See the Bante Design LLC website for more information. Service offerings are available at 3 Levels: Apprentice, Journeyman & Master. Eden Place Productions is the MEDIA division. EPP is where all video, podcasts & other media is produced. Visit the Bante Design youtube channel for Feng Shui minis, Before/Afters & interviews w/design trend-setters. 3eProducts is the products division where ALL of our products are developed. Here you can purchase books authored by or contributed to by DeAnna Radaj, our consultations & room packages, as well as our line of Home Study Products (being worked on now w/first one due to be published FALL of 2011) & CDs/mp3s of workshops.
What the focus on BEDROOM & OFFICE design?:
In our incredibly busy & stressful lives, we strive for a more balanced life & environment in which we can "de-stress" in. The BEDROOM (yin/feminine/passive/quiet) & the OFFICE (yang/masculine/action/energy) are the rooms we spend the most time in, have the most impact on our health, finances & relationships. So we thought it only natural to focus on these spaces to help bring more balance, support & health to our client's lives.
What does a client need to do to "get ready"?:
If you have a floor-plan/blue-print of your space to forward to us before your consultation, that can help speed up the process of evaluating your needs/concerns. We also have our potential clients fill out the Design Discovery Form & submit to help identify where the need/concern exists & to help identify which consultation best suits the client's situation. The DDS is followed by a 15 min phone call to discuss the answers & decide where to go from there.
***If you're interested in starting the process of working w/us on your next design project, remodel or re-design, contact us here & ask for the Design Discovery Form. Please state if your project is for RESIDENTIAL or for the OFFICE so you get the correct form.***
Name the various ways that you connect with your clients & “fans”?
You can connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook. DeAnna also writes for the Examiner on interior design & furniture trends. We also offer our consultations in a variety of ways to better serve our clients in terms of time, efficiency & budget: email/mail, Video & In-person.
What payment options are accepted?:
DeAnna On Design accepts: cash, check, money order, MC/VS. We are also working on accepting the Canadian & Australian dollar, as well as the British pound. Contact us if you need to exercise this option. We also offer the option of dividing up payment between currency (check/cash, check/credit card, credit card/credit card) for even more convenience.
How did you come to develop your style?
It was very
"organic" in how I put it together...Integrative Lifestyle Design is
my "fusions" of Eastern (Feng Shui) and Western (eco-friendly,
healthy, aging-in-place) design philosophies used to support/amplify the
client's goals, dreams and lifestyle. All of this is from how I live my
life and reflects my life philosophies-the importance of incorporating
eco-friendly/healthy design (wall, floor, furniture, space-planning, color
theory/therapy) to a space to improve health/increase independence for those
with mental/physical disabilities, Feng Shui (which helps to identify Life
Areas that the client wants to improve upon through de-cluttering, proper
accessory choice, space-planning, color scheme) to help client be more
PROACTIVE in what they want, instead of RE-ACTIVE and goal-setting (from my
business background) and maximizing usage of square footage (from my retail
mgmt/design days). So it's been a 20+ year "style" in the
Tell us about the last project that you worked on. What did
you love most about it? What was the biggest challenge about this particular
The last project I worked on (not a consultation) was the
final room of a 3 year project of re-designing a home for a family of 5, 1 a
special needs teen. What I loved most about the project was working on
the 3 kid's rooms as it REALLY challenged my problem-solving skills (small
space for the daughter, special needs teen boy & LOTS of clutter...) and
they let me be really creative. The biggest challenge of the project was
schduling conflicts, a "marital crisis" that developed right near the
end (all aok now), some surgeries and extensive rehab of the eldest son and a
room that I had to "re-create" to look just like the owner's mother's
formal living room...The last room I designed was the kid's bathroom. The
fun part of that was updating it & making it "friendly" for the
son with special needs & physical challenges...The challenge, again, was
scheduling time to meet & get work done with the owner's schedule.
All complete now!
Do you have photos you'd like to share of your last project or a
actually have 2 "favorite" projects-both kid's bedrooms. The
first is of a then 10 yr old boy who loved his arrowhead & money
collections, the desert SW and very involved with the scouts. I did some
research and came up with a turn-of-the-century (19th) color scheme that was
taken SW Art Deco. In the desert SW, the main color of exteriors is
"sand/earth" color to blend with the landscape. ALL windows/entryways
are painted white/blue to highlight them. I did a faux leather finish on
the walls, and outlined all the doors and windows in 2 colors of blue and white
in the 3 step Art Deco tradition to highlight. All bedding is made from
bamboo, and the hardwood floors have shag leather area rugs. The lighting
is actually outdoor lights/sconces adapted for indoors, and made from wrought
iron. Shadowboxes, with an orange background to stand out from the blue,
were designed to show off his favorite arrowheads and money.
The 2nd one was for a 5yr old girl who wanted me to "combine":
Dora the Explorer, fairy princesses and American Girl theme....ahhhhhhhh.
The "client" nixed a white canopy bed (much to the dismay of me and
the mom) as she wanted bunk beds, AND the space was only 7x9! The color
scheme was lilac, white with pastel accents of green, pink and yellow. A
pearlescent glaze was put on the walls over the lilac paint to give the wall
sheen, bounce off light and create some depth. I had a muralist come in
to paint an outdoor landscape of a garden, complete with a painted fairy
door! A crystal chandelier and crystal sconces were put in (FAVE part!)
and new curtains of sheer fabric to create even more movement in the
space...Even though the room is VERY small, it feels light & airy and is
one that the girl can grow into.
How much should a homeowner expect to spend for a designer's services? It depends on the level of expertise & education of the designer hired, no matter the discipline. I'm an interior designer with a specialty in eco-friendly, universal design & Feng Shui, as well as being a published author, nationally recognized speaker & guest expert nationally & some international appearances...I charge $500/hr for an hourly consultation, which is more than someone right out of design school or someone without my credentials. Typical range can be from $75-800.00/hr. HOWEVER, this should not be the ONLY REASON why you do or don't hire a designer, a good designer will help you SAVE money & time on any given project whether through discounts, proper scheduling of projects, hiring other professionals who will help save time/money on individual projects (painting, flooring...). Using myself as an example, while my design services may be more than someone wants to spend at the beginning of a project, a client will more than get that money back in money saved on utility costs, maintenance & time.
How much more will the project cost when I add a designer to the equation? Anywhere from the initial hour consultation to as much as 50% (if the client is a DIY-er & merely wants a designer to help define the project & schedule but do the work themselves or thru their own contractors).This is a majority of the projects I work on...thru blue print analysis, designing a room (color scheme, space plan...) or referring contractors I merely act as a consultant NOT a project manager as I work w/many contractors & DIY-ers. It all depends on the project & the client's level of expertise & "handi-ness".
And will that added cost be worth it, and why? Yes...or it should be! As with anything else, make sure you & the designer you choose are on the same page, that the designer understands the scope of the project & budget (I have various options of level of design services depending on the size of the project). Referrals from friends/associates who's homes/offices that the client resonates with are vital if this is your first foray into hiring a designer. You can also work with on-site designers at various garden centers or other large design centers to offer advice. I know that I help actually LOWER costs of running a home, maintaining it & even in healthcare (I've worked/designed for many with mental & physical challenges to help improve life quality & independence).
Also, what's the best and worst fee structure for the consumer -- flat fee, percentage of total project cost, cost plus -- and why? I work on a combination of the above depending on the project. Sometimes I will give larger discounts to those I've worked with for a long time on any furniture/accessory purchases (also depends on size of my trade discount). I also have a program where I give back 10% of any consultation fee to any referral. (i.e. a person refers a colleague for the colleague's new home, the original client will get a check for 10% of the consultation fee upon completion of the project). This can be different for those working for a large design firm as opposed to someone who is contract or owns their own firm. What advice would you have for homeowners in hiring and managing contractors, whether it be for paint, flooring, handymen or big remodels like custom-made closets?
First & foremost...get estimates from at least 3 reliable contractors. I do this for all my projects as well! Check references (BBB, testimonials...) and ask for pics of finished projects. Check for insurance/certifications/bond. Especially with all the new govt regulations, certification is important, especially if you are planning on selling the home.
Finish the following sentence: "A comfortable home is..." (or a "happy home is")
"....one that incorporates the occupant's lifestyle & passions and reflects that to all who enter"
What's your philosophy on creating meaning in the home?
I feel it is VITALLY important for EVERY ITEM that is in your space to have a POSITIVE meaning (this is where the de-clutter/purging process is so important). This goes from a sofa that is comfortable and loved (not bought because your mother had one...true story) to artwork and collections that are DISPLAYED (not boxed in the attic) and have positive attachment (not kept out of guilt, it was expensive/cheap, it was a gift...). If an item irritates you, causes you trip over it, makes you sad/angry (gift from an ex...another true story...), it HAS TO GO! It's better to have empty/negative space, than have something that was bought to "take up space" or you don't like.