Meet Your Merchant: For interior designer, good design just makes life better
Doreen Mack said her business model boils down to one thing: Making people feel more at home in their own home.
She owns Lofty Expressions, an interior design business, which is run out of a Victorian-styled house on Pratt Avenue. It’s also where she and her husband Lloyd have called home since 1984.
Her mantra: “Your house should be comfortable.”
Making her house into her office is a recent change for Mack’s interior decorating enterprise. She spent nine years in a store in downtown Carson City until she closed it in 2007. Competition from the big box stores on Topsy Lane caused too much stress, she said.
“It just started sucking the business out,” she said. “We just couldn’t compete.”
Mack is still offering her expertise to home and business owners looking to spruce things up, from new wallpaper to faux finishes.
Owning a home business also presents some new challenges, she said.
“What’s hard is separating your work and your home life, so you have to work at keeping it more scheduled,” Mack said. “So that’s my nemesis.”
Despite the effort that went into decorating the house, which includes her desk in the entryway, she said she and her husband can still kick back after a day of work and watch TV.
The only drawback is sometimes finding a stranger inside her home waiting for help.
“I’ve been in the other room and people just walk right in,” she said.
Mack is a Carson City native who got her start as a model, working at trade shows or for fashion events. It wasn’t until 1980, after her third child, that she decided to pursue interior decorating.
Mack said she was familiar with fabrics and design after spending years as a model. Her big break came in 1992 when she was hired to do the interior design work for the Bliss Mansion across the street from the Governor’s Mansion.
“That was a two-year project for me,” Mack said.
Now, like most businesses, Mack said her enterprise is struggling during the recession.
“Business has slowed down and I’ve adjusted accordingly,” Mack said. “But I find that there is a need for interior design… It affects every one of us and it’s our home environment where we start feeling good about ourselves.”
So as the styles change – from country to Tuscan to contemporary – Mack said she is staying busy.
“This is going to be my million-dollar year,” she said with a smile.