podlights: "the why" in design

season 2, episode 2

In this episode we welcome Nashville-based, mega designer Lori Paranjape, known affectionately within the industry (and to her many Insta fans) as “Mrs. Paranjape.” Recognized for her signature, “new classic” aesthetic, Lori is as fresh and fun as her gorgeous interiors. A natural storyteller, Mrs. Paranjape takes us behind the scenes of a high-end install, shares the secret behind her success, and reminds us of "the why" in design (hint: it’s not all about the shiny wallpaper). Get ready to take notes GUSSIE fans!

Listen to the episode here, or read on for some highlights!


the brookline house

In taking us behind the scenes of a recent install in Brookline, Massachusetts, Lori shares the story of "the reveal." After a meticulous, weeklong process every detail was in place for her clients, including a champagne toast.

Photo: Mrs. Paranjape

Her suggestion for budding designers? Consolidate the install into one big "reveal," rather than doing it piecemeal. This allows the client to appreciate everything in the context of the big picture. 


talk budget

Lori begins each project with a concrete budget, and is always honest with her clients when it comes to what can be achieved within those confines. 

Photo: Mrs. Paranjape

If you're working with a smaller budget, Lori advises narrowing the scope of the project and focusing on just one or two rooms, rather than trying to finish the whole house on a shoestring. This way, you end up with a feeling of completion in the key spaces, and can address the remaining rooms as funds become available.


magic in the fail

Like all top designers, on the road to success Lori had her fair share of tough clients and project pitfalls. But she "refused to let a mistake pass without dissection," and credits her achievements to that concept. 

Photo: Mrs. Paranjape

Lori believes if you examine your role in why something didn't work, there can be "magic in the fail."



"the why" in design

Lori begins each project with the same objective: to create "thoughtful designs for the humans who live in the space.” Her process begins with a "cozy client snuggle session" where she endeavors to learn all she can about how her clients live. Are they tv people? Do they like to snooze on the sofa? Where do they drink their morning coffee? 

Photo: Mrs. Paranjape

Rather than talking details (fabrics, color schemes), in the beginning it's all about lifestyle. She tells her clients, "assume it's going to be beautiful." Of course eventually the process verges into the micro, but at the essence it's always about enhancing the lives of the people who will live in the house. 


lightning round with lori

Photo: Mrs. Paranjape

Go-to fabrics: Mark Alexander, Porter Teleo

Go-to wallpapers: Porter TeleoMrs. Paranjape for Mitchell Black

Go-to furniture: Verellen, Cisco, Lee Industries

Go-to lighting: The Urban Electric Company, Visual Comfort 

Favorite design project: The last one and the next one.

Favorite room to design: Transition spaces.

Most difficult room to design: Guest rooms.

Best design advice: Invest in the the things you use and touch everyday and avoid Restoration Hardware.


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