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Behind the Design: Mindy Laven

Mindy Laven

Designer Spotlight: Mindy Laven – Orange County, CA


 

How did you get where you are today?

I’m a Midwesterner currently living in Orange County, CA. I’m originally from a very small town in Ohio but have called Yorba Linda my home for more than 20 years now. Design has always been a passion of mine; I’ve remodeled and redecorated every house I’ve ever lived in. I like to say “I love the smell of demolition in the morning!” For many years, my design work was limited to friends and family. At a certain point, I was pretty much doing a job that I wasn’t getting paid for; it was at that point that I decided to create a business plan.

 

When I started my business, I primarily focused on interiors. My clients kept pulling me in for consults with General Contractors, so that part of the job quickly became a large part of my work. Today, I would say my main role is to provide a bridge between the contractor and the home owner.

 

Mindy Laven

Courtesy of Mindy Laven

Mindy Laven is a boutique design firm specializing in creating personalized spaces. What’s the most exciting part about starting a new project?

Here at Mindy Laven, the most exciting part of a new project is casting the vision. When I see a house for the first time and consult with the homeowner, I am immediately starting the process of vision development. What’s the big picture? What do we want this house to say when it’s complete? How will it reflect the essence of the people that will inhabit it?

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

How do you transfer a house into a home?

A house becomes a home when you breathe life into it. Whether it’s a new build or a renovation, it’s a fresh opportunity to contribute to the soul of the home. I want each of my projects to genuinely reflect the spirit of the homeowners. Getting to know my clients is the most important part of my job. Far beyond the brick and mortar and the case goods is the intrinsic nature that the house will embody. I take my projects to heart. When a house is complete, it should rise up to meet its owners in a way that unequivocally says “We’re home!”

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

Are there certain trends, materials and/or colors you’re particularly into right now?

I’m less interested in trends and more interested in backdrops. Your home will be the backdrop for your story. I think it should be timeless. I choose colors and materials that are soft spoken. I believe in a fairly neutral backdrop. Furniture and accessories are the places where I feel color and trends work best.

 

Right now, I’m loving any kind of hand-formed tile. The imperfection is what makes it positively perfect!

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

Who are some of your favorite local Yorba Linda and California vendors that you work with?

I use Benjamin Moore paint almost exclusively. Cambria Quartz is my go-to for counter tops and Mission Tile West and Arizona Tile are two of my favorites for tile. Caliber Flooring does all of my floors.

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

How does designing make you feel?

To me, it’s so much more than the design. I have the unique opportunity to help people tell their stories. History will be made in the places that I design. I’m humbled that people allow me to participate in their lives in this way. I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude that I’m able to do something professionally that is so personally fulfilling!

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

What’s your business mantra?

Transforming houses into homes, one project at a time.

 

When you start a new project, how do you get to know your client and the space?

When I start a new project, I like to meet my clients in the home they are working on. If they are bringing things from a previous space, I like to see that too. My most important questions usually revolve around how people actually live in their spaces. For example, if you never entertain in a formal living room, maybe that room should be repurposed to be used for something that is more practical and specific to your family. Our first meeting is about getting to know each other.

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

How do you manage your bookkeeping and accounting?

I’m excited to have the possibility of using Ivy to help me with my bookkeeping! Up to this point, I’ve done everything myself and look forward to using the Ivy/Quickbooks Online connection!

 

How do you prepare for market? What are your next steps post-market?

Market always feels like a drink out of a fire hose. You have to stay focussed and true to yourself. I’m always looking for new ideas that fall in line with my design philosophy and I’m constantly looking for that something special. Special to me means: incredible craftsmanship, timeless elegance, a twist on traditional. Last year at High Point Market, I was introduced to Eleanor Rigby that still hand makes all of its leather furniture here in the United States. They had the most beautiful craftsmanship I’d ever seen. Things like shape and stitching set them apart. Now, Eleanor Rigby is on my list when a customer wants a custom leather piece.

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

Why did you join Ivy?

Ivy is the program that I have been waiting for to launch my business to the next level. There are so many facets to what we as designers do. The organization of everything alone could be a full time job. Just before I joined Ivy, I was interviewing assistants…not to help in the design phase, but to simply manage the business side. So much stress has been alleviated as I use Ivy for my day-to-day work. Ivy is a part of my strategy for success!

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 

How has Ivy helped streamline your workflow?
I’m streamlining every aspect of my business by using Ivy. From creating proposals and purchase orders to keeping track of my time, Ivy has got me covered.

 

What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?

One of my favorite features is that I’m able to create my own product library. This will be invaluable! Moving forward, I see myself being able to streamline my client proposals as I’m able to quickly and easily create tear sheets sourced from tried and true, proven materials that I’ve collected in my product library.

 

Being a part of Ivy has motivated me to take my business up a notch, knowing that I have a platform that backs up the business side of my creative job!

 

Mindy Laven

Taylor Rummell

 


 

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