What Level is Your Design Business?

Lane Mc Nab: How Interior Designers and Contractors Work Together

Episode 205 of A Well-Designed Business®

Today’s guest is Lane McNab, of Lane McNab Interiors. Lane, just like Darla Powell, who appeared on last week’s show, has also come to Interior Design as a second career. Listen in to find out all about Lane and how she’s developed her really successful Interior Design Business.

Lane grew up in Florida and attended school in both Tennessee and San Francisco. She continued her education at Oxford University and at Il Globo Institute, in Italy. Lane’s Interior design career is backed with her vast experience and her work and her expertise have been featured in many places, including The Today Show, the East Bay AIA Tour Of Homes, Dwell, Modern Sanctuary, Lux Pad, 24 East, My Domain and also in her home town publication, Berkeleyside, as the go-to Interior Designer, for approachable ways to modernise an historical home. Listen in today, to find out how Lane’s career path and the lessons that she’s learned along the way have contributed to her success, both as a Designer and as a Business Person.

Show highlights:

  • Lane talks about her first career, as a solo opera singer, in the San Francisco Bay area- prior to her becoming a mom.
  • How Lane first started out in 2004, working with a contractor on her own projects and how this eventually developed into Lane McNab Interiors.
  • The Today Show wanted to include one of Lane’s Design Projects in an article they were running, at a time when she still didn’t even know if she really wanted to have a business.
  • The point at which Lane realized that she could really take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that were coming her way, and start her business.
  • Lane eventually shut down her blog and took a year to stay focused and she worked very closely with Julia Malloy as well as with a number of other consultants, prior to starting her business, as she realized that she really needed a jump start.
  • The huge amount of confidence that Lane gained, from working with Julia Malloy.
  • Lane always writes down anything that she doesn’t understand, so that she can research it later because different projects always require different amounts of knowledge.
  • Lane explains how she found the necessary help when making her transition to a much larger project.
  • The really sage advice from Julia Malloy, that Lane still holds on to- 90% of successful entrepreneurs have the consistent quality of a high E.Q.
  • Explaining to clients not only what the best design is, but why!
  • The typical things that tend to trip Designers up, when working with construction.
  • A memorable challenge that Lane faced with the cabinet guy, which became a valuable learning experience.
  • Using a mistake as an opportunity to develop a really great relationship with the client.
  • Lane’s way of working with her vendors, or trade sources.
  • Dealing with clients who aren’t happy about having their project photographed.
  • Not taking the first ‘no’ for an answer…
  • The importance of being collaborative, as a Designer.
  • Lane’s outsourcing of her expediting- how and why it works for her.
  • The importance of keeping really detailed notes as a reference, for Lane.


Labe’s Website: lanemcnab.com

What Level is Your Design Business?