From renovations to staging to styling with L. Interior Projects

August 12, 2019

In 2016, the naturally creative Laurianne Pao started her own interior design business, L. Interior Projects, which provides home renovation services for personal or resale purposes, interior decoration and staging.

 

Alix Cameron et Laurianne Pao

Creativity is in Laurianne Pao’s DNA. “When I was young, I would draw plans for reorganizing my bedroom. I also really enjoyed art classes and building things. When I finished high school at Collège Louis-Riel, I initially thought about carpentry.”

However, while organizing a collection display at a clothing store, she heard about the Faculty of Architecture’s Environmental Design program at University of Manitoba, with the second-year Interior Design option. “After taking the intense four-year program, I went on to start a master’s degree in Interior Design and graduated in 2015.”

While studying, Laurianne Pao worked for her in-laws, who are in the house flipping business. She staged the houses they wanted to sell, arranging furniture and decor to better showcase their spaces to potential buyers.

“I did a lot of staging and renovations even before I started my own company. But I like doing things my way and taking on a variety of projects, which is why I decided to go into business for myself. In 2016, I created L. Interior Projects.”

L. Interior Projects offers a while range of services, including staging, single room to whole home renovations – “We’ve done a dozen kitchens,” says Pao –, styling and interior decoration…

“We do a bit of everything,” the founder says. “With my in-laws’ network, I have access to several companies for carrying out all these projects. That said, I’d like to put together my own team in the future.” 

She says that in all L. Interior Projects, “we strive to create something that is both attractive and functional. We always keep end users in mind. We want to create a space where they feel good, with good flow.”

Challenges and support

To establish herself as an entrepreneur in 2016, Laurianne Pao had to do a lot of her own research. “I looked at what other companies like mine were doing, but there weren’t very many. It’s still relatively new. I also got help from my in-laws, who know the industry because they have several companies. They are real business people.

“My biggest challenge was setting my prices. Each project is so different! There was also a lot of trial and error before I found the right system for my invoicing and contracts, among other things.”

She recently received support from CDEM. “Joel Lemoine, CDEM’s business advisor, helped me a lot. I needed advice to grow and promote the company to the Francophone community, and for the administrative side. Accounting and finance are not our strong suit. And I know that I can call him again if I need more help.” 

Since May 2019, Laurianne Pao can also count on the assistance of her childhood friend, Alix Cameron, who joined L. Interior Projects as marketing and business development director.

“I have quite a broad skill set,” says Alix Cameron. “I’ve dabbled in several areas, including marine biology, journalism, radio broadcasting, communications, marketing...I have also built furniture for fun and have always been interested in design. When Laurianne and I were younger, we would often talk about flipping houses together one day!”

“I bring my marketing and communications experience to L. Interior Projects, and we recently launched our new website.” (1)

L. Interior Projects is currently working on projects in Winnipeg, Île-des-Chênes, Headingley and Grande Pointe. The company’s founder admits: “My Instagram account has helped me find many customers, and my husband, too. He’s a real estate agent, and several of his colleagues have used our services.”

Alix Cameron adds that “one of our assets is that we can provide our services in French, and we take the time to talk with customers to make sure we understand what they have in mind. We are open to all ideas. And we are not afraid to do everything, including moving the furniture ourselves!"

www.linteriorprojects.com