We’re in the biz of connecting people with great, local businesses — whether that’s a great place to grab a bite to eat or finding a plumber in a moment of need, which is why we’re excited to announce that Lauren Makk will be joining Yelp as our new Home Editor to help users discover all the ways Yelp can help tackle their home needs.
You may recognize Lauren, an interior design and life stylist, from TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” ABCs “FAB Life” and OWN’s “Home Made Simple.” The daughter of a residential investor and “home flipper,” Lauren was raised in the building and home improvement industry and has made a career blending her innate talents for design and construction experience. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Lauren even had her own interior design company in Honolulu! Now as a part of the Yelp family, she’ll be sharing how you can use Yelp to create incredible, affordable transformations in your home.
Wanna know more about Lauren? Read on for our Q&A with her and check out her collection of favorite interior design spots in LA!
Q: How did you discover you had a passion for home and interior design?
A: I always joke that Whitney Houston was born to sing, and I was born to design! I remember as a young girl being at my babysitters house and fluffing her sofa throw pillows before I was even able to relax in her living room. Design was just my God-given passion and something that constantly pulled at my heart. In the late ’80’s I became OBSESSED with the sitcom ‘Designing Women’ and recognized that my innate talents actually had a name, and that one could turn them into a career. From that moment on I wanted to be Julia Sugarbaker — right down to the big shoulder pads and feathered bangs!
Q: What’s the coolest business you’ve discovered on Yelp?
A: As a designer with clients across the US, I am always in a different city tackling a major renovation. This poses a particularly unique challenge to me to find the best local contracting crew to assure that my clients have an easy and affordable experience. I love that Yelp now has a “request a quote” feature to help me help my clients find the best local crew to help create the homes of my clients’ dreams! The peer reviews are super helpful in giving us peace of mind as we move through the process as well, and saves us precious time in receiving accurate quotes within hours!
Q: What’s your favorite room in your home?
A: Growing up in Oklahoma with a family full of women who loved to cook almost as much as we loved to eat, meant that the kitchen has ALWAYS been my most favorite space in the home. I have soooo many fond memories gathered around a stove or someone’s kitchen table, which automatically makes me feel nostalgic. Last year I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy and since then I have hosted more friends and family than ever before in my own home, and no matter what – my kitchen tends to be the area that we always tend to flock to. It’s a place where we share stories of triumph, joy, history, and even fears – and I always feel safe and happy there (plus, it’s where I hide my cookie stash!).
Q: You’ve helped inspire millions of homeowners — what’s a common mistake you see people make when they’re renovating?
A: Preparation is always key when it comes to successfully pulling off any home project, but especially when it comes to a major home renovation. I have seen countless homeowners not be prepared with a clear design plan, an accurate amount of necessary finishes on hand to complete projects in a timely manner, and not being mentally prepared for the overwhelming feelings of change and the potential stress that arises from virtual strangers working in their homes. My job as a designer and project manager is always to prepare my clients with a clear and concise design plan, to insure that they have the right amounts of necessary finishes and materials, and to manage expectations and various personalities that come with the trade. Hiring an efficient designer and project manager for your renovation may cost a few more dollars on the front end, but could save you thousands in the long run – and certainly a few migraines!
Q: You’re a TV personality, host, interior designer, and new mom. When do you sleep?!
Learning to balance life as a professional and a new mom has certainly had its challenges, but I think that it is very important for ALL working parents to make taking a bit of time to recharge a priority. There is a reason that airlines always encourage adults to put on their oxygen masks first before administering one to a child in the event of an emergency, and if I don’t take care of myself, who else will? I’ll admit it though, sometimes I go to the gym just to use the kid care center and go sit in silence in the steam room to escape it all!