Know Thyself


One of the most important things for any creative person is knowing and being confident in your creative process.  In my previous career as an operatic soprano it took a while to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t.  There was a lot of trying things out that worked for other people and then discarding them when they didn’t take until I figured out what worked for me.

Me as Fiordiligi, 2000?

Me as Fiordiligi, 2000?

My biggest problem has always been trusting that my process is really OK–mostly because it tends to be unconventional when compared with the way most people work.  I am a total internal processor about everything.  I don’t like talking about things or doing things until I have had a good long time to absorb a situation, think about it, not think about it for a while, then come back to it and solve it–or maybe think about it some more.  This can be off-putting for people who are quick thinkers and want immediate solutions and results.

When I was younger my people-pleaser side often led me to try to answer questions before I was ready just to give someone that thing they seemed to be waiting for and expecting.  Sometimes this works but I have learned that usually silence is better for me than talking to fill the void of expectation.

Luckily I’ve been doing design and other creative endeavors long enough that I know how I work best.  I know that I need to schedule time in my clients’ homes when no one else is around just to sit and absorb the space.  I know that when I need to really solve a problem that has no quick or obvious solution I need total quiet and even isolation to let that creative side of me really explore.  I also know that if I feel really strongly about something I should trust it and fight for it even if I can’t fully explain why it’s right in the moment. And sometimes I just have to tell people to shut-up so I can think (nicely of course!).

Lane McNab Interiors

The best part of knowing myself and my process quirks is that it has allowed me to accept and even appreciate the flip side of my creativity:  Instead of being frustrated at what I used to think was a bit of innate flakiness, I realized that sometimes the ability to fully invest in a creative flow means that the day to day tasks of life might temporarily fall by the wayside;  I also understand that changing my mind doesn’t mean that I’m wishy-washy, but that I am open to growth and transformation;  I no longer criticize myself for having a messy desk–I have a desk full of inspiration and ideas that I want to keep visually present so that I am open to the possible journey;  And I get now that my stubborn frenetic energy when I get an idea isn’t something to subdue and repress but a full-speed-ahead imagination train that’s best to jump on and enjoy the ride.

There is so much freedom in realizing what works for you and in trusting yourself to solve a problem creatively.  I’ve noticed the more I trust myself the more my clients trust me.   Someday I hope to be so fully comfortable in my process that the nagging critical voice we all hear from time to time will be silenced for good!


I hope to do some more posts on this evolution of the creative disposition and how it applies in entrepreneurship.  I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.  Thanks for stopping by!

Work In Progress, Before and After

Here are some pics of a modern farmhouse-style home in Orinda I worked on with a young family.  It’s technically a work in progress as we are waiting to do some of the other rooms and finish out the ones in the pics but a lot of progress has been made so far.

They are such a great fun family with mid-century eclectic style.  The overall layout of the house was great–they just needed some help bringing out their personal touches.

Dining Room before:

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 9.44.14 PM


Orinda DR 1


Adding Art to Your WERK

Hi All!  Just a quick drop in to give you a heads up about a phenomenal podcast I was recently a guest on–ARTWERK.  It’s put on by two amazingly talented and creative women, Dia Bondi and Amelia Mulkey who have made it their goal to help people bring art into life and work. (more…)

Client Dining Room Before and After

Hi Everyone–Happy Halloween!

I just wanted to quickly share some shots of a project I’ve been working on with a homeowner little by little for a while and we are finally starting to wrap it up a bit.  Back when I met this sweet family almost a year ago, they were wanting to reclaim their dining room.  It had been a kids play and craft area and the family wanted a mix of traditional and contemporary to host their large family gatherings but still allow some space for the kids to play and create.

Hardest of all was corralling the kids stuff.  After they did a big clean out we had some shelves custom built to hold some baskets for easy access to hide the clutter.    We are still deciding on a rug to go under the kids table and fill that end of the space so the boys can sit and wrestle and play there.

photo 5


BOLD and Some Updates

Hi Friends!

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I had a blast at the BOLD Summit last month and met so many new wonderful people and walked away with a wealth of information.  My team and I have been busy staying on top of projects and trying to implement some of the great things I picked up.  BOLD was a design business conference in Las Vegas with amazing panels and speakers and so much insight into the business of design.

I heard about the BOLD Summit from Julia Molloy who owns it and put it together.  I heard about Julia a couple of years ago while reading Lauren Liess’s blog and she talked about all the wonderful things Julia did for her business.  Last year I signed up for Julia’s help and things have been steadily growing ever since.  I can’t recommend her enough.  Getting my entrepreneur skills and strategies down is by far for me the hard part of interior decorating.  The BOLD Summit was another big step forward.

This grainy cell phone pic has all the masters who spoke at the conference:

BOLD Summit Masters

Masters from left to right:  Mario Buatta, Vicente Wolf, Richard Landry and Clodagh.  Also present, designer Roger Thomas and organizer and design business guru Julia Molloy.

I won’t go on and on about the BOLD Summit but meeting and sharing a powerful moment with Clodagh was the highlight for me!

Now just some fun pics:

photo 4


Making It Happen

Hi All,

I hope you are having a great summer!  Ours has been packed full in many ways.  We just got back from a great family vacation hanging out with friends and then just the five of us tooling around the northwest.  We went to Glacier National Park and saw the remaining glaciers there (they’re melting fast so if you want to actually see glaciers at GNP go soon!).  We also saw grizzly bears about 30 feet away from us and somehow got all three kids up a mountain for a 12 mile hike!  (OK, John carried Becky the ENTIRE way.  Still not sure how he did that…).

Besides a great and much needed family vacation I have been working hard on the design end of things too.  I decided at the last minute to attend the BOLD Summit in Las Vegas next weekend and I am so excited to go.  So many great people to learn from here.  Can’t wait to give a report on that.

And if you occasionally check the blog you know I hired an office manager in the spring and Terri has been phenomenal.  So glad to have her on board keeping me on track.  In addition, this summer I added a design assistant, Samantha (Sam), who has also proven I have incredible taste in hiring people!  Sam is amazing and is already adding so much to my little firm.  I really don’t know how I got along without both of them for so long.

I mentioned earlier that I had moved to an office in West Berkeley and even though it’s been a few months we have still not gotten the place totally settled yet.  I’m taking it as a good sign that we are so busy but still, I was hoping to share photos when it was all done and now I’m wondering if that will ever happen. :)  So for the time being, here are some pics of the little office we share now.Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.17.50 PM


Client Sneak Peek–Craftsman

I just wanted to share some quick photos from part one of an installation I did this morning for a client.  We are working on the upstairs bedrooms–one master, one guest room, one teen boy room, and one office.  We have some pieces coming in little by little but today we installed the bedding in a couple of rooms.

The house is an early 1900s craftsman and they love the deep saturated craftsman colors they chose a few years ago and didn’t want to repaint.  They are lovely colors and provide a great back drop for an updated craftsman feel.  It was fun trying to choose fabrics that updated and tied everything together.

Here’s the guest room:

photo 1

Lane McNab Design

photo 5

Lane McNab Design


A Nice Mention

I just  had to share a nice mention about an older project.  Most of my readers have seen this project plenty of times, but recently I was contacted about sharing some images of the bachelor retreat for an article on living rooms on  Please check it out and scroll through the images to the last project.

Nice to be in the same company as David Bromstad and Genevieve Gorder!


I have also been looking for nice high quality table lamps for some clients lately and wanted to share some finds from Arteriors Home:

Arteriors Home Lamp

Santana Table Lamp

 Arteriors Daxton Table Lamp


Client Master Bedroom

Last week I had the wonderful compliment of a client asking me back to help her with a second room.  Last year I helped her and her husband pull together their master bedroom and I just found out they are expecting their second child in November and wanted some help pulling together what will be the girls’ shared room.  She is a sweet and wonderful client and I was so happy to reconnect and get a chance to see how their bedroom is working out for them.

Since I never posted pics of their space last year when we were working on it I thought I’d share some now.  There was some pretty harsh evening sunlight streaming through the window so I apologize for the brightness:

I can’t seem to find any before pics but this was a pretty dramatic change.  The jumping off point was the vintage textile we found when I took her shopping at the Antiques Faire.  We had the ticking stripe pillows custom made.  The rug is vintage and so is the bedside table.  The head board is a reproduction but has the vintage charm too.


It’s Good To Be Back!

Hi Everyone!  First of all, I know it has been way too long–but I have not been idle!  Some new things are happening at UOI and I’m ready to start to take you through it.