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Lime Design Makes Performance a Priority

As the owner of commercial design firm Lime Design, Lisa Boltz knows that pretty is as pretty does. We talked with her about the importance of finding materials that look luxurious but can also stand up to heavy use and even abuse—a sweet spot she’s always seeking for her projects in health care, hospitality, and senior living.

D.LAB
LISA BOLTZ
D.LAB

What are some surprising places you look for inspiration?

LISA BOLTZ

Honestly, I’m always looking for inspiration because you never know from moment to moment when something might present itself.

D.LAB

You’ve owned your own design firm for nearly 13 years now, what do you wish you would have known before starting out?

LISA BOLTZ

I had the benefit of working at a small firm for many years before I started Lime Design and pretty much knew what I was getting into. I would encourage anyone starting their own business to have a plan for bookkeeping, taxes, etc. It’s definitely the “not fun” part of the business, but unavoidable, nonetheless.

D.LAB

Where do you think the design industry still has room to grow?

LISA BOLTZ

I expect the continuation of technologies that will improve product performance and appearance.

D.LAB

Does creativity “strike” you? Or is it more of a deliberate process?

LISA BOLTZ

I suppose it’s more of a strike process that comes after time spent looking for it. For me, many projects evolve from a certain carpet, a beautiful tile, a color combination in a photo, etc.

D.LAB

Last new thing you learned, go!

LISA BOLTZ

Charcoal in hand soap looks good until you use it. Then it becomes very messy and unattractive.

D.LAB

Commercial design is your specialty, specifically healthcare and hospitality environments—how do these differ from residential spaces? Do you ever feel like shaking it up and working outside of your niche?

LISA BOLTZ

The big difference is the resources. Some cross over, but many do not. I’ve been taught to think about the worst-case scenario and find materials that hold up to high-abuse situations. Many commercial products could be used, but are they the best choice? That being said, visually, senior living is actually residential design in many regards because it is home for the residents.

D.LAB

You often specify solid surface for your designs, what features of the material work so well for your particular focus?

LISA BOLTZ

The ease of maintenance and the perceived element of luxury it can give.

D.LAB

Have you ever had a total “crash and burn” project? If so, what did you learn from the process?

LISA BOLTZ

My “worst” project was a government project where the owner was forced to hire an interiors person (me) despite there being one from the government who would drive the project (unbeknownst to me until later). The owner didn’t want to know me and showed no respect for my position, my contributions, or time spent on it. What I learned was not to take a project like that again OR be very upfront about the reality of it and write my contract accordingly. Always make sure you know who is signing your contract.

D.LAB

Any exciting new projects on the horizon?

LISA BOLTZ

They’re all exciting!

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