Lisa Mallory is a name synonymous with interior design in the Mid-South. She has transformed countless homes and businesses since 1980 when she returned from Parsons in Paris and started working as a Memphis-based designer. She currently owns two shops in Chickasaw Oaks Village that complement her work as a designer: the Lisa Mallory Design shop and studio, which opened in 1998, and just across the hall, Lisa Mallory Linens, which opened last year. Thank you, Lisa, for brightening up our city with your design talent and these two delightful, local boutiques. And now we’ll get to know Lisa a little better, as she is today’s featured FACES of Memphis profile. Welcome Lisa!
Looking back, when did you discover your love and talent for interior design?
I have always liked art projects since I was very young. I can remember projects that I did at camp, school and at home with my mom. I vividly remember sitting on the steps of our new home when I was 13, waiting to have my bedroom installed. My parents let me decorate my room with a new canopy bed, blue walls and yellow checked curtains! In high school, I took mechanical drawing, and I was the only girl in the class. By that time, I knew I was going to college to major in interior design. My dad had worked with designers and thought I would like interior design. He was right.
What is next for you and your interior design endeavors … the inside scoop?
Thinking about art, design and maybe a little wine … just some ideas we have been working on.
What qualities are present in both the linen shop and the interior design shop that are distinctively “Lisa Mallory”?
First, I never buy anything that I would not put in my own house. Someday, it may be mine to keep. I like a refined quality that is not over the top; nothing showy or flashy. Some things do make a statement, but they could, therefore, be that one piece in a room that stands out. I use the shops as my “warehouse,” so a lot of the items are pieces I use for design work. Both of the shops change almost every day, so there is something new to look at every time you come in the door.
When you were expanding to a second shop in Chickasaw Oaks Village, why did you choose linens instead of another room-specific theme or interior design niche?
Linens were the perfect fit for our clients. Whenever we were working on a bedroom, we were always asked to design all of the bedding, too. We needed something that was good quality to fit our clients’ needs. Actually, the people at Matouk came to me and asked if we would show their line of bedding and linens in Memphis. It has been great and really fit a need in the city for a fine retail linen store. The shop has expanded to include bed and bath.
What are some basic words of wisdom you can offer based on your professional experience?
My dad always told my brother and me that winners make things happen, and losers let things happen. So I have always tried to make things happen, not sit around and wait for someone to do something for me, but instead do it myself!
Describe yourself in three adjectives.
Energetic, creative and HAPPY!
How do you recharge your battery after a busy day of running two businesses?
A couple of different ways … being outside is always the best. I work in the yard in my rose garden or ride my bike on the green line. I work out in the afternoons with Graves Goforth at his studio, Integrated Fitness Mid-South, and we have the best time! Sometimes we just take long, fast walks. He tries to get me in shape.
What’s your favorite vacation escape and why?
In 1992, I discovered the joy of Seaside, FL, when one of my clients bought a home there. My family had visited many times, but I had never stayed in the village. It was like a dream to me. The colors are amazing! Bright blue skies, orange, red and yellow sunsets … everything the senses can imagine. This was a place that I could come to relax and not worry about what was going on at home. Eventually, those clients built another home, and I have helped many clients with homes in the Seaside area since. In 2010, we bought our own home, and I go as often as I can. Seaside inspires me!
Have you read a good book lately that you would recommend to others?
A friend gave me The Christmas Box as a gift this year. I have just read it and loved the sweet story.
Do you have a favorite beauty secret you are willing to share?
Heidi Dalton, who works at Capelli! Heidi has done my hair for many years.
What three lighthearted things could you not live without?
Muddy’s cupcakes (Plain Jane and Classic), Bertie Wooster (my wire-hair fox terrier) and a good laugh with friends. Oh, I can’t forget mashed potatoes!
Are there any special events coming up that you are looking forward to?
I am so excited about the Beeline Bazaar at Hutchison School on February 28. I have never done an event like this, so this is a first. Both the linen shop and the design shop will be participating in the bazaar. My niece, Lele Popwell, is the president of her class at Hutchison and is in charge of the bazaar. I can’t wait to meet all of Lele’s friends and show them what we have!
Thank you, Lisa! Read about other talented, local business owners like Lisa in the SB Guide: Memphis.
Today’s photos of Lisa at her two shops in Chickasaw Oaks Village were taken by Micki Martin.