DesignCurial in Conversation: Lisa Haude of Paradigm Design Group

Having created interiors for a multitude of high-end hospitality brands, US-based Paradigm Design Group know a thing or two about luxury design. We speak to Paradigm’s co-founder, Lisa Haude, to find out more.

Inspired by the world around them, US-based luxury interior design practice Paradigm Design Group see themselves as “style makers and detail-orientated perfectionists”, and have worked with several high-end hospitality brands including the Waldorf Astoria hotel group. Paradigm’s founders are husband and wife team, Carl and Lisa Haude; Carl serves as Paradigm’s Chief Financial Officer, and Lisa curates the brand’s creativity – an expert in interior design, she works as Paradigm’s lead designer.

Understanding that every project is individual and unique, the Paradigm team embrace the difference within each project and offer their clients a range of services, from interior design to concept direction, artwork selection and project styling. The studio has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2001, and continues to be the chosen interior practice for many hospitality brands.

Paradigm Design Group

To find out more about Paradigm Design Group and its projects – including The Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria and the award-winning Portland Marrion Downtown - we spoke to lead designer and co-founder Lisa Haude. From the challenges of creating her own practice, to what inspires her designs and the company’s new boutique element, PDG Studios, read on to find out what Haude had to say:

How did Paradigm Design Group begin?

My husband and I started Paradigm Design Group in 2001, a mere 10 days prior to 9/11. As we sat in shock watching history unfold, we also quickly realised that we were both unemployed - and any prospects we had for work literally disappeared.

Instead of giving up, I developed an aggressive marketing plan and continued to reach out to every developer, owner and hotel brand I could find on a daily basis, hoping that someone would give me a chance to prove what Paradigm Design Group could do. Luckily, nine months later, we were given that chance and we slowly built the firm from there.

It’s not been an easy climb since 2001, but I’m thankful that I am surrounded by an amazing team and clients that continue to challenge me to be a stronger and wiser person, a better designer - and in the end, a better person.

Were you always interested in pursuing design?

Growing up, I didn’t realise that you could pursue a career in interior design, but I always knew that I loved being creative. I was always dreaming, drawing, painting, using my imagination; I’m pretty sure I drove my Mum crazy. I constantly rearranged my room and convinced her that we needed to re-decorate.

 I vividly remember, as a child, playing with my stuffed animals on the floor and ‘carving’ out the rooms with the end of a comb in our thick shag carpet, so that they had a proper house to play in. I guess in a way that was my first set of floor plans and I was destined to become a designer! 

What inspires your designs?

I am inspired by the beauty of the world around me, the people in my life and the experiences I encounter along the way.

Favourite part of the design process? Most challenging part?

I love every aspect of design, but if I had to choose a favourite, I would pick the very beginning. At the start of the project, I enjoy really collaborating with my team to develop a unique design concept that depicts the lifestyle and region of the project, and what its distinctive design story will be.

It’s a lot of fun to mesh our ideas together into one solid vision and begin to see the story unfold as they move forward with the design. Finally seeing our guest and clients’ satisfaction as we exceed their expectations and deliver an amazing product is also always a wonderful experience.

The most challenging part… every business has their normal sets of challenges that occur; hiring employees, dealing with employee related issues, finding a work/life balance, but I think the biggest hurdle we encountered was in the very beginning. Starting a company when just after 9/11 took a leap of faith, but I am so happy that I chose to trust my instincts and continue down that path. 

How did you get into the luxury hospitality market?

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment in time, or define when Paradigm Design Group entered the luxury hospitality market. Our business has evolved over the years, and through word of mouth and client recommendations, we’ve continued moving forward and have been given amazing opportunities to work on these high-end projects.

Designing for hospitality and chain hotels, how do you ensure you stay on brand whilst making each design so unique?

We work very closely with the owners and the brand representatives [of the project we’re working on] to ensure that we are maintaining their requirements, while also developing that unique design story that I believe every property should have.

Though there are some strict requirements and guidelines we need to follow, we’ve been so fortunate to work with clients that share the same admiration for creativity and uniqueness as we do, so we have been able to design some really amazing spaces that we are very proud of.

Tell us about your new boutique design branch, PDG Studios?

We’re so excited to be launching our new boutique design company, PDG Studios. While we have already established our company as an expert in the lifestyle and luxury space, our new sister company allows us to focus on those unique, one-of-a-kind properties that take that luxurious lifestyle to the next level.

Tell us about the Weare Cottage project?

Weare Cottage, at Cliff House Maine, is the quintessential New England cottage with a fascinating history. The original hotel - The Cliff House - was founded by the Weare family as a summer hotel and farm in 1872. The cottage was their family home; it was conveniently located adjacent to the hotel and features sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Bald Head cliff-scape.

While the cottage structure remained, as well as the original stone fireplace, the balance of the building was taken down to the studs and completely rebuilt and modernized. Today it is a stylish, coastal-inspired cottage with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a fully appointed kitchen and wrap around porches. There are unique touches of history throughout the space, with reclaimed wood floors and ceilings, exposed shiplap and curated and historical art and artefacts, all of which were purposely placed and styled.

What’s next for Paradigm Design Group / PDG Studios?

We have a lot of exciting things in store for the future! Paradigm Design Group is looking forward to growing our business, in terms of taking on many new and larger projects in the near future. With PDG Studios, we are very excited to delve further into the boutique industry and design new spaces that will allow us to really push our creativity to the limit and create beautiful places that people all over the world can visit and enjoy.

Anything else to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today! I’d like to leave you with this little tidbit of advice, as I have found it so helpful to me. It’s one that I refer to often: always be honest, fair, trustworthy and respectful and lead your life with grace. Listen to your heart and know in the end, you will be okay.

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