Ep. 75: Lauren Makk

Interior designer and TV personality Lauren Makk grew up in the south, fluffing other people’s pillows, painting murals on train cars under cover of darkness, and rolling with her car crew Ill-usion. As a little girl, Julia Sugarbaker on TV’s Designing Women was Lauren’s career role model. Years later, she is also a designer on TV! She’s made her mark on Trading Spaces, FABLife, and Home Made Simple. She’s building an empire, leaving a legacy, and dreaming of giving the White House a “Makk-over.”


What is your earliest memory?

My mom used to make all of my room decor. One of my very first memories is of my mom sewing my curtains for my room.

What’s the best advice that you’ve ever gotten?

The last 10% is the hardest part.

Young Lauren in her room where her mother made the sheets and artwork

Young Lauren in her room where her mother made the sheets and artwork

How do you record your ideas?

I’m an avid Pinterest user -- I find ideas and inspirations on Pinterest and create a mashup when it’s time to put together something for a client. I also use Yelp’s Collections feature to keep track of businesses and stores that I love to help with projects.

What’s your current favorite tool or material to work with?

I never leave home without my Makita drill driver BUT my favorite medium is some hot glue.

Lauren and her son Preston

Lauren and her son Preston

What book is on your nightstand?

Michelle Obama’s Becoming

Why is authenticity in design important?

A designer is the link between people and what they feel in a space. We interpret feelings for people in designs so it's important to be true to your clients and create a space that makes them feel and that they can relate to.

Lauren in her “cool car”

Lauren in her “cool car”

In design school

In design school

Favorite restaurant in your city?

I love hole in the wall restaurants and I love Peruvian food. Mario’s Peruvian in Los Angeles,CA is amazing and one restaurant I’m really enjoying right now. And I always use Yelp to find great restaurants wherever I am.

What might we find on your desk right now?

Art pens, markers, diaries and drafting papers.

Who do you look up to and why?

Oprah has made a career of being herself -- 100% her and that’s pretty impressive. I certainly model my career and substance just by being me and recognizing my natural talent. I also admire Michelle Obama. She married the love of her life who treats her with kindness and respect and works in a business that doesn’t really value kindness and respect.

What’s your favorite project that you’ve done and why?

Recently, I appeared on the Steve Harvey Show. That before and after was really satisfying. To create a new space for this guy and to see the glimmer of hope in his face again, I felt accomplished and a sense of gratitude to give to someone who can really use a makeover like that.

What are the last five songs you listened to?

I love oldies -- Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, 98 Degrees, Oh Wonder. “Plans” by Oh Wonder is one my favorite songs right now.

Follow Lauren’s journey on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and check her out on Yelp.com.

Clever is produced by 2VDE Media. Thanks to Jennie Josephson for editing this episode.
Music in this episode courtesy of
El Ten Eleven—hear more on Bandcamp.
Shoutout to
Jenny Rask for designing the Clever logo.