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Colleen Luntzel of designing ddna An Interview

I’m enthralled, delighted and intrigued with Colleen and her blog ddna. What a combination of photos and words, which will have you wondering what came first. Join her as she shares her love of interior design and in the joy of finding beauty in off beat places and items.


Tell me about your Blog –

designing dna, (ddna for short) was created to be more than just another pretty place to hang out. This home and garden design blog’s purpose is to be a resource for the novice decorator as well as the experienced design diva.

I believe that every person, at their deepest level, has a need to surround themselves in beauty, but not everyone knows how to achieve it, nor can many afford to pay for help. As an interior designer, writer and teacher, my goal is to help, while dispelling some myths and teaching a few tricks of the trade along the way.

What was your first blog?

ddna is my first blog! In the middle of writing an interior design book, my editors said, “Get a blog!” So here I am. I figured that if I was going to do it, I was going to do it in a way that will benefit others.

When did you start your blog?

In October of 2009

How did you learn the ropes of blogging?

I’m still learning the ropes! But, I do have a secret weapon: I convinced a friend who has a blog design business to be my “blog coach.” She’s fantastic!

About your interior design book, is there anything you’re able to share about it?

Sorry that I can’t tell you the title yet, but I will say this–it’s a humorous, down to earth book about interior design options when the budget is tight.

Are you contacted by companies or PR companies or do you contact them or both?

Both. As a designer with a new but growing blog, I’ve been contacted by artists wishing to be featured at my place. I do feature a handful, but since the primary purpose of ddna is to help my readers without ulterior motive (by selling things or making money from those who sell things) I am very selective about who I feature.

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?

My short experience in the blogging community has been both wonderful and frustrating at the same time. As a new blogger, I can tell you with certainty that it can be difficult to learn how to navigate through uncharted blog waters! Anybody who’s ever found themselves in choppy water would like the occasional life rope–I know I have. I’ve been “rescued” by bloggers who’ve been at this far longer than I and I’m so thankful for their support and help! I’ve also been discouraged by bloggers who’ve been at this far longer than I, who didn’t have the time of day to answer a question asked in humility and sincerity.

In short? There are bloggers who are wonderful and generous, and sadly, there are bloggers who are clickish and in it for themselves.

What advertiser would you like to work with given a chance?

Those who represent beauty, quality, integrity and have a heart for the consumer–first. In my field of work that might include national glossie home magazines (some of which I write for) artists, manufacturers of fine goods, those in the construction industry… basically those who have exceptional products that fit into the idea of home and lifestyle.

Where do you see growth in the blogging field?

In the few months I’ve been blogging and routinely going on what I call, “blog-about” I’ve been amazed at the size and scope of the blogosphere! I’ve also been interested to see which blogs have the biggest following. My observation? People are lonely on some level. There seems to be a real need for community. We all want to  fit in somewhere in this great big world, don’t we?

People  follow blogs where the authors are real and share tidbits of intimate life. In a way, the followers feel they belong there. If a blogger is blogging for business, I think they would have a huge potential for growth if they could somehow keep that personal, neighborhood feeling.

What is one thing about you that not many people know?

Hmm. Well, there’s plenty people don’t know about me! Actually, that’s one of my biggest challenges as a new blogger since I’m a private person. Not to run off too far on a rabbit trail, but once, when an editor contacted me about clarifying something in my bio, my email was delayed and she wrote later to tell me, “Never mind, I googled you.”

To say I panicked is a world-class understatement! I actually looked over my shoulder to see if the Soviets were coming! Why? Well, here’s my one thing: I once had a little unpleasant run-in with a Soviet General. During the cold war. The very, very cold war.

What’s your favorite book?

I never did like, “What’s your favorite?” questions! How can anybody actually say they have one favorite and get away with it? Today, my favorite book might be, The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper. I won it on a friends blog. It’s chick lit, easy to read, fun, and there’s not one cuss word or scene of gratuitous sex to be found! What a relief!

What is on your iPod?

Nothing–yet. Just got a new one.

What are your contact details?

My blog address is: http://designingdna.blogspot.com

Email: designingdna@(nospam)gmail.com – remove the (nospam)

Facebook fan page – designing ddna

What events do you attend?

I attend a variety of events, but I’m in the middle of organizing one right now. My blog will be the host for an online Flea Market Round-up on March 20, 21. I’ve rounded up 50 or so of my favorite crafters, online shops and decor and design bloggers as vendors for a weekend of shopping and fun to help rebuild homes lost in natural disasters. (More details at ddna.) Save your mad money and come on by ddna to help out!

How do you prefer to communicate?

by email

Who would you recommend, and why?

I’d love to recommend a brand new glossie, Nesting Newbies. Why? They offer the new “nester” a fresh take on design in the home, with tons of practical tips and ideas.

Karen Sugarman of Karen Sugarman’s Designs. Not only is she an interior designer extraordinaire, but she creates the most unbelievably fantastic jewelry!

Country Living Magazine. They just never cease to put together a fabulous glossie mag.

Heather Bullard. Her photography is wonderful.

French Blue: http://frenchblue-frenchblue.blogspot.com/
Janet at French Blue was one of the first established bloggers to extend a hand of friendship to me. Her blog is absolutely lovely in every way–just as she is.

Blue Bird Notes: http://bluebirdnotes.blogspot.com/
Better have a piping hot cup of tea and some sweeties on hand when you settle down for a visit at Koralee’s, because I promise you, you’ll be there awhile. “Stunning” is the only word to describe her work.

Ada and Darcy: http://adaanddarcy.blogspot.com/
Lonna de Anna: http://lonadeanna.blogspot.com/

Kellie, of Ada and Darcy and Anna, of Lonna de Anna are a couple of my “allies in design” from down under.  You’ll not find sweeter girls with such fantastic design blogs!

My Petite Maison: http://www.mypetitemaison.blogspot.com/
Visiting Tracie’s place is a must! Her blog is beautiful, informative and inspirational and her shop just makes it that much easier to “get the look.”

I could go on and on–recommending blogs and shops that I’ve found to be excellent, not only in content and product, but in the character of the authors/owners. That’s what’s most important to me. Beautiful blogs and shops are a dime a dozen. I’m looking for the people who use their talents, gifts and platforms to encourage and enable others.

What is one thing people can do for you?

Come by ddna, follow along, if you like and spread the word about our Flea Market Round-up! Sorry, I know that’s more than one thing. Just spread the word.  🙂


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