Introducing The Local Vault x DesignDot

At TLV, we love what we do. The thrill of discovering that special item, be it rare, hard to find, vintage, or bespoke. We also love matching the perfect piece to just the right home – an art onto itself! That’s why we are excited to announce that our friends at DesignDot are partnering with The Local Vault to help you find that special piece that will complete your look – or help you get started on a whole new style! The process is simple – just contact DesignDot through our site and get started with your personal designer to help you find the perfect piece for your home!

image1Photo Credit Janeivy Hilario


We chatted with Megan Wunderlich, DesignDot Founder + CEO about how she got started in design, what makes DesignDot unique, and the one designer she always looks to for inspiration.

TLV: DesignDot is a unique design service. What inspired you to start DesignDot and what are some of the ways that it is different than other design firms?

TLV: DesignDot offers approachable interior design services. What inspired you to start DesignDot and what are some of the ways that it is different than other design firms?

DD: It was an internal motivation that started DesignDot, I assumed I could create a lovely home wherever my life took me. But life happens, my circumstances changed when the market changed, and I went from a comfortable lifestyle to an unstable one, all while living in an area rich with job possibilities, but was made up of a consumer market pushing high-end goods, services and a lifestyle that didn’t currently apply to my situation. It intimated me even as a designer-in-training, I completed coursework at The New York School of Interior Design preparing to change industries and had a resume of work experience as a residential design assistant and photo stylist in a neighboring community. Still, I did not feel right when other designers entered the room in my new hometown! I began to think this could not possibly be the way everyone wanted to live. There must be other people like me who were active in their communities, desiring pride in their homes, and who would gladly make their home interiors more pleasing for family, friends, and guests with guided purchasing decisions and design planning that wasn’t so intimidating.

image3Photo Credit Janeivy Hilario


 So through more experience at a local boutique, and lots of practice taking on design jobs that came to me through generous friends and word-of-mouth referrals, I gave each design project my best effort, honing client and design skills with each project regardless of the money I was making (or not making!) I took on job experience as an unpaid intern in my mind, managing projects around my family responsibilities and maintaining a part-time job at a local boutique, learning from a talented luxury market designer.

 My internal motivation kept growing, I wanted my kids to take pride in me and know that their Mom’s work was valuable and had a purpose, so I was driven to keep working, figuring out with each of my own design projects, how to change my practice so that it created real value. I couldn’t give up until a real design practice was built, profitably – providing a job for me and for other designers who were trying to figure this out, too. It had become clear there was no way to do this on my own, and I would be miserable if I had too!

So even after my own home began to look a little better – I had grown some pride in it, with great effort and an internal motivation and desire to “lean in” to find value in my work, I found a way to build a design practice with DesignDot’s StyleDiary.

With the StyleDiary, the practice of interior design becomes something that is shared by the designer with the client. The design scheme and process is transparent and practiced through online image sharing and marketplaces; plus the introduction of local boutique resources shared with clients in a concierge style and an approachable way.

image2Photo Credit Janeivy Hilario


DesignDot’s StyleDiary uses mobile devices and shared image technology. Thankfully, I had the business sense to know from the beginning, that this kind of practice would involve the use of technology to become efficient, to scale the business, and provide skilled interior design faster than the competition, keeping the costs for each service at a minimum and not having to rely on the sale of expensive goods to stay in business. So I’ve always used my Apple devices to work, slowly moving away from my Desktop and onto mobile devices and into the iCloud space.

The result is what I believe and hope to brand as a shared, heritage approach to Interior Design in a new marketplace that mixes local boutique experiences with more immediate and online ones. The StyleDiary has even been used for “style transition” projects for people looking to downsize their residences or update and freshen interiors to appeal to a buyer.

image6Photo Courtesy of: DesignDot


With more goods online and experiences available, virtually, through social media and image sharing platforms like Pinterest, even 3D modeling, interior design is no longer only accessible to those fortunate to live in or near areas with luxury furnishing services and goods.

DesignDot is different because it was built from the beginning, to work in this kind of online marketplace – the practice works differently than most traditional design firms. It is service based and run by a multi-disciplined team, along with a Residential Group. This Group is a like-minded list of Independent Designers who meet as a community, bi-monthly, to discuss, share, and partner on projects using the DesignDot platform, its StyleDiary, and remaining as Independent Designers, running their own design practices and contracted out to clients by DesignDot.

image10Photo Credit Jane Beiles


TLV: When did you know you wanted to turn your passion for design into a career?

DD: When I bought my first house and realized my college boyfriend and future husband was not going to tolerate me spending money to furnish it! I figured I’d learn how to furnish it myself, and figure out how to make it a career should the opportunity ever present itself. It was a really wishful “Plan B.”


TLV: What is the most satisfying part of your job?

DD: Making people’s day-to-day better, happier and healthier.

image5Photo Credit Janeivy Hilario


TLV: What are some of the reasons you enjoy working with antique and vintage sources?

DD: The finishes are really, really hard to replicate. And sometimes the shapes, too. In a fine furnishing market, client’s can have a very refined eye for design. And antique or vintage pieces offer something that is one-of-a-kind and artfully found, so there’s value that it can’t be reproduced. There’s just one. And these pieces have had lives – which can be fun to play pretend about, too!

image9Photo Credit Jane Beiles


TLV: What is the best piece of advice that has impacted your life as a designer?

DD: Anything Bunny Williams has to say :). 


TLV: Do you have any design rules you follow?

DD: Proportion and Plan. Whatever the plan, I’m mindful to always specify the design elements and to try my to the best to lay them out proportionately. Even if it’s just the proportion of space between objects in a room.

image4Photo Credit Janeivy Hilario


TLV: What design elements are important to keep in mind when creating a space for the whole family to enjoy together?

DD: Texture


TLV: What item in your home makes you most happy?

DD: Honestly, there really isn’t one. I prefer its people! 🙂

TLV is about sharing, supporting and discovering all that's great about the community we live in. We strive to inspire, enlighten and sometimes entertain. Our team of tastemakers are mothers, wives, sisters and friends, and together we share our musings about love, life and home.
I’d Pin That