MIRA VISU DESIGN




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ABOUT LONNA

I’ve been married for 24 years. I have two fantastic boys and a wonderful daughter, two dogs (a Newfoundland and a Leonberger) and a rabbit. Home and family is what I hold most dear and wonderful and what inspires me daily.

MIRA VISU is a combination of the Latin words "Mirabile," which means "wonderful" (and also happens to be my maiden name) and "Visu," meaning "to behold." Together, the words mean, "Wonderful to Behold."

I exhibited a passion for design early in life. As a kid, I painted and moved the furniture around in my 10-by-12-foot bedroom every which way imaginable. I made wallpaper out of boutique shopping bags and sewed pillows out of any type of fabric I could find.

My mother often reminds me that I didn't stop with redecorating my own little space, I took it outside, too, using my creativity on the tree fort that my brothers had started in the backyard. I thought it could use "remodeling," so I added some much-needed embellishments, such as windows with shutters, a "proper" roof made with garbage bags and duct tape, and to top it off, I constructed a pulley system for our lunches to get delivered one story up! Decorating and design, including good function, have always come second nature to me.

I find inspiration in many places, but the incredible art and architecture throughout Europe I think have had the most influence on me. When I was 16, I had my first overseas travel experience, going to Holland and France, and I think that’s when the decorating seed was planted. In my 20s, while I worked as a personal trainer, I did a little side work as a decorative artist. I created whimsical murals and faux treatments on walls and furniture, went on to painting floors and rugs, then sewing window treatments and decorative pillows.

Through a dear friend, I got the chance to work with a decorator who was being featured in Country Living magazine. I painted her clients kitchen floor in a diamond pattern, which was photographed for the article. As I watched the designer in action during this process, I knew I wanted to be a part of the decorating world!

While raising our three children and traveling to Europe, Bermuda and the Caribbean islands, I could see and admired how different cultures and lifestyles influenced peoples design and decorating choices. And I liked that! I then started taking interior design classes so I could learn how to incorporate beauty, culture and lifestyle all within my own home, as well as help others do the same! In my own homes I have knocked down walls and rebuilt them, I’ve done some finish carpentry, worked with tile, and even used a backhoe to build a deck and patio’s with gardens. After taking a few design classes, my name got around and I began drawing up plans for small remodeling projects, furniture pieces and built-in cabinetry for a modest clientele. I was also hired to help with colors, furnishings and fabric selections. I just couldn’t get enough, I loved making spaces function better and creating anything beautiful for the home!

One could say that designing and decorating is in my blood and that my career development has all been a natural progression. My father was a master carpenter, both of my brothers were carpenters, and my father-in-law dealt in textiles. I was surrounded!

Today, years after taking a hammer to my brother's old tree fort, I’ve had my hands in all facets of creating and building a home—from paint brushes to power tools, plush velvets to polished nickel, I am a true DIY'er with hands-on experience, and I would like to share all of it with you!