The Design Questionnaire with Donna Mondi
In this edition of Love Happens’ Proust-style Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek inside the creative design mind of Donna Mondi, founder of the eponymous Chicago-based interior and product design firm. Known for beautifully blending classicism and modernity, while always adding a touch of the unexpected, Donna’s interiors are stunning avant-garde, truly livable, bespoke creations.
Now for a Peek Inside the Fabulous and Inspiring Mind of Donna Mondi with the Lh Design Questionnaire
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A day spent outside doing something active with my husband and two adult children is my happy place. Coming home to my two adorable French Bulldogs Blanche and Vivienne is the icing on the cake!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Resilience! I started my company on the same day as 9/11 which couldn’t have been a worse time to launch a luxury business. Managing through the recession and now a pandemic has been challenging to say the least. Owning your own business takes stamina, a strong moral foundation, passion for your work, and a lot of red wine.
What profession does your alter ego have?
Interior Design is truly my dream job. I have a few alter egos though and one of them would love to be a pastry chef. Not because of some skill I have but I love to eat sweets. The other is a sarcastic brat so a role that’s not client-facing would be best.
The project you will never forget.
We recently completed a condo in Chicago’s groundbreaking One Bennet Park building. When you hit the trifecta of the right architecture (or ability to create it), trusting clients with a willingness to take risks, and the right budget dedicated…the results are truly magic! Thought-provoking artwork, artisan wall ﬁnishes, bespoke furnishings create sophisticated surprises at every turn in this stunning home.
Your favorite business tool or resource.
I read a lot of business books but Traction by Gino Wickman is the system I use to manage my design ﬁrm. I started almost ten years ago and it’s amazing to see how goal setting and tracking measurable metrics have had such a positive impact on my company. It’s an investment in time in the beginning but easy to maintain and update over the years. Well worth it!!
The most timeless design.
My designs live somewhere between classicism and modernity (+ a little edge). By blending eras together, honoring historical architectural principles, and staying on top of my game on trends, our interiors become more timeless and less trendy. It’s the perfect blend that provides longevity while maintaining a fresh perspective.
The biggest design faux pas.
Following the crowd. People are so enamored with what they see on Pinterest and Instagram that when they see things on repeat, it’s an automatic response that this is what’s cool. Sometimes I wonder if brands are laughing at how something completely ridiculous becomes coveted by the masses. 🤔
Your design motto.
Good sh*t costs money!
If you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?
I completely agree and have already done this! In my own primary bedroom, I have two custom Divine chests that are STUNNING!!! These will be with me until the end of time and might be where we scatter my ashes. Future goals? I’m really into screens lately. Euphoria has my eye and will likely be a client’s Zoom background in the near future.
Love happens when…
Quality, Creativity, and Passion all come together.