8. Denise Maloney – Interior Designer/ From Business School to Finding Her Passion in Interior Design

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Denise Maloney is an Interior Designer in San Francisco, California. She owns her own residentially focused firm, Denise Maloney Interior Design. Denise originally studied Economics/ Business in college. Shortly after graduation she looked for something she felt a stronger connection to and found Interior Architecture & Design. After working on Hospitality and residential projects early in her career, she decided to focus on residential projects when she started her own firm. Her firm uses furniture design to create a deeper level of personalization for her clients. In our conversation we explore collaborating with Architects, branding your business, using a business coach, theory vs. doing, how relationships play such a big roll in our businesses, and a number of other interesting subjects. Enjoy!


Show Notes


Denise Maloney

Principal Denise Maloney Interior Design

San Francisco, CA

Established 2010

NCIDQ Certified




Certificate in Interior Design & Interior Architecture, UC Berkeley Extension

Paid Internship in Interior Design during Design school

BA Economics – UC San Diego


Size of Design Firm: 2-3 designer


Project Types: Mostly High-End Residential Design


Topics we discuss in our conversation:

Interior Architecture

The value of an Internship – Real world experience

Furniture Design – Increasing the level of personalization

Teaching Interior Design

Theory vs Learn by Doing

Collaborating with Architects

Branding the business

Timeless design

The Importance of accurate budget estimating

Establishing good relationships of all kinds

Websites as a marketing tool



Hourly consulting

Cost plus – on furniture sales


Profit Generators:

Design fees

Construction administration

Mark up on furniture

Furniture design


Marketing Strategy:

Business Referrals


Relationship building of all kinds


Social Media



Links & Resources Mentioned:


http://kaydesign.com/ – Business Coaching – Lorie Bosch










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