Member Spotlight — Lisa Quina of Barefoot Dwelling


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Lisa at work in the shop!

Lisa at work in the shop!

When you’re in search of the perfect vintage piece, want something custom-built, or just need some design expertise, turn to Lisa Quina of Barefoot Dwelling. Operating out of a storefront in Baltimore, Maryland, Lisa has an eye for scouting the best vintage and retro pieces, while injecting personality into everything she works on. Get to know this master of Mid-century finds, and be sure to check out her Krrb corner to make them your own!

An inside view of Barefoot Dwelling.

An inside view of Barefoot Dwelling.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I spent most of my school years in the South, but also spent time in Ohio, Colorado and California…I’ve been influenced by everywhere I have lived, so I’m grateful to have memories in such cool places. I now live near Annapolis, MD, a magical and beautiful place.

What is the best thing about living in your neighborhood?
Being able to take a three minute boat ride to The Point Crab House for a waterside happy hour on any ordinary weekday.

What are your top places you go locally to discover hidden treasures?
Basements, garages, old buildings…places where one purpose has passed, but the potential for the next one can be discovered. And of course Housewerks in Baltimore and Emmajean’s General Store in Thurmont, MD.

Laying out windows to plan their repurposing.

Laying out windows to plan their repurposing.

Are you personally more of a hoarder, or a minimalist?
Definitely a hoarder, always collecting things for a “future” project.

Barefoot Dwelling is a cool name for a shop. Is there a story behind it?
In a barefoot home the people are always more important than the contents. The shop name Barefoot Dwelling is a reminder of that.

What blogs or websites do you visit regularly?
Apartment Therapy, Anthology Mag, Pinterest, Domino, Design*Sponge, Retro Renovation, Style By Emily Henderson and Homepolish.

Barefoot Dwelling
What’s your all-time favorite find?
An industrial “Atomic Lounge” sign made from vintage car metal. Although it wasn’t technically for sale, we convinced the collector to part with it and then lugged it back from Las Vegas, and found a permanent home for it in my daughter’s room.

And which piece underwent the biggest repurposing transformation?
We often find that repurposing doesn’t require a big transformation at all. A thorough cleaning, hair pin legs, powder coating…basically all that is needed is a realization that a cool old tool box is an even cooler jewelry box, craft box, office caddie or recipe holder. If you like it, then use it in a different way!

Some of Lisa's past client work

Some of Lisa’s past client work

From where do you draw inspiration?
I am inspired by nature, culture, artistry, machinery and craftsmen.

You also offer personal design services. How do you figure out your plan of attack with each new space?
For each project I create a Style Board to explore the problem, the inspiration and ultimately the solution. The answer always resides with the client: their family traditions, hobbies, favorite colors, careers and children. These priorities are what a space has to nurture.

Let’s say you only have $500 to update a space the best you can. What buys get priority?
That’s easy: comfort and all that is related to it.

The "Head of Quality Assurance" at Barefoot Dwelling

The “Head of Quality Assurance” at Barefoot Dwelling

What’s the most rewarding thing about owning your own business? And the most challenging?
I am rewarded by: 1) a client’s home that nurtures them, 2) restoring or re-inventing a solid, but tattered piece, 3) being the boss of me. I am challenged by: 1) admin, 2) running way short on time, and 3) being the boss of FJ, my french bulldog and Head Quality Assurance.

Finally, name your top 3 dream items you’ve love to stumble upon.
Moroccan rugs, Rya rugs, another George Nelson pendulum wall clock.


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