Doctor of Design
Passionate about home design, this medical professional and busy mom launched a Facebook page for others just like her
Homeowner Dr. Lisa Awan enjoys sitting in her sun room.
Photos by Michelle and Chris Gerard
She might be reviewing medical imagery during much of the day, but when Beaumont doctor Lisa Awan has precious time to put her feet up after work and on weekends, she’s typically perusing interior design imagery. The self-confessed design aficionado — who, with her sports medicine doctor husband, Tariq, has twin 2-year-old boys and two daughters ages 7 and 8 — moved into her Birmingham home about three years ago. Her vision was to create sheer beauty and function for her busy family.
“Decorating is one of my hobbies,” says Awan, a women’s imagery radiologist.
“I like to decorate, too,” Awan’s mother added during a recent visit from California to see her daughter and her family, “but it’s nothing like the way Lisa does; she’s an artist!”
The humble Awan waves away her mom’s compliment, and explains that she started getting a little more serious about home design when she and her good friend, Dr. Tamara Acho of Bloomfield Hills, both physicians and home-décor buffs, launched a Facebook group page about two-and-a-half years ago that’s strictly for doctor moms who are passionate about design.
“We have about 5,300 Facebook friends now,” Awan says. “We share what we love — and not only of our own homes and projects, but we post other people’s homes that inspire us, as well. It’s a great page because people can ask, ‘What should I do with this or that?’ or, ‘How should I decorate this?’ ”
Awan, who grew up in Farmington Hills, also has an extremely popular Instagram page (homeinspirationlulu) that has some 47,000 followers checking out inspirational images regularly.
The family room, with its soft accents and comfortable furnishings, is Awan's favorite room. "I like to sit here and read," she says.
The Awans, who previously lived in Canton, purchased their new-build home after touring it with Keller Williams Realty’s Sherry Pyszczynski four times. “Sherry was amazing and also sold a home to Tamara and her husband,” Awan says. “Tariq and I wanted to move somewhere other than a subdivision where the homes look all the same. We liked the layout of this home and the area.” She also appreciated the fact that she was able to select items such as backsplash materials and colors while the mostly finished home was coming together. “I love the windows and the brightness of the home, and I love its open floor plan (because) the kids can always be in our vicinity.”
The heart of the home is — no surprise — the kitchen and adjoining family room. An inviting eating area is another place the family likes to gather. When the girls are sitting at the kitchen table eating or doing homework, they look up to a beautiful picture of a sky-and-water scene on the wall that has eye-catching sparkles on its surface. “I love to have a little sparkle and glam in the home wherever I can, even though our home is mostly in neutrals,” Awan says. The aforementioned table — a large, solid piece made of mango wood — is super durable, she adds. “I found it at Art Van and the chairs are from Safavieh, an online home furnishings shop that I love.”
Awan recently transformed a space off the dining area into a sun room. Replete with a chaise, a cozy couch, and a gallery wall of Getty Museum art prints from Home Love Network, it’s an inviting space in which to soak up some natural light. In the family room, which is Awan’s favorite spot for reading or enjoying being with her family, a sense of comfort and relaxation are evident in everything from tufted wingback chairs from Joss & Main to pillows from Wood ’N Tales. Six of Awan’s favorite photographic prints of Parisian scenes, taken by Georgianna Lane, are showcased simply, and feature frames and mat board Awan found at Michaels. “I try not to spend a ton on things like this because I’m always changing things around. Plus, I like to do things myself,” she says. Awan is a member of the Printable Club on Home Love Network and explains that she often orders art through the club.
Clockwise from top left: Awan's 7- and 8-year-old daughters are in love with the color pink, so their room is awash in the cheery tone. Mom recently added the peony wall decals from Rocky Mountain decals. The master bedroom is "my little haven," Awan says. "And if I can make the bed in the morning, it looks like this," she adds, laughing. Pretty vignettes in the kitchen and foyer showcase Awan's passion for design. Awan recently transformed a space off the dining area into a sun room. A cozy sofa and pillows in pretty colors make it an inviting space in which to soak up some natural light. Accents that shine and unique textures add appeal.
A large fig plant adds greenery to the space. “It’s not real,” Awan says with a laugh, “but it does pass my 2-feet rule. If you’re 2 feet from a plant and you can’t tell whether it’s real or not, it passes!” In all honesty, she admits she’d prefer real, but with twin toddlers around, it’s best to keep items like this faux, she explains. Other childproof furnishings include a vintage coffee table she brought from her former home. “It’s getting more vintage because of the kids,” she says, “but I like its legs and the round corners. It’s safe and it looks good in here.” Near the table is a collection of ginger jars, which Awan says she’s obsessed with lately. Her favorite color is a light-blue aqua tone, which one can find throughout the home, whether on a powder room wall or on book covers, including the art photography book Escape by Gray Malin. Shelves with favorite pieces pique interest. “We have so many ugly medical textbooks, but we keep those in the study/office,” she says with a laugh.
In the mostly white (with some gray) kitchen, some of Awan’s favorite accents include MacKenzie-Childs pieces. “I love the new line,” she says, pointing out her “Morning Glory” pitcher and “Flower Market” tea kettle. Colorful tea towels from Anthropologie were picked out by her daughters. “They love to get involved with decorating,” Awan says. Three glass pendants from Worth Home cast a warm light, while a slate-gray island and gray glass subway tile complement the space.
Pendant lighting by Worth Home in the entryway was hung by a proud Awan. “You can just screw it into a recessed lighting area,” she says. “It took me about two seconds to put it together.” Nearby, the couple’s formal dining room is used mostly for “spillover during parties,” Awan explains. “We try to keep it looking nice because it’s the first thing you see when you come in through the front door.”
The kitchen is the heart of the home, while the dining area just off the kitchen is a perfect spot for everything from family dinners to coloring to homework. The mango wood table is from Art Van. "It's so durable and great for four kids." The dining chairs are from Safavieh. Pretty vignettes in the kitchen and foyer showcase Awan's passion for design.
The couple’s two daughters not only like to help their mother decorate, but they also spend a lot of time in a sweet little art cove off their bedroom.
“They love to sit in there and create,” Awan says. “Art is all they do in their spare time. I hang their creations above their work area and change it up a lot.”
And to get away from it all? Awan heads to her master suite and her closet (it’s more like a room) off the bedroom.
“I love the small window in the closet,” she says, adding that the entire suite is “my little haven.” And there’s a wine fridge, too. “That’s key,” she jokes. “I don’t have to go far. This is nice; I’m not going to lie.”
In the bedroom, a Downlite comforter, Sheffield Home pillows, Pottery Barn Euro shams, and an Anthropologie throw inspire relaxation after a long day.
A nearby laundry room is where Awan and her husband set up the twins’ “baby station.” “We gave the babies their baths here in the laundry room sink,” Awan recalls. Plans call for eventually painting the cupboards white and adding different artwork. “I’ll spend even more time in here when it looks good,” she says with a smile.