top of page
  • Chris & John

Ep 47: The Cosmetic Side of Real Estate with Diana Lillo, Inspired Design

We will be speaking at the LI Real Estate Revolution online seminar this weekend and decided it would be a great idea to feature some of the speakers that will be joining us there on the show! With that being said, today’s guest is Diana Lillo, CEO and Creative Director of Inspire Design, a brand consulting and design management firm that has been in business for nearly 12 years. They provide everything from interior design packages to brand building identities and mostly service the corporate and medical space in the Long Island and Manhattan area. Diana brings an interesting set of experiences and insights today, as she speaks a lot about the cosmetic side of the business, i.e., what the value of, and process behind, making a building and its interior look good is.

She talks about how she got into the business and has built up a client base, and shares a whole bunch about what goes into the service she provides, from how she handles quotes and proposals to installations. Diana has been in the game for some time, and the tips she gives for what materials and aesthetics to decide on when giving a building a facelift would be valuable to any owner or investor across the budget spectrum. We discuss different flooring solutions, the lifespan and maintainability of materials compared with their costs, and how to dress up model apartments to win more tenants. Considering that we are in a global pandemic too, we address things like changing workspaces and how the line between residential and office spaces will start to blur as people incorporate features of one into the other. Listen along for a great discussion about the cosmetic side of real estate!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The services provided by Inspire Design and clients that they work with.

  • Diana’s training in the design and realization of a new niche for her services.

  • Referrals and how Diana’s clients understand the value of her services.

  • The process of, and resources for, creating cosmetic upgrades and branding.

  • Changing a building’s identity by starting from the outside first.

  • Site-specific design and recent projects Diana has worked on.

  • How Inspire Design makes custom quotes and works with the existing building’s structure.

  • Rendering scheme options and how to Inspire Design visualizes their quotes.

  • Flooring laminates and tips for flippers on how they can give a property a cheap facelift.

  • How to make a sample apartment look as pleasing as possible to attract tenants on a budget.

  • Weighing up the cost of materials against their lifespan and cost of maintenance.

  • Attracting workforces by catering to shifts in their needs through design.

  • Shifts in the cosmetics and layout of offices and restaurants to accommodate work patterns.

  • The future of co-working spaces after COVID-19: the ‘work from home apartment building’.

  • Benefits of incorporating elements of nature into spaces.


“There’s just a lot of different knowledge that we have, depending on what we are working with, that we try to integrate to make our services meet our clients’ needs.” — Diana Lillo [0:06:24]

“How do you have that visibility? You need that visibility, especially if you have new ownership, and doing it from the inside out is just not going to get that.” — Diana Lillo [0:08:57]

“We’re seeing this shift where companies are realizing that they need to create spaces that are going to attract and retain the modern workforce.” — Diana Lillo [0:34:31]

“Right now, everyone’s working from home so I think we are going to be seeing a lot of these shifts and it is going to affect what people are looking for in residential real estate.” — Diana Lillo [0:37:42]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

LI Real Estate Revolution

Diana Lillo

Inspire Design

Inspire Design on Instagram

NYU Winthrop Hospital







Get in Touch

Interested in Investing With Us? Click Here

Connect with Chris -

Toro Real Estate Partners -

The Real Estate Investing Experience -

The REI Experience YouTube -

The Real Estate Investing Experience Podcast -

32 views0 comments
bottom of page