Same wedding anniversary. Firstborn daughters named Ava. The youngest of each is 10 years old. One grew up on a dairy farm and another on a horse farm.

It was mutual friend and neighbor Kristin who noticed Lynsey Purl and Veronica Deats were living parallel lives. Separately.

Sign up for our newsletter!

* indicates required

“Then we met up and realized ‘Yes, we really were the same,’” Deats says.

“Our personalities are so similar but also very different and complementary of each other,” Purl says.

The duo, inspired by their grandmothers to pursue interior decorating, launched Max & Lou Home in 2017.

Their team, dubbed the “Fantastic Four,” manages the styling process at the Lake Highlands-based firm.

So you two are like a perfect match?

Purl: Honestly, Yes. Even in the way we both went after our passions. You know, we try to both reiterate to our kids, you don’t have to pick at 14 or 20 years old, and know exactly what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life. If you want to start over, you can because we both did. I don’t know that it would be as perfect as it is had we started right off the bat doing what we’re doing.

Deats: We’re getting to do the things that we dreamed about doing. It just took us until we were in our 30s to put it into motion. Which is OK. That’s OK, if it does not happen when you’re in your 20s.

Tell me a little bit about yourselves and how you got into interior design.

Deats: We both have a background in doing things similar to design. That is not what we went to school for. We have always done design out of our love for doing it. And I think we had decided separately, before we ever met each other, that (design) was something we were going to branch out and do for real on our own.

Purl: We were always doing this on the side and then went different directions in our college careers and work careers for a while. We both like decorating things on our own and then for our friends and family. Finally, I had the realization that this is what I need to be doing. My husband was like, “What are you doing? This is your passion. … You’re so busy on the side. Just do this for real.”

Where did the name for Max & Lou come from?

Purl: Both of our grandmothers are very instrumental in our love of all things decorating, cooking, home-related and making things pretty. My grandmother’s name was Maxine, and Veronica’s grandmother is named Jimmy Lu. That’s how we got Max and Lou.

They passed along a love of traveling, antiquing, gathering in the kitchen, digging through other people’s junk, and they were big into repurposing. Max & Lou would not exist without Max and Lou and all of the beautiful lessons these two taught us, and we’re thankful every day that they were ours.

Tell me about Max & Lou Home. What is the purpose of Max & Lou?

Deats: We kind of run the gamut of what we do. We’re not a one-size-fits-all place.

There’s no project too big or too small for us. And so, the way we work is really based on clients and what they need and just what their project looks like.

When we formed this company, we wanted people to feel happy and comfortable in their homes. No, your house does not have to look like page five of the Restoration Hardware catalog for it to be a great home. We want it to be a reflection of who you are and what’s meaningful to you and how you’re living your life.

What does your consultation process look like?

Deats: Now it’s one of those things that we changed when COVID hit, and there are elements of it that we’ve kept. We now start all of our initial consults (with a) free, 30-minute Zoom consultation. Anyone who’s interested can sign up and that is where we talk through our process and our costs and all of that, and we talk through what they’re needing for their home and what their project looks like.

Purl: We do have a questionnaire that we have clients fill out before we even have a consultation. Just break down their household needs and budget. Because we want to be respectful of that.

How involved are clients in the process?

Purl: We always ask for inspiration. What are your needs? What does your family look like? What does your home life look like? What are some things you really don’t like? We take all of that into account. We always try to take into consideration as much as we can, and then if there are areas where we feel like maybe there can be better decisions, we always give clients suggestions and talk through details throughout the entire process.

Deats: The clients are allowed to be as involved or not involved as they want. So, you know, we definitely try to make our process one of those where folks are able to really hone in on their needs and what they need from us so we can work however they want.

You all were winners of the Advocate’s Best Of Interior Design for two years in a row (2021 and 2022). What was that experience like? And how does it feel to be working in Lake Highlands?

Purl: Exciting, exhilarating. Above all things, it’s so humbling. The amount of talent in Lake Highlands alone for interior decorators and designers is literally mind-blowing. I mean, there are so many talented people that live here and do what we do. To have people in our community support us and you know, raise their hand and say wonderful things about us and feel that we’re deserving of that award is just so humbling and so kind.

Deats: We love working in Lake Highlands. Anytime someone calls us or schedules a consult with us, we ask “How did you hear about us?” It’s always, “I have a friend or a recommendation on the Lake Highlands moms’ page.” We do have a soft spot for working in Lake Highlands.

Are there any design or style trends that you are seeing in 2023?

Deats: I think we are kind of noticing a lot of people are spending more time in the home.

I think the biggest thing that people ask for when we come in is … aesthetic, but there’s a lot of people looking for how to make their home as functional as possible. A lot of “I need to make this space work” versus “I need my space to look like this photo on Pinterest.” I feel like clients have gone from describing how they want their homes to look to describing how they want their homes to feel and function.

Purl: I would say that people are putting more walls in their homes. They are looking for ways to make interchangeable and functional spaces. I think multifunctionality is extremely important and also less clutter. Monochromatism has also become extremely popular. We hear a lot of our clients say they want their homes to be peaceful. They want their homes to feel like home.

So, what is in the future for Max & Lou Home?

Deats: We had a candle line a few years ago that over COVID fizzled out; we’ve been working on that the last few months. We’re actually getting ready to relaunch, so be on the lookout for it.

Purl: We are really excited to get that launched here very soon. A long-term plan is that we would love to explore getting into textiles and other things. Just expanding our name and our brand in all things home. So that’s something that we’d love to continue to build on for the future. But we’re starting with candles.

Interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.