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Bio

Lisa Cicalese McMillen is a professional muralist and decorative painter with over 25 years of design experience.  She is the founder and owner of Cica Lisa Designs based in New Hope, PA.  Lisa is a regular contributor to designer houses in the Philadelphia area, and uses her artistic skills for programs ranging from educational to philanthropic.  She is known as an artist who thoroughly researches the subject matter of a mural and explores all the possibilities for a design concept so that her clients can make informed choices for their homes and businesses.

Lisa's experiences vary from designing children's wear, costumes, and wedding attire to custom linens and window treatments.  In 1993, she founded Cica Lisa Designs with the purpose of designing clothing for private clientele.  As clients saw examples of her other talents, the business evolved, adding children's murals and faux painting to the list of services.  Gradually the joy of painting changed the focus for Cica Lisa Designs until it became wholly a decorative painting company specializing in murals.

"Lisa has the twin gifts of an eye for detail and the ability to see the whole," says one of her repeat customers.  "She cares first and foremost what the room looks like and how you respond to the room, but she sticks it out until every leaf, every eye, every tiny detail is perfect."

For the past decade, Lisa has been chosen as a designer for the VIA Bucks County Designer House, held annually to benefit Doylestown Hospital.  For each room, Lisa has decorated the space as well as painted the walls and accessories.  Her entry for the 2007 house can be seen in Designer Faux Finishing: Ideas and Inspiration for Sophisticated Surfaces.  Lisa's work will also be published in the upcoming Decorator Showhouses II.

Victor DeMasi, author of Designer Faux Finishing had this to say about Lisa, “a multitude of painters submitted photos for my book reviewing contemporary painted project.  The most difficult part of the process is the disappointment of those who don’t survive the winnowing process.  Lisa had more than one worthy choice and her inclusion was never in doubt."

Designing and painting sets for the Roxey Ballet Company's productions is one of Lisa's special joys.  Noteworthy is her complete set design for their production of Dracula.  Lisa has also worked as a set designer for Artist-In-Residence—a program which brings working artists into local schools for multi-day residencies—with single project focus.  Several of Lisa’s furniture pieces have sold at fundraising auctions which benefit this endeavor. 

Lisa received a BS degree in Design Arts from Drexel University.  She continues to challenge herself within her chosen field by taking classes and seminars, some through The International Decorative Artisan’s League (IDAL), of which she is a member.  "I'll never stop learning and incorporating new techniques," Lisa says.  "Design evolves even in murals, and customers want their homes to look fresh and current whether their style is classic or modern."