Photo courtesy of PSE
Mendes family, from left to right: Marie, Mateas, Cristiano, and Mike.

Ballard duo to be in reality show-styled design contest

A Ballard husband-and-wife duo have entered Puget Sound Energy (PSE)'s "Re-Energized by Design" challenge, a reality show-styled competition in which contestants will complete a series of fast-paced room-makeover challenges, combining elegant home design with energy efficient products.

And the grand prize? $5,000.

Repping our neighborhood are the Mendes pair: Marie, an Environmental Engineer, and her husband Mike, a geologist. It's a one-two punch of analytic focus and energy efficiency knowledge that no other team can match. (Well, we might be biased.)

Marie and Mike have two children, Mateus (14-months old) and Cristiano (four years old). Marie and Mike were East Coast-bred, but they came to Seattle, falling in love with the outdoors, the wealth of nationalities and districts and, of course, the eco-conscious people.

“We’d like to learn about design, push our limits to accomplish our goals, and to convey to the kids the importance of the environment and energy," Marie told PSE in a press release. "Improving the style of our home while reducing our environmental impact is the perfect project for our family.”

Marie and Mike were selected through a rigorous selection process which featured submitting a video or photo entry, a public vote to select 10 finalists, and a final interview.

Each contestant will be supported by a design coach and will be judged by a panel of judges: Society and events photographer Duell Fisher, 425 and South Sound Magazine editor Lisa Patterson, and radio personality Marty Reimer.

A web-series will be released documenting the contestants efforts, and will be found on, which will start in March.

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