Interview with Interior Designer, Lauren Liess!!!!

Hello! I know I used a lot of exclamation points in the title but I truly am that excited about this post!

If you are familiar with Lauren Liess and her work than you know why. She is a remarkable interior designer and all around person and I’m still awestruck that I got to interview her!

It was about 6 years ago that I came across Lauren’s work on her blog, Pure Style Home (now www.laurenliess.com).  It was this photo below of the kitchen in her first home that captured my attention.

Lauren LIess Chalkboard Paint Fridge

In addition to the adorable pint-sized blondie I loved the chalkboard painted fridge, the green cabinets, the open shelves, and pretty much everything about the room.

Over the past 6 years Lauren’s work has continued to inspire me and so many others.  Her work has been published in several well known magazines including– Domino, Luxe, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Garden & Gun, and Washingtonian.

Four-Chairs-BHG

via BHG

Blue Bookcase

via Country Living

FX8708218

via Hooked on Houses

 

Besides being an accomplished interior designer and blogger Lauren is a wife, mother to 4 young children, an encourager (she was so sweet to take the time to leave the very first comment on my home tour), a textile designer, and now an author of the gorgeous book, Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating.

She is the Real Deal!  Here is our interview–I hope you enjoy it!

(photos in the interview are from www.laurenliess.com, photographed by Helen Norman)

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Provident Home Design:

Lauren, you have an expertise for creating spaces that are warm and inviting. What elements do you utilize to help infuse these feelings into your spaces?

Norman_13009LL_223_web

Lauren Liess:

Thank you!! I love to incorporate natural elements into my spaces because they add warmth, texture and a bit of earthiness. Items like natural woven rugs and shades, warm woods, worn stone and metals, and natural fabrics like flax and linen add depth and texture, which makes a room feel more inviting, relaxed, and “touchable.”

Norman_13013LL_016_web

Provident Home Design:

Do you have a decorating process or routine? After seeing a client’s space for the first time what is the next step? How do you get from point A (the space as it is) to point B (the newly decorated space)?

Lauren Liess Brick Wall

Lauren Liess:

After seeing a client’s home for the first time and talking with them about their wants/ needs/ style I begin to work on a palette, vibe, and floorplans simultaneously.

Determining the desired vibe for a home is key in my knowing what to specify, just as getting the floor plans right is. Once I’ve established how I want a home to feel, other decisions seem to naturally fall into place. I can begin selecting specific fabrics and shopping for pieces.

As my design team and I find pieces for a home, the floor plan is tweaked and edited. Once everything has been selected (with the exception of some of the art and accessories) we present to our clients at our design studio.

Once the plan is approved, we purchase everything for our clients and have it all sent to a receiving warehouse. While work on the house such as painting is being completed we begin shopping for additional art and accessories.

When everything is ready we install it in a day or a week or two depending upon how large the project is. Once everything is in, we work with our clients to fill in any “holes” or special pieces.

Kitchen

 

Provident Home Design:

You mentioned painting, let’s talk paint colors. What are your favorite paint colors for walls? Do you have any favorites colors for painting cabinetry or bookcases?

Lauren Liess Blue Dining Room

 

Lauren Liess:

I love soft ivories like Benjamin Moore’s “ancient Ivory” (has a beautiful warm glow) and “Seashell” (typically doesn’t go too warm or too cool). Benjamin Moore’s “Swiss Coffee” is a favorite white of mine. I also like to use colors with a bit of depth to them for bookshelves like deep grays, greens and blues. (Some of my favorite are farrow and ball’s “Dix Blue” and Benjamin Moore’s “Richmond Gray.”)

Favorite Paint Colors

 

Provident Home Design:

Whether a client’s budget is expansive or minuscule the common factor is that there is a budget–What are some tricks you have used for staying within a budget? What areas do you splurge on and in what areas can you scrimp?

Lauren Liess Bathroom

 

Lauren Liess:

If shopping for the long run (vs. for a quick fix) I tend to recommend spending more on good upholstery and then attempting to save on the rest. It’s possible to find great vintage tables and case goods which can mix in beautifully with great upholstery.

Higher-quality case goods can eventually be added in and people can upgrade as they move along. There are so many great sources like eBay and etsy for vintage lighting, art and accessories at great prices if you have the time and the patience.

If shopping for a temporary fix, there are a lot of stylish upholstery options out there that might not be as comfortable or as long-lasting but still look good. (IKEA for example)

Lauren Liess Home Decor

Provident Home Design:

What elements of a space do you feel contribute to achieving a ‘designer look’ the most?

Lauren Liess:
I think well done window treatments and properly sized rugs can set a room apart.

Lauren Liess Great Room

Provident Home Design:

In your blog’s bio you state:

“Perfection isn’t really my thing. Fresh floppy flowers from the garden over long-stemmed roses any day, I love it when things are slightly off and tell a story.”

I completely relate to this sentiment!! Do you ever feel pressure to conform? How do you maintain your unique style within your design work?

Lauren Liess Desk

Lauren Liess:

Hmmmm… I don’t think I feel very much pressure to conform. I’d say, if anything, my fear is always that I will create something that isn’t different or special enough. I try not to think about it though and don’t pay any attention to trends or “what’s hot.” If I like something, I’ll like it whether it’s in or out and vice versa. I really try to do my own thing and stay true to what it is I like. I constantly find myself thinking of the old adage, “keep your eyes on your own paper.”

Lauren Liess Dining Area

Provident Home Design:

I love that–great advice!!  Lastly, you are a pro at mixing woods, mixing patterns, mixing styles, etc.? Is this something you innately knew how to do or something you learned? Do you have any advice for the amateur ‘Mixer’?

Lauren Liess Office

Lauren Liess:

Thank you so much! I like to have a sort of balance to design elements. If I’m working with different styles of furniture, there are usually counterparts to the differing styles within the room. A clean-lined sofa may be flanked with rococo chairs but I’ll be sure to include a clean-lined piece or pieces in the space to balance it out.

The same goes for wood tones. I like to mix them but I often include other elements in a space that will work with them -such as a similar tone in a fabric or in another piece of furniture- so that they don’t feel disjointed. I like a relaxed, casual or random look but very little is actually random.

BHGLaurenLiessSmartHome

Via BHG

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I feel super grateful to Lauren for taking time out of her busy schedule (in addition to all of the other balls she is juggling she has recently moved into a new house that is in full renovation throttle) to do this interview!

I have been looking forward to reading her book since last year when she first announced she was writing one.  I’ve never bought a design book before (there is so much great info online for free) but as soon as her book was available for pre-order I bought it!

Lauren Liess Book Review

It comes out next week, Wednesday October 13th but I received a copy early to review and it is just as beautiful and informative as I thought it would be and MORE!

It is a 267 page hardback book full (seriously almost every page) of gorgeous photos of her work (lots have never been seen before) and chalk full of down to earth, straight forward decorating advice and instruction.  If you like my Design 101 posts you will love her book!

Lauren Liess Habitat The Field Guide to Decorating

Listed price is $35 but the price as of today on Amazon is $19.25.  You can purchase it, Here.

I know you will love the book as much as I do!

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Lauren!

Thanks for being here and have a wonderful weekend!!:-)

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If you liked this interview you will LOVE the interview I did with home staging expert, Tori Toth, you can find HERE!

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Lauren Liess' Favorite Paint Colors

Interview with Interior Designer Lauren Liess!

I Love Hearing from You!

  1. I LOVE her style! So chic and relaxing. I also love to hear how the professionals design a room. What an awesome experience Tamara!

  2. “Keep your eyes on your own paper.” I like that! I don’t believe in necessarily following trends, especially in the more expensive pieces in your home. Otherwise, you’re constantly updating. The average person can not afford that. I like the way Lauren decorates and even more, thinks.thank you for this interview, Tamara.