For the third edition of Design Talks, we had the privilege of interviewing Laili Gonzalez founder of the interior design company the: meaZure. This company, based in Zurich, is known for creating bespoke interiors for clients from Switzerland to Australia and even the United States, combining extensive furnishing knowledge, project management and renovation to create highly tailored interiors.
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Design Talks includes then interviews with leading architects, interior designers and showrooms to discover and discuss what’s trending and the whole creative process of any project. In Home’Society we believe that talking, discussing and exploring ideas together is essential to the design process. Our goal is to create a platform with a new vision of micro and macro trends within the interior design industry, generating added value for the design lover community.
Laili Gonzalez: How Did It All Start
Laili Gonzalez is known for her goal in helping clients achieve their dream home, which inspires and brings joy to them whilst also being practical and functional. When asked about this goal, she says that one of the things that she loves about design is its transformative capacity, i.e, taking something destroyed and deteriorating and transforming it into something beautiful. Laili believes, however, that beauty is subjective, so in the end, her goal is for her clients to enter their home and feel happy to be there, supported by and connected to the space around them. The design process starts to take in the clients’ interests, lifestyles, cultures, and everything they are attracted to and relate to and knead it together to create a home environment that they love.
Laili Gonzalez: The Influences
When asked if she believes that influences from various cultures and places that she may have lived, visited or worked have influenced her style and her working methods, she had no hesitation in saying yes. Laili Gonzalez is a first-generation American from an Iranian family, so her home was filled with beautiful objects, arts and bright colours, typical of a Persian family, and also a lot of rugs. Laili Gonzalez tells us that none of the rooms was really dedicated to a certain thing, contrary to her American friends who had a room for television watching with really comfortable sofas and chairs, as well as a formal living room and a dining room. This influenced her a lot because she feels like a home should be in every space it has.
The designer has been travelling from an early age, having even lived in Canada and France, explored European and Middle Eastern countries, seeing and experiencing all different ways of living, senses of style, meanings of function and beauty ideals. Each of these experiences greatly impacted Laili, allowing her to have a more flexible sense of style because she understands that cultural variations also affect the aesthetic.
Laili Gonzalez: The Challenges of Starting Her Own Company
the: meaZure was founded in Switzerland and one of the first challenges Laili Gonzales encountered was moving to a new country where she didn’t have that much community support to start her own business; she didn’t know many vendors, local vendors or even traders. Adding to that, Laili originally was in Geneva where she started a business with a partner and spoke French herself. It was easy to start a business when she suddenly finds herself in Zurich and doesn’t speak a word of German.
From Geneva to Zurich Laili Gonzales encountered a very different culture, despite being in the same country, so she had to reestablish her network with both her clients and tradespeople in Geneva, a difficult task. But, alas, her business partner from Geneva had already been to Zurich so there was some groundwork that Laili used until she stopped feeling completely lost. In conclusion, Laili explains that starting a business is very hard and challenging, regardless of the country. Being a working mum of three, finding time for family and work is a challenge she believes anyone in the world can experience.
Laili Gonzalez: A Design of Two Countries
Do you believe there is any fundamental difference in the design process and style between the US and Europe, more specifically Switzerland?
To this Laili Gonzalez had to say that her working methods were a lot more American than Swiss. In Switzerland, there is a higher tendency for a lot of face-to-face meetings and a lot of things are done at different times, however, she does most of her work on and through her computer, which helped a lot during the pandemic. She doesn’t focus only on local suppliers, and defining The American Design Style is also very hard. We can find a lot of bright colours, a lot of bold designs, very much so due to the cultural mix.
On the other hand, Switzerland has a more homogeneous culture, being also a smaller country, hence being safe to say that there aren’t many different variations in design styles. Thre is the typical Swiss chalet and there are influences from French, Scandinavian and Italian designs, nonetheless, there are famous Swiss architects like Corbusier and Herzon & De Meuron there is a modern minimal twist to a lot of things here.
Laili Gonzalez: The Art of Feng Shui
Feng Shui has been growing a lot in Western Countries, becoming a fairly popular trend. Laili Gonzalez studied this art coming across a practitioner who teaches flying stars feng shui, a traditional and very detailed way of looking at the home. The basis is when the home was built, the surroundings and where it is positioned in the land. This helps understand, cure or even enhance the energies within the house to reach their potential. Using this art, Laili Gonzalez taps into the heart of the clients’ home transforming it into the ultimate oasis.
Laili Gonzalez: The Favourites from Our Group
When asked about her favourite items from Home’Society or the Covet Group, Laili Gonzalez said that she really loves our lighting designs. Some of her favourites are the HORUS Glass Suspension Light and the AURUM Suspension.