Laura U Design Collective
The Laura U Design Collective is a ” wholistic” studio that specializes in residential building design and interiors, from the foundation to the furniture. Founded in 2006, Laura and her growing team built a reputation for elegant interiors that were bright, bold, and contrasting. Today, Best Interior Designers had the chance to have an exclusive interview with Laura U, the founder. Enjoy!
What do you love the most about your work?
The reveal! When we do the final reveal with our clients and see them light up, it’s truly special for our team. Our unique guided design process starts with an in-depth discussion to learn more about the homeowner’s style, design needs, and the overall space plan of the home. The process focuses on understanding their lifestyle and favored design aesthetic. Seeing our clients realize the potential for their homes is always inspiring for us.
What was the most challenging time in your career, and how did you overcome it?
One of the most challenging projects was our North Boulevard project, which was a complete historic renovation in Boulevard Oaks in Houston, TX. It was our first show house and it doubled as my family home. While I fell in love with the location, the home itself had fallen into disrepair and required an extensive renovation. Amid kicking off the renovation Hurricane Harvey made landfall. This was a historic storm that devasted the Houston area and made it difficult to move forward with construction. The basement of the home flooded, the walls in some areas were irreparable, some flooring was ruined, and the windows were absolutely destroyed. This setback allowed us to realize the need for new, energy-efficient construction. We worked with the Preservation Society of Houston to make sure that the updates we were making to the front façade honored the historic integrity of the home. Our builder provided us with clever space planning solutions, and we collaborated with Houston’s Schenck & Co to select the most beautiful oak floors. It wasn’t easy! But after a tough 10 months, I had a beautiful home that my family and I loved for over three years.
Have you achieved everything you want in life?
Not yet! Our firm keeps growing and evolving and in 2020 we added residential building design to our list of services. As a full-service design firm, we are able to truly create one cohesive aesthetic by managing all parts of the design process from foundation to furnishings. We reopened our second studio location in Aspen, CO, and are continuing to expand into the US Western markets.
What makes you feel fulfilled professionally?
Everything we do, we do for the love of home. Making a house a home for our clients is what fulfills our team. When we see that spark in our clients as they see their homes come to life, we are reminded of why we love what we do.
We have a unique, guided design process that is built around blending the homeowner’s needs for functionality with their design for high style in an approachable way. We are working moms with young families and understand the importance of showing up for both. We use our homes as test kitchens to create durable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing designs for our clients.
Are you working on anything new at the moment? What’s the inspiration behind what you working on at the moment?
Our second show home is well underway! The Mountain Lane Show House is located in Aspen, CO and is undergoing a complete interior and exterior transformation by our team. This 3,500 SQ FT, 4 bedroom and 3.5 bath residence is located just north of Snowmass Village and is the first show house experience ever hosted in the area. The home will showcase our Foundation-to-Furnishings offerings. We continue to expand our work to the Western US and the show house will be a great tool to showcase our skills.
What would you say is the trend at the moment in the design world – creatively speaking?
More emphasis on sanctuary spaces for privacy, prep, and personality. While the appeal of an open-concept home will more than likely never go away, we do predict special-use spaces carved from more communal areas. We receive requests for separate prep kitchens that are hidden from the main entertaining spaces. With the entire family spending more time at home for work, school, and hobbies, personal space will become a must. We like to create separate reading nooks in bedrooms for homework, as opposed to needing an entire room. Transforming a guest bedroom into a hobby room will give homeowners the privacy they seek when they need a pleasurable escape.
Design is focusing more on wellness and sustainability while intersecting with function. COVID-19 expedited this direction exponentially. Individuals are putting a higher value on physical and mental wellness and it affects how we are designing. Social responsibility is influencing design as well. It is changing how homeowners live and the brands they want to associate with. People want to feel good in their homes and the design community wants to feel good about designing them.
Did you enjoy this exclusive interview with Laura U Design Collective?