Whenever I interview a designer for Peachy magazine, I always ask them handful of personal questions to get a feel for the designer’s personality and the inspiration behind his or her design aesthetic. My friends joke that I should start my own design talk show because I never get tired of discovering what makes designers tick and hearing about their creative process. A girl can dream!
I was delighted to hear Washington DC based designer Lauren Liess answer these questions. After the interview, I have included some of my favorite shots from her expansive portfolio. Her book HABITAT due out this fall will be a must for any design library!
Click here to read “Happily Ever After,” an article on a beautiful house she designed in Virginia.
When I graduated from college and started decorating my first apartment.
After meeting with client in their home and talking about needs, wants, and style, I take all the info back to my studio and mull it all over… I like to pull fabrics that feel right for the project to get inspired. I nail down a floorplan and then start to visualize the space coming together. Once I have an idea of how I want it to feel and what I’m looking for, I begin looking for the right pieces to fill it all in with my assistant designer.
I just finished my first book! It’s been an amazing experience and has really helped me hone in on my style and explain the reasoning behind everything I do in a design project. It’s been sort of a brain-dump of everything I know paired with photos of our firm’s newest work, which I’m so excited to share!!
There have been so many because you’re always changing and growing but I’d have to say starting a blog… I had no idea that the blog would become such a big part of my life and business. The friendships I’ve made are lifelong ones and I gained so much self-confidence through the blog and the really kind readers who have reached out over the years. It really helped launch my career and helped with getting published which has been very good for our business.
I’m working on some really exciting renovations/ whole home projects in the city… I love working on houses from the ground up like that. We also have a wonderful core group of clients who we are always working with, going room-by-room throughout their homes. We are also working on a couple of upcoming design showhouses which are a lot of fun!
Well, the book will be coming out this Fall (Habitat: the Field Guide to Decorating) at which time I’ll also be launching a Fall collection for my fabric line. Both showhouses will be featured in print magazines this Fall… I’m hoping that in the future we’ll be taking on more from-the-ground-up projects in new and exciting locations… I’d love to do a beach house, which would be a first for me.
For life…For loving my family and for being excited about the little things and finding fun in the every day. Hopefully for being caring and having some wisdom.
In my career… For “getting” my clients and creating homes that are deeply personal and loved… As someone who makes the design process fun and organized and enjoyable for everyone- both clients, my own employees, and the other businesses involved in any project. For being honest and forthright.
Have your work professionally photographed asap, even when you think you can’t afford it. It’s the best investment.
Oh so many!! But here are a few: Darryl Carter, Tom Scheerer, Peter Dunham
Honestly, I’ve been really lucky to have some dream clients… They are kind, fun, creative, opinionated, trusting, and open-minded.
I’m not sure who my dream client would be in an actual person but those are his or her attributes. I think it would be a lot of fun to work with someone in a creative industry other than my own- a musician, an actor, artist etc.
Relaxing on a deserted beach with my family… Somewhere near some really great food and drinks.
I’m really hyper-focused… When things get really busy with work I can get tunnel vision and I have trouble shutting down work thoughts at the end of the day. I have to make a really conscious effort not to check email on nights and weekends so that I’m fully there and available for my family.
Being alone somewhere in nature with my family…. Reading outside… Cooking a good meal with a glass of wine and eating it outside. Dancing with friends in our kitchen.
HaHa..Maybe “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz
Paintings of old men, botanicals, pretty stones
I’m not sure it would be considered a trick but I really love layering rugs… A natural fiber rug (like seagrass jute or sisal) underneath of a vintage rug is a favorite thing of mine.
Washington, DC has always held a special place in my heart. The summer after I graduated from college, I worked in the Special Events department of the National Gallery and fell in love everything DC had to offer. Being in the gallery after hours without the crowds was divine. I could experience the Matisse cutouts with just a guard present and could enjoy the Calder mobile in the grand foyer with not another soul in sight. At night, we would take it as much culture as we could ranging from attending free concerts on the Mall to experiencing my favorite dive…the now defunct New Vegas Lounge.
The latest Peachy issue is all about this great city. As I was working on my Interiors article about Lauren Liess, she was in the midst of her final photo shoot for her book Habitat due out this fall, in the midst of a MAJOR installation, and preparing for the birth of her fourth child.(Welcome to the world Baby Gisele!) I was in awe of her unending creative talent which not only included interior design, but also textile design and writing her amazing blog Pure Style Home. Be sure to read the entire Washington DC Peachy issue by clicking here.