So first of all, I want to share this interview with the lovely Lauren Caisley. We met in January this year through the wonderful world of instagram and then Lauren popped into Humphrey Munson in St. Albans for coffee and since then we've drunk a lot more coffee, been to Paris for Maison, tried lots of lovely places to eat in St. Albans and talked endlessly about work, interiors, life, everything. It's been really fun! Actually, I'm very lucky that as well as my amazing friends I've met in more conventional ways - school, uni, neighbours etc, I have an incredible group of friends all over the world who share my love of the world of interiors. It wasn't so long ago in 2012 when I went to the decor8 workshop at Holly Becker's studio in Hannover, I remember my Mum saying to me "so you're going to Germany to meet some girls you met on the internet who also write blogs?!" And now I think of all the places I've been to visit in the world, and all the inspiring people I've met, just because of this blog and social media and it's absolutely amazing. Anyway, I digress (in the usual manner, but still), so - onto Lauren - she set up her interior design practice in the summer of 2015 and is working on residential and commercial projects in Hertfordshire and London. We did a q&a because I thought that would be the best way to introduce her to you guys and I've added some image snippets that I love from Lauren's insta too so you can see what I mean when I say she's got some serious style...
How did you become an interior designer?
My mum always said that I would sit at the top of the stairs and never want to sleep as a child. She would tell me to redecorate my bedroom in my thoughts to go back to sleep – and it worked! Years passed, I redecorated my bedroom hundreds of times, which then turned into physically decorating it over and over and my passion began. I’m a real home bird – I love making a warm cosy space where you can feel at home. I started to really enjoy the psychology behind inviting interiors and since then I’ve just loved everything to do with interior design. I studied Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, followed by a number of years in event management and marketing. I feel that’s where I understand the importance of a great brand with strong depth, and meticulous planning.
What are your top three interior design tips?
Firstly; pick a style or theme which you warm to, don’t feel as though you need to follow the current trend, as it might not be ‘trendy’ in a few years’ time, and the secret to creating an amazing space is to make the design timeless. Secondly, think of the structure and foundations, if you get the walls, floors, hardware and lighting correct then you’re halfway there. If you’re too nervous to use colour on the walls then keep it simple and add personality with interesting flooring such as grey oak in a herringbone pattern or classic vintage tiles in the bathroom. This will add interest which you can then build upon with accessories and styling. Thirdly – focus on space. I always stand in the room and shut my eyes so I can understand the feel of the space. How will you use it, what will you be doing in there? Its' paramount to understand why you will be using the space and how you need it to work for you.
What interiors trend do you wish would go away?
Taupe! OK sure I agree, taupe can be absolutely stunning and it has a strong luxurious look to it plus some great interior designers have built a career on using one colour palette. But I don’t know about you, I feel like it’s time for something new. Luxurious interiors come from the way the space makes you feel, the bed linen used, the use of colour and pattern in accessories and the beauty in simple, timeless, depth created using layered textures and materials.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when redecorating?
For me, lighting is so important. Getting the right lighting and using it correctly can make or break a design. I like to make sure I have every use of light stage possible. For example, spotlights on dimmers plus lamps. Using dimmers means once dark, you can light the space perfectly, automatically creating a luxurious, warm feel. I always use warm white lights instead of blue white lights, its more natural and gives off the glow of candlelight instead of harsh industrial lighting.
What makes for a great client-designer relationship?
Trust, understanding and a natural friendship. Designing someone’s home is a really personal journey, as a designer, I need to understand my clients' lives, what they do with their time, how they live; so I can understand how best to design a space that works for them. A testament to this is that my clients have become great friends, and I now get to watch them on their journey and re-join them to design their next homes as well.
What’s your signature style?
I would say I have a very quintessentially British style. Modern country meets private members club. Darker colours might be ‘hot’ at the moment but I’ve always loved using rich colour and textures to layer a space. My signature style comes from using luxurious natural textures, with a love affair for traditional brass and gold, warm solid woods and traditional wools such as Harris Tweed, tartan or herringbone.
What’s your dream design job?
Something listed of heritage and importance. Growing up in a 16th century cottage, full of bricks and beams, I really enjoy understanding the history behind the building and complimenting the interiors with that. It might be exposing the brick wall while using a lot of glass to create a contemporary use of space or adding a pop of colour to bring in personality and style.
What’s next for LCI?
We had a very busy summer, I’ve just completed two projects which had deadlines 1 week apart and we have two developments on the go. The new website is now live and I feel as a new designer I’m learning every day. It’s been an incredible first year and I’m excited to see what the next one has in store!
You can follow Lauren on insta here and check out her website here.