Design Details: An Inside Look at Our Aspen Window Vignette

If you’ve been following along on Instagram this summer, then you already know how much I love Aspen this time of year. I recently returned from a month in this Colorado hotspot, and I am feeling refreshed. Endlessly blue skies and 70s temps have a wonderful effect on both body and mind! While I was there, I was able to get in some good design time, as well as contribute to a commercial design space. Today, I want to take a deeper dive into the design details of my Mountain Modern window vignette at Isberian Rug Co.

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Interior Design in an Encinco CA front foyer, gallery wall by Laura U

The Do’s and Don’ts of Decorating a Rental

In Houston, where many energy execs spend half the year traveling, corporate rentals are a tricky design challenge. Temporary spaces often mean restrictions on what you can install, what you can paint, and how much space you have for your furnishings. From permanent pied-à-terres to short-term residences, we’ve helped clients transform their rentals into something unique and stylish. But what if your rental is really short term or the limitations are restrictive? Today on the Journal, Diandra Stieger of shares her expert advice on the Do’s and Don’ts of rental decorating.

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How to Shop Vintage Stores Like an Interior Designer

When I shop for vintage or antique pieces, what I’m looking for is that spark, something I can connect with on a personal level. I find that many of my clients do this naturally. In their travels or throughout the generations, they have effortlessly acquired beautiful collections that fit seamlessly into their homes. But for some, this isn’t such an easy task.

I have made some fantastic finds over the years. Today, I want to share with you how I shop vintage stores and give you a peek into my favorite boutiques.

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Laura U picks pumpkins at Buchanans

Let’s Go to the Pumpkin Patch!

It’s Fall Ya’ll!
When I think about the fall season, some of the things that come to mind are the leaves changing colors, cozying up by the fire with a glass of wine, and lots of pumpkins! Though the leaves don’t really change around here, there are certainly times when it gets cold enough for a fire and we certainly have a lot of pumpkins…which are perfect for making your home feel more like fall.
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September Obsessions

Can you believe that we are in October?! The team is really excited about the arrival of fall and it finally starting to feel cooler during the day. We’re all definitely looking forward to the cozy weather and being able to wear our favorite fall fashions.

This month the team began work on some new client projects and I had the opportunity to head out to California for a few days for a site visit – so exciting! One of my favorite things about starting a new project is getting to uncover our client’s story and finding unique ways to bring their story to life through their home’s design.

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The 5 Key Elements of Iconic Art Deco Design

When anyone mentions the 1920s, The Great Gatsby and the decade’s signature Art Deco interior design style come to mind. The aesthetic’s visual glamour and bold geometric patterns influenced everything from architecture to fashion to interior design. New materials like chrome, steel, and gold were transforming the country, and they took a central role in the Art Deco style. Known as Arts Décoratifs in French, this design style is synonymous with luxury and glamour.

The look of Art Deco design is elegant and bold. It utilizes geometric shapes and patterns, exotic materials, and symmetry to make a big, dramatic statement. It marries traditional luxury with over-the-top glamour, creating one of the most iconic interior design styles of all time.

Incorporate a few key elements of this style for a timeless and glamorous touch to any interior.

Art deco inspired decorative pillows from Laura U Interior Design

Color Palette Ideas for Art Deco Interior Design

The color palettes are full of contrast. Think black and white accented with metallics and anything reflective. For a softer look, pair creams and beiges with deep sapphire, golden saffron, rubies, deep emerald, and other pigmented jewel tones. In the master suite of the Portland Residence, we developed a color palette of gray, blue, and warm copper to create a rich space. Then we added metallic and sunburst details for the signature Art Deco look.

Materials for Art Deco Interior Design

Art Deco design uses expensive materials, like gold, chrome, mirrors, lacquer, rare woods, and exotic skins on everything from furniture to accessories. Glass is frequently used on table tops, accessories, and sculptural art pieces. Marble and ebony are popular materials for flooring and furniture, especially those pieces with in-laid designs.

5 Elements of Art Deco Interior Design

The combination of rich colors, striking geometry, and unique finishes are still as luxurious and glamorous today as it was in the 1920s. The unrestrained style and use of contrasting elements creates a timeless, sophisticated design. If you’re looking to add some Art Deco style to your home, here are a few of my favorite ways to elevate your space.

Custom geometric black and white art deco inspired floor design from Laura U

1. Bold Geometric Patterns

The Art Deco style is a celebration of lines. Stepped forms, chevrons, and repetitive geometric shapes are popular because they symbolize the advances in technology that were taking place. Ziggurat patterns, like the one above, emphasize the style’s focus on sharp edges, symmetry, and the striking contrast between black and white.

In the hallway of our client’s Willowick residence, a stunning black and white tile floor makes dramatic statement. Below, a Houston high rise gets a glamorous makeover with Kelly Wearstler’s mosaic tile collection for Ann Sacks.

Black and white art deco inspired powder bathroom from Laura U Interior Design

2. Metallic Finishes

With the introduction of new materials, natural and organic textures were replaced with smooth, polished ones. While today’s modern styles center on warm woods and organic shapes, Art Deco is decidely the opposite with its orthogonal lines and glimmering surfaces. Metallic finishes like gold, silver, stainless steel, and chrome add an elegant sheen.

Art Deco interior design - Sweeping curved staircase with geometric marble floors

3. Over-Exaggerated Proportions

The Art Deco style has an air of formality and control, yet it seems playful and whimsical at the same time. Large scale casegoods are often paired with accentuated curves.

In our client’s striking entry way, the sweeping curve of the staircase and large pedestal table soften the hard lines of the tile. By releasing this tension, the room feels both dramatic and inviting at the same time.

Art Deco interior dining room design with mirrors and crystal chandelier by Laura U

4. Reflective Surfaces

The 1920s was the age of the machine. Reflective surfaces, like mirrors, chandeliers, or lacquered walls, are seen throughout the Art Deco style. They exude luxury and glamour, while making spaces feel larger and more grand.

In this Buffalo Speedway home, antique mirrors paired with a crystal chandelier, and a glass table give this dining room a sophisticated, cosmopolitan feel. Embellishment is key to mastering this style.

Art Decor design ideas - mirrored accent wall with geometric tile floors by Laura U

5. Animal Prints

Exotic skins or animal prints make a strong, bold, and elegant statement without any fussiness. The neutral color palette of creams, beiges, and tans, pairs beautifully with the traditional Art Deco style polished wood or lacquered furniture. In this powder room, we hit all the high points of the style: exaggerated proportions, geometric patterns, and a stylish animal-print wallpaper.

An animal print rug would look fabulous in a living room or sitting room. A few decorative pillows on a sofa is great way to do the Art Deco style if you have a more understated aesthetic.

Art Deco Interior Design Ideas

The use of contrasting elements, symmetry, and exotic materials is what makes the Art Deco interior design style so iconic and timeless. It’s bold, daring, luxurious, and glamorous. Incorporating one piece from this style adds instant glamour to any space. Layering in a few metallic accessories or a statement mirror adds a bit of drama and livens up a room.

If you like this type of look but want something more subtle, use a softer color palette. Or add a feminine twist by incorporating a curved piece into your art deco design idea. Creating an Art Deco inspired design is all about making a bold statement.

Laura U New Website

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From a young age, I knew I wanted to be an interior designer. Growing up, I spent my time organizing and rearranging the objects in our home. And though I didn’t know it at the time, this exercise taught me how to be intentional and purposeful in my designs.

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