A big thanks to Darla Guillen at The Houston Chronicle for featuring Laura U Interior Design earlier in the week. We are excited to be chosen as the first designer featured in their four questions series! We were grateful for the opportunity to share some of our latest projects as well as some of our thoughts on design. Here’s the article, and some of the advice we had to share:
4 questions with Houston interior design pro Laura Umansky
This is the first installment in “4 questions,” a series dedicated to Houston’s top interior designers and the lessons they have to share.
Laura Umansky, award-winning president and creative director of Houston’s Laura U Interior Design, may be busy developing her freshly-launched office in Aspen, but the Houston-based design maven took the time to answer some of our questions.
We chose Umansky to kick off this summer series because of her impressive portfolio, which is as diverse and unique as the city’s population.
(Left: Before)[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]
Houston Chronicle: What do you do when a husband and wife have completely different design tastes?
Laura Umansky: This does happen, but we have found it is infrequent. As part of our Classically Current focus, we have a very tight design process. During the discovery phase of our process we look to understand what each homeowner really wants.
We reference inspirations (theirs and ours), look to the style and history of the home, and find a middle ground that suits all of the occupants and the home. Oftentimes it is about choosing your battles!
When we can’t reach an agreement we defer to the style of the home overall and then give each of the occupants a space that is uniquely theirs: a media room or an office or a dressing area.
HC: What was the biggest challenge these projects (pictured above) presented?
LU: Every project has a unique set of requirements and challenges. At Laura U we welcome the challenge! That is what makes a home unique and a stand out.
(In the) Studewood (project), largest challenge was the quick turn-around that the homeowner required. We designed and installed the home in just 12 weeks, and it looks stellar.
[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]The Heights music room was challenging because we hadn’t designed a snake habitat before. That is an entirely different skill set and we pulled the team together to execute this and make it fit seamlessly into their music room.
HC: How do you manage to diversify your design style for different homes?
LU: We do not have a strictly defined design style such as eclectic or shabby chic. We are focused on the homeowner’s style and overarching goals. That said, we do have a guiding design principle that we call Classically Current. We interpret this as a warm and luxurious home that is practical without compromising the design. We reference the past while bringing the home into the now and focus on spaces that are rich, yet grounded. It is the careful balance of an aesthetic that is bold, yet refined, and whimsical, yet sophisticated. We have a unique collaboration with each client to create well-tailored, inviting homes that [/ezcol_1half_end] are, functional, comfortable & above all, unforgettable. By keeping this as our guiding principle, we are able to hone in on our clients style and deliver an interior that is a representation their personalities.
[ezcol_1half]HC: Which Houston home design trends do you dislike?
LU: What I love about Houston is the diversity of this city. From the people to fashion to the homes. It’s awesome how this variety translates to each client bringing his or her own unique and interesting style to the homes we design. Sometimes I dislike that there is no zoning, but most often I actually love that. It is part of Houston’s unique charm.
The individuality and unique aspects of Houston always inspire us. The Chronicle is a paper we read everyday. It is an honor to be featured in a paper so locally beloved, We’re looking forward to the next edition of the four questions series!
We would love to hear from you, what are the design trends you see for summer?
Until Next Time,