Creating a spa experience at home

It’s quite extraordinary what happens when you go to the spa. The moment you walk in, the world drifts away and you forget about what has (or will) happen that day. You just focus on relaxing and recharging. Sadly, once you leave, everything seems to have become even more chaotic while you were at the spa and that relaxed feeling begins to melt away.

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Nothing says Thanksgiving like a fine place setting!

I am so excited that Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Between traveling to Las Vegas and High Point to go to market, announcing our Boulevard Show House, the Laura U Team being recognized at this year’s ASID awards and working with such amazing clients this year, we have much to be thankful for! It’s been a whirlwind so I am looking forward to gathering around the dinner table with friends and family to really spend some time.

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How to use art to liven up a space

One of the things about being a designer is that I’m always rearranging, tweaking and changing up the look of a space…trying to find new ways to make the space feel more personal and lively. Though pillows, rugs or a new coat of paint can definitely change the vibe of the room, art can be even more impactful. Art plays a supporting role and a room isn’t complete without it.

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My latest design crush!

Seeing brand new designer collaborations first hand at High Point Market is definitely one of the highlights for me. Meeting the creative genius behind the collection is icing on this designer cake! This past market (Fall 2017) I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Thomas Pheasant about his new collection for Baker furniture. Mr. Pheasant is not only an award-winning interior designer, he’s internationally recognized for his elegant and thoughtful furniture collections, which are a contemporary interpretation of classic design principles.

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Trend Alert: Lilac is the new Blush

When you think of feminine colors, shades of pink are one of the first colors that come to mind. For quite a while now, millennial pink has been a hot color in the design world. But I feel the winds of change a-blowin’ and I’m calling it: This season I’m predicting that lilac is the new blush!

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Powerful Color Combo: Oranges and Blues

Whether we’re painting walls, upholstering furniture or adding accessories, color is one of our favorite ways to set our interiors apart. But as much as we love classic color combos like black & white or jewel tones, we often opt for the more unexpected and playful combination of orange and blue hues. Now it may seem like an odd pairing, but I assure you it’s a marriage made in color heaven.

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Our favorite ready-made sofas for small spaces!

Small spaces can often put you an interior design quagmire. Reconciling the space you are given with your aesthetic desire can be tough! When you don’t have the time to design and then produce a custom piece, you are destined to purchase “off-the-shelf”. Avoid the search headaches with our favorite ready-made sofas that keep things chic when you don’t have time to customize!

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Round up: our favorite tile trends

You can expect to find tile on walls and floors in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. What should be unexpected is the way you apply them: creatively! It’s one of the easiest materials to maintain and the fact that they come in more finishes, shapes and sizes than we can count makes them a designer’s dream. There are so many exciting things happening in the tile world right now that we needed some one-on-one time with Miguelina Veras of La Nova Tile. Here, she shares the inside scoop on all the latest tile trends.

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It’s all in the details: our love affair with crown moulding

When it comes to design, there is always something more than what meets the eye. Whether it’s opening up the room or making it feel more intimate, every item has a practical and visual function. It’s proof that when it comes to design, it’s all about the details. Let’s take moulding and trim for example. Practically speaking crown moulding is used to cap a wall, but visually it adds depth and dimension to the space and makes a huge impact.

white crown moulding adds some gorgeous detail to this living room

Play with proportions

Moulding and trim can be used to add dimension, separation, and intimacy to the space. Traditional moulding and trim profiles like crown moulding and baseboards give the wall a visual starting and ending point, which makes the ceiling closer. It also protects the ceiling and floors from damage.

crown moulding adds details of elegance to this dining room

But don’t be afraid to use moulding and trim to divide the space up in interesting ways though. A chair railing on the wall creates a horizontal line. Visually, it separates the top from the bottom and practically, it protects the wall finish from potential furniture damage. Add a skylight feel to your ceiling by using moulding to create different sections.

colorful crown moulding adds luxury to this bedroom

detailed crown moulding makes this office space super modern and interesting

Add dimension

A more modern way to use moulding and trim is around doors. Using casing around a door adds visual dimension. It creates an almost mysterious and secretive entrance to the space, leaving the person wondering what they’ll find behind the door.

crown moulding and trim are a great way to add interest to a wall and door

Door Casing: An entry door at 160 West 12th Street, part of the Greenwich Lane, designed by Thomas O’Brien and Aero. Photography by Pieter Estersohn.

crown moulding and trim are a great way to compliment a bold ceiling

The color of the moulding and trim is also a way to make the space feel different. Painting the moulding the same color as the wall makes the room appear larger. It hides imperfections and gives the room a very polished feel. For a more artistic and defined feel, paint the moulding and trim a bold color. It’s fun way to add a whimsical touch to the room.

crown moulding and trim are a fun way to add some whimsical details to room

Finishing Touch

One of our other favorite ways to use it is on your kitchen cabinets. Though usually forgotten about the edge of your cabinets is the perfect place for showing off that little something extra. To create a clean, finished look opt for a shaker-style trim. A Victorian style gives the kitchen a bit of European flair, while a country style moulding gives the space a homier feel.

monochromatic trim and crown moulding give this vanity a European flair

Shaker style kitchen cabinets: by Caitlin Creer and Christopher Scott Cabinetry

simplistic crown moulding and trim give a space a finished look

For us, all the little details make your space complete. They’re what take the look of your room up an extra notch so it feels truly personalized and Currently Classic. Moulding and trim is definitely something that can add impact to a space in a very subtle or dramatic way. For more design inspiration, you can follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.

~The Laura U Team

Laura U means Classically Current!

Classically Current© describes the luxurious livability Laura Umansky incorporates into all of her interiors – spaces that are grand, but also grounded. It is the careful balance of a playful and whimsical aesthetic that is balanced, sophisticated and refined. Laura U’s designs – which ultimately represent a unique collaboration with each client – create well-tailored, inviting environments that are, above all, unforgettable. Laura U Interior Design adapts the Classically Current© style to fit each client’s individual taste in a variety of homes.

At Laura U we believe strongly in providing our clients with warm and welcoming luxury. The rooms we design for homeowners are livable yet elevated. As a firm, we are highly collaborative. The design team accommodates client preferences while maintaining a strong design concept.


I believe strongly in providing my clients with warm and welcoming luxury. The rooms my team and I design for homeowners are livable yet elevated. Collaboration is key and sharing my interior design inspirations helps clients craft their vision. Of course, it also lets me rave about my favorite design styles!

I am and always have been an advocate for a “classically current” style that, while evergreen, provides a timely presence to any room. Though I tailor each experience to every client for a unique collaboration, I secretly live for those small touches that balance whimsy and sophistication! But “classically current” isn’t a limiting phrase by any means.

Whether you’re looking for a mid-century sofa in a distinct fabric, that perfect statement mirror, or something else entirely – there’s a timely yet timeless piece out there for you.

 

Classics for Any Room

 

Classically Current is expressed in this black and white kitchen

 

This high rise kitchen is a prime example of what I love about the “classically current” style. Notice the detailing of the marble, white walls, and rich leather chairs. Balanced against these elements you have the dark cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and — of course — the gold touches.

Maybe it reminds you of your favorite haunt in New York City or a classic Parisian pied-a-terre? It may mean something different to everyone depending on personal experiences. No matter the style of kitchen you want (galley, cook’s, open, etc), this concept of using neutral color palettes and warm materials with punchy design elements in your current artistic zeitgeist never goes out of style.

Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes of any house: the living room!

 

Eclectic, But Simple

 

Classically Current designs are used in this calming, neutral living room

 

You can also apply this mentality to your living room!

As an example of classically current style, this Boho modern living room employs some similar features to the kitchen. Notice the crisp white? But there are clear differences.

The wood-work, metalwork, and natural woven lounge chairs add another layer of personality. The clean walls keep things light and bright and the blending of materials grants a modern feel without adding weight to the room. The finishes on the overhead accents are brushed copper which is a great alternative to antiqued or brushed gold. There are so many different kinds of materials and textures at work in this room, but none of them fight each other. That is the beauty of classically current styling and another reason why I love our design philosophy so SO much.

 

Minimalist Drama

 

Classically Current entry with black and white tile

Doesn’t everyone love a fabulous foyer?

After all, it’s the very first space your guests see when they enter your home. This is the spot to plant your feet and make a firm statement.

While your eyes are automatically drawn to the stellar floor pattern in this gorgeous Houston foyer, other moments in the room stand apart as well. If you’ve noticed the trend of mixed materials, fresh white walls, and metal accents, you’re grasping the concept of the “classically current” design philosophy!

One thing to note, minimalist does not equal boring. But it does mean that everything ins thoughtfully placed and has a specific function.

 

Color is your friend, really!

 
Classically current design with neutrals, navy and metallic

At this point, you might be thinking: is “classically current” style ALL about white and metal? Short answer: definitely not!

Our clients built this beautiful custom home in The Woodlands, Texas and we created this living room in the “classically current” mode. While the home is not inherently contemporary in style (the architecture is more traditional) our clients admire and love the contemporary interior design. Here, we make these two intersecting styles work! We showcase how we use color by placing it as a grounding neutral (the modern rug) and then inject key elements like the mid-century modern Barcelona bench in Pony and the natural stacked stone on the fireplace. The key to this strategy is in balance.

I can go on for days about our Classically Current philosophy so, for more ideas on designing with this in mind, I’ve got you covered on our socials. The Laura U blog has an entire tag dedicated to “classically current” because…well, it is my jam!

XO|LU