Alexandra Lauren is an interior designer working in Hong Kong and the US, from her design firm Alexandra Lauren Design. Alexandra transforms homes, offices and restaurants to completely alter the way they are perceived. She expertly sources products and furniture from around the world, with an eye for craftsmanship and quality materials. She is also an expert at party styling, offering bespoke services to clients that want a hassle free soirée. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Alexandra Lauren.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
My personal design style would be best described as rustic and refined. I love antiquated pieces that tell a story, mixed with fresh modern design. When I am designing for clients however, I strive to create a space that will emphasize their personality. It is important to me to creatively reflect the individual style of the person, family or business I am designing for.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
Every project starts with a site visit and design consultation on location. This can also be done online via webcam or by looking at photographs. Once we have established the clients goal for their space I go to the drawing board. I will first provide a collection of images and sketches in a mood board to visually convey a cohesive theme and direction I would like to take. This will include products, textures, wall colors suggestions, fabrics, unique furnishings and usually custom sketches. This allows for collaboration between the client and myself. Once we have established a "go ahead" I let the client sit back, relax, and I get down to the technical details to pull together the big reveal!
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most? [And why?]
My mother is one part of the Alexandra Lauren Interior team. She is absolutely the source of my inspiration. I watched her for hours at the drafting table as a little girl. I remember "copying her" while coloring in coloring books and telling everyone I wanted to be a designer when I grew up. I moved to China when I was 22 where i was designing private label for Target, housewares for Shabby Chic, and home accessories for Tracy Porter. It was my mother who inspired me to branch out on my own. My mother took me to listen to key note speaker Barbara Barry who I had the honor of meeting at the Phoenix Designer center, and it was her speech that pushed me over the cusp of the decision to branch out on my own. Listening to Barbara I felt like I was listening to my own thoughts, which really solidified I needed to take the the leap and in 2008 Alexandra Lauren Design was born in Hong Kong! I am now blessed to work with my mother on interiors projects around the world. We coorespond daily and I don't think there is a project that either of us have worked on in the last eleven years that we haven't consulted one another on.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired? [Why does this work so well for you?]
I never know what will still me and spark an idea. I collect inspiration in nature, travel, people and in particular my clients. I love to create an environment that highlights their individual personality. The home, just as the clothes we wear are an extension of our personalities. Our special objects, heirlooms and treasures tell our life story. I love adding volume and turning up my clients life story stylistically and functionally.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
"There isn't an elevator to success, you have to take the stairs." I turned moving to China at the age of 23 and living in a factory dormitory with cardboard over the windows, with yellow running water into an opportunity. Sticking it out and working hard was the decision that has made all of the difference to me. Within two years I was able to design four dinnerware collections for Target Home in the United States. The reward was walking through the dinnerware aisle on a visit home to the US and seeing all of my collections take up an entire aisle in the store. Seeing my dinnerware designs in The Great Indoors, and other major retailers in the US and Canada. It was fun bit I knew there was nothing glamorous behind it. Hard work, determination and a positive outlook make great things happen. Working hard to earn something makes it taste that much sweeter.