Jo Laurie: Designing Futures
Architecture and interior design have never been more important as numbers of individuals and families being encouraged to stay indoors expand exponentially. We caught up with international designer, Jo Laurie, to find out about what's trending and what has inspired her inspiring and aesthetically breathtaking career.
(above: Truly global, truly talented, Jo Laurie, designer and visionary, chats with GoldrushMagazine.com)
Christina Morrison: "Jo, what trends are you noticing in architecture and interior design at present?"
Jo Laurie: "There has been a closer look into what needs to be included in a home. Many individuals are working from home so designing a functional home office will continue to be a trend. We also see a closer study of ergonomics – the study of people in their working environment. As designers we have to understand how we can design comfortable but productive spaces and use products that aid that design intention. Specifically, we're seeing the following:
· Multi-functional spaces
· Art Deco
· Earth tones / Biophilic design
· Curves / Organic shapes
· Black and white interiors
· Mixed metals
· Engineered environment – mixing technology and nature
and we predict these will continue for the time being."
(above: Jo Laurie designed the interior of this stunning home in Brooklyn, NYC. It features a concrete fireplace). CM: "Has the option of purchasing interior design fittings online impacted on the market in a noticeable way?"
JL: "With the influx of affordable designer dupes and free shipping, it has definitely impacted the field. More individuals would rather buy from sites like Wayfair or Amazon rather than going through a designer or a showroom because it’s easier, but the quality tends to be cheaper. Also there is a lot of what you buy (or think you are buying) versus what you receive, so the best way to ensure quality products is to go through a designer."
CM: "Even if people try to do DIY in Covid, what are the risks involved? Should they consult a professional instead?"
JL: "Yes, they should always consider hiring a professional. The main risk of DIY projects is that individuals don’t always have the ability to scale their own home or visualize in 3D. Additionally, we designers have many years of working with our clients, so, over time, we are able to help identify their needs, lifestyles, time frame and budgets, as each project has a unique scope of works which is unique. We know the market. We know which vendors are worth the money and which ones are purely good examples of PhotoShop."
CM: "Are interior design professionals such as yourself available for online consolation?"
JL: "Yes! With the programs we use, clients can start to visualize and see their spaces in three-dimensional views and renderings. We can scale room dimension with a multitude of apps. We have a lifestyle questionnaire to get know your requirements."
CM: "When you reflect on your fabulous international career, which Top 3 design jobs have inspired you the most?"
JL: "Nylon Saloon Bar – This was one of my first hospitality projects. I was new to the industry and broke the rules on how to do it. I came up with the name “NYLON.” At the time, I was living in NYC and dating a man in London, going back and forth, so that’s how I came up the name and concept. https://www.jolauriedesign.com/2019/08/12/nylon/
I also have to mention the London Candy Store...It was an interesting design challenge. We had to create a space that could transform into any space and use moveable elements, so I wallpapered the ceiling and put the British flag on the floor. All the locations of the brand would have these two elements. https://www.jolauriedesign.com/2019/08/22/the-london-candy-company/
Another design project was the Brooklyn House – Large Residential Project – this was a new construction. I am particularly fond of the ground floor. Loved the fact that the client had no intention of moving for years and wanted a modern green (the color!) kitchen and a open concept layout.
CM: "In terms of designing spaces for women and women’s needs, for example, in curating their home office spaces, what are your Top 5 Design suggestions?"
JL: "Even today, women are still providing a disproportionate amount of child care and running of the home.
So here are my Top 5 Design Suggestions for designing for women and their needs. Let's consider:
THE HOME OFFICE
1.) A desk with a large surface area is essential. Now, more than ever, women are having to multi-task. Overseeing a child’s homework whilst still being logged into their own work computer, is a typical scene for many women at present.
2.) I recommend having more than one functional monitor, because whether it is about looking up that night's dinner menu, or tracking the school supplies, ideally, it should be independent from the main office computer.
3.) Multi-functional areas – my clients over the years have used the home office for a range of tasks, which includes creating a space for gift-wrap materials, crafting and so on. So, I design with this need in mind.
4.) Storage capacity is key. This covers the need for additional space for work as well as secure spaces for important documents. Currently, a lot of clients have designated areas now for work-related materials and home affairs.
5.) Ergonomic chair – specific to their size, it should be set up for the Lady of the House!
(above: Jo Laurie designs spaces with a focus on ergonomic safety and assists her clients in choosing furniture solutions which will translate seamlessly from corporate to home offices.)
CM: "What is the 'Jo Laurie Signature Design Material'?"
JL: "Concrete! Yes, not what people would think of as sexy! However, I have loved using concrete on projects such as the Brooklyn house, the Hamptons house, and Greenwich Village. I feel that is an under-used material that actually has boundless possibilities.
Brooklyn House / Concrete Fireplace (shown at top).
Jo Laurie's treatment of this gorgeous Hamptons Interior includes her signature use of smooth concrete for several surfaces plus hints at her awareness of women's needs in terms of creating multi-purpose areas with oodles of counter-space.
To see more, try these links:
Hamptons House / Concrete Countertop – https://www.jolauriedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/pergament.jpg
Greenwich Village / Concrete Countertop - https://www.jolauriedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FullSizeRender.jpg
(above: New York State of Mind. Jo Laurie designed this Greenwich Village interior and was able to maximise the available space by leading the eye towards the ceiling with eye-catching lighting options, plus plenty of slick surfaces including her signature design material...Concrete!)
CM: "What international options might you and your team consider in terms of accepting freelance projects abroad? Are there locations which appeal to your aesthetic?"
JL: "We would love to be considered for any project globally. In terms of international travel, (in regular times and notwithstanding current restrictions, of course) I have always thought of us all living on a small planet. The design bar has been elevated worldwide and I am constantly impressed by the fantastic projects I'm seeing, worldwide.
Over the past 20+ years, the Jo Laurie Design team has created an extensive portfolio of work located globally and we do not intend to stop. We look at each project uniquely and take into account the varying cultural landscapes, climate, local materials, and most importantly, the client’s needs."
CM: "What sustainability options are you noticing in terms of organic fabric and dyes in home and office interior design? Do you feel that this is a trajectory of the future (as places such as Finland, with a primarily female government, are planning to be close to 100% Sustainability Aligned and largely carbon-neutral within the next 15 years?)"
JL: "There has been a recent push in the interior design and architecture field to create sustainable products and materials and there are good reasons behind it. As designers, we can suggest more sustainable approaches and products to our clients to help eliminate waste, pollution and carbon emissions. I think there will be more products and materials that are not only eco-efficient but also aesthetically pleasing and add character to the design. Currently we are working on a home-ware line that has a 'B corp in Delaware' (which legally allows us to give away 8% of our pre-tax profits to help with the medical needs of the women making our products) and our goal is to create a brand that is 'Luxury for Women by Women.' We will be posting about it on our social media platforms." (Instagram - @jolauriedesign and Facebook – Jo Laurie Design LLC)
CM: "How can people best reach you to arrange a phone call for discussion about their interior design options?"
JL: "You can reach out to us via the following contact information:
Jo Laurie Design website https://www.jolauriedesign.com/
Phone – +1 212.460.9299
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram - @jolauriedesign