At Home Memphis Midsouth: June
- June 1, 2016
- Category Home Trends
- Comments Off on A Chat with Interior Designer Alexandra Lauren
Text by Jordana White | Photography by Kristen Elizabeth Photography
Interior designer Alexandra Lauren knows clients want high impact
design, but they don’t always want to start from scratch
when it comes to redecorating. She recently sat down with At
Home Memphis & Mid South to share the design tips and secrets
that helped her update client Ann-Marie Kelley’s Jackson, TN home.
What was the overall objective for this home update?
During my initial consultation I found that the house felt dark and
dreary, despite its rich color scheme. It didn’t reflect my client’s sunshiny
spirit. My goal with Ann-Marie, and all clients, was to lighten and
refresh the overall design scheme while creating a home that’s true to the
How can natural light freshen up your home?
Window treatments make a HUGE difference. When I started redoing
Ann-Marie’s living room, her windows had both blinds and draperies.
We moved the living room draperies into the kitchen, letting us scrap
those blinds, too.
Blinds are easy and practical to use, but, even when fully
open, they limit the amount of light that comes into a space. To me, they’re pretty much dust-collecting shelves that block your window. More often than not, they are heavy to lift and tend to have mishaps with lever mechanisms. Simply put; I am not a fan!
When we took away the living room blinds, things
immediately got brighter. Next, we added new rods that
extended well above the window frame and custom draperies that ran 10 inches past each window edge, creating the illusion of wider, taller windows. In my opinion, decorative yet functional draperies are always the way to go: they allow a window to let in all of the natural light during the day but can still be drawn for privacy as needed.
When refreshing a home, what do you do with
You don’t have to scrap all your furniture to make a
high-impact transformation. Simple tweaks can change
the look and feel of a room, meaning you can purchase
fewer new items. In Ann-Marie’s home, I changed the
hanging direction of existing artwork from horizontal
to vertical, highlighting her ultra-high ceilings. We kept
her existing console, adding two candle-shaped wall
sconces for relaxation, visual symmetry and to help
frame the artwork. Unfortunately, her rug wasn’t that
big, which was a problem—an undersized rug makes a
room feel smaller. We brought in a larger rug that pulled
in hues from her artwork, amping them up a notch.
We replaced a standard fan light fixture with a stylish
two-tiered ceiling pendant, adding light and drawing
attention to those tall ceilings. The result was a brighter
room that, with minimal spending, felt endlessly more
What simple change can readers make to create
a similarly impactful update?
One of my favorite updates is swapping out basic
master bathroom mirrors for elegant pairs packed with
personality. You can completely transform a room with
a signature piece that grabs your attention and upgrades
the entire space’s style.
What is your number one rule for home design?
The devil is in the details. Keeping a consistency
throughout the home creates harmony and flow. I
picked up the nail trim detail on Ann-Marie’s console
and carried it through to her new kitchen barstools and
her ceramic coffee table vases. The nail trim detailing,
photography of running horses and a sculptural horse
figurine added a hint of cowgirl swagger and style
throughout the home.
Alexandra Lauren’s design career started in Hong Kong in
2003 where she designed dinnerware for Target,
The Great Indoors and many other
midtier retailers and department stores for
export to North America, Europe and Australia.
She recently relocated her Hong Kong, and
Phoenix, AZ, based interior design and event
styling studio to Jackson, TN. Together with her
husband, Lauren opened a cut and sew facility
to manufacture her Proudly Made in America
ready-made drapery line (www.AlexandraLauren.
com). She has been honored to work on a wide
range of interior design commissions including
both commercial and residential projects around
the world. Alexandra Lauren Interiors is the
recent recipient of the Best of Houzz 2016 Award
for both design and customer service