Alexandra Lauren Design

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At Alexandra Lauren Designs, our interior designers we will work with you to transform any space in your home, office, restaurant, or roof top terrace to entirely alter the way it is perceived, felt, appreciated and lived in.  At Alexandra Lauren Designs we believe life is to be celebrated! Our party styling services will take the hassle out of your next soirée, and help to deliver your extra special message down to the finest details.  

 

We carefully design our spaces and hand select our products from around the world with an eye for craftsmanship, and attention to the smallest details.  We understand that the artifacts in your home are not just objects, but stories... Be sure to visit our indoor and outdoor furniture gallery and select home decor items. 

 

Filtering by Tag: Before and After

Before and After: Grey and White Kitchen with Marble & Shell Backsplash, Oh My!

Our objective in redesigning this kitchen was to highlight my client’s personal style. Our main goal was to lighten and brighten the space. By moving the sub zero fridge on this elevation we were able to create symmetry and a beautiful focal point by centering a new range hood. This also allowed us to get the range off of the island. We added a beautiful new farm style sink to the island, and extended the island to a whopping 6’ X 9’. We had an expansive space to work with!

This side of the island features a Kohler farm style sink, a pull out trash can concealed on the left, and a dishwasher on the right.

This side of the island features a Kohler farm style sink, a pull out trash can concealed on the left, and a dishwasher on the right.

We chose a washed light grey for the island to offer a contrast and a sense of grounding to the space.  Hoods are the jewelry of the kitchen, and we chose to match the island with this hood.

We chose a washed light grey for the island to offer a contrast and a sense of grounding to the space. Hoods are the jewelry of the kitchen, and we chose to match the island with this hood.

Before and After of the new hood elevation. Moving the fridge allowed us to take the range off of the island and create a nice center focal point on this back wall.

Before and After of the new hood elevation. Moving the fridge allowed us to take the range off of the island and create a nice center focal point on this back wall.

In order to create a beautiful hood along the wall where the fridge used to be, we moved the refrigerator to the center of this wall. We used a sub-zero panel ready refrigerator to make this wall clean, contemporary and more symmetrical. A pair of pantry cupboards flank the fridge.

In order to create a beautiful hood along the wall where the fridge used to be, we moved the refrigerator to the center of this wall. We used a sub-zero panel ready refrigerator to make this wall clean, contemporary and more symmetrical. A pair of pantry cupboards flank the fridge.

Pull out storage pantries on either side of a dry pantry appliance, maximize dry food storage.

Pull out storage pantries on either side of a dry pantry appliance, maximize dry food storage.

We kept a second sink, but elevated the space by taking all of the new shaker style doors to the ceiling. The dishwasher was moved to the right hand side of the new main farm style kitchen sink on the island.

We kept a second sink, but elevated the space by taking all of the new shaker style doors to the ceiling. The dishwasher was moved to the right hand side of the new main farm style kitchen sink on the island.

Centering the range under a new hood allowed us to elongate the island. Sets of drawer stacks keep the new island space functional and visually stream lined. I’m in love with this lucite hardware!

Centering the range under a new hood allowed us to elongate the island. Sets of drawer stacks keep the new island space functional and visually stream lined. I’m in love with this lucite hardware!

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We used a Marrakesh White Marble With Shell Backsplash

We used a Marrakesh White Marble With Shell Backsplash

Glass upper cabinets fitted with dimmable lighting add an airiness to the space.

Glass upper cabinets fitted with dimmable lighting add an airiness to the space.

We painted the existing built in seat white, as well as the coffered ceilings and existing bead-board to lighten and brighten the space. We removed the pre-existing seat back cushion and borrowed throw pillows from another room in the house to add a splash of color to this transformed space. A stunning chandelier centers this dining cove.

We painted the existing built in seat white, as well as the coffered ceilings and existing bead-board to lighten and brighten the space. We removed the pre-existing seat back cushion and borrowed throw pillows from another room in the house to add a splash of color to this transformed space. A stunning chandelier centers this dining cove.

Style Ninja, Take Your Aim

by Guest Blogger, Lisa Calef

Creating a dream home is exciting, but translating a vision into reality takes effort – and that is sometimes a dispiriting process.  I have twice owned homes I believed were within my capacity to stylishly curate, sans professional expertise, and twice I was wrong.

Mounted wallpaper panels as art in MT bath remodel by Jennifer

Mounted wallpaper panels as art in MT bath remodel by Jennifer

 

My first effort was a trendy mid-century perched in the hills of Portland, and my second a darling log cabin at the edge of a lake.  Though poles apart on the genre wheel, I had carefully done my research to be sure I was acquiring homes with the architectural significance I desired as the backdrop of my life.  And home shopping was great fun!  I relished wandering the rooms and grounds of other peoples’ homes, contemplating their design choices and savoring their style.  At turns, I would admire the chic or admonish the errors, gathering inspiration and visualizing my life evolving in a new space. 

 

Tragically, the fun stopped right there.  Move in day arrived and it was all too clear:  the imagined felicity of decorating my new home was colliding with the avalanche of evidence that I had no idea what I was doing.  After a great many sleepless nights, I had to accept that I was out of my depth – that creating truly beautiful interiors requires real skill.  Overwhelmed, I formulated an ethos to guide my style-weary soul.

 

Three sensible reasons to hire a decorator:

 

1)    If the aesthetics of your space really matter to you and you want a particular outcome, hire a designer

2)    If you have a budget and you can’t afford to make mistakes, hire a designer

3)    If you enjoy a collaborative process, hire a designer

 

When I bought my Portland home, I was utterly confident – brimming with zeal.   I wanted a certain look that I was sure I could accomplish with what I already owned and a little imagination, so I took to the graph paper and sketched a plan for each room.  When the furniture arrived I directed according to my space plan, but the results lacked panache.  I had failed to account for the probability that furniture and accessories bought for one home would simply refuse to live in another.  (How can a pillow defy you?  But it does!)  The contours were too disparate.  It was like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. 

 

Oh, did I try.  I spent weeks styling different arrangements.  This, of course, led to nightly bottles of wine while I destroyed perfectly pristine sheet rock moving art and smacking things around . . . hanging it higher, then lower, then behind the sofa . . . no wait, what about over the bed . . . I was out of control.  After a month, crestfallen and with badly damaged walls, I had to admit: I cannot sort this out.  I need a designer.  

 

But the cost, my husband fumed!  I had to talk him off the ledge; paying a professional is a strategic expense that insures against outright disaster.   The decorator’s wisdom was evident at the first meeting when she told me:  do not buy anything “off plan.”  This, it turns out, is kind of like being on a diet, which is basically wretched, but also a kind of relief.  It became her task to source the right pieces.  In my design hysteria, I had been scouring magazines, books and blogs searching for inspiration, and this had led to erratic acquisitions, anything I fancied – mirrors, tchotchke and way too many period lamps.  In the quest to decorate my home, I was behaving like a food restricted maniac, except that instead of pinching cookies for my coffee, I was bingeing at Design Within Reach. 

 

My decorator put an end to this and mercifully plugged the money drain.  She was able to cultivate ground rules for my shopaholic creativity and formulate a plan.  Together we decided what we could re-purpose and what needed to go.  The net result:  savings.  Designers add a layer of cost, but the money saved not buying things you don’t love and can’t use allows you to hire a partner who can bring the surety of a fitting outcome. 

Detail of wallpaper panels in MT

Detail of wallpaper panels in MT

 

Acknowledging what could be accomplished with competent help, I shifted attention to my Christmas cabin nestled in the woods of Montana.  My log home had been particularly difficult to style.  I had owned it for several years and had gotten quite used to its existing state, largely unchanged since it was built.  With storybook charm, I grew attached to all things red and plaid.  The more woodsy a vignette appeared, the more I felt it must have grown into the floorboards and hence “could not be altered.”   Again, I was wrong! 

 

Bathroom Design. Alexandra Lauren Design

I began with something I felt I could manage and had the old pine floors refinished.  They turned out so beautifully that for a time, I didn’t even want furniture to come back inside.  I just plunked two folding chairs down in front of the TV and opened a bottle.  Rustic Minimalism seemed like a thing!  But the furniture piled on the porch didn’t fit the woodland vibe and was also in danger of being eaten by raccoons.  Decisions had to be made.  Wiser now, I knew I needed guidance and called my neighbor, Jennifer Wright, of Alexandra Lauren Interiors.   An accomplished local designer, and kindred cabin dweller, she understands the power of plaid.   Repurposed Rustic emerged as she eliminated clutter that stole the show from the glimmering lake outside the windows, expanding interior vistas and illuminating the view.

 

Bathroom Design. Alexandra Laure Interiors.jpeg

One piece at a time, we brought the furniture back.  Taking cues from the habits of my lifestyle, she began making suggestions for altered layouts, grabbing pieces from other rooms and swapping out dated bits that were not adding any spice.  Items I did not think could live together began to sing in harmony, and I began to trust her instincts as I refined my own.  This is collaboration that works.  

Alexandra Lauren Interiors. Bathroom Design. Reclaimed Wood.  Reclaimed wood in bathroom.

A designer need not supplant your own ideas, but she can edit in a way that a homeowner often cannot.  She knows when the tableau is complete.  When we fall in love with the beauty of our space, it can be difficult to say “no.”  But with everything beloved, nothing stands out.  Design Rule number one must be:  If it looks better with one less thing, you have to get rid of that thing.  Style-Ninjas definitely police our indulgent impulses! 

 

Still, my cabin-cousin was open to suggestions because she understood that repurposing older things adds joy for a homeowner and layers of emotional texture.  When the cedar planks came off my weathered dock, I knew those old boards had value and I wanted to use them as wainscoting for a bathroom remodel.  My idea and my designer’s know-how resulted in a collaboration that produced a showcase master bathroom and the reuse of perfectly good trimmed up wood.  Eco-chic is on trend!

The vanity and tub surround are re-purposed from old cedar dock wood.

The vanity and tub surround are re-purposed from old cedar dock wood.

Do not fear:  using a decorator doesn’t mean you don’t have good taste or a sense of style!  You do!  But the discernment and distance a designer can bring will save you hours of agony – and piles of dollars.  With my three guidelines in mind, my home smartening projects provided an outcome I loved, at a cost I could manage, and threaded the joy of creating a sacred space – a life to cherish – in a home that reflects my heart.

 

At Home Memphis Midsouth: June

 

A Chat with Interior Designer Alexandra Lauren

  •  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
owner’s personality.

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.

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When refreshing a home, what do you do with
existing furnishings?
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
spacious.

 

Interior Designer, Jackson TN, Alexandra Lauren.JPG

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.

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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.

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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

Tennessee & Hong Kong Studios Contact:

Email:  AlexandraLauren@me.com          Phone:  480.622.2828  

Visit our Jackson, Tennesse Showroom! 195 Carriage House Drive, Jackson TN 38305

Arizona, Montana Studios Contact:
Email: JWrightInt@aol.com           Phone: 602.319.6026