There is nothing we love more at BFFF than a beautiful home! This gorgeous house designed by Lauren Nicole Designs has us absolutely swooning. With gorgeous details, from a patterned ceiling to the perfect balance of modern and rustic throughout each room, we are feeling the need to redecorate ourselves! We love that this house is mostly neutral, with just a few pops of color to add personality without being overwhelming. Are you ready for some major interior inspiration? Check out the decor below:
Northshore Estate is a 10,000 square foot home located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The homeowners are part of a blended family with five children all under one roof and this house was built to make sure everyone could fit and live comfortably under one roof.
Before: In February of 2015, the homeowners told the Lauren Nicole Designs team their wishes for this space. They never felt “at home” in their house and wanted to get rid of the dark, heavy and dated feeling that it evoked.
After: Lauren Nicole Designs created comfortable elegance for Northshore Estate. With new paint colors, new countertops, and all new furniture and accessories, the home went from dark and dated to current and light in an updated traditional style.
What is it about your business that makes it so unique?
I am a planner, an OCD, Type A, crazy planner, and when that translates to my client’s projects they are overjoyed. I love creating a whole room or whole home plan (when possible) for my clients and then we can work towards that goal over time, as they are ready. My clients rave about knowing what the ‘big picture’ is and having the comfort of working towards the end result at their pace. And in creating that plan the biggest thank you that I receive is when I hear, ‘you listened to me!’, which still surprises me that this comes as a surprise to my clients but it often does! I really dig into their lifestyles along with their personal styles and combine a tailored look for each family and my clients are always amazed by that. So based on their feedback, I would say my ability to plan and work away at a big picture, all while listening closely to what they need and want sets me apart from other designers.
You are always trying to grow as a designer. Was there anything new that you learned as a result from working on these properties?
Yes, I am inspired every day by other artists and simply by my surroundings but I am also challenged daily with each and every job. This whole home project has been my largest and most exciting project to date, so it certainly came with some education. Because these clients put their faith in me after I had proven my knowledge of their taste on a previous home of theirs, I was able to let go and take some risks, design wise, and it really paid off. I pushed the envelope, but did so with precise calculations:) And those design risks paid off big time! They became statement pieces and gave the rooms they are in their own identities. I love creating a WOW and this home certainly houses quite a few. I guess you could say this project taught me to let it go!
Is there any one thing that you love to incorporate into each home you design? And if so, where in these homes could we look for it?
I love making people look up! Addressing the ceiling is one of my favorite things to do in a room. Whether you have a flat ceiling, a tray ceiling or an architecturally interesting ceiling, I love adding to a room by incorporating color or texture onto a ceiling. In the case of this dining room I knew I wanted some pattern on that ceiling and the charcoal grey color set it off beautifully. And that fabulous blinged out orb chandelier is the perfect eye candy when you look up. In the office, this room was an addition to the house so the roof line needed to tie in to the rest of the home. So we left the top open to let in more natural light, then lined all ceiling walls with a painted wood plank to match the trim and outlined the angles with gorgeous cedar beams with a custom stain. The detail of this ceiling makes this room the even more interesting and brightens the small space. It is my favorite feature in the room.
What were some of the challenges you faced after decorating these homes?
In this dining room, the space is so open to the other parts of the main floor that it is visible from a lot of different vantage points so it needed to flow easily yet still hold a powerful identity being a main and formal part of the home. Plus there is only one wall! Therefore simplicity was the key here. The design remained clean and open and the mirror front buffet (with crystal pulls!) is large enough to house a lot of their dining room necessities. In their office space, it is not a huge room so getting everything in there was a bit of a challenge. So we created a cozy sitting room with lots of built in storage so that my clients could have a luxurious retreat off of their master bedroom but it is also a spot for her to get away and stay on top of their very busy (5 kids!) household duties, all while opening the accordion doors and creating a refreshing indoor/outdoor feel.
How do you get a feel for the style your clients are looking for in their homes?
I like to play a design detective when I first meet with a client. This may freak out my current and future clients but I observe their wardrobe to determine their personal style as that is often in line with their design style. I ask a ton of questions and I don’t even need a ton of info back to glean what I need to from them to get a glimpse into their brains. And today with Houzz and Pinterest it is like a digital window into their design dreams, which is fabulous! Now those are insights to take and break down into what parts of those pinned spaces that they like as those can be an overwhelming sites for clients to be perusing but they are certainly helpful references and starting points. I also must learn about how they live in a space. Are there kids, pets, family, friends, what ages, what genders, who does what in the space, what are the traffic patterns, etc. Learning how a room functions, or needs to function, is equally important as figuring out what it needs to look like. Aside from install day, this is my favorite part of the design process.
Can you give us an overall design feel you were really trying to achieve for each of these properties?
This home screams traditional sophistication and it was important to me to make it a current traditional style. My clients are not contemporary style lovers so creating a traditional style that was sleek and in the now yet classic enough to last for years to come was the name of the game here. So the dining room traditional table and oval back chairs was paired with the crystal orb chandelier, which in and of itself is a currently traditional piece. I just love that juxtaposition! In the office the luxury of the home is still evident, while being a comfortable place to use everyday. So to summarize this project I would call it a current traditional comfortably elegant home.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
I am a horse girl. When I was 6 I took my first riding lesson and it quickly became my whole world. Today, the reality of the adult world…work, kids, a city boy husband, all make my farm life just a dream. Therefore I carry it out in my own personal design style. But I do still love a touch of glam and glitter so I like to call my own style, rustic luxe. For example, in my dining room I have a traditional damask wallpaper, a forged iron with wood bead chandelier and a large french canvas with oversized nailhead trim featuring two old english horses in a pastoral setting. I think you should surround yourself with what makes you smile and that style may not fit into one precise category, which is okay, but how you combine your loves is most important. Use precision and calculations to bring your loves together successfully. I would live in an old barn if I could but for now I will be happy with my farm animal art work, cool rustic accessories all combined with luxe upgrades like my linen chesterfield sofa and oversize mercury glass lamps. With two little girls comfort and function are key but this Mama also needs some rustic luxe in her life!
What does the timeline look like to completely redesign the interior of a home, like these?
This project required the removal of all of their old pieces and to paint every square inch of their walls and trim, including the kitchen island and several built ins and all bathroom vanities in the home, changing every light fixture and some countertops. So there were no major structural changes, such as moving walls, but there was a lot of work to be done before we could bring in the new furnishings and then the accessories, the jewelry of the home. Start to finish, this project took about 8 months to plan and execute all of the final details. And I loved every minute of it!
What has been your biggest inspiration for Lauren Nicole Designs?
My family inspires me every day to work hard and put in the long hours that owning your own business requires. I love being a Mom to two little girls and watching them find their own style and how they are becoming little creators themselves is huge motivation to forge ahead everyday. My 5 year old, Finley, has recently started drawing my patterns for my fabrics and has constructed me the most adorable little hand bags! She even drew a rendering of her room down to the crystal detail on her headboard! And Campbell’s love and laughter and warm hugs when I come home are just what this working Mom needs. My design inspiration comes from all over the place! I am inspired simply by a walk on the trail with my family…nature has the most beautiful colors, textures and sounds that any designer could ask for. But I am constantly learning from the incredible talents of other artists and forever trying to learn new things, even if it is just a small styling take away. Our industry is an ever changing world so it takes an evolving perspective to stay fresh and current for my clients. And while that may seem like an exhausting effort at times, how much fun it is to constantly create and bring life to rooms and happiness to homeowners who now find joy in their own spaces. They too inspire me everyday.
How do you see your business growing for years to come?
I love looking forward and am constantly planning my next big feat in my mind. I plan to continue to grow my portfolio by working with new and of course my fabulous repeat clients to create beautifully functional spaces in their homes. But I have big dreams such as a video series, a book….I love to write….possibly a line of fabric inspired by my Finley. I am 33 and feel like I have many more design challenges to tackle and I am beyond excited just thinking about all of the possibilities that are in my future. I just hope that y’all will follow along with me!
Photography for Best Friends For Frosting by: D Randolph Foulds Photography