Designers Decoded

Behind the Scenes with Lauren Liess

Behind the Scenes with Lauren Liess
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From the looks of Lauren Liess’s Instagram, you might think she is living a slow and bucolic life on her Virginia farm. Chickens wander in and out of their perfectly styled coop, and children run free through fields of grass. You’ll get tips on cutting flowers and a sneak peek at her latest design projects if you’re lucky. Behind all of that, though, is the mind of a master businesswoman at work. Since starting her career, Lauren has been on a rocket shooting straight into the design stratosphere. Not only is she a highly sought-out designer and best-selling author, but she is also now a furniture and art designer. The best part about that? Her collections are launching online exclusively at One Kings Lane.

Lauren’s design ethos, both in these collections and in her design projects, can best be described as down-to-earth. Her interiors are impeccably styled but never fussy. Her furniture collection is designed thoughtfully, and everything looks well loved. Her art edit looks like a treasure trove found deep in the back of a local antiques store. “I feel like that whole philosophy of down-to-earth and relaxed living is one of the big overarching elements of my career,” she says. It is a moniker so fitting that it’s the name of her second book, Down To Earth: Laid-Back Interior for Modern Living.  

Her style embraces lived-in, vintage-inspired interiors. “I feel like you can be happiest when you don’t have to worry about messing things up or it being perfect,” she says. Her philosophy is that if your home is relaxed, then you’re relaxed. This guiding principle is befitting a person who spent half of her life traipsing through the woods in the summer. “I obviously design interiors, but my favorite place to be is outside,” she says. “I feel like it really grounds us.” The designer and mom of five children finds so much inspiration in nature that she turned her current home into a mini working farm. Outside you’ll see raised bed gardens, chickens, and other animals. Inside you’ll find natural materials and vintage touches. “I’m always trying to pull those outside elements into the house,” she says. “Outside elements” such as weathered woods are seen throughout her furniture collection.

Lauren’s Mushroom Study Set brings a bit of the outdoors in.

Lauren’s Mushroom Study Set brings a bit of the outdoors in.

Lauren has been designing her collection for more than a decade. She’s been tucking away designs and sketches knowing that someday, somehow they would make for a great collection she could share with the world. “I have had so many of these pieces saved just wanting to get them out there,” she says. Now, having partnered with Woodbridge Furniture, Lauren is finally ready to release them to the world.

Her grounded approach to life and design is made tangible with her furniture collection. “I’m interested in that juxtaposition of curvy and straight and raw,” says Lauren. You’ll notice touches of wood and metal throughout the collection. Most of the pieces feel as if you could’ve plucked them from the chicest barn in the French countryside. A few, such as the Scroll Console Table and the Revival Leather Stools, feel a bit more modern. That’s where the mix becomes important. An expert vintage hunter, Lauren knows that a home looks better when it feels eclectic. “I wanted it to feel collected and relaxed, not like ‘This one’s old, this one’s new.’ I wanted it to all vibe together,” she says.

Lauren’s expertise in furnishings and design doesn’t stop with her furniture collection. She also has produced a collection of art, with stately portraits, intimate line drawings, and botanical studies to bring life to even the most boring walls.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Liess.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Liess.

Get to Know Lauren


 

  1. Favorite piece in your furniture collection? The Forever Table.
  2. Favorite part of being a designer? Helping my clients build a backdrop for their lives.
  3. No room is complete without? A pet.
  4. The secret to mixing new and vintage is? Fearlessness.
  5. One design rule you love to break? All of them.
  6. Best piece of interior design advice you’ve gotten? There is no such thing as a design emergency. 

Anatomy of a Lauren Liess Design


 

  1. Vintage is king. “I love vintage,” says Lauren, for whom no room is complete without at least a touch of it. Her own home is a medley of vintage pieces collected from years of hunting down the best deals. That’s why her furniture collection is highly inspired by the look and feel of years gone by. 
  2. Comfort and style. Above all else, Lauren wants her spaces to feel comfortable. People have to live there, and not everybody lives a magazine-ready life. “It’s about finding pieces that wear really well, furnishings that are super comfortable but can stand up to kids and dogs and pets and everyday life, because for me it’s about living easily.” 
  3. A touch of something unexpected. Even though she loves vintage and wants a space to be comfortable, don’t count her out as a fan of high design. Lauren can easily weave in a collector’s item piece of furniture with a vintage set of chairs. 
Photo courtesy of Lauren Liess.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Liess.

Shop Lauren’s collection →

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