A day in the life of our Lead Interior Designer, Lauren Ashmore is always different and never boring. Our resident show home specialist, Lauren joined us nearly three years ago and, in that time, she has been very busy working on some fantastic projects and working with some big clients. We caught up with her to dive into her passions for the industry and what it’s like working in the LOFT Design team.
You have ten years’ experience in Interior design, specialising in show homes, what would be the most valuable piece of knowledge that you have gained?
I would say the most valuable piece of information, albeit not very glam is that it’s all in the proportions. I’ve learned to make sure that when you scan the room, all the pieces of furniture and styling work together in sync. There’s nothing worse than an extremely low coffee table or a tiny piece of artwork which is then all you can see in the room.
What’s it like working in the LOFT Design Team?
I love how every week is different, getting to work on such a variety of projects, flexing our design muscles. We have such a lovely team and we all work so well together. It’s great to bounce creative ideas off one another for inspiration. We’re a creative team so we like to spend time together influencing one another, whether that’s attending design shows/events together or finding time outside of work.
You’ve worked with some fantastic clients and some exciting projects, what do you enjoy the most about working on a big scheme?
For me personally, the exciting bits are always right at the beginning and at the very end. In the beginning, you get the initial excitement of pulling the design together and envisioning the end goal for the client. And then in the end you get the satisfaction of seeing all your hard work come together.
Where do you find your interior inspiration and how would you describe your design style?
My interior inspiration is usually triggered by things around me. I love to see designs in restaurants, hotels, and even shops. Even though I am a residential designer I still get excited when I see a stunning interior no matter what form it takes. It’s hard to describe one certain style as I think as a designer you need to have the flexibility to be able to appreciate all kinds of looks, even if they aren’t your personal taste. However, I would say that I am drawn to clean contemporary designs, with a few key statement pieces to set the tone. In terms of colour and patterns that changes weekly! I am a big colour fan, but I do also love the simplicity in layering neutrals.
Tell us a bit more about your typical day as one of the Design Team?
No day is truly the same and that’s what I love. But on a normal day, I would usually start by checking emails and responding to clients, and then planning out my day. Starting a new project, I would first establish the brief with the client and then begin with some research. Pulling together images of inspiration, based on the clients' likes as well as the brief and the target market. I then begin to create initial concepts to show the client before the design progresses any further. Each project is unique and all vary in length, you could be working on one project for a couple of weeks or on a bigger scheme for several months.
How did you make your way into the interior design industry? And what advice could you give to those wanting to follow in the same footsteps?
I studied at university and did some voluntary work experience in an interior design company. Whilst I was looking for my first proper role, I worked in Ikea to make sure any experience I had on my CV was interiors based. I then got an admin role at an interior design company in Cheshire and worked my way up through the ranks which really helped me fully understand the process of the company. If this is your passion, then you’ve got to have perseverance and be patient. I had to do a three-hour commute for my first job but I was adamant that I was going to make it. Try and do as much work experience as you can, this is where you will pick up the real-time skills and knowledge of the industry. Keep up to date with trends, read articles in design magazines and even try and attend shows if you can. Any advice I would give now I am older is also to look after yourself. Have ambition and drive but also know when to dedicate time to youself. Have the confidence in yourself to step back and assess your situation, it’s not the number of hours you work it’s what you can do in the hours you are given.
Tell us about your favorite design project that you’ve worked on?
One of my favourite projects was Apex Gardens for Grainger. Being involved with the client from the very start, designing the concepts, choosing the furniture based on our concept and then traveling to London to present to the client. As my first ever presentation pitch, I was nervous but then super proud that we won the project. It was a real learning curve and character building, a turning point as a designer in my career at LOFT.
When you are not designing beautiful projects, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I am currently planning my wedding which at first was very enjoyable but is getting more stressful nearer the time! I love to get out and discovering new little towns or going to the coast or the countryside, I think it’s good to explore your own backyard. A lot of my time is spent time with my loved ones, being around family is very important to me. When work can be busy and fast I like to relax and unwind enjoying the simple things in life.
Can you tell us about any new and exciting projects you have coming up?
I have just worked on three show homes for a developer in London who wanted three completely different looks, this was a fun one, where I could really show the contrasting styles. Watch this space!