MeetLaurelBern

Laurel Bern is the principal at Laurel Bern Interiors, a full-service residential interior design firm located in Westchester County, very close to New York City. Decorating is her passion, and helping her clients create a home that is beautiful, personal and a comfortable place in which to live is her priority.  Laurel Bern Interiors has helped clients design homes they love for over 23 years, her firm specializes in fresh, young-traditional and eclectic styles. But here’s the real reason I am so excited to introduce you to Laurel: She’s created a fabulous guide to paint colors! 

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Laurel is an interior designer who loves design steeped in history and tradition, but at the same time, likes to keep it fresh and ever-evolving.  She creates timeless rooms, where one can’t really tell exactly when they were done, and to keep things interesting, she adds a bit of the unexpected. As Laurel says: “It’s the subtle complexities which make a room rich. If you’ve ever noticed, historically— architecture, interiors, fashion, music and art are always tied together stylistically. It has been immensely satisfying to  help my clients create spaces that are personal and unique to their lifestyle and tastes.”

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A true lover of the arts, Laurel has always strived to make the world a more beautiful place. Before returning to college to get her degree in interior design, Laurel started her career as dancer. Laurel’s work has been published in Better Homes and Gardens and Westchester Home and Garden Magazine, and she is a regular contributor to Westchester Home and Garden Magazine.  I’m thrilled that Laurel agreed to share with all of us some of  her inspiring ideas, her gorgeous design work, and a secret glimpse into what she loves. Laurel and I share the same design philosophy,  as Laurel states “I believe that your home should be a true reflection of you– comfortable, inviting and always beautiful.” 

 

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1. Please tell us a little about yourself. I went back to college, the New York School of Interior Design for three years in the late 1980s. In 1991, now married and with our first baby, we moved out of Manhattan and I got a job as an interior design assistant for 4 years.  In 1996, I started Laurel Bern Interiors. At the time, I had two little boys and wanted to have more flexibility.

This year, I’ve been blessed to have won two interior design awards, Best Writing for a Design Blog at the Design Blogger’s Conference, and the Best Dining Room at the Westchester Home Magazine Annual Best of Design Awards. In addition, last fall, I was selected to be a member of the Design Blogger’s Tour at the High Point Market and for the spring High Point market I was selected to be a member of the Adorno Elevate Design Tour. I’m also a member of Modenus’ “Design Hounds” and have been invited to attend trade events.

I make a really and I mean really, mean chocolate cake! I call it The Chocolate Cake That Will Make You Plotz. It’s the cake you make if you want a man to propose marriage; you bake him one of these and then contact all of the jewelry stores to stand by. {I’ll see if I can get Laurel to disclose her secret recipe, or if it really is a secret! stay tuned….}

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2. When did you realize you wanted to design beautiful interiors? I’ve always loved beauty wherever it is. I’m a former ballet dancer and have worked in all of the performing arts as well. As a child, I loved art and drawing and was pretty good at it. It all came together for me when I was 31. My brother had suddenly died from an unknown heart ailment. I was at loose ends {aside from that} because I had just quit a job working in an art gallery. I went to career counseling and did a lot of soul-searching and then decided to go to interior design school. I’ve always loved beautiful homes and architecture.

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3. How would you describe your design style? I’ve always called my design style “young-traditional” or “new-traditional.” I like a mix of things but prefer natural materials along classic motifs and designs. I’m a little obsessed with Greek Key and other geometric patterns. And this has been going on since 1988!

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4. What inspires you? The thing that inspires me the most are architectural features. I think that most people underestimate the power that this holds for any room. It’s like a beautiful model. She’s beautiful whether she has on makeup or not. Rooms are like that too.

However, right now… I have gone in an entirely new direction with my career. I started blogging in 2012, one thing lead to another and eventually, I realized I could make a living blogging. I do not have any sponsors and I don’t advertise except for the products I’ve created and am selling. So far I have two products I’m very proud of.

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The first one is Laurel’s Rolodex which is a shopping guide that’s crammed full of useful information whether one is in the design trade or not. {Lidy’s note: I know all of you love to get the “inside scoop” about where designers source product, this is it!} And the second is The Laurel Home Essential Paint Color Collection, a carefully curated collection of 144 beautiful Benjamin Moore paint colors, it features a sub collection of 66 universal colors that all go with each other. {Lidy’s note: If only I’d known about the Essential Paint Color Collection, I would have given it to one of my BFF’s -not naming any names- who literally made several of us girlfriends sort of crazy while choosing paint colors for her home, and then, after weeks of discussion, painting swatches and more, went with white! If this is you, check out Laurel’s fabulous Paint Color Collection Guide }

5. If your interior spaces had a message, what would you like them to say? Please put your feet up, relax and let me give you a big hug!

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6. What’s your favorite antique find, and where did you use it? My favorite antique find is my beautiful mahogany bookcase with the original x-fretwork glass doors. I found it at a local antique shop and once it came home, I knew that it had to be painted. I hired a wonderful decorative artist who gave it a very slight antique look. I’ve had it 15 years and still love it!

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7. How do you incorporate antiques and vintage pieces into your designs for clients? If I use authentic antiques in design work for my clients, they already have them, often they are family heirlooms they’ve inherited. I love using these pieces in their rooms because it makes their homes so much more personal.

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8. What’s the one thing everyone can do to instantly make their home more beautiful? Here’s a tip that will make your home instantly more beautiful: Hire a professional window cleaner! It’s not that expensive, and sparkling, gorgeous windows will make your home instantly look fresh, new, and beautiful!

Loves and Inspirations:

1. My favorite colors are:  White and Chartreuse.

2. If I could have one wish, I would wish for:   World Peace.

3. Right now I am reading: The Private World of Ballet by John Gruen – It’s about 45 years old and is sitting in my nightstand.

4. My favorite place is:   JK Place Hotel in Capri – I’ve never been there but am hoping one day that I will. Everything about it is exquisite but not in formal-fancy, fake way. The upholstery is all in white slipcovers. And the architecture by Michele Bonan is not to be believed.

5. I can’t live without:  Coffee. I mean I can live without it, but I’m much nicer after I’ve had my daily cup. I don’t drink it all day long.

6. A FrenchGardenHouse antique I adore:  I love the ironstone!

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Thank you so much, Laurel, for taking the time to share a little piece of your designer’s world with all of us. To visit Laurel’s Website, click on her logo below. Unknown

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Find Laurel’s inspirational interior design blog.

What room of Laurel’s speaks to you most?