This summer Laura Michaels moved her interior design studio from Armonk to the spot in Glenville that Finch’s Pharmacy called home for forty years. The totally renovated 1,800-square-foot space showcases her hip, glam, yet very approachable design aesthetic. When so many designers think small, Laura goes big, maximizing design to scale, a concept she says the restaurant and hotel industries execute so well.
Her goal is to make the design process exciting and pleasurable. “People don’t realize that interior design can be fun. They think it has to be so serious. I am out to change that,” she says. You know you’re in for a treat as soon as you step inside the studio and retail space where soothing grays and whites serve as the backdrop. Here, customers can pop in, look around, peruse the furniture, grab a hostess gift—easily done since items start at $20—or an accessory for their home.
Walk through the store and up a step into the studio, where the design magic happens. Laura works in both residential and commercial spaces and does it all—from creating custom-made furniture manufactured in the U.S. to designing tile tableaus you’ll never see in your neighbor’s home. (Ask to see her metal-stud tiles.)
“I connect easily with my clients. They inspire me and I draw from that to create designs that fit their personalities,” she says.
3 Riversville Road, 203-531-7047; lauramichaelsdesign.com
5 WAYS TO REFRESH FOR LAURA MICHAELS, DESIGN IS IN THE DETAILS. HERE, SHE OFFERS EASY WAYS TO GIVE YOUR SPACE A NEW LOOK.
“People tend to use safe colors, usually in lighter shades,” Laura says. She suggests choosing one room—or maybe just a wall—and paint it a dense, dark color in a glossy paint that will reflect light. Want to kick it up a tad? “Lacquer a wall or a ceiling. Heaven!” she says.
Get rid of all the little stuff in your home, like figurines or vases. “Small doesn’t make a statement, but many people are afraid of large scale and are comfortable with small,” she says. “Think of a coffee table, with three small items on it. Instead, add one large piece and people will notice.”
For clients looking for serious art that will increase in value, Laura works with a curator. If you’re on a budget, she suggests coffee table art, reproductions that add charm and character.
A selection of pillows can change the feel of any room. Often, they add just the pop of color your room needs.
Laura suggests finding the smallest fixture you have. Then buy a substitute that will take up as much room as possible. That’s how you make a statement!