According to designer Laura Kirar, “There’s nothing worse than feeling uninspired and un-original.” And while I certainly would agree with this statement, I can’t imagine that Laura would ever put something out there that is uninspired. As a furniture designer for Baker Furniture and the Kohler Company, Laura is in a constant state of creativity – allowing it to hit her at any given moment.
Karina: What is your favorite space to design in a home and why?
Laura: My favorite space depends on who I’m designing for! At the beginning of the design process I get to know someone and then I know how (and where) they really “live” or where they really become themselves – I feed off the energy and intensity of my client and what space they feel best in – for me it’s all conceptual theatre – so if they love to entertain the project revolves around their dining room, if they love cooking it’s their kitchen, if they are sexy, it’s their bedroom…I love for people to exist in an environment that makes them feel they can be who they are – whatever that means for them. I like spaces that become a layered, elegant and interesting backdrop for the real action of life itself.
Karina: You’ve been designing for Baker Furniture for several years now. What makes the relationship between you and Baker work?
Laura: I think we’ve had a long relationship because we speak a common aesthetic language yet while we’ve both evolved they have embraced my evolution as an artist. As brands with vision, we’ve always been aligned – love of quality, authentic materials, original and timeless design. I’ve always paid special attention to craft and artisan details and Baker has always supported me in that by providing amazing builders and craftspeople to realize my designs at a very high level. It also gives me a platform to access the best designers. I love knowing that my designs will live in some of the most amazing spaces in the world.
Karina: At High Point, you described the many motifs that are embedded in your latest collection. Can you speak to what those motifs are and what inspired them?
Laura: For both this latest, 4th collection, and my 3rd I was very much influenced by my time and travels in and around Mexico. Within that context, my collection subtly nods to the geometry of ancient architecture mixed with the details of contemporary 20th Century Mexican design: i.e. art deco forms having Pre-Columbian/Mesoamerican influences. I think the outcome for my collection for Baker is very modern and of the moment and yet retains a foundation of historical reference.
Some specifics are:
Frieze Sofa – Long low proportions – rounded squares & rectangles reference ancient Mayan temples. The “frieze” is a carved plinth base with alternating geometric shapes that conceptually reference the stone friezes at Mitla in Oaxaca.
Solstice Commode – Made of an elegant combination of materials both natural and refined. Rounded corners, onyx top three white lacquered linen drawers of equal proportion reference international style buildings. The large brass medallion drawer pulls are reminiscent of both art deco door hardware and the moon at half cycle.
Taller Pendant Chandelier – A geometric frieze wraps around the brass structure alluding to hieroglyphic scrolls. The texture references both hand-hammered objects and shagreen a much loved art deco material.
Relox Table – An exercise in minimal form and materials – Three 2D shapes that fit together to create a 3-dimensional form, 3 different materials: granite, marble and brass that contrast and compliment each other in a balanced way. The top view of the table is a modern representation of an ancient sundial.
Karina: What piece in your recent Baker collection best represents who you are and why?
Laura: The Radiant Mirror represents my personality – It’s a ordered & weighty mirror with a straightforward, elegant design. It looks clean & minimal but actually complicated in construction. The mirror facets and concave pieces reflect numerous angles of the space (or viewer) simultaneously, which reminds me of the many aspects of my life and myself condensed into one.
Karina: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first became an interior designer?
Laura: The real business of interior design is 80% service and 20% creative, so choose clients you will enjoy serving and projects you will love creating. Anything less will truly feel like work.
I felt very pretty privileged to get to know this brilliant designer in person. She is an incredible example of following your gut, being true to the process and allowing opportunities to take you to heights you never imagined.