Now that press week is complete, I am so happy to unveil to you Laurence Carr Design’s The Restorative Room as part of the 2019 Hampton Designer Showhouse. What a whirlwind this incredibly dynamic project has been! The entire LCD team has been engrossed in preparations for the opening, and it has truly paid off. To say that I am proud of this project would be a tremendous understatement.
Being given a space with no parameters for design is at once an interior designer’s greatest dream and a formidable challenge — you are free to implement your most groundbreaking creative leanings, but where do you begin? I have always prepared for interior design projects in the same way that I did when developing choreography as a dancer. Meaning that I have been presented with a black box, and the objective is to fill the space with an appropriate flow of rhythm and energy. Our daily lives are their own type of choreographed dance, and through interior design, I aim to build a space that allows the daily ballet of life to be performed with grace and harmony.
The Restorative Room is situated at the end of a long hall on the first floor of the home. The focal point as you approach the entry is two large windows, which happen to be the only source of natural light in the space. This created a few challenges, one being that limited access to natural light and the outside world is less conducive to a successful holistic design. Additionally, it meant that we would need to find a way to create interest around the pair of windows that draws one into the space the way a furnished vignette would, and I will delve more into that later in this post.
As I mulled over the directions we could take, one thought rose to prominence: we make weekly pilgrimages to Southampton to escape the hectic pace of our city life. So for this year’s Hampton Designer Showhouse, I wanted to create a space that not only complements, but amplifies the serenity of a renewing weekend in Southampton. Internal peace and harmony contribute to our physical wellness, and this ripples out from each of us into those around us. I believe that we can positively impact the entire world by nurturing our inner wellbeing. This is the reason I became a practitioner of holistic interior design. Therefore I envisioned this room as a spot for quiet meditation, a sun salutation or two, reading, reverie, or any practice that facilitates finding inner peace for the visitor.
Tropical wallcovering by Sofia Willamoes, Snaka Wak and sphere from Tucker Robbins, Chair from CocoMat upholstered with Garrett Leather, Bench by Gio Ponti and Carol Egan stools at Maison Gerard. Photography by Lisa Russman.
Holistic and sustainable design are two philosophies at the foundation of Laurence Carr Design, and I was fortunate to have sustainable vendor partners that were absolutely indispensable for this project. Finding truly high-end sustainable sources is one of the challenges that can cause designers and clients to shy away from investing in this philosophy. However, I continue to find exquisite new sustainable sources entering the market at an ever-increasing pace. If you follow the blog closely, you know the story behind Tucker Robbins, whose Snaka Waka columns grace the back right corner of The Restorative Room. Coco Mat is another source I have featured in the blog, and for this project, I was able to upcycle their Dioni chair, giving it new life with sumptuous, new Garrett Leather upholstery.
I chose to anchor this space in the ancient Japanese philosophy of Ikigai. I feel strongly that the application of ancient, spiritual teachings is a vital part of a holistic interior design plan, and the 5 Pillars of Ikigai align beautifully with the purpose of The Restorative Room. Mental decluttering in a sustainable, harmonic environment allows us to relish in the small details, finding our flow in the present.
Because this is a Restorative Room, I included biophilic elements which help to offset the minimal visibility to the outdoors that two windows affords. We know that spending time immersed in the natural world is vital to our overall wellbeing, yet at the same time, our increasingly urban lifestyles diminish our contact with the outdoors. So, to provide visitors with a fully restorative experience, I layered in floral installations by the accomplished Lilee Fell against the backdrop of Sofía Willamoës’ magical Jungle print wallcovering.
Global culture has been an important part of my own story, as I was raised in Europe, and as an adult I have resided in the UK, Australia, Asia, and now New York. So much exposure to a wide range of cultures has instilled in me a deep appreciation for global design. Therefore, I take a global approach to sourcing vendors for all of my projects. For the Hampton Designer Showhouse, I selected the wallcovering from an artist in Argentina, the window treatment textiles are from Japan, a French company supplied the lighting, and the furniture supplied by Maison Gerard and Saint Louis is primarily from France, Italy and Japan. We have sustainable pieces from Cameroon and Greece, and of course the leather upholstery is from the United States. The marriage of layers from a vast array of cultures brings a palpable authenticity and sense of connectedness to the room.
Every design project introduces a unique set of challenges, and working through those to finally arrive at design nirvana is what makes the process so fulfilling. I mentioned previously that the focal point when approaching the room is a pair of windows. This is a challenge in the sense that it limits our ability to create the type of furnished vignette that we would typically like to maximize as the focal point. So finding a way to draw the eye to the back of the room by creating an inviting energy around these two windows, was my mission. The ethereal linen and silk panels by Maki Yamamoto proved to be the perfect textile to introduce interest and a balance of energies through it’s handsewn layers of delicate pleating and rhythmic, undulating patterns. And all the while, the soothing green accents and soft layers help to maintain the room’s serene spirit.
Fogia light and vase by Saint Louis, Gong from Brooklyn Healing Arts, luxury throw pillows by Castel, Spheres from Tucker Robbins, Indian Jewel rug by Tepp Team, Lamb Wool rug by Garrett Leather. Photography by Lisa Russman.
The house opened to the press on July 13, and I could not be more pleased with our presentation or the response we have received. I want to say a most heartfelt thank you again to my vendor partners in this project. It has been such a distinct pleasure to have their participation in this dynamic project. Working alongside a diverse group of creatives, fellow designers and vendors alike, has given me a new sense of purpose in my methodology that I am keen to impart on our next wave of projects.
This year’s Hampton Designer Showhouse was co-chaired by Alexa Hampton and Jamie Drake, and will benefit Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. The Restorative Room by Laurence Carr Design will be open to the public as part of the showhouse everyday from 11am to 5pm until September 2. If you are in the New York area, I hope you will stop by in person to enjoy some soulful restoration, compliments of Laurence Carr Design.
Laurence Carr is founder & CEO of Laurence Carr Design, an award winning interior design firm in New York City providing full service and e-design services to clients. She creates exquisite holistic interiors that promote mindful living and harmony, while attaining a level of sophistication through layering modern art, furniture, antiques and accents. Born in France, Laurence has 20 years experience in design, the performing arts, and fashion. She has been nationally published and is a frequent speaker and panelist in major industry related events.