Welcome! Today in The Lounge, Nick chats with Laura Umansky of Laura U Interiors, a Houston Texas designer who runs her firm with her wonderful staff and comes home to her loving family. Umansky has a vision that each client and space should get their own look, finding unique objects for her projects while mixing with the client’s personal objects creating a story for their space. Laura calls her designs Classically Current, her spaces are bold, dramatic, colorful, and never the same from client to client.
Spaces she claimed
Umansky started being interested in interior design in middle school. She loved having her friends over and that was her drive wanted to make their house to look fabulous while entertaining. She took over to make the design of the house, while her mom was busy with work. She also learned that she loved controlling the environment of how it would look. When she first went into college, she didn’t know that interior design could be a career. Umansky enrolled as an art student at the University of Texas studying a variety of painting, sculpture, ceramics, and art history. It wasn’t until her sophomore year that she could be an interior designer, she had a friend that was studying architecture and loved it. However, she was too deep in her current degree to change and finished with an art degree.
Oh, the places she saw
Umansky worked a bit in commercial design, during her time in school but she decided this was the time to fully direct her career to be in interior design. She acquired an internship for a commercial firm in an auto dealership, it was a small niche, but it was a great learning experience for her. After a year of working as an intern, she went back to school and got a master’s in architecture. Though her degree is in architecture, she practiced more interior design, specifically in residential design. In her last year in grad school, she interned with Resort Design Group, that designed vacation home interiors. She started small from folding fabric selections working her way up to designing the homes by herself. Stayed a couple of years with Resort Design Group and though it was hard to leave, she left to create her own firm.
The stories she began to weave
Umansky’s first store was just her running it in a small space, most of it focused on retail and a small room in the back for design. It wasn’t exactly a casual shop where people would stumble into, it was a destination shop. Eventually, the design aspect began to flow into the retail space and became more design oriented. She knew she couldn’t give the retail the focus it needed so she closed down the retail space and fully focused on her designs and found a studio she could use for her ideas. She wanted her studio to be in an area that would draw people in and settled in an intersected area of a rich nice neighborhood and the arts district. The building she bought was old and needed some TLC, but Umansky loved the idea of having to fix up the old building. Laura had that place for nine years, but as those years went along her company grew into what it is today. They moved to the place they’re currently and works along with a staff she is proud to be with.
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