Armadillo

The Journal

A Wabi Sabi Mentality with Lauren Piscione

Lauren Piscione, the LA-based interior designer behind LP Creative, is unafraid of rough edges. To her, embracing the “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete” adds to a home’s sense of warmth and comfort, making it feel truly lived-in and paving the way for new stories to unfold in its presence. We took a tour of her beautifully curated home and delved deeper into her unconventional philosophy.

Photography by Michael Clifford

What were you like as a child? Do you come from a creative family?

Without realising it, I guess I have always been influenced by the aesthetics of my surroundings. Even as a young child, I would find great satisfaction in redecorating my bedroom and constantly moving furniture around the house, much to the mild annoyance of my parents! After awhile though, they eventually agreed that my dedication to the cause was helping to improve the design of our home!  My family were not traditionally creative, but my mother collects vintage and antique pieces and has an inherent eye for design. Not only did this make for a beautiful childhood home, but her attention to detail and love for patina has been profoundly influential on me as an interior designer.

You have quite an interesting career path! How did you end up working in the world of interiors?

My first job out of college was at a fashion PR agency in NYC, which became an experience akin to The Devil Wears Prada. After cutting my teeth across most aspects of the fashion industry, I was most drawn to event production. After gaining experience producing major fashion shows and events during NYFW, I eventually landed in LA producing events including celebrity birthday parties, after parties for major award shows, music festivals and weddings. I loved what I was doing but the long hours and fast-pace inherent to the industry led me to reconsider my priorities.

Not dissimilar to the author of Eat, Pray, Love, I needed time to re-discover my purpose so I flew to Peru where, after some reflection, I realized that my source of inspiration and joy in event planning was really the creation of beautiful spaces – but their temporary nature left me frustrated and unsatisfied. I wanted to create spaces that people could enjoy and grow with for years, not just a single evening, and so I began focusing on interior design. Although I had no traditional education in interiors, I am fortunate that people believed in me from the get-go, and I started designing any size project in my eagerness to learn as quickly as possible. Although my career has evolved, I have never felt surer and more excited about my path than right now!

Describe the LP Creative aesthetic. What special touch do you bring to each of your projects?

Layers. Even when we are designing minimalist spaces, we always bring in a lot of dimension. Whether with texture, tone or materiality, we aim to create depth in our spaces in ways that do not feel cluttered and still feel warm. We almost always bring in works from young emerging artists and makers – educating clients about these artists’ processes and the story behind these unique works is one of my favourite parts of the design process. Our clients feel super involved and connected to the pieces we put in their home – empowered and excited to share with friends and family when people set foot inside and explore.

"I’m obsessed with the wabi sabi philosophy. Embrace the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete."

We’d love a peek into your process, from the initial brainstorming to the final install. How do you balance your eye for design with a client’s vision throughout?

We approach design from a storytelling perspective and the key to our process is the element of discovery. The early stages are critical – we really take our time getting to know and understand our clients. We host a handful of design meetings at their home, observing how they live in, interact with and use the space. We pay attention to the music they listen to, the food they cook, their tastes in fashion and so forth. Our goal is to understand the story of their lives and then design a space tailored specifically for their living. We are always asking them questions to help us understand what they think they want but we have actually found visual references such as a favourite restaurant or hotel are often more helpful than descriptive references where there may not be common consensus on the vernacular. This process, while more intense in the beginning, continues through the entire design process. We are constantly communicating with our clients as the design evolves – clients are discovering not only their design preferences but also how they really want to live, creating a feeling of comfort and excitement about what’s to come. 

Are there any design eras that you love to reference?

I love 50s French design – Royère, Perriand, Prouvé, Jouve, Mouille. That these are the masters is becoming more clear as we continue to see countless reproductions and pieces heavily inspired by their works in contemporary furniture today.

What colours, textures and materials do you find yourself continually drawn to?

I call them veggie tones when explaining them to my clients – earth tones, really – tones and textures drawn from nature. Mustards, sage, olive, burgundy, aubergine, rust, woods, natural stones. The earth is a magical place and her offerings are plentiful, and my designs bring that feeling into the home.

We strongly believe in buying fewer but better things. What are your reasons for investing in quality, timeless pieces?

Hear! Hear! I have always felt this way – I often think about this because I still have pieces in my home from my first apartment out of college, now over 10 years ago. I find that people spend so much more money buying cheap items that they have to replace every time they move as opposed to making a bigger upfront investment in a special piece that they will enjoy for a lifetime. 

What things in your home are bringing you the most joy right now?

Gosh – I am so particular about what is in my own home that I promise you, everything for me brings me joy in some way or another – I really don’t have many things in my home that don’t have some sort of story or make me feel happy or calm. I collect art and furniture from friends and makers with whom I have fortunately been able to work in my career. As an example, I placed the work of talented, LA-based artist Taylor Kibby in a recent project, and I was so inspired that I commissioned one of her ceramic chain-link pieces for my own home.

We’re honoured that our Egyptian rug has pride of place in your bedroom. Can you share any tips when it comes to choosing a rug for a space? 

Rugs have the ability to really command a room, so I think it’s really important to identify how you want to feel in a particular space before selecting the floor covering. For example, when selecting the rug for my bedroom, I knew I wanted it to contribute to the feeling of the room being a true respite from not only the rest of the home but from life in general. I have so much chaos in my life that creating an environment of calm in my bedroom is essential. For me, the colour green is so soothing – it’s the earthy tone that makes me feel most at ease. After the colour, texture was key – when I wake up in the morning, the first real sensation is my feet hitting the rug and so having something soft and luxurious was so important.

You have a knack for creating an eye-catching vignette. Do you have any advice on how people can bring a sense of curation to their belongings?

Release perfection! I’m kind of obsessed with the wabi sabi philosophy. I advocate for embracing the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete – I credit this philosophy for allowing me to design freely and curate based on what I love. My advice would be to include pieces that you love, tell a story, and have real tangible meaning to you. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. I really try to balance a vignette with variety – in tone, texture, heights, shapes – in order to create a design narrative that flows naturally.

Where are you turning to for inspiration these days?

I find inspiration everywhere – from walking around my neighbourhood and looking at the exterior of the homes, to travel, fashion, food, even music.  Above all, I look to nature – mother earth is the greatest storyteller of all. One of the best colour palettes of all time is the fall changing of the leaves. Design is a feeling and for me it’s all about telling a story – so I try to draw inspiration from anything that evokes a feeling.

Finally, we can’t help but ask – what’s your favourite Armadillo rug to have underfoot?

Well, I may be biased but it has to be the Egyptian rug I have in my bedroom. I am obsessed. I honestly cannot believe that this rug is made from jute – it’s so beyond soft and lustrous, which was so important for me in the bedroom. I need to have something that feels dreamy underfoot when I wake up in the morning. The colour I chose is stunning – there’s so much dimension and depth despite being a solid colour. I went with Aegean, a soothing sage/olive tone that changes with the light. I have also noticed that I don’t have to be afraid of it ageing or wearing out because the tonality seems to just get better with time. I couldn’t be happier!

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