Name: Laura Marino
Company: Studio L London & Alchemi Group
Position within company: Creative Director & Co-founder
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I studied Communication Design and co-founded Alchemi about 17 years ago. Recently, Studio L was incorporated as a separate design studio from Alchemi (we do all design in-house). At Alchemi I conceptualise our projects, choose the architects, interior design the projects as well as create bespoke show homes, style the CGI’s, and work on collateral. Separate to Alchemi, I was being asked to design for private clients and other developers so in the spring of 2016 it made sense to incorporate a design studio in my own right!
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
I don’t think I subscribe to a style per say. It all comes down me really analysing the home, its context and the end user. Even in developments, I imagine who the end user is and how they would aspire to live. If I had to – I suppose I would describe my style as exciting, discerning, unexpected, challenging with a touch of fantasy.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Everywhere. I always pay attention to my surroundings and the nuances of people in the environment they’re in. I get bored easily and I’m not afraid to challenge myself nor other people’s perception of how things “should be”, so I grab inspiration from whatever sparks my imagination.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Well I think that industrial look that’s permeated & dominated the world the past 5 years has finally hit the tipping point. It’s still happening but I’m starting to see it die down. I think there is a new kind of glamour evolving as well with the use of coloured metals being used in almost everything from furniture to lighting to bathroom fittings.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
Sustainability, point of view, tactility, colour, authenticity.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
If you want to learn how to trust your instincts, only create schemes and put forth pieces that truly resonate with you. I honestly feel that is the only way you can create a cohesive story with integrity because you end up building a narrative that is on a sub-conscious level and it all ends up working in the end.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
I think all awards are important. And it’s important for any professional to be recognised for the hard work they present to the world to be judged by all. That takes courage because as we all know, everyone has an opinion and there is so much competition out there. This platform is especially excellent exposure for bringing new talent to light as well.
What projects are you currently working on?
Interior designing a 255 residential tower development from the ground up and a boutique residential development of a Grade II listed fire station + new build. I just completed a new bespoke show home in Notting Hill and I’m working on launching my new Studio L website!
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Continue to build Studio L by launching the website and get to grips with social media! I would love to get a hotel gig because of my obsession with staying in them (I have so many ideas as a result). I’d like to collaborate with various different suppliers to design my own branded products. Most importantly, continue to work on truly one-of-a-kind projects with amazingly talented & supportive people whilst remembering to remain grateful by making the most out of opportunities that come my way.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
A 1950’s musical carousel with dancing Santa that was my grandmother’s
Your favourite holiday destination?
Anguilla and Greece
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Hotel: Katikies in Santorini, Restaurant: Bob Bob Ricard, London & Bar: The Ear Inn, NYC
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book: Use Me by Elissa Schappell, Film: Dazed & Confused, Song: Impossible to pick one! Claire de Lune…
Your favourite food and drink?
Mexican & Margaritas
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Chilling out with a great book, streaming multi episodes of Rupaul’s Drag Race or hanging with family/friends & laughing to the point of tears.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Rock star or psychotherapist