Name: Leonora Mahle
Company: Leonora Mahle LLC
Position within company: Principal
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Design is a second career for me. I worked in a different industry in my twenties. By chance, I ended up helping an employer plan a relocation into a larger space and really enjoyed the process, which made me decide to go back to school and switch careers. I work primarily on residential projects and love what I do now.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Clean, open and airy, with a focus on quality materials and good craftsmanship.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
NYC, Brazil, my clients and travel.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
More clients are design savvy and want solutions that are tailored to their needs. This was often the case with higher end projects, but seems to be happening on a broader level now. There is an emphasis on customization throughout. Also, integration of technology.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2018 and beyond.
Function, quality, flow. Design that reflects the clients’ personalities and relates to the building’s architecture.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Spend on quality pieces you care about and don’t rush to fill in the space.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
The International Design and Architecture Awards provide a great opportunity for designers showcase their work and see what design firms in other parts of the world are doing.
What projects are you currently working on?
A duplex within a former carriage house in Brooklyn Heights owned by clients I have worked with in the past and really enjoy; a rental in Manhattan for a Brazilian client who travels a lot internationally and has some fun artefacts; a three-bedroom light-filled apartment in Park Slope for old clients who are moving from Manhattan.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue growing the business and taking on more projects that allow us to be thoroughly involved in the entire process, which is much more rewarding than helping with a few rooms or design elements. On a personal level, to continue traveling and seeing new places, and spending more time walking around New York.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
A box with notes and reminders from my 8-year-old daughter, which I have been collecting over the years.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Restaurants: Blue Hill and Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan. Roberta’s and Fiore in Brooklyn.
Your favourite book, film & song?
Books: I’m a big Haruki Murakami fan.
Your favourite food and drink?
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Reading or walking around.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I’d probably do something in hospitality or retail.