Posted on July 01, 2022
Images courtesy of Lauren Gilthorpe Interiors
Based in their new studio in Elkstone, just between Cirencester and Cheltenham, Lauren Gilberthorpe Interiors is a design firm that focuses on delivering design in the shape of moments. Working locally in the beautiful Cotswolds as well as projects across West Wales, Cornwall and Central London, the team of six, has a diverse range of skills from design to procurement. We caught up with the studio’s founder and creative director Lauren on their design process and her expert advice on how to make your house a home.
We have a design process that we guide our clients through to narrow down their own personal taste and practical preferences which in turn informs our design work. We start off with concept ideas and floor plans with a range of different options and then gradually refine the design as we work through. By keeping the initial design concepts flexible and more of a conversation starter, it enables us to really get to know our clients and we’ve been told it makes them feel more at ease with the process too - it's important that our design work feels like home at the end of the day! Colour schemes are developed by the creation of a mood board per room to set the tone and feel of each space - when put together for a whole house these should flow together beautifully but still have their each individual feel. From there, all of our fabrics and colours are chosen whilst relating back to these original mood boards to ensure we push ourselves to find interesting colour and texture combinations throughout the home.
There are so many wonderful designers out there and we all work in different ways, charge differently and have different styles! Because of this, I feel it is really important to meet two or three design companies if you are about to undertake a large project to be sure that you feel comfortable with the design team that will be working with you on such a personal project. We often find that the projects that are the most successful are the ones where the clients have come to us because they follow us on instagram or have seen our website and love our style - although we tailor our designs to the clients we do have our own design preferences and it's best if we are all on the same page.
Aside from the obvious things such as a bed and a comfortable, long lasting sofa, I always think that it's important to not forget the finishing touches of the artwork, accessories and items such as cushions. At the end of the project finances can often be very tight so try to allow for some budget at the end of the project for the items that will pull everything together.
One of my most favourite projects recently is the renovation of a games room in a family home in the Cotswolds. We relocated and centred the fireplace with a new bespoke surround, clad the ceiling in reclaimed wood, designed and installed a bespoke media unit for the 85” TV and furnished and decorated the space with a more interesting and impactful colour scheme. I loved choosing the final elements for the scheme such as the styling for the shelves and the artwork display too and I love how happy our clients and their family are to be using the space!
We’re going to continue to see warmer tones come into prominence as the shift away from grey continues, which I for one am very happy about! I’ve also been noticing darker wood furniture creeping back in to schemes of some of my favourite tastemakers and I think this is going to be more and more noticeable as the rest of the year pans out.
Artwork that is personal. In our home we’ve got a gallery wall of artwork by my partner Gabriel as well as collected pieces from holidays and gifts. I think it makes it feel so special to look at items and know the stories behind them.
One of my favourites is Ilala for beautiful handmade woven lighting. I also really love a local Cotswolds based and family run furniture company, Planted, for their eco friendly and incredibly comfortable sofas and chairs!
Matching too much - have some fun and mix up styles! You can mix metal finishes, you can mix different colours together and you definitely can (and should) mix styles and eras of furniture together to create a rounded and more relaxed look.
I’m always drawn to greens and blues - my staircase is painted a kind of eucalyptus colour and I love it.
Absolutely everywhere, I’m always on the lookout for colour schemes when I’m out and about and I love but one of my favourite things to do is to try and visit nice hotels even if just for a coffee to have a nose around and get some inspiration. We recently stayed in The Ned and it was incredible!
This is something we do often - either blending in more contemporary living and style into old listed properties in the Cotswolds or giving newly built properties some life and personality with older pieces. I think the key is to have one element more dominant than the other, so rather than going for a 50/50 split of old and new, try to keep to more of an 80/20 split so that the contrasting items are highlighted rather than confused.
I’ve been really admiring the work of Hubert Zandberg recently and I always love the work of American designer Amber Lewis.
I think contrast is really important - from contrasting scales and textures as well as shapes and heights. Even if a room is all a similar colour, the consideration of these elements will add depth and interest.