Q&A with DESIGNER LAUREL PFANNENSTIEL
Specializing in interior architectural design, Laurel Pfannenstiel often turns to periods past for inspiration, but she also takes cues from fashion runways and her clients’ own style sense.
Q: How do fashion runways inform interior design?
A: Fashion-designer fabrics—new weaves and new patterns— influence what we will see introduced in interior design textiles. I think it’s the latest printed fashion fabrics that really do it for me and my designs. Details matter to me.
Q: How do fashion trends connect to this home?
A: We were starting to see silver and gold shimmer in knits, shoes, and bags, so we brought that sparkle into the house. Also, abstract prints were appearing in fashion—we used fabrics with similar patterns on the dining room chairs. In fact, the side chair fabric is by fashion designer Christian Lacroix.
Q: How do you get clients to take risks with color? A: First you have to gain their trust, because they have to live and be comfortable in their spaces. I always offer them three or four choices for finishes, colors, etc. Then we can discuss and collaborate on the final choices. Beautifully colored tiles are a great way to show a client different color combinations. Showing clients something they haven’t seen before often makes them appreciate a new idea. For example, I showed this home’s owner kitchen tiles with silver and gold, and she realized we could mix the two metals to create timeless looks in a modern way.
Q: What classic clothing patterns translate to decorating?
A: I love animal prints—especially leopard—because they have an accessory effect. Like a pretty scarf or sparkling jewelry, they stand out against neutral backdrops. I use lots of animal print pillows because they are elegant and noticeable, yet they can be switched when the homeowner wants to change up a room.
Q: What will be the next runway-to-home trend? A: Look for more pink tones, including soft pink cabinet finishes and upholstery fabrics. Leathers in mauves are also popping up in upholstery textiles.