As one of the leading voices for environmentally responsible design, Laura Hodges puts sustainability at the forefront of her work. Most recently, Laura helped her clients reduce their carbon footprint with a series of thoughtful choices, from salvaged wood cabinetry to vintage furniture pieces—a project which went on to be published in Architectural Digest, no less. Laura’s distinct approach to interiors exemplifies her commitment to sustainable practices, all designed with an aesthetic she defines as modern, tailored, and collected. We’re thrilled to have Laura Hodges on the blog today, and we know you’re going to love our conversation.
Image via Laura Hodges Studio
Laura, take us back to your early days in the industry and how your design studio was born.
I started the design firm as a solo practice in 2016 after taking a few years off work to raise my two young sons. I had a degree from the New York School of Interior Design as well as a business degree, so I set out on my own.
How would you describe the Laura Hodges signature aesthetic? How do you tailor + adapt that to different clients and projects?
I would describe our aesthetic as modern and tailored with unique vintage finds, curated art, and natural elements. We love to create spaces that are as unique as our clients, so every project is specific to our clients’ tastes and style. We find that clients are drawn to us for the look and feel of the spaces we create, as well as our efforts towards sustainability, so we follow our instincts and consider our clients’ personality and life story as we develop plans for their home.
More to Read: How to Be More Sustainable in Your Design Business
Your studio has grown from solopreneurship to a full team, including your husband! Tell us what it was like to make that transition.
It was a wonderful transition that happened just at the right time. I was taking on larger projects, and my husband was beginning to consider a different career path with less traveling. We saw the opportunity for him to take on what he does best, which is the business development/management, and I could then stay focused on the design side of the business. We both work together to grow the business from an entrepreneurship standpoint, but we’re able to give each other full control over the other aspects.
Do you have a favorite project thus far? We’d love to hear about it!
My favorite project so far has been a large compound we’re still developing with our client on the Eastern shore of Maryland. So far, there are two homes, an entertainment space we call the Crab Shack, an art studio, and a pool with a pool house. We were actually fortunate enough to have this project currently featured by Architectural Digest.
More to Read: Who to Hire First + How to Afford It
“I believe that using natural materials that are sustainable is as timeless as ever.“
What business advice do you wish you’d received when you were just starting out?
I would have loved to get a blueprint for starting your own design business! This is such a unique industry with so many different business structures, so no two firms seem to run their companies the same way. We had a lot to learn, but it was wonderful to work out the best way for us to be able to service our clients.
What daily rituals help you thrive as a designer?
I love to try to stay organized so that I have time to be creative. Every day I make a list for myself of my goals for the following day, so I can start my day with intention (even if it doesn’t always go the way I plan!)
In addition to Laura Hodges Studio, you operate a brick-and-mortar shop in Catonsville, MD. Tell us about the decision to extend your brand into retail.
We opened Domain by Laura Hodges Studio in 2018, the same year my husband started working with me. I’d honestly always wanted to have a small boutique shop, so when the opportunity came to purchase a small property in our town, we took it. Our design offices are located in the same building, so we all work together on both businesses. It’s been a great way to showcase our design aesthetic to a larger audience while being a curated source for accessories and decor for our projects.
Coffee or tea?
Book currently on your nightstand:
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
“We follow our instincts and consider our clients’ personality and life story as we develop plans for their home.”
Favorite Instagram accounts to follow:
Go-to inspiration source:
Instagram and traveling.
A recent trend you’re loving?
Curves! I love tambour on furniture and as an architectural detail.
How about a timeless one?
I love linen and tactile fabrics that feel comfortable and welcoming. I believe that using natural materials that are sustainable is as timeless as ever.
What’s next for Laura Hodges Studio?
We’re actually renovating a building two doors down from our own to build a new studio space with a small cafe! We’re really excited about this new phase where we can build upon the brand we have developed and continue the growth with the studio and shop.
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