On Monday I brought you the first half of my interview with Labexperiment founder Leslie Bamburg. Two years ago, Leslie Bamburg formed her company Labexperiment, an interior design business that offers an affordable professional decorator option to the design fiend who lacks mad cash. Labexperiment works on the premise that beautiful design can be affordable, individualized, and integrated to meet the resident's needs. Leslie notes that she doesn't believe there should be separation between people's fashion, media, tech needs, music, and interiors. With this philosophy in mind, she makes diagnoses of clients' homes, notes what they need to add, subtract, or rearrange, and then prescribes the elements needed to improve a room or home. Check out the rest of Leslie's interview below.
CasaSugar: What are some of the ways you’ve integrated technology into your prescriptions? I see you’re not a fan of hiding televisions, etc. How do you make them part of the big, cohesive picture?
Leslie Bamburg: Technology can be really beautiful, or really out-of-place, just like anything else you’d buy for your home. I spend as much time thinking about what technology looks like as I do any other piece of furniture or accessory. Just like you’d want a high-quality, well-proportioned and beautiful oven or refrigerator in your kitchen, the TV in the living room or the computer on the desk doesn’t deserve any less consideration. I am a huge geek, so I know that technology is a big part of our modern, futuristic lives.
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CasaSugar: What’s the biggest dude decorating faux pas?
Leslie Bamburg: Stereotypically, I think guys tend to not use enough softness in a room. There is a welcoming, comfortable quality in a room that has pillows on the sofa, a throw over the arm of a chair, a cushy rug and soft drapery. They tend to think more functionally, and are the primary target market for large, black leather sofas.
CasaSugar: What’s the biggest lady decorating faux pas?
Leslie Bamburg: Conversely, some women use too much softness. I like a balance of soft and hard lines, and I do think there is a place for black leather, if not used in huge quantities. I think a room should reflect the client’s personality, but still be welcoming to guests — male, female and everyone in between.
CasaSugar: What have been some of the reactions from your clients that have surprised or delighted you?
Leslie Bamburg: Every time a client tells me they are happy with their design, it makes my day. And even though it happens often, I’m still always surprised when a client who claimed to not be interested in design gets inspired after we work on their home. The next time I see them they might have bought lime green patterned pillows for their sofa, for example, which totally work. You know who you are.
CasaSugar: How do you recommend a reader do a home prescription of her own? How can she look objectively at a room and see what’s missing/wrong?
Leslie Bamburg: You can never be objective about your own home. So get a prescription from Labexperiment. Seriously, though, it’s really hard to get distance from your own stuff, so the best thing is to bring in a friend you trust who will give you an honest opinion. You can also start tearing out magazine photos of rooms you like, then lay them all out and think about what is different between your space and those, and see if you can implement changes to make it feel more like the rooms you like. I don’t mean just copying the photos, but if a room you like has a focal element like a wallpapered wall, think about your space to see if you can make a similar statement in the same scale, like hanging fabric panels on the wall, or just painting it with stripes.
Check out some of Leslie's work in the gallery, and then head over to her site to start your prescription.