Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo

With a love of travel and an eye for design, Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo can turn any space into a cozy and humble home. Since founding her firm in 2014, Laurie has had the opportunity to utilize her unique taste and design homes all over the Northeast, including Washington, D.C. Now evolving into more commercial design, hospitality spaces, and product design, Laurie can reach a wider audience to showcase her talent in details and decor. She has been featured in multiple major publications such as The New York Times, House Beautiful, and aspire design and home. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo.

In her one-bedroom penthouse apartment located in Brooklyn Heights, Laurie made sure to add layers, texture, and depth to the space she shares with her husband and Australian Shepherd. Photo by Tim Williams.

Andrew Joseph: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo: Cozy and approachable, yet chic and sophisticated. Modern and clean-lined furniture layered with a curated collection of eclectic, well-traveled objects.

Andrew: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Laurie: A continuation and expansion of digital design tools to work with clients around the corner, or around the world.

Andrew: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
Laurie: Renata Klein’s house in Big Little Lies. Modern clean lines, those windows, that view! I’m ready to move in today. The other side of me has always wanted to live in the bottle from I dream of Jeannie.

This whimsical and flirtatious room was designed for a Manhattan home with breathtaking city views. The main inspiration was Danish design, and you can find elements that coincide with those ideals throughout the space along with an eye-catching Calico wallpaper. Photo by Tim Williams.

Andrew: If you weren’t a designer, you’d be a ….?
Laurie: No doubt, I’d be a travel planner. I love to travel, it’s a significant part of my life and my design inspiration. The skills required aside from a love of travel: Organization, sense of adventure, passion for different cultures, appreciation of exotic cuisines, boutique hotels, architecture, design people, life! Check, check, check! This is definitely in my wheelhouse. In fact, I am always thinking of ways to combine my love of design with my passion for travel.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Laurie: I’m currently into White Negronis. There’s a restaurant in Brooklyn called Evelina that makes the best! So, I called them and they were nice enough to share their secret recipe with me. Let’s just say it got me through election night!

Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Laurie: When I was young, I played first chair in the All-City orchestra for the clarinet and then the Oboe, and was quite serious about ballet. I was dancing 5 days a week on toe shoes, but when they asked me if I wanted to consider training to try and be a professional ballerina, I said ‘no way!’ At 14, I could not have given up my social life and love of a good meal. I always wonder what my life would have been if I decided to pursue music and dance at a young age!

This space was designed around the large scale painting that Laurie’s clients found in Puglia, Italy. Everything surrounding this painting perfectly complements the art such as the bespoke rug, the Arteriors chandelier, and the custom blue Mod Shop credenza. Photo by Tim Williams.

Andrew: How would you describe your personal style?
Laurie: It depends on my mood and occasion. Sometimes I love to be sparkly and glam, sometimes I am more bohemian, other times, give me my Adidas sweats and a cozy T. So, I guess that means my personal style is eclectic which makes sense because that’s how I would describe my design style too.

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
Laurie: My dream project is to design a boutique hotel. I have stayed in some beautiful ones and always fantasize about collaborating with a hotel in an exotic land, or even here in NY.

About The Designer | Laurie Blumenfeld Design is led by Brooklyn-based designer Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo. Global influences from Laurie’s travels lay the groundwork for the design process and evolve into modern details and decor. The firm plans, curates and customizes each space, resulting in a cozy and chic home that functions for each individual client. Projects range from New York City apartments and commercial office spaces to complete renovations throughout the Northeast and Washington DC. From decorating to full scale renovations, the client’s dreams become reality. Photograph by Kimberly M. Wang.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for aspire design and home magazine. See more of his work here.

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