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Conversations with the Inspiring Laura Umansky

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Umansky.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Laura. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always had an appreciation for curated, collected and well-thought out interiors. I grew up in Central Texas and in Sugarland and I loved to draw plans, arrange, and rearrange the rooms throughout our home. This followed me into my college years and I studied art as an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin. It was there that I happily discovered that Interior Design was an actual profession. After graduating, I interned with a commercial interior design firm and then went on to graduate school where I studied Architecture. I have a Masters in Architecture from the University of Houston and have practiced Interior Design since I graduated.

After working for a couple of years for a fabulous firm specializing in vacation homes, I opened a retail store – the Laura U Collection – and launched my design firm in the Montrose/River Oaks area – really right in between the two. I “retired” from retail about 5 years ago when my design firm demanded all of my attention and I found that I enjoyed the design service more than being a shop girl. Laura U Interior Design celebrated 10 years in 2017!

Now my firm focuses on luxury residences in Houston, throughout Texas and the United States, and internationally. We have a very tight-knit team of 14 and we all excel at design, client services and project management. My work also led me to develop The Process of Design in order to keep our team organized, projects on schedule and deliver impeccable white glove service to each and every client. My tailored design process allows me and the team to take the time to understand each client’s lifestyle and curate spaces that showcase the client’s unique story.

When I am not designing homes for my client’s I am spending time with my twin daughters, Liv and Ryan, my husband, and our pup Early.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My road has been relatively smooth I think! I have been flexible from the outset, pivoted when I had to, and I am no stranger to long hours and doing the difficult work. I do what it takes because I absolutely LOVE the work, I love to grow my business, and I love to produce beautiful and singular interiors. While nothing is ever perfect, I have given my attention to both the design aesthetic of my clients as well as the process of the design and that is the defining difference of our firm. While we always achieve a beautiful interior, it is the way we get there that our clients enjoy.

What should we know about Laura U Interior Design? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At Laura U, we specialize in luxury residential interior design. Our work spans new construction, large scale renovations, cosmetic updates, and full furnishings. We produce turn-key interiors. This means we design a home from top-to-bottom where every detail is considered and executed thoughtfully. Our clients come home to a complete interior that they can enjoy without lifting a finger.

I know that each client has a unique story to tell. We spend the time to understand each clients’ values and what brings them personal joy, once we uncover this story our design team weaves it throughout each space in their home.

From a young age, I was heavily influenced by my surroundings, always organizing and arranging my possessions with intention and purpose. From this need to impact the built environment I spent my time studying and honing my craft over the years. I love to learn so the interior design profession suits me very well – you never know it all. It is the perfect mix of art and science. My classically current design philosophy looks to the architectural and design icons of the past, references what is important and beautiful, and then brings each space into the present.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
There are several apps that I use daily, for team collaboration and keeping tabs on our projects, I can’t live without Basecamp. For design inspiration, I always reference Instagram and Pinterest. To keep my head on straight, I use the Headspace app daily.

I read business all the time! I just finished Rocket Fuel which was recommended by an entrepreneurial friend. Now I am listening to Traction on Audible at 1.5x speed so I can be super-efficient.

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