Designer Spotlight on Lauren Clement
Balancing work, family and passion as a successful interior designer.
For Lauren Clement, interior design has been part of her life for as long as she can remember. She was just two years old when her mom started her design business. "My mom took it upon herself to mentor those around her, not just in the aspects of interior design, but also in how to run a small business. I learned a lot from watching her work and teach others," says Lauren.
Still, a future in interior design wasn't Lauren's first stop along the journey to her dream job. "I graduated with a degree in psychology, but I started questioning my career path after being laid up after a car accident,” she explained. “I decided to change course and try my hand at design, and I've never looked back."
After starting Lauren Nicole Designs in 2006, she hired her sister as her first employee, and with her mom's guidance and influence, the company has grown from there. "Even though my mom and I have very different styles, growing up with her taught me about the fundamentals of a beautiful space. A home should always be well put together, but still livable," she says.
Space designed by Lauren Clement
A lover of the outdoors, Lauren draws inspiration from the textures and elements of nature. "Bringing the outside in is a big part of my designs. I love incorporating boxwood to bring greenery into a space," she added.
She also believes that lighting is one of the most crucial elements to consider when designing. "I've found that 80% of homes are 20% underlit. When you use lighting properly, it enhances the mood and makes the space more functional," says Lauren.
Above all though, her top priority when designing a space is listening to her clients and working closely with them from the beginning of the process to the end. She says, "I think it's so important to get a feel for what my clients do and don't like. I walk a fine line to design something within their comfort zone, while also pushing the envelope a bit to give them something they wouldn't have been able to create themselves,” Lauren explains. “My end goal is to design a timeless space they will love for years to come."
Space designed by Lauren Clement
She's currently working on one of her biggest projects of the year: a complete remodel of a house on Lake Norman. "We've started the demo on the property and I just picked out several Wildwood lighting and accent pieces that will be perfect for the home! We're all excited to see the end result," she says.
While her work is keeping her busy, as a mother of two daughters, Lauren understands the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. One of the perks of owning her design firm is that she sets her hours so that she can spend precious time with her children and still work hard for her clients.
Lauren explains, "I end up doing a lot of work at night after the girls have gone to bed. I feel productive late at night and working then allows me to spend time with my kids during more 'traditional' working hours. It also allows me to meet with my clients when it's most convenient for them. The flexibility is fantastic."
Lauren and her mother, Linda Riddiough
Following in the footsteps of her mother, Lauren enjoys passing on advice she's learned to aspiring interior designers. "The most important thing I can tell people looking into this industry is that you have to have to be prepared to put your heart and soul into it. Interior design is not just a walk in the park surrounded by pretty fabrics. It's also running a business, dealing with unexpected surprises and working non-traditional hours. But that's what makes it so rewarding. If you have a true love and passion for design, it's the best job you'll ever have."
Lauren recently launched a collaboration with Benjamin Moore, creating three custom paint colors with more to come. With Wildwood’s new collection, Wildwood Select, customers will soon be able to order any pieces from the collection in not only any Benjamin Moore color, but in Lauren’s custom colors as well!
Keep your eye out for a blog post about our Wildwood Select Collection coming soon. Until then, we hope you’ll check out Lauren’s Instagram and website to get a better feel for her design style and how her services might be right for you.
Learn more about Lauren’s Benjamin Moore custom paint colors by checking out her segment on WCNC.