At Home with Laura Arledge of State Studio
Join us for an insightful interview with Laura, an accomplished interior designer and founder of "State" – a design firm dedicated to creating spaces that speak to their clients' individuality and mood. In this conversation, Laura shares her educational journey, design inspirations, and the driving force behind her entrepreneurial spirit. Discover how she effortlessly harmonizes form and function in her work and learn about her commitment to quality over quantity. Plus, find out what music sets the tone for her lazy Sunday mornings.
FF: What path did you take for your education in design?
LA: I went to Colorado State University and received my Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. After school, I continued education as a Teachers Assistant and then Instructor at Front Range Community College in 3DS Max (3D visualization).
FF: At what age or moment in your life did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in Interiors?
LA: I chose interior design for college because it incorporated both the analytical and creative sides of my brain. That said, I don’t think I actually knew what the field entailed until I was practicing as an intern at a local firm. It’s much more architectural and technical than the interior design reputation had when I went into the field (think fluffing pillows instead of 3D interior architecture and space planning). It’s amazing how social media and Pinterest have helped to inform the importance of design + architecture as a representation of self and brand identity.
FF: Was there an early experience you had with a work that had an impact on you? Or, that influenced your design style?
LA: Prior to starting State, I worked in the design world for 10 years on amazing projects like full-service hotels, corporate campuses, and custom residential projects. All of that was crucial in my foundational knowledge. It wasn’t until I started State though and worked on my own house that I feel like I started to discover my own voice in design. The creative journey I went through myself gave me a greater understanding of my own creative process and how I wanted to approach uncovering that for our clients’ voices as well.
FF: What propelled you to go out on your own and start your own firm?
LA: When I was 10 years old, I had a store set up in my room that my siblings would shop from. I created a check reader, a barcode scanner that I had made from a fake “beeper”, and business cards. I think being an entrepreneur has always been a part of me and it took me having enough experience to feel like I was ready. I have the desire to make a difference in the world with design and running a firm allows me to make decisions and move in a direction I feel strongly about.
FF: Where did the name of your firm come from?
LA: “State” has a two-fold meaning: what you have to “state” or what you have to say, and your “state” or your mood. Our goal is to uncover what our clients have to say (their statement) and in turn, provide an interior environment that creates their best state.
FF: How do you balance function and aesthetics in your work?
LA: Everything we do approaches both function and aesthetics in tandem. Our initial survey with clients asks questions on both sides and we approach design to solve problems and also be beautiful. If it doesn’t solve a problem, we’ve failed.
FF: In addition to a home’s architecture, what role do you think furnishings and curated objects play in the story of our lives?
LA: I think they provide meaning and inspiration if they are associated with memories, and can provide a tactile representation of who we are which helps us connect to ourselves and others. I love how the power of space can bring people together.
FF: Do you have a favorite city or place you like to visit for design inspiration?
LA: New York and Austin
FF: Is there a design aspect or area of a project that you would never compromise on?
LA: Quality. Our motto is quality over quantity. You can still do things that are cost effective but high quality. We don’t want to put throw-away stuff in any of our projects.
FF: Okay, it’s a lazy Sunday morning around your home, what type of music are you playing? What artist or album?
LA: Sundays are for chill soulful music like Wild Rivers, Johnnyswim, and Allen Stone