With a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Pratt Institute and a master’s in architectural history and theory from UCLA, kitchen and bath designer Laurie Haefele knows how to use the past to create inspired new designs. Before launching Haefele Design in 2002, the designer—who counts Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn among her heroes—worked with Gwathmey Siegel in New York, where she contributed to residential projects as well as the Guggenheim expansion. Here, a little insight into the Santa Monica-based designer.
What is your aesthetic? My design aesthetic often changes and evolves—I enjoy a vast array of styles. Right now, I prefer designing with clean lines in a contemporary manner.
How did you get started in the business? I studied architecture at Pratt Institute, and after working in the architectural field for a few years, I accidently fell into kitchen design and that has since parlayed into bath and wardrobe design.
Where do you derive your design inspiration? My design inspiration is often inspired by my diverse and unique clientele. Every project presents new criteria for creativity.
If you could reside on a Hollywood movie set from any era, what would it be? I would choose Casablanca (1942) or any movie set with the architecture of Andalusia, Spain, specifically the Alhambra and the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
What do your clients like best about working with you? I believe my clients really appreciate my creativity and my honesty with them.
What takes a kitchen or bath from ordinary to extraordinary? As Mies van der Rohe once said, “God is in the details.” This is what catapults design from ordinary to extraordinary.
Images courtesy of the designer