Some people need no training. Like the young musician who approaches the piano keys, and her learning is simply in the feeling of her ears to the music, Laura Vogtle’s virtuosic interior design talent blossomed from her art connoisseurship (as she explains it). Yet most gallery owners don’t possess this preternatural design ability — one that has been lauded for its sublime artistry time and again. As Laura’s much-admired design legend Axel Vervoordt once said: “The way one looks at things is of the utmost importance. Seeing is feeling with the eyes.” This must be how Laura Vogtle experiences light, color and texture in space — feeling them through sight. We are delighted to introduce our latest interior designer crush, art curator and interior designer Laura Vogtle.
What is your design aesthetic, and how do you translate that to a client’s home?
I would say that my style is inherently traditional, with contemporary elements and lots of artistic touches. I want my clients’ homes to be practical, comfortable and fun — nobody wants a house where you’re afraid to put your feet up.
You also own Design Supply at Pepper Place and Gallery 1930 in English Village, where you curate the showroom and galleries. Tell us about your offerings there. How do you discover the artists and curate the collection?
My team and I go to market several times a year to source furniture and antiques for the store. We are always on the lookout for new artistic talent, and we represent a carefully curated group of artists from all over the country. When we pursue a new artist, or an artist submits his or her work, if my diverse staff can all agree that the work is a good fit for the gallery, then we tend to see success!
Tell us a bit about your background and experience in the art and design worlds. What came first — art or interiors?
Art definitely came first, but even prior to that, I owned a women’s clothing shop — Laura Kathryn in Crestline Village — for almost 20 years. I opened Gallery 1930 in 2011, as a way to showcase my sister Meredith Keith’s artwork. After years of working with clients on art consultation and placement, interiors felt like a natural progression, and we opened Design Supply Shop in November of 2018.
Are there any trends you love at the moment, and, alternately, any timeless aspects of design that you cling to?
I am a sucker for textures, and I love to layer luxe fabrics in a tonal color palette. To me, there is nothing more timeless than well-framed, great artwork!
What has been your most challenging project to date, and why? How did it help you grow as a designer?
It is always challenging when a project has budget constraints. But often, those projects end up being the most fun because they force me to really get creative in ways that I might not have to with an unlimited budget.
What brings you the most professional joy?
Seeing clients settled and enjoying their spaces. Staged photos are beautiful, but there is nothing better than seeing a home being truly lived in!
What is your favorite room in your home, and why?
Hands down, my kitchen — I have five children (three in college), and when everyone is back in town, the kitchen is, of course, where we all congregate. Food is the great unifier!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Fashion magazines, travel, late-night Instagram scrolling, you name it!
Where do you take chances in design?
I like to throw at least a small wow into every room (as long as the client is willing). It can be anything from a loud print on a pillow to painting the ceiling a vibrant color. Art is always a fun place to take chances.
If you could choose one designer to redo your home right now, who would it be?
I’m crazy about Axel Vervoordt’s clean, minimal aesthetic, but I might be too much of a control freak to ever let anyone else redo my home!
Share one designer secret with us regular folks.
Chalkboard paint can hide a multitude of sins.
What three home decor items can you not live without?
LOTS of art, books and candles.
If you could squeeze your design philosophy into five words, what would they be?
Art-centric, textured, comfortable, practical, fun
Meet more of our favorite Southern interior designers in our archives. Click HERE!