After 10 years as the lead designer for Hamptons Design, Laura Sanatore branched out to create her own firm, LMS Design. She consciously incorporates the local economy for sourcing high quality materials and talent to form her team. She seamlessly realizes both contemporary and traditional spaces while collaborating closely with her homeowners.
You started out as the lead designer at Hampton Design. It must be exciting and daunting at the same time. Why did you start your solo career?
I think after being at Hampton Design for so long, it was just time to branch out on my own. A few opportunities came up that gave me a chance to do projects on my own, and that gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap.
What inspires you?
On a personal level, yoga inspires me. It allows me to find this place of harmony and balance, which comes into play when I design.
I really dig modern design. Something about modern architecture really inspires me; it’s letting the outside in with large windows, the clean lines of a relatively minimal space, and the overall feeling that I love. Also having an appreciation for the basics of design, not just the objects or the things that go into a home inspires my design because I believe that is the bones of the house.
Can you describe your design style?
My design style is in the middle of modern and traditional. It’s the space in-between that I really seem to settle in on. I like a space to be comfortable but still with a less is more approach. It’s not too much, not too little, but still well thought out.
What determined your passion for design?
I never really even considered this as a profession. I have a background in healthcare and that was honestly my passion. But as we know, life has a tendency of throwing us a curve ball or two, and somehow, I landed working for an interior design firm. From there, it was just a matter of learning everything I could to do my job effectively. Turns out, I really loved it and wanted to absorb as much as I could about this industry.
I am a very process-driven person and the process is what excites me about design. Seeing something in its current form, knowing that you can make it something great is exciting. And having a client be as excited about the process and outcome as I am is magic.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you choose to do?
I would want to be a motivational speaker. I have a way with motivating people, for sure. But I am also a yoga instructor, so that is another passion that I would pursue if I was not designing full time.
Can you tell us any trends our readers should be excited about?
People are starting to incorporate more color in designs and more stark contrast, which I am totally digging.
What makes you stand out among other designers?
My approach. I am a very genuine person, super honest, and I have been told I am refreshing. I get excited about doing this work. I am the designer that walks into a house when something is being installed and literally jumps around with excitement. I also appreciate the team effort that goes into this work. It takes a village to get a project done, and that never goes without saying.
What is your favorite book or magazine on design? How about your favorite website?
Well, I am in love with Victoria Hagen Designs; her latest book was on point. Love Olson Kudig Design out of Seattle: everything they do is pretty inspiring. And my favorite TV show is “Flipping Out” on Bravo; Jeff Lewis is a ridiculously talented designer and I am in love with his overall approach to design and the industry. I also think that Instagram and Pinterest are my two favorite websites for design.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
My job is to listen to the client and gain a sense of direction for what they want the space to look like. Sometimes it is hard for a client to visualize a space when it is in process, which can be intimidating for them, but I know that the end result will be amazing. There are times when I say to a client “Trust me, we have this and it is going to be everything you wanted it to be.” This is the part that is the most challenging, but the part that is equally exciting. It’s when I know that my team has it and we have over exceeded a client’s expectations.
If you had no limits (money, resources), what would you create?
I would build my own house (modern of course), with a ton of windows for natural light, clean, comfortable furniture . . . a phenomenal kitchen with every appliance a girl could ever want, and a place that I could really showcase my work. If all else fails, a TV show on Bravo would be okay too.
Share something you would like the world to know about you or your ideas.
I am intensely passionate about what I do. Anyone that comes in contact with me knows that. That passion is what gets me out of bed every day. I want to be known for collaborating with everyone involved in a project. From architect to contractor and trades, we all play intricate roles in creating a home. I want to be known for having a team that is inspired daily by each other, motivates each other to do the best that they can do every day and feels like they have the ability to create.
What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?
Believe in yourself and your talents. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but it is something I remind myself of daily.
To learn more about LMS Design visit www.lmsdllc.com or call 631.943.1500.