Personal Style, Defined: Lauren of Material Girls

Lauren Haskett is a phenomenal kitchen and bath designer who just so happens to be a fellow Houstonian and a founding member of the fabulous blog, Material Girls. I am sure you are probably already familiar with their coast-to-coast blog, but if you haven't visited in a while, be sure to check it out soon as the entire blog has been completely revamped and is easily the most visually appealing blog out there right now! Lauren is as talented as she is sweet and I am happy to call her a friend. I knew that she would be perfect for this series because she has a great sense of style when it comes to both fashion and interior design.

{Paper City February 2005; Photography by Tria Giovan; Design by: Renea Abbott}

First things first, I would like to thank Paloma for including me in this group of fabulous bloggers and designers. I am certainly in esteemed company!

My personal style has greatly evolved since the days of drooling over plaid sofas (hello, early nineties) followed by my poor rendition of Shabby Chic (no offense, Rachel). Let's just say to this day I could never, ever do a plaid sofa or plaid curtains and any piece of furniture that resembles shabby chic makes me shudder.

I've thought long and hard about how I design and what draws me to certain spaces. What did they all have in common? There are certainly some common denominators that kept popping up... neutral upholstery (preferably cream or white), animal print, lucite, modern art, fabulous old mirrors, Murano glass lamps, seagrass rugs, vintage furniture/accessories, and ALWAYS a graphic or geometric punch.

{Room by Mary McGee via Turquoise Chic}

The phrase I've come up with to define my taste is "comfortable glamour." Two words that could be argued could never co-exist in the same house. I need a room with SPARKLE, whether it be the ever-so-subtle gleam of polished nickel bath fixtures or a ginormous venetian mirror. The practical side of me says, "but wait, I need a comfortable couch that I can eat ice cream on and watch 'Real Housewives' marathons." To me, glamour and practicality must find harmony in my spaces.

{Gerrie Bremmerman via Things that Inspire}

I think you must, must, must mix the old with the new. I love that designer Gerrie Bremmerman paired blue blood antiques with the more modern Barcelona Chair. Those huge mirrors aren't too bad either...
A room full of antiques may look "expensive" or uber-traditional, but to me it's often stale and stodgy. On the other hand, a room designed with only brand new pieces from chain furniture showrooms and accessories plucked from the shelves of discount super stores has no soul.

{Room designed by Jan Showers; Photography by Ka Yeung}

It's really hard for me to pin-point why I love this living room so much. It's eclectic vibe is sophisticated but at the same time, I'm sure this room has seen it's fair share of crazy parties.

Finding personal style is all about experimentation. High risk can yield high rewards - don't be afraid of ghosts of design pasts only strengthened my decision making ability today.

Lauren, I couldn't agree more with your philosophy on personal style and interior design. I love your idea of "comfortable glamour". I think it is the look I gravitate to the most. Thank you so much for participating!

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