If you’re looking for an Instagram feed filled with beautiful home accents, look no further than Lauren Haskell Designs. Lauren Haskell is the founder of Lo Home, a home decor website that features everything from ceramic products, (Lauren’s ginger jars are available as lamps too) and hardware to pillows, rugs and various accents to make your home every bit as beautiful as you’ve always dreamed it could be.
Lauren has always been an artist and a ‘maker’ who loves seeing her designs brought to life. You’ll learn more about Lauren and Lo Home in this interview, including the fact that product design is her favorite part of the process. Lauren & Lo Home not only strives to bring beauty to your home, but also to remain a completely sustainable brand.
When did your interest in art & design begin?
I have always been a “maker.” From making my own Barbie clothes out of wrapping paper and tissues as a child to making my own clothes and bedding in high school, I always loved the process of cooking up and bringing my own designs to life. Growing up, I watched my Nana who was also a “maker.” We would cut out photos of Halloween costume ideas and she would bring them to life using creativity and resourcefulness. She was truly a “Jill of All Trades” and there was nothing in my eyes that she couldn’t figure out. She taught herself to reupholster furniture, make slipcovers, window treatments, and pretty dresses. She was also fiercely determined and clever. Though she may not have been able to afford something that she saw in a store or catalog, she would always find a way- even if that meant creating it herself out of the resources she had access to. Even though her creativity may have been born of necessity, I know she loved the creative process of figuring it out and adding her own flair and love to everything she made. I think we are similar in that regard, and those lessons of resourcefulness and determination to find a way using the tools and materials at my disposal really stuck with me.
How did your training in the pediatric field influence your designs?
As a therapist, I worked with people of different sensitivities and physical abilities, and learned how crucial a comfortable and functional environment is for optimal quality of life. When designing a space for clients, the end result has to marry function and comfort, and that end result is as unique as every person or family. I not only consider aesthetic preferences (favorite colors, patterns, and tones), but also physical elements of the space that will make the space optimal to support the life lived in the space (for example: appropriate lighting and flooring materials for the activities performed in the space, etc.)
All of your ginger jars are made by hand. Tell me about the process of creating one of your ginger jars?
Yes! We use a slip casting process to make our ceramics. First, we create or work with an artist to create a master object and then cast plaster molds of that object that we then pour clay into.The clay sits in the plaster molds for about half a day, and then we take apart the molds and release the object. From there, it has to dry out and be cleaned up quite a bit by hand using sanding files. The raw clay pieces then go into the kiln for about 12 hours, and when they come out, they are white hard ceramic pieces called “bisque.” The bisque is then glazed by hand using our glazes. They are fired again for about 12 hours, and the glaze melts into a glassy coating around the ceramic piece in the kiln. If the piece has gold or silver accents, real 22K gold or while gold which is suspended in oil is painted on by hand, and then fired one last time. The oil burns off, and the metal is fused into the glass coat.
What inspires the different designs?
Product design is my favorite part of the gig! I draw most of my inspiration from artists and love to collaborate with them to turn their art into functional pieces for the home. I appreciate and respect the unique voice and point of view of each artist that I work with and love the challenge of creating a surface design or product that uplifts their voice and also stays true to the Lo Home brand.
In 2017 you launched your design firm, Lauren Haskell Designs. What do your enjoy the most about working with your clients and is there a particular design project that you’ve enjoyed working on the most?
I have stepped back from design work and only take on a few projects each year, just because the manufacturing and product design is so demanding and enjoyable for me. However, when I do get to design a space, my favorite spaces to design are definitely children’s’ rooms. I know so many precious moments will happen in that room, and I love being apart of building the background for those special times. Plus, my whimsical side gets to come out and play!
What color palette do you find yourself drawn to most frequently in your design work?
I just can’t get away from soft, sophisticated pastels. I always let my clients’ preferences dictate the palette for our projects and can find beauty in so many colors, but if I had my choice… every project would be a pastel paradise!
In 2018 you launched Lo Home and you produce all of your ceramic products, hardware, soft goods, lamps, and case good furniture in-house, and source your wallpaper materials, fabric, upholstered furniture, rugs, and select accents from manufacturers. What do you feel sets Lo Home apart from other home decor brands?
Our mission is “Make good products, and make GOOD.” We strive to offer quality products that add beauty to our world in each stage of its life. Here are a few more thoughts on our mission and business philosophy:
Our philosophy is simple: We create beauty. Our designs start with a beautiful aesthetic, and in the end, each product exists to add beauty to our world. We consider all phases of a product’s existence, and engineer beauty and goodness into each. We do not consider sustainability and human rights to be our “edge” or “niche,” but work to build a healthy, viable business built on principles of high-quality products, fair prices, and ethical means to that end.
The creation of each product must positively contribute to the lives of each person who touches it from beginning to end, and the materials for our products must be sustainably sourced to the best of our current ability. The supply chain and material origins are painstakingly researched and carefully weighed for the most positive impact throughout the manufacturing process and for the end-product. We are proud to present transparent information about our supply chain, materials, and production on our product information pages and to inquiring parties. The goal is to move towards creating all of our products in-house and exclusive to our brand.
We also want to add goodness to the days of each person we have the privilege to work with and serve, so exceptional and personalized customer service is a core element of our company.
As a designer what do you enjoy the most about seeing how your customers display your ginger jars in their homes?
Oh this is the biggest thrill for me and the whole reason I got into product design and manufacturing! For better or worse, I have always loved giving hand-made gifts to those in my life (I went through a real friendship bracelet phase in middle school that my family and friends were very kind to humor lol.) Thoughtful or meaningful gifts are my favorite way to show love or appreciation. I feel so fulfilled by this work because I feel like I am sharing a special part of myself with our clients and customers. When I see photos of my little product babies in someone’s home and life, I feel so honored and joyful!
I absolutely love the ‘Maggie’ magnolia sculpture that you shared on Instagram. Tell me a bit about the process of creating this particular piece.
Thank you so much! I had an idea for ceramic flower (I especially love magnolias) as large-scale statement hardware for furniture, and as I was sculpting some initial prototypes, I realized that it could definitely work as an art piece as well! We ended up slip casting the flowers instead of hand-sculpting them to guarantee consistent sizing and quality.
For the Maggie art pieces, I knew the flowers would need to be secured to a wood block due to the weight, and then added some lovely gold leaf to showcase the flower and pretty metallic frames!
Keep up with Lauren Haskell and LO Home through the following links…
All images in this post are via Lauren Haskell.