What does that Mean?: A degree in Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon and 18 years in the field. This encompasses both commercial and residential projects as large as a million square feet. My background prepared me for more involved and technical aspects such as structural, lighting, and acoustics. The project scope varies to include Interior Architecture and Design, Space Planning, Tenant Improvement and Furniture and Finishes. Consulting is also available for such tasks as programming, feasibility, image or theme, interior or exterior finishes and color, and renderings.
Career Path: After graduation I spent about 5 years in San Francisco as an Interior Designer for Whistler Patri and Ehrankrantz Group and Eckstut. I returned to the Northwest to work for GBD Architects and Edelman, Naiman, Bissett. I always wanted to start my own business, but was a bit uncertain with the instability of the profession. I worked for Medical Planning and Development while marketing for non-related work. I created a commercial design division for Sandra Lamer Interiors and shortly thereafter, in 1992, began my own practice.
Family History: Many family members have made significant contributions to the community and the State of Oregon specifically in the area of construction and design. My uncle who owns part of Sokol Blosser and Hyland Vineyards started Truss Joist. He sold the first Tim Joist to cousins of Sivers Development for The Madison/Jefferson Towers. Another cousins' family started Parr Lumber and yet another uncle owned and donated all the land where the Columbia and Deschutes come together for a State Park. A great uncle captain started the Yaquina Bay Ferry. My mother owns the second largest Lewis and Clark private collection, which includes wonderful artwork and sculpture. My Grandfather designed the first refrigerator car for Consolidated Freightways and upon returning to Oregon I designed their Headquarters. In addition, I was the lead designer on several award winning projects including best renovation by BOMA for the Lloyd 500 Lobbies, Bar Association Award for Martin, Bischoff, et al and Judge O'Scannlain's Chambers in Pioneer Courthouse. Additional awards in and outside the area include published works for Hermes San Francisco, among others.
LR Interior Design Project Work: My first project was K&F Coffee's retail location, which led to repeat business in this area for Coffee Bean International, Moonstruck Coffee and Chocolates, and Marsee Bakery. In the restaurant arena, clients included Salty's on the Columbia, Ramada Inn, Shilo Lobby, and Robbi's Sport's Bar. I have performed ongoing tenant work for US Bank and various corporate law offices, Rabbi Roses Office in Temple Beth, James Canfield's office as well as set design, and many other commercial and residential remodels including the owners of The Gap and Melanie Griffith's Cousin.
CREW Experience: I joined CREW through Debbie Kitchin of Interworks, LLC. I got involved immediately with committee work for TOSTWD facilitating students, the golf tournament procuring a Mercedes, and Sponsorship. In addition, I am now the Events Chairman for CREW as Board Member.
CREW Success: Volunteering helped me get to know members and form relationships. These have led to ongoing project design work.
What she likes most about CREW: The range of professional/successful women, in all areas of my field, together, with it's warm and supportive atmosphere which immediately welcomed me.
Previous Involvements: I have placed my efforts mainly with Women and Children. I was past chairperson for the Children's Museum Events, a member of SMART, Substitute-taught Montessori School, taught basket weaving to Grade School Students, introduced Interior Design at Career Workshops for High School Students, conducted AIA video interview workshops in SF, and was adjunct professor at Bassist/Art Institute and Marylhurst University.
Personal Information: Single and never married. My children consist of an English Springer Spaniel, Bailey and Curious George the Cat.
What you may not know about Laura: In addition to my day job in design, I was Event Planner for Williams-Sonoma, SF, working directly with Julia Child, Martha Stewart, etc. I enjoy catering and have sold my desserts to various restaurants around Portland. I illustrated and coordinated the production of a guide on restaurants in SF, and did some commercial modeling for local restaurants eating and critiquing meals on TV. I did a national ad as a mother of a future boy scout, as well as, ads for Norm Thompson, Payless, Fred Meyer etc.to bring in a little cash while starting my business. And so did my dog, as his trainer owned Feathers and Fur Talent Agency and put him in an ad campaign for Hewlett Packard, which used Bailey's image when you test a printer.
Special Interests: Cooking, Catering, Gardening, Fishing, Watercolor, Mosaic, Cycling, Hiking, Skiing, and Audubon Birding.
Favorite Movies: I enjoy most of the classics and romantic movies. I loved A Room With A View, Enchanted April and Like Water for Chocolate.
Favorite Restaurant: I am a romantic at heart, and this would have to be during my favorite date. First I was taken soaring with the birds, in a plane glider through the wine country in Sonoma/Napa. Later, in Santa Cruz, a cable car took us down to a quaint restaurant on the river for a wonderfully romantic dinner. Guess I was caught up in the moment and don't remember it's name!
Motto: Live your dreams... and go for it while having fun doing it!