common / Luxe Living

LAURA PARSONS

… makes quiet elegance shine in every project


For this intimate dining room, the Port Royal clients wanted understated glamour. The area is small, but makes up for lack of space with handsome millwork and ceiling details. The ceiling lines are repeated in the curved backs of dining chairs upholstered in lush chenille in a shade of vapor blue. Dining table and chairs by Dessin Fournier. Rock crystal chandelier by Niermann Weeks. Custom drapery in a Travers blue-grey linen with metallic accents completes the room. For this intimate dining room, the Port Royal clients wanted understated glamour. The area is small, but makes up for lack of space with handsome millwork and ceiling details. The ceiling lines are repeated in the curved backs of dining chairs upholstered in lush chenille in a shade of vapor blue. Dining table and chairs by Dessin Fournier. Rock crystal chandelier by Niermann Weeks. Custom drapery in a Travers blue-grey linen with metallic accents completes the room. Classic. It’s virtually impossible to discuss interior designer Laura Parsons of Pure Design of Naples without using the term. Luxe Living’s Michael Korb chats with Ms. Parsons about her style and how she approaches her craft.

Q: How did you decide you wanted to be an interior designer?

A: I was taught at an early age to appreciate and value beautiful things in our home. And my mother taught me the important lesson that it was better to wait for just the right piece rather than to waste my money on something I would want to replace sooner rather than later. As a teenager and into my 20s, we spent many weekends in New England going to art galleries and antique shops. I found it to be educational as well as great fun, but I truly did not realize that I wanted to be an interior designer until after college.


Laura Parsons Laura Parsons Q: Where did you learn your craft?

A: I loved to draw as a child and I was fortunate enough to have private art lessons. I also was so aware of interiors no matter where I was, and I would think of how I could change or improve the space. I studied at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston Architectural Center and also Rhode Island School of Design and received a BFA in fine art and graphic design. It was not until after I graduated, and worked as a product designer, that I realized my true love was interiors, textiles, art and antiques. That led me to the Boston Design Center, where I worked for four years before making the move to Naples in 1999. I immediately found work at a Naples design firm and branched out on my own a few years later.


Above: A spacious master suite is luxuriously appointed with European white oak floors installed in a classic chevron pattern. A quiet and subdued Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wraps all walls and makes the large room more inviting. Ceiling trays feature a warm, silver-leaf paper that softly reflects the light from elegant rock crystal chandeliers. The custom king bed is fully upholstered in a Cowtan and Tout chenille fabric. Ecru matelassé’ coverlet and king shams mix with a Travers fabric for the Euro shams, and three boudoir-sized antique silk pillows add additional interest. Flanking the bed is a pair of chests by Dessin Fournier, topped by a perfect pair of 1940s table lamps the designer stumbled upon in Palm Beach. An original painting by Susan Morofsky defines the sitting area, where a pair of curved sofas from Celerie Kemble for Henredon creates a comfy place to read or nap, and custom drapery and sheers are motorized for instant privacy. Above: A spacious master suite is luxuriously appointed with European white oak floors installed in a classic chevron pattern. A quiet and subdued Phillip Jeffries grasscloth wraps all walls and makes the large room more inviting. Ceiling trays feature a warm, silver-leaf paper that softly reflects the light from elegant rock crystal chandeliers. The custom king bed is fully upholstered in a Cowtan and Tout chenille fabric. Ecru matelassé’ coverlet and king shams mix with a Travers fabric for the Euro shams, and three boudoir-sized antique silk pillows add additional interest. Flanking the bed is a pair of chests by Dessin Fournier, topped by a perfect pair of 1940s table lamps the designer stumbled upon in Palm Beach. An original painting by Susan Morofsky defines the sitting area, where a pair of curved sofas from Celerie Kemble for Henredon creates a comfy place to read or nap, and custom drapery and sheers are motorized for instant privacy. Q: What is the greatest challenge you face as an interior designer on any given project?


Above: The Port Royal client wanted one of the guest rooms to be very feminine, which the designer achieved first by covering all walls in a blush wallpaper with a leaf-and-vine pattern. Full-sized headboards upholstered in a neutral linen solid create a nice balance against the softly shimmery wallpaper. Custom ivory matelassé’ coverlets and shams feature a scalloped edge, and custom pink pillows are trimmed with petite shells. The designer found the pair of silver leaf brackets in Palm Beach. An antique French chandelier adds sparkle to the tray ceiling, and a 1950s pink Murano lamp sits atop the nightstand by Hickory Chair. At the foot of each bed, blush mohair throws hand-woven in France add to the welcoming, cozy feel. Above: The Port Royal client wanted one of the guest rooms to be very feminine, which the designer achieved first by covering all walls in a blush wallpaper with a leaf-and-vine pattern. Full-sized headboards upholstered in a neutral linen solid create a nice balance against the softly shimmery wallpaper. Custom ivory matelassé’ coverlets and shams feature a scalloped edge, and custom pink pillows are trimmed with petite shells. The designer found the pair of silver leaf brackets in Palm Beach. An antique French chandelier adds sparkle to the tray ceiling, and a 1950s pink Murano lamp sits atop the nightstand by Hickory Chair. At the foot of each bed, blush mohair throws hand-woven in France add to the welcoming, cozy feel. A: Intuition and psychology can play a large part in the design process. Finding the harmony for couples with many different perspectives and influences is key to a successful project. Clients are my biggest muse. If the husband and wife have different design aesthetics or taste levels … if he has a preference for traditional, for example, and the wife wants something totally different, that’s a challenge. You have to find a common ground. It’s a give and take until it works as a whole but gives both parties elements of what they want and need.


Above: The owners of this Park Shore condominium wanted the study to be a cozy and calm respite away from the main living area. The color palette is in shades of citron and gray, while the walls are papered in a Phillip Jeffries grasscloth for quiet, textural interest. The sisal area rug provides another textural layer. Fabric on sofa and chairs is by Jane Churchill, while the ottomans are covered in a sumptuous suede by Edelman. Drapery panels feature a fresh cotton print by ROMO. Above: The owners of this Park Shore condominium wanted the study to be a cozy and calm respite away from the main living area. The color palette is in shades of citron and gray, while the walls are papered in a Phillip Jeffries grasscloth for quiet, textural interest. The sisal area rug provides another textural layer. Fabric on sofa and chairs is by Jane Churchill, while the ottomans are covered in a sumptuous suede by Edelman. Drapery panels feature a fresh cotton print by ROMO. Q: What’s the first thing you ask new clients?


Above: Laura Parsons’ advice is to invest in the best mattress you can afford. On her own bed, she uses white cotton percale sheets year round, which she finds to be serene, cool and inviting. On top of that, a lightweight cotton blanket and white cotton matelassé coverlet and matching shams. Embroidered queen shams in white percale are placed in front of the king matelassé shams. All pillow inserts are down and feather filled. A lightweight goose down comforter folded in thirds adds volume to the foot of the bed. The comforter wears a white percale duvet cover witha vine pattern embroidered in calming shades of blue. Flanking the bed are linen-wrapped chests with matching vintage Murano opaline glass lamps. Above: Laura Parsons’ advice is to invest in the best mattress you can afford. On her own bed, she uses white cotton percale sheets year round, which she finds to be serene, cool and inviting. On top of that, a lightweight cotton blanket and white cotton matelassé coverlet and matching shams. Embroidered queen shams in white percale are placed in front of the king matelassé shams. All pillow inserts are down and feather filled. A lightweight goose down comforter folded in thirds adds volume to the foot of the bed. The comforter wears a white percale duvet cover witha vine pattern embroidered in calming shades of blue. Flanking the bed are linen-wrapped chests with matching vintage Murano opaline glass lamps. A: We always ask, “How does your home need to function for you and your family?” We carefully consider layers of visual and tactile interest and the narrative roots of the people who will live in the house. The designer must factor in how people really live in spaces. No project should ever be completely pristine. Ultimately, what brings a home to life is the people who inhabit it.

Q: Is there a trend that you are excited to see disappear ASAP?

A: Never again do I want to see homes filled with bad reproduction Mediterranean furniture, lighting and accessories. Nor do I want to see depressing interiors in saturated shades of army green and rust. Those oppressive, heavy interiors truly do not suit this region. I am interested in curated interiors and light-filled spaces that are never overcrowded but that incorporate texture, tone and depth by way of fabrics, interesting wall and floor finishes, hand-woven area rugs and original art. ¦

— Pure Design of Naples 758 12th Ave. S. 775- 4057 www.puredesignofnaples.com

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