Words by Rosie Cattrell
Diving deep beneath the surface of the aesthetic to infuse personality into the realms of interior design.
In conversation with Lauren Gilberthorpe, founder of Lauren Gilberthorpe Interiors (LGI), it quickly becomes clear that there is a wealth of knowledge led by a passion for the craft behind her calm and considered demeanour. Based in the Cotswolds, and backed by a team of industry experts, including her brother Oliver, this is a company with family at its heart and an unbreakable bond with the south west, led by a vision to marry beauty with functionality in a bid to bring individuality into the spaces we cherish most.
So, how did it all begin for Lauren Gilberthorpe Interiors?
My journey began with studying textile design, which served as a gateway to the broader world of interior design. After working with a couple of the UK’s leading studios, honing my skills and nurturing my creativity, and a decade of working in interior design, I developed the knowledge and expertise necessary to establish my own venture, and nine years ago I launched LGI.
My aim here was not just to create a conventional interiors company; I was looking to create a portfolio that showcased the real personalities of the clients who lived there. My ethos has always been about crafting not just aesthetically pleasing spaces, but ones that resonate deeply with the individuals who live in them. We strive to delve beneath the surface to truly understand our clients – who they are, how they live, and how they envision their space.
Tell me about your approach to interior design and the overall process.
We believe that by integrating contemporary materials and colours with traditional furniture styles, we can develop schemes that are balanced, timeless, and beautiful. It’s this juxtaposition of old and new, traditional and contemporary, that lends our designs a distinct and layered texture, creating spaces that are as intriguing as they are comfortable.
Our second principle, ‘Live Beautifully’, is all about crafting interiors that are not only visually stunning but also practically durable. We collaborate with our preferred subcontractors and craftsmen to ensure that our designs stand the test of time both aesthetically and practically. It’s not just about creating beautiful spaces, but about designing homes that enhance the day-to-day living experience for our clients.
We pride ourselves on our ability to fuse traditional English sensibilities with more contemporary nuances. Finding the right balance between the two is both a challenge and a passion of ours, and it is this synthesis that gives our designs a unique identity and a timeless charm. Our process is a journey that evolves from these guiding principles, beginning with understanding our clients’ needs and lifestyle, and culminating in spaces that are thoughtfully designed, beautifully crafted, and uniquely personal.
Talk to me about the family dynamics within the business, and the professional relationships you share.
The business is led by myself and my brother Oliver, who manages operations, drawing on his experience in furniture and lighting design in New York, while I lead the creative direction, and our mother Louise actually manages the studio. I think that growing up together has really helped us to understand each other and naturally we work as a team, each focussing on our own talents. We are a very close family and working together feels very natural and exciting. While our roles within the business differ, we are frequently aligned in our ideas and perspectives, which makes decision-making and creative collaboration both seamless and enjoyable. We laugh a lot. This dynamic helps us to keep the business focused and efficient, while maintaining a warm, family-driven atmosphere that we believe is key to the spirit of LGI.
Take me through your recent project on the Cornish coastline.
This was a truly unique undertaking that took place in Gwithian, a stunning location on the Cornish coast. We were presented with the challenge of transforming a former group of barns into a large, luxury farmhouse. With the ever-inspiring Cornish coastline at our doorstep, we found ourselves naturally drawn towards a palette and textures that reflected the surroundings.
We decided on a neutral palette that would complement the existing architecture that made the farmhouse so distinctive and allowed us to harmoniously blend the interior spaces with the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, resulting in a tranquil and inviting home that truly felt like an extension of the coast. We balanced the need for modern luxury with a respect for the property’s rich history and character, ultimately creating a retreat that felt both timeless and thoroughly welcoming.
Working on this project was a memorable experience for us, and we feel that we successfully achieved a design that not only respected the home’s unique architecture and location but also provided a comfortable and serene living space that the homeowners could cherish.
What does it mean to you personally when you have the opportunity to work here in the south west?
These opportunities resonate deeply with both Oli and me. We were born and raised near Plymouth, so in many ways taking on projects here feels like a homecoming. The coast has always felt like home to us; there’s an indefinable connection we share with the south west, its crisp air and the awe-inspiring beauty of Devon and Cornwall. The region holds a special place in our hearts, and each opportunity to contribute to its aesthetic landscape feels like a privilege. We are thrilled about the projects we have in the pipeline here and can’t wait to share. To us, these are more than just projects, they are part of a journey that ties us back to our roots!
Alongside your design services, tell me about your latest venture, The Barn.
Launched only last summer, The Barn is an online home and lifestyle store carefully made up of a thoughtfully curated collection of pieces, from handmade cushions and throws to vintage furniture, lighting and even original artwork, each item handpicked for its unique charm and design qualities. The Barn is a wonderful representation of our ongoing mission to bring timeless, beautiful design to as many people as possible.
What do you see for the future of LGI?
We are so excited for the future, and looking to take on an increasing number of projects in Devon and Cornwall. With aspirations to open a new showroom in the region, which would complement our existing one in the Cotswolds, this expansion would provide a tangible presence that brings us closer to the communities we’re so keen to work within. We believe that this blend of local projects and a dedicated showroom would mark an exciting new chapter in LGI’s future.
Over the years, LGI has grown and evolved. Our team now comprises nine dedicated and creative individuals and we are constantly learning and pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve. Our collective mission remains to bring soul, personality, and a deep understanding of our clients’ unique aspirations into the world of interior design.