LUX Autumn 2018

16 Creating Beautiful Environments Laurie Ghielmetti is a full-service design firm based in San Francisco, California. The firm’s primary areas of focus are Interior Design and Art Consulting. Recently, we profiled the firm and spoke to Laurie Ghielmetti as we looked to discover more about her remarkable success. One would imagine that the founder of Laurie Ghielmetti, now in her 30th year in business, would be pleased that so many of her clients refer to her as a teacher, guide and mentor. Yet Laurie Ghielmetti demurs, saying instead that she considers herself first and foremost to be a student— not just of art, architecture and furnishings—but also of the human experience, and of the interplay between one’s personal journey and the environments that reflect one’s sense of self. “The reason that this work is always such a positive inspiration is that it never offers up the same set of circumstances, ever”, says Laurie. “Just as people’s lives are constantly evolving, so is their relationship to their environment. Consider the external and internal forces that shape people’s lives—family, occupation, location, outlook, opportunity—and when you work with a person to help them identify the elements of their environment that inspire them, nourish them, or afford them some measure of peace and tranquillity in their world, the dynamics are ever-changing.” The firm is often invited into a collaborative team, including the clients, their architect and contractor. In this setting, Laurie’s pragmatic approach to problem solving and years of experience in the myriad details of custom building, creates for the group a working relationship that allows each member to contribute to the process and the outcome. “What is important is to understand the value of every member’s contribution and to honour it. Just staying open enough to actually hear what is being said, and the intention behind the statement, is critical in keeping the process alive and open.” The end result? “The built and furnished environment glows with its own vitality; it is never stale.” Part of the process for Laurie herself is to interview her clients to better understand their life stories. How do they live? How do they want to feel in this house? What rooms are they drawn to, and what rooms create energy and awareness of their surroundings? “One of the most important lessons from my earliest years in the business was to talk less and listen more”, she says. “Sometimes the listening has nothing to do with 1807LU04