My Style: Peep Lauren Geremia’s Spacious Setup And Cool Closet!

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on September 7.]
If you’ve stumbled into some of San Francisco’s sleekest eateries or ogled a local start-up’s swanky office, chances are you’ve peeped the work of interior designer Lauren Geremia. The young, rising creative is making major waves with her sharp-as-a-whip business model, impressive roster of clients (hello, Instagram!), and laid-back attitude — and style. Forbes even tapped her for its recent "30 Under 30" roundup (props).
So, it was a foregone conclusion that someone with such great design sensibility would have a killer pad just waiting to be roved by R29. And, not only does Geremia have a spacious crib (um, indoor pool, garden, spiral staircase, higher-than-high ceilings), but her place also doubles as her firm’s office. Twofer! We popped in as she played dress up in her cool auto-body-shop-turned-home and work compound in Emeryville, and let’s just say — "home envy" doesn’t even begin to cover it.
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Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Tell us more about your job and what you love about it.
"My job involves creating cool environments for people, businesses, and homes. I get to make art and produce ideas and get paid to do it, which is very convenient. My projects are like commissions for my concepts. My career is something that I am really grateful for, so working hard to improve my business skills and progress is important to me. Seeking inspiration, making drawings, designing light fixtures fill up my evenings, while work hours are filled with sales, project meetings, and business management."

Lauren chilling on her spiral staircase in an Ali Golden top and Alexander Wang booties.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Your place is amazing! How would you describe the overall aesthetic of it?
"It’s bright, open, and organized. I keep it this way in the hopes that I take on these traits myself."

Lauren's palatial pad!

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What are some of your favorite pieces in your home?
"I love my plants. I have a lot and my ceilings allow for huge trees. The plants combined with my skylights make it seem like you are always outside. I like my art collection that I am slowly building. Each piece is something I save for and means a lot to me. Most of these artists are my friends or become friends in the exchange."

A succulent garden rests on her kitchen table.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How would you describe your signature interior design style?
"It's important to design things that my clients will use and love. And getting to know them is a fun part of the process. I really want the items that make up the design to be useful and to make their lives better, as well as looking nice. I believe that things should be functional and have intention. I have an eclectic style and like to use tasteful antiques and then design or invest in modern basics. We commission and design about 75% of our pieces in most projects, so we can get the exact aesthetic we want and control the price. Art and installations are always the anchor of my designs and sometimes they are in the form of giant light fixtures or a wall treatment. Most of my clients are up for some experimentation, which allows for bolder outcomes."

Up close and personal.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Where do you draw your decor inspiration from?
"Books, art, photography, museums, and architecture. Also, my clients interests and lives."

What are some of your favorite design shops in the Bay?
"I have different places I go for different things. I love going to galleries in San Francisco and looking at work."

Cornered! A view of Lauren's sleek living room.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What's one decor item you feel everyone needs?
"Decent sheets."

What are your favorite neighborhood haunts?
"Berkeley Bowl is a few blocks away and is a relaxing place for me, oddly enough. I really like picking out produce for some reason. I also spend time at a pottery studio off of Fourth Street in Berkeley. Prizefighter is around the corner if I want a good cocktail. I wish I had the time to design and open a restaurant in Emeryville."

A calming little bedroom vignette.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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When designing for different tech companies, how do you incorporate the feel of the app or site within the space?
"I usually like to be subtle about this and sometimes a little abstract. My interpretations of what my clients would like to live in and represent are based on lots of conversations about their company culture, business goals, and things they need to be productive. We use branding in the designs, but it is not usually what the interiors are about."

Nooks and crannies!

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Any cool new projects you can tell us about?
"We just finished furnishing a space for Instagram, which we are very happy with. We also are working on a new S.F.-based office for the team at Yousendit. We are working on a restaurant in Cole Valley and two new office build-outs for two tech firms."

Sitting poolside in a coral Ali Golden top.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What are some things you consider when designing for a workplace versus a residence?
"The process is similar, but the items, materials, and purpose changes. We don't have to consider furnishing a space for a large number of people to use when it's residential. Residential work has less multiples and repetition. Also, the time crunch isn't as extreme with residential work, because people do not have short-term leases."

That pool! A spanning view of Lauren's kitchen and swimming area.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How would you describe your personal style?
"Basics. I like to wear leggings, a simple dress, and loafers. I get in these formula uniforms for a few months and then change it up slightly to stay on trend. I need to be able to wash everything. I am prone to accidents and love to make a mess."

Lauren models a pair of pretty spotted booties.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What are some of your favorite features of your home?
"My house is really easy to keep clean and clutter free. There are bookcases everywhere to put stuff away and the floor is concrete. I can drag my things in from the beach or do a gardening project and it takes a sweep to fix."

Digging the color palette in Lauren's bedroom.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What do you love about living in the East Bay?
"I like the space and pace. I like my life and my routine. The weather is dramatically different from S.F. Everyone has a nice garden and a sweet dog in my neighborhood. I like the food here and what's happening in art and retail — lots of my fabricators and artist friends live here."

Holy closet envy!

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Tell us more about this mirrored art piece!
"The mirrored piece is by Andy Diaz Hope. I am waiting for the opportunity to make a whole room like this."

Such a gorgeous art piece! The mirrored wall installation is quite the beaut.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Do you incorporate any of your own designs within your home?
"Of course. The whole place has furniture prototypes. Every room is ‘decorated’ with things I need like art supplies and rulers. The walls are changing constantly with art I am testing out or furniture that we are perfecting."

Lauren chilling in her office in an Ali Golden dress.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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Your home doubles as your work space — how do you balance the two?
"There are lots of elements in my house to promote relaxation and reflection. I have a nice bathroom, pool, a garden, and a mini movie room — which I do utilize to clear my head. I learned from designing for my clients that I would work more if my environment provided everything I needed within it. There are build-ins everywhere to compartmentalize my life, clothes, tools, and books. Combining my work and my personal life started out of necessity at first, but I found I could create a little utopia combining my assets."

Where the magic happens! Lauren's design office!

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How do you suggest someone on a budget achieves a design-savvy home?
"I am a fan of making a plan for what you want and then just chipping away at the items. Each one feels really rewarding when you get it and all the pieces mean something to you — rather than just filling a space with stuff you intend to throw out in a few years."

Tools of the trade.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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How do you feel about knock-offs versus designer items when it comes to home decor?
"It depends. Not everyone has a budget that can support the classics, but the appreciation for good design and an effort to make your space look and feel good is what counts."

Ring, ring! A vintage telephone booth in her office.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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What's your advice for aspiring interior designers?
"Absorb as much as you can from designers you admire. Intern, interview, work hard, and take note of how people build these types of businesses. I learned most from experience and from studying people who do this particular job well. If you want to take me out for coffee, I'll tell you anything that I can."

Lauren kicking back in an Ali Golden dress and Marisa Haskell necklace.

Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
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