With a focus on environmentally-friendly design, Laura Baross designs both residential and commercial spaces. Her New York design studio, Design with Care, focuses on designing elegant interior spaces that have a lower impact on the planet. Because of this unique approach to design, Laura has been included in top publications including Apartment Therapy’s Class of 2020. We sit down with her and discuss her eco-conscious design and workflow.
What inspires you in your interior designs?
I get inspired by many things: natural light, music, the environment, fellow visual artists, and photographers on social media. I approach each project with a blank canvas mentality. I’m influenced by the location of a given project where I let the interior space and the building orientation define the constraints and set the mood. I also let my client’s vibe and taste leave marks on my work.
Letting the client’s vibe guide the interior inspo with guitars and moody colors.
Could you tell us about one of your favorite design projects?
I loved working on the Tribeca Loft. The 2.5 story apartment went through a nice transformation but the space wasn’t the only element of the design process impacted by the renovation. My client Liina, who’s an NYU professor, decided to explore ways of living low waste. We worked together to get her started by adjusting her household. For me, it remains a wonderful example of how interior designers can positively impact the lives of their clients outside of the drafting room.
Some design elements from Laura’s Tribeca Loft project.
What does your typical SketchUp workflow look like, and how does 3D modeling help you?
At the beginning of a new project, I start with setting up a comfortable modeling scene to make my work in SketchUp stylish and pleasant to look at throughout the whole modeling process. I usually update the preset background color and change the ground and sky into a neutral grey. I also like to remove all the strokes in “styles edits” and leave only the Edges checked. From there, I use Lines, Components, Groups, and tools on repeat.
To showcase layout options to my client, I love looking into 3D Warehouse for furnishing elements such as couches, chairs, and lighting. With the right keywords, the furniture library is a goldmine.
Designing a 3D model before getting into sourcing and ordering is the best way to ensure I am on the same page as my clients. My SketchUp workflow is critical for achieving this and helps reduce costs and enhances communication.
Laura’s home interior design project all in SketchUp.
How did you learn how to use SketchUp?
I went to Architecture school in Slovakia, where SketchUp was introduced very early as part of the curriculum. At first, I used SketchUp mostly for building modeling and urban planning. Now, my work in SketchUp is mostly interior development and design.
Laura’s urban planning and building project, designed in SketchUp.
What are some trends you see coming in the next few years?
My biggest dream is for the whole industry to go green. I love following Neri Oxman’s work exploring Material Ecology. Thanks to the exponential technological growth, we’ll see a lot of new materials entering the market that are more in line with nature.