Colorful Infusion

Designer Laurin White uses a hefty dose of color and classic architectural elements to elevate the interiors of this Mountain Brook home.

Photography by Becca Brown

When a homeowner works with a designer who completely understands their style, the result is a personalized interior that pushes beyond boundaries. “My clients are lovers of both classic architectural details and modern art, so I felt we needed to unite traditional moldings, papers, and flooring with unexpected, colorful furnishings and lighting,” says designer Laurin White, who started her Birmingham design firm in 2018. Working with a tired floorplan and dated finishes, Laurin stepped in to reinvigorate the interiors for the new owners. Architectural improvements included a new kitchen, added mouldings and cabinetry, and a fresh infusion of color in paint, furniture, and finishes.

The new, custom white oak front door opens onto a classically black-and-white, harlequin-patterned marble floor that makes a doubly strong statement with a green velvet settee. “I cannot imagine anything else more fitting in their foyer than this sofa,” Laurin says. “It pairs nicely with the custom Urban Electric lantern and the black-and-white floors. The client found it one day when she was at ALKMY in Crestline Village, and it was the perfect addition to the space.”

The kitchen saw the biggest change. The former stock-wood cabinets and tile floor were replaced with a custom design. “The original kitchen was renovated in the early 2000s by the previous owner, so this is the third rendition,” Laurin says. “We completely changed the layout and also enlarged the overall footprint.” Working with contractor Erica Neel with Structures, Inc. and cabinetry designer Aaron Lane, the team was able to elongate the space to accommodate a white oak island, enhance storage space, and improve overall functionality, all while infusing the kitchen with style and personality.” The new plan also allowed for a niche with custom banquette crafted by Grant Trick. “The baseball-stitching detail that pieces the leather together is a nod to the vintage baseball memorabilia my client has,” Laurin adds.

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The designer also emphasizes her desire to enhance the style of whatever her clients love most. For this house, that meant melding traditional and contemporary styles. “I’ve designed everything from a sleek, modern home with lots of lacquer and gilded tiles to a French-inspired estate full of antiques,” Laurin says. “While my own style may differ from my client’s style, my goal is always to make their aesthetic shine and feel like an authentic outpouring of their own personalities.”

Laurin White

Meet Laurin

Influences: My grandmother’s home was what originally sparked my interest in design. She had custom furniture made out of walnut and driven to Dothan, Alabama, from Richmond, Virginia. I have been enamored by the design scene in Birmingham since I was in college, so while I miss my friends in Houston, Texas, it’s a dream to be here. Ironically enough, I interned with the builder of this home (Erica Neel of Structures, Inc.) when I was in college at Auburn. It has been exciting to partner with her on the construction of this home a decade after my internship.

Personal Style: If I were to design my own home, it would feel Georgian on the exterior with a tailored, patterned, colorful, blend of English and Southern charm on the interior. I would include some surprising pieces of art and animal print, of course. I’ve dreamed this up in my mind a few times over.

Most looking forward to in 2024? I am very excited about a small capsule furniture collection I am designing with Garden & Grace in Birmingham and Lester Furniture in North Carolina. One of my goals in 2024 is to study architects and designers of the past. I’d like to glean insight from those who have gone before me, asking questions like what details can I incorporate and how can I present them in such a way that reflects a sense of timelessness. Being a continuous student of design of the past and thinking about how to incorporate things that were done well by bringing them into the present offers options to clients that they can love and appreciate for years to come.

“I am always indebted to my friends at Fixtures & Finishes; Triton Stone; DSR, Inc.; and Brandino Brass. Some of my favorite places to shop locally are ALKMY, English Village Lane, Found, Shoppe, Design Supply, and Circa Interiors & Antiques.”

—Laurin White


Interior design: Laurin White, Cambridge Row | Design & Renovation Contractor: Erica Neel, Structures, Inc. Marble and tile: Triton Stone Group, Hardware: Brandino Brass Plumbing fixtures: Fixtures & Finishes

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