Get to Know Interior Designer, Laura McDonald

Why did you become an interior designer?

I believe in the power of beautiful interiors to transform our daily lives.

 

What is your favorite part of interior design?

The possibilities inherent in every project inspire and excite me.

 

What do you love most about Main Street Renewal homes?

We offer modern foundational materials and set design standards that most renters don’t expect. I think of it as neutral building blocks, creating a canvass for our tenants to infuse their personality and add flair into their homes.

 

What is one exciting project you are working on that we can share with residents?

Our Spring Cleaning Contest.  I will be helping one resident declutter a space in their home like a desk, laundry room, bathroom vanity, or wherever they choose using my sure fire tips that can be applied to any messy space in your home. I can’t wait to share the big reveal.

 

Where do you find design inspiration?

Travel is my favorite thing to do. With homes in over 30 markets, visiting new places feeds not only my passion but fulfills my creative spirit. Visiting local artisans and supporting local shops is a constant source of inspiration.

 

What is your number one tip for interior decorating as a renter?

Every room needs a mix of old and new but only buy items that make your heart sing.

I am a huge fan of adding vintage pieces and off beat accents with special meaning – they add character and soul to your home and you can take it with you when you move.

 

What is your interior design “secret weapon” that can be applied to anyone, anywhere?

Add a pop of color with accessories, an unexpected pattern with textiles and green plants – it will instantly add life to your spaces.

 

What inspires your work with Main Street Renewal?

Main Street Renewal embodies a lifestyle and believes in a model of excellence. It is exciting to have the opportunity to design makeovers that respect the integrity of our homes with an emphasis on stylish spaces, quality finishes and high durability at an attainable price.

 

Which room in a house is your favorite to design?

Powder Rooms (Half Baths)

 

Why?

You can be bold in smaller spaces. There’s an opportunity to do something fun, personalized and unexpected without a huge commitment.

 

What three words describe you?

Chic, effortless and eclectic

 

What are your hobbies?

My dogs Chester and Lucy have my heart. Of all my favorite things, they top the list. They are active and love exploring New York City.

 

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Nashville offers an eclectic scene with diverse style and culture that never gets old. Downtown “NashVegas” offers a fun night out with live music, colorful buildings and bright neon lights. Plus, I love all of the free activities I can do, like visiting The 21C Museum Hotel, or taking a walking tour of the beautiful homes in the Belmont area is a must.  The quirky shopping offers local color and specialty items – from Antique Archeology, the best rock and roll tees at H. Audrey and my favorite Farmers Market– Nashville really has it all.

 

What are your hidden talents?

Caulking nail holes in moldings and walls. And, flawlessly spray painting anything!

 

What is your biggest challenge?

Finding enough time to balance work, life and fun.

 

Favorite TV show?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel– the retro styling is inspiring.

 

Favorite meal to cook?

Sunday Supper – Homemade Italian sauce that simmers all day with meatballs and pasta.

 

Least favorite food?

Canned tuna from the hotel pantry!

 

Where is your favorite space to hang out?

When I’m not traveling to Main Street Renewal markets and homes, I am based out of New York City and love spending time at The Strand Bookstore.

 

Why?

I love bookstores but this one is special. It’s filled with new and used books, lined with dollar carts and books by the foot curated by color, style or subject. I love decorating with books and it’s the perfect place for library inspiration.

 

Describe your design style.

Timeless with a modern edge and subtle quirky twists with color and pattern.

I create spaces that exude softness, ease and livability and believe homes should never feel stuffy or overly done.

 

BIO

Laura McDonald is the Lead Designer of Amherst Residential and its subsidiary’s Bungalo and Main Street Renewal. In this role, Laura developed the design and interior selections for the launch of Bungalo homes and developed new designs and materials for our SFR Main Street Renewal.

Prior to joining the Amherst Residential team, Laura was the Senior Designer for Bravo and HGTV’s design power couple, Cortney and Robert Novogratz.  She managed fast paced design on a dime renovations for TV production and big reveal makeovers with brand staging and styling. Later, she directed interior design and renovations for The Novogratz celebrity clientele and their high profile projects.  Known for her collaborative approach between architects, contractors, clients, and artisans, she delivers modern work that is highly personalized and effortlessly chic.

 

 

Decor Tips with Laura

Somewhere between packing up and unpacking, making a new house feel like home can often become a chore. Main Street Renewal Interior Designer Laura McDonald has specially curated six of her favorite designer tips to take your home from simple to simply special. See her tips put to use in this Main Street Renewal home in Murfreesboro, TN.

1. Live with Nature: Bring the outdoors in by pairing potted plants with fresh flowers to brighten up and liven any space. While Laura is a big proponent of putting your green thumb to use with live plants, adding in a few faux plants as staples is a low maintenance way to achieve the same effect.

Shop this room: Novogratz Palm Wallpaper
Novogratz Haydel Table Lamp

2. Make it Multi-Use: Purchase pieces that can be repurposed around your home and in future homes. Nesting tables are expandable and versatile alternatives to a coffee table.  When it comes to styling, stretch them all the way out to create a full-size table, overlap them if you’re tight on space, or keep them nested together for a smaller piece that still gives you options to expand. Not into the layered look? Use each piece as an individual side table for a look that feels cohesive but not match-matchy.

3. Create a Focal Point: Try something out of the box. Laura framed wallpaper in multiple rooms around this home, quickly becoming a favorite idea with the Main Street Renewal team. This trick adds a visual punch without the commitment or expense of wallpapering an entire room. Plus, you can easily take it down, move it around your home or even take it somewhere new.

Shop These Rooms:

Novogratz Birds Wallpaper
Novogratz Constellation Wallpaper

4. Bedrooms Aren’t Just for Sleeping: Creating seating areas to read or work makes bedrooms multifunctional when real estate in the home starts to dwindle. Laura chose a wing back wicker chair for its perfect in size and pretty shape that can hold its own in the master space. In the guest bedroom, adding a desk rather than a dresser or a TV stand, the room will provide a relaxing space for sorting mail, writing notes, and even answering a few emails.

5. Layer Light: By positioning your lamps at various heights, like desks, floor lamps and shelves, as well as, varying bulb strengths, your home will have a welcoming glow rather than a harsh feel.

6. Welcome With Style: Make a statement at your front door by adding a novelty doormat that features color, design and personality. This will set the tone for unending style throughout your home.

 

Shop This Doormat: Novogratz Hello Multi-Colored Doormat