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For Lauren Rottet, Design Is Exploration

Lauren Rottet, FAIA, FIIDA, founding principal and president of Rottet Studio, doesn’t believe that one consistent stylistic approach is correct for all occasions; rather, she sees context as very important to the ultimate aesthetic. This is her guiding principle. It’s how she engages hospitality projects.

Lauren Rottet will be on the InspireDesign panel at Hospitality at Market.

“Though the style may vary from project to project, we have a series of critical architectural explorations that we have been refining for many years, the results of which are evident in all of our work, from hospitality and commercial to residential and maritime experience,” said Rottet.

Design is varied, with many routes to the end result. One must embark on a journey and along the way gather elements of the story, so that you can weave together a narrative that speaks to the project.

“These explorations revolve around trying to create interior spaces that are as dynamic and satisfying as outdoor spaces—or even more so,” said Rottet. “Interior space does not have the influence of nature, where light, rain and seasons allow it to take on various visual forms. Interior space is static unless it is designed to be kinetic. I bring spaces alive by creating moments of visual calm, leading to moments of visual intensity.”

When creating an experience through design, Rottet’s work revolves around manipulating a space to feel light, open, energetic, entertaining and never boring.

“These explorations are influenced by the California ‘Light and Space’ artists that deal with the use of light, shape, mirrors and surface materials to create a dynamic environment. Other influences stem from my interest in color theory and the effects of shape and form on the visualization of space,” she said.

The fourth annual Hospitality at Market program during Fall Market will be held Oct. 20-21. InspireDesign is the exclusive media partner.

As a panelist on the InspireDesign panel at Hospitality at Market, “The Intersection of Residential and Hospitality Design,” Rottet shared this gem: “A hotel lobby should feel like a guest’s own living room—so they feel invited and welcomed, relaxed and comfortable.”

Speaking to projects where there was a crossing of residential and hospitality, Rottet shared a fitting example at The Surrey hotel in New York City. It’s also where Rottet Studio got its start in the hospitality industry.

“After our renovation, we expanded on these ideas into homes by providing custom furniture through the use of clever design. An example of this would be a desk in The Surrey, which doubles as a vanity with a center panel that raises up to reveal a mirror and a compartment where jewelry, watches and other items can be stored,” she said. “In terms of scale, we do custom work in our hotels. The cost of custom work on a grand scale is a lot less expensive than residential. We can create exactly what we want.”

What excites Rottet about design? The ability to overcome challenges. She launched the Fascio lighting line for Visual Comfort & Co. and overcame the hurdle of improving LED lighting.

“By using technology that wasn’t there even three years ago, we made our LED lighting not too glaring, not too flat, but beautiful, incandescent and glowing. It’s available in chandeliers, pendants, sconces and floor lamps and brings the warmth of a residential look to lighting,” she said. “The designs are contemporary, but warm—well-proportioned and well-detailed; they translate well into hospitality environments as well residential. They’re made of faceted crystal with a choice of polished nickel, hand-rubbed antique brass and bronze finishes.”

Rottet’s Float Collection of furniture is made up of acrylic and glass in artful ways, pulling inspiration from a house in Montauk, a coastal section of Long Island, NY.

“The home has lovely views and built-in cabinets and details originally designed by George Nelson. I loved the idea of framing these details or views through my furniture and not necessarily just around it. The first in the series of Float was the acrylic-base, marble-top dining table; an acrylic and walnut chair was close behind,” she said.

Her new Lyda sofa for Haworth has a residential design sense, too. “I dressed it with pillows and throws in the showroom, and it has a soft feel with Poltrona Frau leather upholstery; it floats—it’s elevated off the floor, making it easier to design around. It comes in multiple configurations,” she said.

Rottet embraces inspiration in all its forms, including her travels to High Point, NC, for the annual Hospitality at Market events. “There are so many great ideas—and it’s inspiring and always helpful to see and feel product in person and get valuable information,” she said. “It also allows us to connect with one another and suppliers. There’s always something to learn and experience that helps your practice.”

…and more!