From a successful career in food design to changing course to the interiors industry, design has always been a part of Lauren Egan’s life. After enrolling in design school and shifting focus to work with her partner in his photography business, a planned renovation at home gave her the perfect opportunity to pick up practical skills, develop relationships and build a physical portfolio. Though a relative newcomer in the interior design industry, Lauren’s love for form, function, colour, texture and tone gives her a unique edge in bringing beautiful elements together and creating amazing spaces.
Haymes colours used: 'Stoneware', 'Athens Grey' and 'Refuge 3'
“We were lucky enough to meet Lauren through our main stylist Ruth Welsby and have been working with her over the last few years alongside Ruth. It wasn’t until Lauren opened up her home and we began her own colour journey through our Haymes Colour Consultation Service that we learnt how talented Lauren was with colour and design. We have been into her home now a number of times to shoot and her focus on detail and use of materials and colour together is a real gift. As the renovation progressed there was a lot of house envy going on particularly in her bedroom. The kitchen showcased a perfect blend of both materiality and colour, while her emerald green carpet and our Haymes colour ‘Angora’ combo up the staircase was next level,” Haymes Colour and Concept Manager Wendy Rennie said.
Haymes colour used: 'Abstract Mood'
The Haymes Paint team sat down with Lauren to talk all things design including her renovation, colour choices, using colour to define spaces, and future plans.
Tell us a little bit about who lives here and how long you have been here.
My partner and I bought the house in 2012 after a love-at-first sight viewing. We had been searching for a house for what felt like years (in hindsight, probably months) and were on the verge of giving up the search when we stumbled across the Californian Bungalow that had seen better days. We have a clear memory of standing in the backyard, looking up at the rusting roof and deciding to go for it.
We had planned to move in after a few small jobs, but found we couldn’t help ourselves and began pulling up carpet, knocking out larden plaster and pulling down redundant chimneys. We ended up completely restoring the front part of the house, but knew the kitchen and the 1970s lean-to out the back would be a more significant project down the track.
Haymes colours used: 'Refuge 3' and 'Poplar Grove'
Five years and two kids later and we were ready to graduate to a new (and functional) kitchen and a bit more wiggle room for our little family. We engaged Project 12 Architecture to design a practical extension with architectural integrity.
The renovation seems to have been in the planning for a long time and you were heavily involved. How did you come to be so involved in the design process?
I had been so invested and loved the design process both with the initial renovation and working with the architects that I decided to dip my toe in and return to study Interior Design and Decoration, which I’ve became unabashedly obsessed with.
What really resonated through my design studies was that it’s not that hard to create a nice space with nice things inside it, but for good design you need an intention and an idea that you can build around to provide a truly bespoke space made for the people that live there and that’s what I really wanted to achieve for my family. I focused on wanting to have a calm and welcoming space, but have a bit of quirk. A large part of that idea had to do with colour and using colour to define spaces, but to also bridge the old part of the house to the new.
Haymes colour used: 'Refuge 3'
You didn’t use white in any of the rooms. Tell us about how you made your colour choices and how the styling complemented these choices.
I have nothing against white walls, but there were a few things in my favour that meant I could play with some deeper tones to create the calm, welcoming space I was seeking. Firstly, the orientation of the house is predominately north, so we have a lot of natural light flooding in. Secondly, I wanted a tone to soak up some of that light and change from bright and airy during the day to a more intimate and cosy space at night. We had also decided early in the process to have pale oak floors in the existing house and burnished concrete in the new build – I wanted to riff off these colours and flip them onto the walls to join the two spaces. I also wanted to incorporate some colours that we have in the garden as we have two large Jacaranda trees on the property and I wanted to drag that colour in to connect the spaces. Lastly, I have a bit of an obsession with electric blue, so I wanted to have a few splashes scattered throughout.
Haymes colours used: 'Debonair', 'Poplar Grove' and 'Angora'
To decide on the actual colours, I spent a good deal of time diligently working my way through the Haymes colour deck and noting down colours and tones that ticked all the boxes – it was quite a list! Thankfully the Haymes team were able to come help me edit my choices through the Colour Consultation service. I had clear options for the master bedroom, kids’ rooms, kitchen/dining/lounge, but it was great to have a clear set of eyes come through to suggest nuanced options. It can be really overwhelming to look at such a range of colours and hone in on just a few. It was a great learning for me to look at all the colours together to make sure they were harmonious.
Ultimately, I decided on muted tones of Haymes colours 'Refuge 3', 'Athens Grey' and 'Stoneware' in the common areas, which are calm, neutral colours countered with more striking colours like Haymes colours 'Poplar Grove', 'Angora' and 'Debonair' snuck away in cabinetry, stairwells and the study nook, which are fun, but not overwhelming. The bedrooms were individualised with split complementary purple with Haymes colour 'Lone Rock' and green with Haymes colour 'Oyster' in my daughter’s room and another splash of Haymes colour 'Debonair' in my son’s. The master bedroom, in my opinion, has been the most successful where smoky and intense Haymes colour 'Abstract Mood' made the space instantly restful and mature.
Haymes colours used: 'Debonair', 'Oyster' and 'Lone Rock'
What’s next for you in your design journey?
This process has solidified for me that I’m passionate about the design industry. I’m now working with a few clients to help them spruce up their homes and have not only enjoyed choosing lovely things, but getting into their heads and really trying to create spaces that reflect their personality and lifestyle. I hope I’ll be able to grow my little business and help people create their own best version of their home.
Haymes colours used: 'Refuge 3' and 'Abstract Mood'
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Photography by Martina Gemmola and Annette O'Brien; Styling by Ruth Welsby