wife, mother, shop owner, interior designer, artist, inventor (wow!)
I am beyond excited to feature Lara Lathrop Anderson in my Amazing Women series. It has been a long time coming - we have been friends since first grade. Lara is one of the most creative and stylish people I know. And she is one of my oldest and dearest friends! Although we share the same last name, we aren't blood related (we both married great Swedish guys!), but we are like sisters! I am so lucky to have her in my life and I'm excited for you to learn more about her thoughts on design, color and life!
Lara has always been up on the latest fashion and interior design trends, usually spotting them well before they become mainstream. As a child, she would go to her friends’ homes and rearrange the furniture in their bedrooms, hang things on the walls and happily create what she thought were beautiful spaces. This lead her to study interior design and eventually open a home decor and furnishings shop. For the last five years, together with her mom, she has been running Red Door Interiors, in Olympia, Washington (our hometown); designing and building a gorgeous home; and raising two young boys. Earlier this year, she launched a very cool, first-of-its-kind interchangeable lampshade system that you can read about below.
Q. What color and design trends are you seeing for fall, and which ones are you most excited about?
A. I am loving the use of grays with vibrant colors like plum and yellow. Generally I think of gray as a cool color but when you combine it with a color that puts off heat, it’s like “wow!” You can feel the energy that vibrates from the combination. Regarding general home décor trends, I am seeing eclectic mixing of old and new pieces. This is nothing new to me, this is how I feel comfortable in my own home with quirky inherited pieces that I blend with highly polished metals or wood that offer texture and a sculptural quality. We all live eclectically naturally but putting it all together successfully can be difficult. Trust your gut on this. You can see more fall trends Lara is excited about on her website.
Q. What is your favorite color combination for fall and why? Does it change with the seasons or do you have a go-to favorite(s)?
A. Like I mentioned before I am loving cool grays with warm plums and yellows. This color combo warms me up like a cozy blanket does. I absolutely believe that we are drawn to different color combinations seasonally. I naturally gravitate toward greens but during the fall and winter months I feel a need to add warm colors to my surroundings. I revisit my Spring and Summer “bold and energizing” colors when it is warmer outside.
Q. Where do you get your inspiration for design?
A. Everywhere, truly, I can be on a walk outside, thumbing through a current fashion or home décor publication, or watching a movie when I find inspiration. My brain is wired in a way to take note and the next thing I know I find it in my creations at Red Door or what I present to a client.
Q. Do you have a mantra or favorite quote?
A. I love quotes so picking one is difficult but relating to interior design I would have to go with:
“Whoever said that pleasure wasn’t functional?” - Charles Eames
“A house is a machine for living.” - Le Corbusier
The "Whimsy" RD Shady collection incorporates Lara's favorite colors for fall.
Q. Why did you invent RD Shady? (RD Shadies are the first-of-its-kind interchangeable lampshade system that Lara and her mom invented. You can see her talking about this ingenious invention here.)
A. While owning our home décor gift store, Red Door Interiors, we were always coming across fabulous vintage lamps at estate sales. All these treasures needed were an updated lamp shade. Finding attractive lampshades was both difficult and expensive. The light bulb came on, as they say, and I wondered “What if lampshades could be interchangeable in fabulous designer fabrics and voila, RD Shady was born!
Q. What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
A. My time ... my schedule is invaluable. I can take time off for the family at a moment’s notice, I love that freedom.
Q. Do you have anything else to add about design, art, fashion, color, life?
A. Just to speak to my passion of creating beautiful spaces for people. I truly believe that our surroundings affect us positively or negatively and I want to promote the idea of keeping your surroundings, aka your home, beautiful and organized. In doing so, you can actually make yourself feel better and people will want to join you in your personally fabulous space.