Dwell Defined

Interior designer Lauren Makk’s design aesthetic is all about balance.

There’s a new designer in town—Kaka‘ako to be exact—and her name is Lauren Makk. Actually, Makk ’s been part of the Honolulu interior design scene for three years. And last August marked
the one-year anniversary of the place she calls Pad—a kitschy, cool shop and meeting space on Cooke and Auahi Streets.

Makk, 32, moved to Hawai‘i from L.A. in 2011. As soon as she arrived in the islands, she explains, she was especially awed by the sort of “blending” she saw. Cultures connecting, languages meshing and intermixing, cafes and dining spots with their spices and seasonings winding around one another. “Everywhere I went and everyone I met seemed to express his or her own flavor of the islands,” each flavor created with balance and harmony.

Relatedly, Makk states that the undercurrent for her approach to design is homeostasis—the tendency toward an equilibrium between interdependent elements. Essentially, Makk takes the science of a space, acknowledges the natural balance that exists there, and designs an interior with that same balance plus an added edge. The final product? A relaxed sophistication that has allowed each client’s style to rise to the surface.

Photo courtesy Lauren Makk

Photo courtesy Lauren Makk

As an artist and street art aficionado turned interior design pro, Makk made a national name for herself during her stint as an interior designer for TLC’s Trading Spaces and A&E’s Drill Team. However, it was growing up in Oklahoma that most influenced Makk’s exceptional ability to design in a way that combines artistry with luxury. She reflects, “My mother would create over-the-top Christmases with little handicrafts everywhere of very her own design, so our home would always be filled with warmth and comfort.”

When asked about her favorite trends for today, Makk details, “Deep jewel tones, bold graphic prints, touches of gold, faux animal hides. I love using flocked wallpaper in my interiors for texture.” She explains how trends of color, texture, and light work together by detailing the design of her own home. “I have a navy blue wall in my living room with a variety of oils and watercolors created by friends from around the world. Many of the paintings have elaborate gilded frames. I also have a spectacular hanging lamp with a huge lampshade. The shade is white, but, inside, it’s gold leafed. At night when I turn the lights off, a warm glow reverberates around the room.”

She sees her primary job as a designer as taking each client’s vision and pushing it a little further. “Lay the tile in a different direction; change the color of the window frames.” She also encourages her clients to splurge on something wonderful. “Treat yourself so there is one item that exists as a shining point. Then, we’ll place everything else around that item for
beauty and balance and to fit your budget.”

Two more of Makk’s favorite interior design incorporations are accent walls and industrial textures—design elements that echo the muralled walls and textured shop fronts seen throughout Kaka‘ako. Lauren Makk is as vibrant as her surroundings. She’s as approachable and tangible as any one of the interiors she creates. She’s here in the islands, and she’s adding her own spice to Honolulu’s artistically balanced and blended design scene.

Contact Lauren Makk at 744-3814.

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