In today’s interview, designer, Lindsay Gerber, illuminates her design process, inspiration, and gives us a peek at her studio. These spaces speak volumes with their myriad textures, rich color, and vintage pieces. And while each space is strikingly unique, they all invoke the feeling of a warm embrace or a glass of red wine. Grab a blanket and get cozy for this delicious portfolio tour.
Tell us about the early days of LGI—we love start-up stories! How did you kick off your design career?
Birth?….but seriously, it’s in my blood. Recreational weekend reading for me at age 10 was Architectural Digest. My mom, an interior decorator by heart not trade, definitely cultivated that passion in me by allowing me to constantly redecorate my bedroom, which I did. At one point in high school, I went through a Japanese influenced, minimal moment where my mattress was directly on the floor, everything was white and cream and all lighting was Noguchi. Wow, that is a flashback! If I had to literally pinpoint where it all began I’d say it was during my senior year of high school (Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough) where seniors were tasked with spending the last few months of the year researching a senior project/thesis. I did mine on the “World of Design” which translated into my getting short internships with Gensler, Orlando Diaz Azcuy (ODADA), a landscape/city planning firm, and a product design firm. By the end of those months and by the time I presented my final project I knew. I wanted to be an interior designer. Looking back now, I can trace that every major life step from that very moment was directed towards this goal. I worked for several firms during and after design school and then started Lindsay Gerber Interiors in 2013.
You describe your aesthetic as warm and minimalist. Tell us more about your style and how it’s woven into each project you get your hands on.
Yes, my aesthetic is warm and minimalist, informed by nature and driven by materiality. I seek to incorporate natural elements including textured woods, stone, leather and patinated accents, as well as bold scale. Vintage and antique whenever possible! I am not terribly into bright colors or busy patterns – I find more comfort working with textural elements that are tonal. I want your interiors to be beautiful but I want it to be practical and I want you to use everything I put into your home (a lot!). As the mother of two little girls and a 12-year-old 90 lb. chocolate Labrador, I intimately know wear and tear and will say that you won’t inherently love something unless every member of your family can use it and love it too.
Your studio is so full of character, yet feels like a grounded space in which you can dream up interiors for others. What do you love most about your domain for design productivity?
The incredible natural light! One of the walls is almost entirely glass. It used to be a photo studio before I moved in. Great light is the key to seeing colors correctly and that is a huge part of what we do every day at the studio so I love working there.
There’s a fresh kind of moodiness to your designs—they hold an enchanting quality and make you feel as if you’re peering into a boutique hotel. Where do you begin in the process? Does the big vision or a smaller detail serve as the muse?
It depends. It’s definitely not a linear process….The honest answer is that after I have met with the client extensively to understand them and their home, the design reveals itself to me in its own time. I really can’t push it. I’ll be driving and think of an idea and the whole project will crystallize itself in front of me. I’ll awake from a dream where I was walking through their home and I will have one difficult room finally figured out. I’ll see a color and it sparks a whole home. I do strictly structure everything about our business process but the actual design creation part is a tough one to wrangle. It has to come to me in its own good time…and I never know where or when it will strike!
How does Northern California find its way into your projects? Tell us about the impact your locale has on the design choices you make.
It has everything to do with how my style and aesthetic developed. It’s hard not to be indelibly impressed by the rugged yet simply breathtaking Big Sur Coast or our towering redwood forests or the magical, soft golden light you can only find in Napa or the deep, powerful blue color that radiates from Lake Tahoe. I have so many sweet memories of staring dreamily out the car window on long drives watching the California landscape slip by and morph and change so dramatically as it does. My interiors seek to bring all that exquisite and unique beauty inside.
We’ve all been limited in travel during this pandemic. As an adventurous soul whose work is inspired by travel, where are you most looking forward to jetting off to this year (or next)?
Paris, Paris, Paris. We usually go once a year and it feels like 10 now that we haven’t been.
What does a well-lived home mean to you?
A place where you make beautiful memories with the people you love most.
Where can we find you when you’re not working away at the LGI studio? What brings joy and inspiration to your life?
Riding horses has been the joy of my life….but now I have two little girls and a husband so it’s all about dividing time between all those loves. Date nights often with my sweetheart and spending every waking hour I’m not working and they’re not sleeping with my sweet girls. There is a lot of joy to fill the hours I’m not working and never a dull moment in my life (though I do wish for maybe one every so often!)