DWELL IN STYLE
Julie Laughton Design Build: Where Creativity Meets With Precision
By Rita Goldberg
Watching Julie Laughton at one of her worksites, imposingly clad in her de rigeur uniform of jeans, boots and a crisply starched white shirt, commanding the reverence of a crew of workers that would intimidate the most manly of men, makes you want to immediately put her in charge of your remodel - maybe even your life. The highly successful owner of a construction company that employs over 50 workers, full time and sub, is impressively skilled, talented and hard working - and she demands those attributes from everyone on her team. With Laughton at the helm of your home redesign, everything from the cement foundation to the fabrics of your cushions will be done right. This licensed and credentialed contractor/architect/space planner/landscaper/ designer always has her client’s back.
“I protect my clients more than they protect themselves,” says Laughton, who recognizes that contracting work can entail serious liabilities and must be done correctly every step of the way.
Laughton is all about high quality workmanship and, in her nearly 30 years in the industry, has never been called back to make adjustments. Many contractors, in contrast, are cited for defects. In fact, 50 percent of her jobs are for projects that went bad and need to be redone or fixed.
“Often, people make the big mistake of being their own general contractors to save money but spend double or more because they don’t know how to demand efficiency or they make major errors that require having to go back to the drawing board,” says Laughton.
Laughton’s discerning roster of clients, that include famous actresses, movie producers, professional athletes, culinary moguls and family members of White House officials appreciate her ability to create an environment that makes everyone happy to come home.
A home has to look and feel right, according to Laughton. And that ‘all starts with a good plan’ - the motto that serves as her guiding principle.
Laughton’s remodels always start with the floor plan. “When a home is well floor-planned, it functions correctly,” she insists, explaining that the flow and space design of the interior is paramount to a good outcome. Organizing space properly requires understanding the owner’s living and lifestyle needs. Although certain features, such as natural light and airy, oversized rooms, are universally incorporated into all her projects.
After function comes aesthetics. “The design and colors have to be right. When a space looks right, it feels right.” When it comes to looking right, less is more according to Laughton, who insists on purging and cleansing spaces of unnecessary clutter as her starting point.
Looking right also has an element of subjective taste to it and that is another one of Laughton’s hallmarks. According to Laughton, currently the prevalent trend veers towards modern and clean lines. Most often the request is for very light-hued or even white natural materials such as Calacatta marble. But there are still plenty who favor the traditional style and display a preference for rich dark woods. Whatever the client’s taste, Laughton will deliver a finished look that satisfies.
“I had a client whose home was an elegant Tudor style estate and he wanted to maintain the integrity of the home in the remodel. He didn’t think I could do what he envisioned. But with my arsenal of master craftsman, that include some of the best available carvers and finishers, I created exactly what he wanted,” Laughton says, admitting that this particular project is among her favorites.
When it comes to bringing a client’s vision to fruition, Laughton can be versatile in her creations and even enjoys using striking materials, such as a vibrant marine quartz, to intersperse a pop of color. Laughton’s well-trained eye and instinctive understanding of what will work best, along with her creativity, enables her to give clients far more than they expect. “I see what others don’t and then I create it.”
Julie Laughton Design Build 714.305.2861 www.julielaughton.com