Straight Talk From a Luxe Home Designer

We took a moment to sit down with Laura Arkell, a designer at the Luxe Home showroom, to discuss tile, technology and more!

Many design enthusiasts would agree you have a dream job! How did you become a Designer at Luxe Home?

My initial entry into the company was on foot! I put on a suit, had my resume in hand, and knocked on the front door. I could see through the window that I already knew many of the tile brands — so I threw my hat in the ring! I had previously done tile design while I was getting certified as an interior designer and figured it was a good fit. In fact, tile design has been my passion ever since the Bellagio Hotel opened up in 1998 in Las Vegas. They have mosaic tile Italian marble floors in their lobby and conservatory. When I first saw them — right then and there — I was inspired to get into tile. It’s beautiful and inspiring work!

Mosaic Italian marble in The Conservatory at the Bellagio Las Vegas. Credit: Superior Tile & Stone.

 

Can you give us examples of the quality available at Luxe Home?

Quality is a non-negotiable component of everything we sell. Our vanities are plywood construction, not particle board. Our tile is Italian high quality, not the lesser quality tile you see in the large box stores. We carry lighting manufacturers that are savvy with Title 24 and energy efficiency standards in the State of California. Where you find lots of plastic construction in big box stores, here you’ll see more metals and ceramics. All of our products are made from quality materials that look better and last longer than run-of-the-mill home products.

Hubbardton Forge pendant lighting is carried at Luxe Home showroom.

 

What are some of the cool product innovations you’ve seen coming into the showroom?

In bathrooms, we carry some amazing medicine cabinets with invisible televisions and bluetooth speakers built into them. We’re also seeing medicine cabinets with integrated USB ports. It’s a nice touch. You not only have outlets for things like razors, electric toothbrushes and curling irons, but also for your high tech devices. We’re seeing the same trend in kitchens, where a mechanism called a “docking drawer” is becoming popular. These drawers typically go into a kitchen island and hide device charging stations so you can enjoy surfaces uncluttered by your family members’ devices.

Robern medicine cabinets with USB charging station available at Luxe Home showroom.

 

What are the hot brands you are most excited about these days?

My first thought would be Artistic Tile based out of New York. It’s a state-of-the-art tile manufacturer that is constantly innovating sophisticated and dazzling tile designs. Their waterjet mosaics are a thing of beauty. My coworker and I went to their factory a year and a half ago to see how the tiles were made. It was unforgettable and really impressed upon us how meticulous and talented the workmanship is! Here are a few pictures I snapped when we were there.

Artistic Tile factory tour by Luxe Home staff.

 

What’s the best part of your job?

Being a designer at Luxe Home is rewarding because our job is to help people realize their dream spaces. That moment when a client lights up because they are excited about the ideas and energy going into a project — those are the moments that are very special and tell us we’re doing our job right!

LeilaDouglah

Over the last 20 years, Leila Douglah has built a sterling reputation in the design industry. First as founder and lead designer at Douglah Designs, and now as owner of Luxe Home, a 3,000 sq. ft. retail showroom in Lafayette, CA. When she’s not at work, Leila supports numerous charity efforts and is a past president of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.