As a lifelong Jersey girl, it isn’t surprising that designer Lauren Guarcello has cultivated a lengthy list of local clients. Trained in architecture and design at James Madison University in Virginia, Guarcello’s interiors— though traditional at their core—are inflected with a bold, beachy vibe that resonates with her clientele, who mostly live in quaint towns along the northern Jersey Shore. “Many of my clients are comfortable with the coastal, traditional style they grew up with,” says the designer, “but they’re ready to change it up.” By mixing classical pieces with modern accents—and amping up the energy with jolts of vivacious color and pattern—she delivers rooms with just the right blend of familiar and fresh. Since opening Porter Design Company (named after her black lab) in 2009, she’s branched out to projects in Manhattan, where she just completed a Park Avenue apartment; and Southampton, where she’s currently working on a beach house; as well as Vermont and Florida. Up next? A curated selection of garden and outdoor pieces, which she plans to offer through her studio.
LX: Best advice you’ve received:
LG: I admire this quote from Billy Baldwin and relay it to my clients when they worry about following design trends too closely: “Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.”
LX: Current project:
LG: I’m wrapping up a pied-à-terre on Park Avenue. I am incredibly excited to see it all come together. My next big project is going to be my own home.
LX: Dream collaboration:
LG: I would love to create a fabric line with Lee Jofa or Schumacher.
LX: What is inspiring you now?
LG: Lacquered anything.
LX: Top decorating sources:
LG: 1stdibs and Mecox Gardens.
LX: Color of the moment:
LG: I’ve been seeing a lot of hunter green lately. Not sure what to make of it, but Lord knows it was due to come back sooner or later!