THE LIST

This NYC Design Firm Proves that Home Is Where the Art Is

Specializing in luxury living spaces, Lauren A Balkan Designs leverages details to best serve clients’ lifestyles.

Farmhouse furniture, vintage floors, and millwork mingle with Japanese paperweave wall coverings and modern light fixtures in this Westport, Connecticut, home.

Lauren A Balkan Designs is a boutique design firm that prides itself on utmost attention to detail, while still making living its number one priority. Its founder, Lauren Rasken, is adept at creating nuanced yet timeless interiors, gravitating toward neutral palettes and rich textures that pop. Bright and clean, artistic and modern—the spaces Rasken creates are well-groomed yet homey, infused with the character of its inhabitants. Surface chatted with Rasken about her approach, her forthcoming projects, and what good design means to her.

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A master sitting room in a Westport, Connecticut, home.

Give us a brief overview of the firm’s history.
I founded Lauren A Balkan Designs in 2011 after practicing in both New York and Florida with firms that specialized in high-end luxury residential projects. Now, in my own practice, we focus on residential design and offer consultation services for commercial projects. We do everything from architectural consulting to spatial planning, material and finish selections, vintage sourcing and furniture selection, custom furniture, and millwork design. 

Tell us about the firm’s core values. What’s the driving force behind your work?
I believe in building a home that fits the client’s unique lifestyle and am inspired by both the individuals and the space. With years of experience working in the tri-state area as well as in Florida, I apply a broad range of knowledge to every project. Each project is looked at individually—my goal is to create a timeless and unique [environment]. I love the use of beautiful textures and clean lines throughout a space. I strive to make sure the client is thrilled with the end result, and that a perfect balance between aesthetics and function is always reached.  

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An open-plan living room cultivates a cohesive and family-friendly vibe in this Upper East Side home.

What does good design mean to you?
Good design means thinking about the details. It’s as Charles Eames said: “The details are not the details, they make the design.”

What projects do you currently have in the works?
We’re currently working on two large construction projects in Southampton, New York, and Englewood, New Jersey. The Southampton construction is expected to be completed in late fall of 2018, and Englewood in summer of 2019. We’ll be sharing photos as we complete both construction and decorative phases of our projects.

An Upper East Side kitchen that features statuary slabs and backsplash tile.
In this Upper East Side dining room and kitchen, an added bar and millwork credenza create an interesting juxtaposition of materials.

(Photos: Courtesy Lauren A Balkan Designs)

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