Social Encore: Creating spaces
BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Everyone has their own taste. When it comes to styling a home, some may be inspired by what they see but need help trying to balance functionality with individuality.
That’s where Emmy Award-winning designer Lauren Makk comes to the rescue with Hawaii’s premiere home furnishing and deco studio: Pad in Kaka’ako.
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Makk had a strong interest in art and remembers using money from her first babysitting job to buy herself a can of paint to re-color her room. After high school, she wanted to travel around Europe doing graffiti art, but her mother wanted her to receive a formal education, so she continued her studies at California State University, Northridge. Since her father was in the carpentry and building industry, she said it came naturally for her to incorporate her upbringings with art by majoring in interior design.
After graduating from college, she got an opportunity to design homes for nationally known design firm, Pacific Dimensions, in Los Angeles. One day, she saw a Craigslist ad for well-known TLC design show, “Trading Spaces.” After countless interviews and auditions, she made it on the show and she says that it helped launch her career.
“That really changed my life because it gave me street credibility…and everything snow balled from there,” said Makk. “It was such a great opportunity for me; a young designer, straight off of college.”
She said her industry can get a little crazy and the television show taught her patience and perseverance when dealing with a multitude of people with different personalities. For her, communication is key and she often has to wear several different hats in order to complete a project.
“I become marriage counselor, auntie, lawyer,” Makk said. “I have to wear a lot of hats. It’s a fine orchestration and a lot of people all at one time.”
When it comes to design, Makk always keeps her clients’ wants in mind but said proportion is key when looking at any space. She compared interior design to dressing yourself — just make sure the scale of size is right.
“I definitely look at proportion, I think a lot of people make a lot of mistakes when they disproportion,” she said.
Another thing people often don’t take into consideration is the architecture of the space to be redesigned. Makk said many times people have a vibe or look in mind, but don’t consider the way the home or space is built.
“You can’t have a Spanish style house in a Cape Cod-built home,” she said.
The great thing about having someone like Makk come into your home is being able to hear her perspective of what is possible. With the various clients she has, many of them fuse mismatched ideas together, but she loves being able to reassess the situation to make her clients happy — all while staying within their ideal budget.
“I’m creating the space for them and I want to make them happy,” said Makk. “I want to interpret their dreams but I definitely make some educated suggestion of functionality or safety.”
Makk said one Hawaii client in particular stands out in her mind — a hoarder who owned a lot of unnecessary things and didn’t know what to do with them. Makk revamped the client’s space, who channeled the energy from the transformation into motivation to change everything about their overall lifestyle.
“I just saw her a couple weeks ago, and she told me in the grocery store how she was proud of her new home,” Makk said.
To help empower those who want to revamp their homes, Makk will also be offer classes on the last weekend of every month. These classes will not only teach how to complete certain home projects and empower homeowners with the skills and tools that they need in order to feel as if they have control over their spaces, but will also help encourage creativity.
“I appeal to the urban sophisticate with an understanding nuisance of relaxed glamour and Pad is the place where I can help people understand the process of home renovation, decorating and space organization,” said Makk.
Another interesting note — Pad is the only Hawaii store front that sells IKEA furniture.
Pad will also host monthly movie nights, starting tonight, Aug. 15. “The Never Ending Story” will start at 7 p.m. Bring a lawn chair, food and a cup (Makk will be serving free beer to those 21-and-over).
Pad is located at 685 Auahi Street, Suite D. Call (808) 744-3814 or visit www.laurenmakk.com.
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.