In our latest instalment of Curated By, we sit with Laura Fulmine, an interior stylist, creative director, and founder of M.A.H. Gallery.
Laura has impeccable taste, and a unique approach to interior design. Inspired by art, avant-garde theatre, and film sets, she observes the everyday way in which people live, eat, and socialise to curate exceptional spaces.
Here, we talk about her favourite projects, her design heroes, and how she connects artists with the world of interiors.
You have a fashion background, what brought you to interiors?
After graduating from university my initial experience was primarily within the fashion industry, which I really enjoyed. However, it was during a role assisting an interior stylist on some truly mad and inspiring projects that I realised my passion lay in interiors. I had a desire to create memorable design experiences and decided to explore this longer-term.
You are the Director and Founder of M.A.H, a gallery and prop hire company offering licensed art works by contemporary artists to the world of interiors. What inspired you to start that?
It was because of a demand I had myself. At the time I was working on styling and interior projects, and was desperately in need of interesting artwork for them. I realised that nothing like M.A.H existed so it felt like a natural next step. So many of my artist friends were keen to be involved, and it grew from there.
Who or what is one of your biggest design inspirations?
I am constantly inspired by so many modern designers, but tend to refer back to my original heroes who are invariably Italian; Carlo Mollino, Gio Ponti, Jean Royere, Cesare Manrique and David Hicks.
What is your design philosophy?
My design philosophy is to always ‘try’. I love to experiment and have fun – nothing is set in stone and everything can be undone in design, so I like to push myself, be bold, and see what comes of it.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
My approach to design always centres on telling a story. Eclecticism is at the heart of everything I do; I love layering and mixing pieces, always adding in the unexpected – especially when it gets people talking!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Travel provides such a great source of inspiration. Long walks through new neighbourhoods – even in London – always pique my interest: from staircases, doorways and columns to letterboxes, door handles and tiles. Basically, all the finer details that blend together to create the vibe of a city.
What are some of your favourite projects to date?
One of my favourite projects is The Art Apartment, which I created with The Modern House for the BBC Television Centre. I had the opportunity to work with a curated selection of celebrated galleries and showrooms to create the ultimate ‘art apartment’ – a blank canvas space filled with a mix of modern and vintage pieces, working together in an eclectic and unexpected way.
More recently, I’ve really enjoyed working on our latest project The House – it’s a true labour of love. The House is an evolving retail concept, bringing together some of our favourite artists and designers with emerging independent makers and vintage objects to create a one-of-a-kind collection. It’s also given us the platform to create exclusive collaborations with leading design houses which has been incredible.
How does travelling influence your designs and tastes? Are there any destinations that inspire you from a design perspective?
Italy has always been a constant source of inspiration for me – Milan and Naples in particular. Our Milano rug collection in collaboration with Sinclair Till was inspired by the breathtaking marble hallways of Milan. India is another truly inspiring country, where every sense is triggered. Chandigarh is firmly on my bucket list!
Which hotels do you think do exquisite interior design? Why?
I am a big fan of Italian design-duo Dimore Studio, and love their concept at Hotel Saint Marc in Paris. I’m also a huge fan of Palazzo Daniele in Puglia, as well as El Fenn in Marrakech, and the Santa Monica Proper Hotel by Kelly Wearstler. Kelly is another design hero of mine.
Some of your favourite places to shop for or source interiors…
Over the years I’ve developed close friendships with vintage dealers, so tend to source directly from them. One of my favourite shops in London is Universal Providers on Golborne Road, it’s a sensory experience with beautiful pieces sourced from all over the world. I also love rummaging through antique fairs and markets, especially Clignancourt in Paris.
What are some tips you have on how our readers can bring a touch of Laura Fulmine into their homes?
I think it’s about taking style risks and being open to bold moments – interiors can be fluid and ever-changing. I’d also suggest keeping an eye on The House by M.A.H website for an eclectic mix of statement and vintage pieces, launching soon. Watch this space.