EXCLUSIVE: Inside Laura Lehmann’s Modern, Artwork-Filled Urban Sanctuary
TV host, actress, and Miss World Philippines 2017 Laura Lehmann at home
It was a bright Friday morning. The hallway leading to this corner loft unit is bathed in natural light. I rang the doorbell, and on the opposite side of the door, I was greeted by loud barks coming from this beauty queen, host, and actress’ big yet charming Labrador Retriever.
As I stepped in, I instantly felt the warmth of this home, with the sunny vibe outdoors carrying over into its high-ceiling interior space. The “queen” of the house was sitting comfortably in the makeup chair, clad in a casual Friday look—cool, calm, and collected like the true beauty queen she is.
She is, after all, Miss World Philippines 2017 and among the Top 40 in Miss World 2017. It wasn’t surprising to see her poised to perfection. What was nice, though, was the fact that sans the crown and the glamorous gowns, Laura Lehmann’s simplicity and beauty radiate across the room.
Modern with clean and sleek lines yet visually rich with lots of prints, patterns, and textures at the same time, the condo unit is a cozy home she shares with another queen in her life: her mom. At 24, you’d think Laura would opt to live independently like many young ones on the cusp of adulthood. But Laura said she actually loves living with her mom, who raised her, an unica hija, single-handedly.
"What I also love about this house is that even though it’s small, we were able to kind of section it off in a way so that each of has her own space."
Living with pets
It may only be the two of them—along with two house helps—who live in this house, but it’s never a lonely place. The mom and daughter have each other, and that’s more than enough to fill each and every space here with love and lots of happy memories.
The cheerful vibe their pets bring also adds a splash of sunshine to their day-to-day living. They have two dogs and a cat that move freely around the house. Laura and her mom don’t mind that their pets sometimes stain their couch or bump into other pieces of furniture; what matters more for them is that they get to be around their adorable pets in a relaxed space they can both unwind in.
The convenience of their pets, in fact, was a major consideration for Laura. She tells Metro.Style, “It’s important for me that they have a comfortable environment.” A wide and open space for her pets was her top requirement, and this influenced her choice of real estate property and unit specification. “I wanted to have an outdoor space, so my dogs can play around,” she adds.
This outdoor space happens to be Laura’s favorite part in their house, too. With its unparalleled view of the city, it’s where she and her mom usually have breakfast and lunch. It’s where they also maintain a small garden for growing their own vegetables and herbs. It’s where they get to appreciate the urbanscape, which also gives them that feeling of being out of the city.
"When you have parts of 'you' in your home, it just feels more serene, more relaxed."
Merging their aesthetics
The idea of condo living always brings up the challenges of designing with space constrictions. But interior trends have given so many options to maximize a space now, and it all boils down to clever planning.
This condo unit doesn’t look and feel small. The loft style helps create that illusion of a bigger space. The mirrored walls add visual depth. The tall windows with sheer shades welcome plenty of sunlight indoors, contributing to giving this home that bright and airy feel.
Laura revealed that she also tends to be obsessive-compulsive with her belongings, so this personality reflects in the house through the smart storage solutions they incorporated in every odd spaces imaginable; for example, the awkward space under the stairs which they utilized with a shelf on one side and her mom's work nook on the other.
With the seemingly contradicting elements that interestingly complement each other, this home is clearly a collaboration between Laura and her mom. It merges their aesthetics stylishly and in a manner that isn’t over the top, overwhelming, or incoherent.
“I wanted something modern, but at the same time, because I live with my mom and she loves art, we kept a lot of the items we have from our old house. My mom loves art, and I think I kind of latched onto a little bit of that. But for me, the most important thing about interior design is you really wanna make your home feel like a home, something that you’re excited to come home to everyday,” Laura shares with Metro.Style.
For those who are in the process of furnishing their spaces, Laura notes that it makes a big difference to have that conscious effort to showcase your personality and interests in your home, and factor that into the design process: “My mom is actually a professional travel agent and because of that, she has traveled to a lot of places, so every time she gets back from a trip, she brings a little something back. I guess they give our home character. When you have parts of 'you' in your home, it just feels more serene, more relaxed. That’s why we have a lot of paintings.”
If her mom was in charge of filling their home with artworks, Laura, on the other hand, helped out with picking some pieces of furniture and home accents. Her main contribution is the big gray couch on the living room from Crate & Barrel. The neutral palette of this key piece lends a breather to the visual feast served up by the décor scattered around. She says, “And because we had a lot of older pieces in our house, a lot of antique pieces and paintings, I wanted something a bit more modern, so that’s why I chose just the basic gray couch.”
Designing her private space
When it comes to her bedroom, Laura went for a clean and simple style whose highlights are two pieces of abstract paintings that anchor her bed and a storage cabinet by a window that doubles as her study area.
Storage space was a major issue for Laura, given how many clothes and accessories she owns from all the pageant and showbiz commitments she has done and still doing. The room is very organized—no unnecessary stuff on surfaces, just a couple of books on the side table and a flower vase on another. “I have a lot of hidden drawers. I’m super OC. In my mind, I also like to compartmentalize a lot of things, so this room is like my mind, with hidden drawers and shelves that nobody else can see,” she explains. Laura commissioned an expert to customize drawers for her room, such as the ones under her bed and her bed frame which cleverly extends to side tables.
For Laura, it doesn’t matter if a bedroom is simple, for as long as it feels like a private sanctuary that encourages one to rest and relax. To achieve that, she opted for a neat look with whites, creams, and pops of light blues. “I didn’t want to have reds in my room. I wanted everything to be calm. At the end of the day, when you sleep, you have to feel good and relaxed,” Laura adds. “Especially in the showbiz industry, there are a lot of stress and pressure, you wanna come home to a place which is like a safe haven, something that’s relaxing, so I think that’s also why our home became so homey.”
"The most important thing about interior design is you really wanna make your home feel like a home, something that you’re excited to come home to everyday."
Photographs by Paola Aseron
Makeup by Janina Dizon
Hairstyling by Ezekiel Otilla