A Kitchen with Two Islands and Endless Charm
When designer Laura Lochrin set out to remodel an estate overlooking a vineyard in California, she went all in on the kitchen’s details—installing not one but two islands, as well as two NativeStone concrete sinks (Farmhouse Quartet as the primary sink and Ventana as an island prep sink). She also had the ceilings raised from eight feet to eleven feet, brought in cool white porcelain countertops, warm wood details, and a textured backsplash.
As for her next project, the designer says, “I am currently planning a kitchen remodel in my own home. When a designer plans their own remodel, every single detail is picked apart and overthought. So I have a thousand ideas, but the only things I’m 100 percent set on is that the kitchen will be built around a Native Trails concrete sink!”
Native Trails spoke with the Scottish-bred and Southern California-based designer about what keeps her inspired and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted her business this year.
What’s your favorite room in a home to decorate?
Every room has its own reasons for being fun to work on, but I do love a good powder room transformation! It’s typically the smallest room in the house, but the one that all your guests see. It’s such a great space to make an impact and have a little fun. I definitely nudge our clients toward being a little more bold in here.
What’s your earliest design-related memory?
Growing up, my parents redecorated constantly. I have memories of my dad crawling around under the floorboards and knocking out walls. There was always something being changed. I’m now exactly the same—not happy unless I’m tearing a space apart and putting it back together! But one memory that really stands out was the first time I ever went to IKEA; I grew up in Scotland and before Scotland got its own IKEA we would drive down to England, 200 miles away. We were redecorating my bedroom at the time and I just remember being so excited by the amount of choice.
How would you describe your design aesthetic in five words?
Light, timeless, clean, layered, livable
What’s a low point in your career that you learned a big lesson from? If so, what was it and what did you learn?
Oh, without a doubt…2020! This year has for sure been a rollercoaster for all small businesses. Back in March when the whole world locked down, it was definitely a pretty low moment. My business went from thriving to just completely paused! For a week or so I really enjoyed the forced break, but then reality hit and the unknown of it all it became worrying. I am very thankful that we have come out the other side and are busier than ever. With all the time spent at home, people are really focusing on updating their spaces.
You used two of our NativeStone sinks in a recent kitchen design. What inspired this space and why did you go with our concrete sinks?
This home was completely ripped out to the studs and rebuilt, we knocked down walls, reconfigured the layout and literally raised the roof by taking the ceiling heights from 8ft to 11ft! The 360-degree views from this home were incredible and the inspiration was for sure built around being able to appreciate that! We wanted light and fresh but with tons of interest! The Native Trails sinks definitely gave that pop of interest we wanted in the kitchen, we leaned away from a white farmhouse sink and went for these slate concrete sinks and it just completely elevated the finished space!
What’s a dream project you haven’t yet gotten to do?
Well, I am from Scotland. I moved to California eight years ago; my business was born here, so I one day would love the opportunity to design back over in the U.K. There’s completely different design aspects that have to be considered—homes and rooms are typically on a smaller scale, so you have to really consider how to make smaller spaces functional. And a lot of the homes over there are much older than any homes I’ve worked on here, so you are working with the aim of restoring and preserving original features and the character and history of each space.
All photos by Natalia Robert Photography. Check out more designs in the Native Trails Inspiration Gallery.
Sinks: Farmhouse Quartet and Ventana by Native Trails
Wall Tiles: Clé Tile
Faucet: Litze, by Brizo
Knobs and pulls: Top Knobs