We first noticed Laura Hodges’ work in the House Beautiful Whole Home Project in 2021. We were drawn to her clean, yet very comfortable and textural aesthetic. Needless to say, we were thrilled when Laura—who is based in Baltimore but works across the country—recently placed an order for one of our benches for a home she designed. And today we’re happy to share some of her story.
Laura Hodges, and the Home Office and Gym she designed for the 2021 edition of House Beautiful's Whole Home. (Photography by Stephen Karlisch).
What’s your earliest memory of being impacted by design?
My family and I are from England originally, and as a child, we used to travel to the UK to visit friends and family a lot. My earliest memories of our Victorian house are forever ingrained in my memory, from the high ceilings and wood floors, to my favorite detail: the wraparound banister that allowed you to see all the way to the third floor.
Can you pinpoint a moment when you decided sustainability would be a foundation to all that you do?
I wouldn’t say that it was a specific moment because it has always been how I like to design, even from when I was in design school. Sourcing vintage first, being very careful about how we demo, donating unwanted materials, and considering all of the details in a design to maximize our impact while being responsible to the environment is just how I’ve always approached design.
In your experience, what is one simple change we can all make in our homes that will make a difference for the environment?
We can all make small changes in our homes, and if we do them together, it will have a big impact. One simple change is to consider how you use items in your kitchen. Reusable paper towels, beeswax food wraps instead of plastic wrap, composting food waste, and using silicone food storage bags instead of plastic bags are all simple updates for your kitchen. (Side note from us: we enjoyed learning more about Laura and her commitment to sustainability on this recent podcast.)
A home in Oxford, Maryland designed by Laura Hodges. (Photos via Laura Hodges Studio).
Having traveled to 30+ countries, how has this impacted the way you look at design?
I love to travel because it’s so important to see how other people and cultures live. Seeing the wide array of design styles, influences and historical references is a critical part of developing my own sensibilities and taste.
We were so excited that you chose our bench for a project and can’t wait to see photos! In the meantime, do you have any tips for styling a long bench such as ours?
I love adding a decorative pillow or two on a bench, especially one that doesn’t have a back. The mix of texture and color can create a beautiful vignette, that’s welcoming and comfortable.
We love the bold, clean, and still very comfortable look of this Baltimore home. (Photos via Laura Hodges Studio).