Unlocking Potential & Creativity: SKIN London Launch 2021

By Christina Tsangaris

As we come out of lockdown, having stared at the walls of our homes for what seems like an eternity, our environments have now taken on a new level of importance. The start of 2021 will see a Chicago-based design and lifestyle brand SKIN launch in London, which creates spaces with an emotional impact. SKIN recognises that each client’s needs are different, but the end result is always a renewed sense of self in their new space.

Co-founded in 2017, by Interior Designer Lauren Lozano Ziol and Graphic Designer Michelle Jolas, SKIN specialises in classic, timeless interiors with a modern edge, built around each client’s idiosyncrasies and personal story.

With an approach to design that starts with getting under the skin of their clients – to uncover different layers of  personality, diversity and taste – Lauren and Michelle’s aim is to create environments that surround people with beautiful things they love, which inspire confidence, ambition, passion and creativity. Colours, organisation, textures and pattern all have the power to change a mood.

Their design philosophy has never been more relevant than today: “the reality is that the nature of home life in this Covid-19 era is changing – with more time working from home, people are increasingly recognising they need to be in an environment that truly reflects an aspect of wellbeing,” says Lauren.

Naturally, each SKIN project is bespoke and tailored but united by the brand’s classic, yet edgy, trademark look of pairing hand-selected vintage furniture finds and art with modern materials and styles. Whether creating interiors inspired by old world antiques, chinoiserie, French art deco or mid-century masters, they are unafraid of anachronistic pairings, so expect to find Louis XIV tables matched with Milo Baughman chairs or a Biedermeier chest with Scolari lighting, in SKIN’s exciting living spaces.

They regularly use top world brands such as Pierre Frey, Jiun Ho, Dedar, Holly Hunt, Phillip Jeffries, House of Hackney, Timorous Beasties, Jean Paul Gaultier and many more.

SKIN not only takes on large interior design projects with private residential clients, developers, commercial and hospitality spaces, but also offers design consultancy for smaller projects. SKIN has recently announced its new venture, Trinity Luxury Group, which is poised to take on the ambitious task of transforming beautiful European châteaux into art-minded luxury hotels and creative havens.

To find unique pieces for projects, Lauren and Michelle scout the world, frequenting estate sales and auction houses, exploring furniture markets and visiting their favourite shopping districts. As part of this international approach, Lauren and Michelle welcome clients to join them on their design journeys by offering one-on-one or small group shopping trips to London, Paris, New York and San Francisco. Whether it’s delving into San Francisco’s Design District or discovering fabrics in Paris’ Marché Saint-Pierre, Lauren and Michelle personalise each trip, offering expert guidance, and providing insights on the emotional impact of interiors along the way.

Together, Lauren and Michelle make an impressive team. Lauren is considered one of Chicago’s top designers, counting 25 years of interior design experience, working in Paris and San Francisco, and holding degrees in both Interior Design and Art History, with an additional year spent studying Art History and Philosophy at Oxford.

Meanwhile, Michelle is a serial entrepreneur, with 25 years of experience working for top global advertising agencies such as DDB Worldwide and FCB Global, managing campaigns for international luxury brands including The Peninsula Hotels and Hästens Beds. With this unusual dynamic, alongside their in-depth knowledge of techniques, processes and materials, the pair push each other’s style boundaries and explore all areas of design. Michelle’s expertise centres on graphic art, her love of design extending to photographic prints of her own travels as well as a vintage jewellery collection, both of which are available through SKIN. Lauren’s furniture line, which draws upon her favourite art deco and mid-century style influences, are also available through SKIN.

In addition to this, Lauren and Michelle have launched a charity – Projekt SKIN. This charitable enterprise sees a portion of their company’s proceeds going to interior design services for spaces or places in need, such as homeless shelters. This is in line with SKIN’s understanding that environments influence how you feel, and their belief that good design should be for everyone.

Lauren comments, “We believe that by creating beautiful spaces and surrounding people with memories and beautiful things they have collected, we can help them be more creative and happier in their lives. Spending more time at home, people want to be in a space that makes them feel good, that’s why we create interiors that inspire confidence, passion and creativity.”

By Christina Tsangaris