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Home Décor – Mythbusters Style

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Story by Emily Robertson | Photography by Darren Harris | Harris Visual Media

When Laura Gilbert calls her home the “mythbusters house,” she truly means it. She’s used her home to dispel myths that her design clients may have about different design elements and show them what out-of-the-box ideas can look like in a real home, which just happens to be hers. 

“In my business, I never ask a client to do something I haven’t done myself, so we try it all in my own home,” Gilbert says. Gilbert moved into the home off Cemetery Road six years ago. The home, which was built in 1992 is just over 3,000 square feet and includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms. When Gilbert first moved into the home, she repainted the entire house and put in hardwood flooring throughout the home, but didn’t rework the layout.

“With the house being built in 1992, I thought when I moved in that I wanted to tear down all the walls and make it open concept,” Gilbert says. “But as we lived in it, I realized I really liked the different spaces in the home. This is the place we go to actually live and I wanted it to be completely functional for my family, with my boys having their own space upstairs.”

Gilbert says for many of her clients, when they design a whole home and then move in, there are several elements they realize they don’t love once they see it in real life. She found that to be true even in her own home when she saw that real life sometimes wins out over beauty or design. “I tried to do lots of beautiful open shelves when we first moved in,” Gilbert says. “But after awhile, you end up with Tylenol bottles and a bunch of Zaxby’s cups on our open shelves. So you realize there is some need for open and closed shelving for beauty and for your sanity.”
So much of the décor elements of Gilbert’s house tell a story, from a clock that belonged to her grandmother, to the wallpaper in her dining room that reminds her of the hotel her grandparents owned and where she grew up, to the last piece of furniture from her former home interiors store, On The Dot. For Gilbert, her style is uniquely her own and draws on so much of her upbringing, as well as her life in Kentucky and her southern roots. 

“I would say my personal style is old school and classic,” Gilbert says. “My grandmother wore Birkenstocks and I picked up on that and wear Birkenstocks too, but my fourth-great grandfather was the second governor of Kentucky, James Garrard.  I love to travel and I find inspiration from all over.”

Artwork is a focal point in Gilbert’s home, from the framed back and white picture hanging in her kitchen which features a childhood photo of her mother in a wash bin in Eastern Kentucky to the tribal painting hanging on the ceiling in her living room. “I found the artwork in my living room at a really cool place in Louisville called Blue Ocean Traders,” Gilbert says. “They have really unique pieces, with lots of their items being from artists in Indonesia and Nepal and this was painted by one of them. My kids aren’t sure how to feel about it hanging from our ceiling, but again, it was something I always wanted to try to see what it would look like and I love it.”

While Gilbert does find pieces from all over the country and world for her own home, the spec homes she’s worked on, her Airbnbs and her clients’ homes, she also works closely with a familiar hometown company on so much of her design work. “I’ve worked with Jason Wood at Bowling Green Home Furnishings for a long time,” Gilbert says. “He has so much to offer the area with what the store carries, but he is also good about helping me hunt down unique pieces that I want and he lets me go down these crazy paths to find exactly what I’m looking for.”
Gilbert says that so much of her design aesthetic both in homes and more recently in environmental design, has grown over time to truly reflect her unique perspective. “I had to evolve into the designer I am today,” Gilbert says. “When I first started, I wanted to do what everyone was doing and I didn’t want people to know my background or my family story. That’s not what life is about though. Now, I’ve decided I’d rather go broke doing it my way than try to do it someone else’s way. Take a minute and figure out who you are and don’t be afraid to design to that."

Laura’s home was completed with the help of these local businesses:

BUILDER:  Blueblood Solutions |
Furnishings and Laura Lees Gilbert Interiors
LANDSCAPING: Lucas McPherson
WALLPAPER: Laura Lees Gilbert Interiors
CABINETS: Cates Cabinets
WINDOW SHADES: Guyer Shutter Company

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