Behind the Collection | Maison Birmingham
When designing our Kitchen and Pantry Collection, we knew we were going to need an eye catching space to serve as the backdrop for our products. It would need to mimic the modern inspiration behind our stark matte black and gray pieces, as well as the warmer tones of acacia and brass. In short, we needed a home that looked like it was made for our collection. Enter, Lauren Tolles, founder of Maison Birmingham, whose beautiful cabinets can be found stealing focus behind spice jars and canisters throughout our website. Read on to learn more about Lauren and how she uses her background in both architecture and interior design to imagine stunning spaces for her clients.
NM :: Tell us a little bit about yourself and the inspiration behind Maison Birmingham.
LT :: Growing up outside San Francisco, frequently accompanying my mother to the San Francisco Design Center, it didn’t take much to ignite my passion for design. In middle school I determined that I wanted to be an architect and interior designer, and went on to pursue my bachelor’s degree at Duke, and my Master of Architecture from University of Michigan. After a few years in the field I found myself gravitating more towards kitchens, and really the interior architecture of nearly every house I worked on. It was then that I realized my true passion for interior architecture, as well as kitchen and bath design! Having a background in both architecture and interior design is unique for a kitchen designer, and I believe it’s helped give me an advantage since I’m able to understand the home’s character and design more holistically, as well as better understand an architect or designer’s vision when we’re collaborating. Plus, I love that I get to engage my inner architect and geek out on all the technical details that go into kitchen design!
NM :: What makes your designs different from others?
LT :: As a kitchen and bath designer, custom cabinetry and millwork is a very large part of what we do - it’s how we hide all the mess while ensuring total functionality! In order to accomplish this, I’ve partnered with custom cabinetry manufacturers that can build anything I can draw, so we can achieve these incredibly custom, specialized designs and storage solutions. We love partnering with the Neat Method too since they make it all beautiful!
NM :: What has been a pleasant surprise you've found working in this industry?
LT :: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how challenges inspire designs, whether they’re spacial challenges, or specific client desires, they always push me to be a more clever designer. I once had a client who didn’t want a full sized refrigerator anywhere in her kitchen - it inspired us to think outside the box and even ended up on a magazine cover recently!
With a such a clear passion and talent for what she does, we were thrilled to be able to capture our collection alongside Lauren's designs. Head to Maison Birmingham to see more of her gorgeous work.