2017 DHDA: Rising Star
This year’s Brian Killian Rising Star competition winner creates timeless designs at her downtown Birmingham studio
LAUREN TOLLES’ INTEREST IN ART and design began when she was a child growing up in California. A fan of sketching houses, Tolles also loved to explore her creative side when playing with Legos.
Years later, she was inspired to enroll at Duke University in North Carolina, where she continued to nurture her childhood passions by majoring in visual arts and art history.
In 2008, this year’s Rising Star, shown above right, moved to Michigan to pursue her master’s degree in architecture at the University of Michigan. Following graduation, Tolles landed positions at McIntosh Poris Associates and HF: architecture.
She started her own interior design firm in 2014 and by May of 2016, her business had grown so much that she expanded and formed Maison Birmingham, a design studio and showroom in downtown Birmingham. Her company, a full-service design-build firm, offers everything from interior architecture and custom cabinetry to interior design, construction, and project management.
Tolles and her team pride themselves on creating timeless interiors that reflect their clients’ lifestyles and hone in on their specific needs. They focus on fabricating versatile spaces that can grow with their clients, while maintaining a strong balance that has the ability to make a formal space inviting and a casual space practical.
Interior designer Meg Lonergan, one of this year’s Detroit Home Design Awards judges, says of Tolles’ work: “What an inspiring mix of materials she uses! From marble to acrylic to warm wood, all in one space, it’s a feast for the eyes. The mix of metals is beautiful, too!”
Tolles is National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ)-certified and a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). She lives in Birmingham with her husband, Bryan, and their son, Matheson. Congratulations to our 2017 Rising Star!
Lauren Tolles’ work features interesting juxtapositions, including glamorous, dressy chandeliers with more masculine, tailored cabinetry. Detroit Home Design Awards judge Meg Lonergan calls that combination “brilliant!” She also likes how Tolles’ spaces are comfortable and relaxed.