“You can always live life in a beautiful way.” -Peti Lau
Modern Renaissance woman, Peti Lau, inspires not only as an interior designer but a lifestyle guru as well.
With a background rich in culture, travel, and the arts, Peti immerses her energy and passion in everything she takes on. Her entrepreneurial spirit has led her to experiences as a restaurant + bar owner, an international clothing line designer, and eventually, a renowned interior designer.
With over ten years of Hospitality, High-End Residential, and Commercial experience, this New York City based designer has made quite a name for herself collaborating with top firms like iCrave and Jeff Lincoln. She has developed a style she calls AristoFreak™ which distinguishes her unique approach to design.
Recently, we caught up with Peti to learn more about what drives her as a designer, the importance of branding, and the use of technology to share design through her eyes.
What brought you to design?
I don’t have the typical background for most interior designers. I did many things before design; I was always creative and I love to travel. I studied to be an opera singer and classical pianist which is what I thought I was going to do. But, I had incredible opportunities along the way like starting my own restaurant and launching a clothing line for chefs in Bali, Hawaii and India. My design career really started in Thailand.
My feeling was: This is it! This is what I was meant to do! After being in Asia for seven years, I went back to the U.S. and have been building my business for the past ten years. So, I didn’t have the traditional sense of trajectory in my career. With design, I kind of fell into it!
You’ve shared that you’re inspired by your travels and living in various places around the world. How does this inspiration come through?
I developed my own style which I call Aristofreak. Aristofreak does not fit into one traditional style. It’s very much like a lifestyle, a combination, a bit of everything. Eclectic is everywhere!
It’s definitely a trend that I see…we are all so global and eclectic. So, Aristofreak is Old World mixed with a splash of the unexpected. It’s a style that is worldly, dramatic, romantic and there’s always a bit of luxury.
Through it, I teach my clients to see the quality of craftsmanship and I use patterns, textures, colors to tell their individual stories. Clients do not necessarily have to have the money to buy all the high end beautiful things, so I also make sure to mix pieces at high and low points.
Your design expertise has become more accessible through technology. What are the main ways you use tech to share interior design ideas/knowledge?
There so much information out there! Tech is allowing to people to have access to good designers; it allows everyone to have beauty.
Social media (like this Instagram video about one of my projects) obviously is one way to share design; it helps in creating awareness and presence. Our audience is much more educated so, you constantly have to find new things and push yourself as a designer to be updated.
I definitely am a huge believer of supporting other entrepreneurs and sharing information. Through social media I am able to reach people “across the pond” to collaborate. Having the access to information and a whole community of other designers, that’s been amazing!
You are currently using online design to offer your services. What are the benefits to the customers and interior designers? Are there any drawbacks that you can see?
A benefit to online interior design is that you can have an awesome designer at your fingertips; everyone can have access to beautiful design.The hardest thing about is that sometimes it’s hard to get a full sense of the space, takes more time to focus and read the space and in this way can be more time consuming.
What excites you about your future in interior design?
I’m excited about growing as a designer, getting Aristofreak out there-sharing a body, mind, and soul lifestyle. I like educating people on the sense of value and integrity of a product and teaching people why is it important to make your spaces feel good. And, of course, I’m excited to continue traveling and working on projects both in the U.S. and internationally.