Laura Muller, Allied ASID, is the CCO/Founder and Principal Designer of Four Point Design Build Inc. (www.fourpointdesignbuild.com), a full service residential and commercial interior design-build firm based in Los Angeles, with clients nationwide. She has been designing, developing and building diverse residential and commercial projects in Southern California for over thirty‐five years.
With a strong and lengthy background in community outreach and service, Laura consistently spearheads large charity “passion projects” with organizations such as ASID, Ronald McDonald House, Step Up on Second, and others. Laura’s key passion is to reduce youth homelessness by raising awareness about mental illness, and building community connections that inspire hope, and firmly believes that together we can build a better tomorrow for all those in need.
We wanted to know more about Laura, and hear her advice for students who are emerging into a new field. Here is what she had to say:
What are you currently working on?
We currently have 9 projects at some point of development or completion. Current projects include a 10K sf and 4K sf commercial tenant improvement, a 34 room Hancock Park historic restoration project (interiors and exteriors), and some very cool residential remodel expansions in areas such as Culver City, Venice, and Calabasas.
What attracted you to interior design?
As a former set designer/builder and performer, (and for as long as I can remember), it was always a passion to discover how space, lighting, path of travel, furniture and people work together to influence and express a clear message or feeling. In theater, EVERYTHING on a set has meaning, and how people interact with “things” is very intentional. It is fantastic how completely powerful design really is! It was a perfect match to take those intuitive talents and focus them into a design-build business, where these skills I learned over many years, it is EXACTLY what I have the great pleasure of doing every day.
3 qualities that got you to where you are today:
Persistence, resilience, and faith.
What is one of your biggest challenges?
Time. There is never enough of it.
What does your typical day look like?
I start my day at 5:00am with a prayer, coffee and 30 minutes of dedicated social media updating and engaging. I’m at the Studio by 7:00 am and I plan the day, update calendars, send emails. By 10:00am the team is all in, and we’re in full-swing with designing, drawing, site visits, resourcing, managing projects and fielding the unexpected until 5:00pm. I, personally, will stay at the office at least two days a week for quiet design work, as I tend to be most creative later in the afternoon. Shoes off, coffee in hand, drafting board, music, and I am in heaven. The other days I’m out by 6:00pm for family time and/or design events.
What is one helpful design resource you can recommend to students as they enter the field?
Get involved (I mean get REALLY involved) with your local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Convert your student membership over to Allied as soon as you graduate and go to the events. Call your Local ASID chapter office and volunteer your service. The rates are fantastic your first years out of school…and you won’t be sorry. Here you will continue to grow with professionals who are MORE than ready to guide you along your emerging professional journey.
Something you wish you knew when first got started designing?
I wish I knew more about budgets, timelines, contracts, clients and real-life expectations. It’s a BUSINESS first. I learned that very quickly. I had a wonderful, gifted, and patient mentor who allowed me to jump in 110% and make mistakes in a very contained condition. I learned fast.
How did you find your mentor?
I’ve had many mentors. Some came to be way of chance. I would say, fate! Some have come virtually and thru research. I’ve had some very important and very special mentors guide me via ASID. But my most important mentors have come to me via UCLA. I am blessed to have had the very best guardian angels and some very strong women and teachers in my life who lift me up, and challenge me to greatness!
Best career advice you’ve gotten?
There are no stupid questions, take risks, be kind, give back what you take, work your ass off, be authentic, get and BE a mentor, and “…persistence and determination alone, are omnipotent!”
Who do you admire and why?
I admire anyone who is kind. Kindness and integrity are two very important and valuable acts that transcend all professions, lifestyles, and profit. At times kindness, tolerance, acceptance, integrity, truth and forgiveness can be difficult, and that’s what makes it important.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I travel. It gives me time to listen to my heart and restores my creative spirit, and soothes my tired eyes.
What is your favorite thing in your own home?
My family…and my Keurig.
What is something on your bucket list?
Singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. In the meantime, I’ll take Ireland.
When did you attend UCLA’s Extension ARC-ID program?
2005 – 2008 (2008 graduate with distinction)