Leah Ring
Interior Designer, DIYer, Artist

leahring.jpg

Leah Ring

Interior Designer/DIYer/Artist

Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA

www.leahring.com
Instagram @leah__ring
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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m balancing working at a custom furniture studio managing really large, high end clients and working on my own interior design projects

Right now I'm balancing working at a custom furniture studio managing really large, high end clients and working on my own interior design projects. I'm also trying to build some prototypes this year of furniture and home goods that I've designed, so that is an exciting but somewhat daunting project. 

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I was working in advertising straight out of school (client management side) and wanted to do something visually creative, so I went back to school at FIDM studying Visual Communication. While at FIDM I interned for a Fashion PR house and then a high end residential interior designer, and really fell in love with interior design. From there I worked for a design/build firm in LA, a few more corporate furniture places in San Francisco, a high end residential interior design firm in New York and now I'm back in LA working in custom furniture and doing freelance interior design through Homepolish

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

I think in interior design, at least for me, it took me a while to recognize that I have a unique perspective. Meaning, I can walk into a room and immediately have ideas for how it should be laid out, what furniture pieces should be sourced...it took me a while to realize that not everyone can visualize space in that way. I guess it's just about gaining confidence in your own unique creative skill set. 

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I just wrapped up a few Homepolish projects which should be published soon, I taught a Skillshare class on designing a bedroom, I'm finishing up a chandelier prototype that I welded and am getting started on some other prototypes for home goods products. 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

This is always challenging as an interior designer, especially one just starting to build their portfolio, because I think it can take a while to get to work with the type of clients who really trust you to sort of fly free with your design vision. And also budget of course comes into play. I'm generally a huge fan of Scandinavian interiors - I like a really light/neutral palette and minimal decor, but I absolutely love this project (http://estliving.com/fiona-lynch-south-yarra-home) because it's really elegant but still seems like a livable space. 

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I love interior design, but I definitely want to get more into creating products and/or art. There's something so gratifying about seeing something that used to just live in your brain as an idea come to life as a tangible product. I would also love to get involved in set design/styling for photo shoots. I did a lot of visual merchandising and prop design stuff at FIDM and it's super fun to create concepts for brands, windows, sets, etc. because you can really let your imagination run wild. 

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

My main challenge is trying to move to a more freelance career model. I've always worked full time and freelanced on top of it, but really I want to devote more time to churning out a higher volume of creative work because I feel that's important given where I'm at in my career. 

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HOUR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

For interior design projects - it would be ordering stuff for clients. The administrative part of ordering products can be very time consuming. 

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I wish I would have taken bigger risks when I was younger. I think when you're super young and just starting out, you may as well take risks because (at least in my field) you're not really making much money anyway. It's much harder when you're older and have more obligations to say...could I really walk away from the security of this job? I think the answer has to be yes, because as a creative person you have to really follow your passion or you'll never be satisfied with your life, but I do think it gets scarier to take those leaps the older you get. 

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Both for interior design and product design it would be about different pricing models. How to make sure you're being paid for your time as a designer, and how to make sure you price your product appropriately given the materials used and target customer.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Interior design, set design, styling, production assistant - basically anything where I feel like I can contribute my skill sets in a meaningful way and hopefully learn something valuable from the experience. I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty - in fact I love building and making things - so any projects like that would be fun.  

 

WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?

This really depends! Because I feel like what I do as an interior designer can translate to prop styling, event planning and a range of projects, it really all depends upon the client and project. I love Adi Goodrich's work - she really knocks it out of the park every time. 

 

WHAT IS YOUR RATE? 

This would depend upon the project - either hourly, day rate or project rate - but once provided with information regarding project scope I can pretty easily advise. 

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

I'd love to know project scope, aesthetic and target audience/client. I'm super friendly so just feel free to say hey!

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Open my eyes, listen to tunes!

 

 


This member profile was originally published in May 2016.