For those looking to make their apartment or home beautiful while remaining ecologically conscious, one State College-based interior designer launched the only certified vegan interior design company in the State College area.
Lauren Fay Interiors’ mission is to be “ethical, cruelty-free and sustainable,” according to founder Lauren Godfrey.
Originally from Miami, Godfrey began working in Student Technology Resources for Penn State in 2013. In October 2019, after taking classes in design for three years, Godfrey decided to found her own interior design company.
She was partially inspired to pursue sustainable interior design after living in Austria for a while.
“Their whole culture is living outdoors,” Godfrey said. “They have an amazing recycling program, and people think about how to treat the outdoors well.”
Along with minimizing plastic usage and waste, Godfrey said she aims to be mindful of how products are made and to share her knowledge with the local community.
“There are a lot of things we don’t know that go into the process of making furniture and making pieces,” Godfrey said. “What is the journey of a product from beginning to end?”
Godfrey described her personal style as “welcoming, calming and approachable,” and said she loves to incorporate plants and greenery into her work.
However, she said her goal is to focus on the personal needs and styles of her clients.
“I like to make sure that each item has some sort of symbolic meaning,” Godfrey said, “things that are meaningful but that are also beautiful.”
State College resident Kate Gregory is a former client of Godfrey.
According to Gregory, she was working on a “very tight budget” as a new homeowner, which made the interior design process challenging. However, Gregory said Godfrey was able to help her repurpose the furniture she already had using eco-friendly DIY products.
The two used Low-VOC paint, which reduces the negative respiratory effects of regular paint, to repurpose Gregory’s furniture.
“It was really important to me that I make as many environmentally-friendly choices as possible,” Gregory said. “She helped me take what I already owned, and I was able to reuse it and reduce my carbon footprint.”
Gregory also said Godfrey helped her find “great statement pieces” to decorate her space.
To find pieces for her design projects, Godfrey said she works closely with other “wellness-minded designers.” She also reaches out directly to companies to ensure the sustainability of their products and works closely with State College area businesses.
Douglas Albert is the owner of the Douglas Albert Gallery in downtown State College. He and Godfrey have worked together to find original works of art for Godfrey’s interior design projects.
“Buying local shouldn’t stop at the farmer’s market,” Albert said. “It’s more crucial than ever for people to support local galleries and art studios.”
In the future, Godfrey said she plans to expand her business within State College and offer internship opportunities to students in the College of Arts and Architecture.
Godfrey also said she hopes to spread the message of “intentionality.”
“I would love to spread the message of thinking about where your products come from and what they’re made of,” Godfrey said. “And if they’re really cheap — stop and think about why that might be.”
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