We eat first with our eyes, so it makes sense that L.A.-based restaurateur Beau Laughlin would fall in love with interior design and real estate after years of owning and designing multiple award-winning eateries, including Atrium, Pinky’s, Sawyer and Kettle Black. These days, the multihyphenate focuses on real estate, fronting Framework Design + Build (frameworkmade.com), a residential, retail and hospitality design and build service launched in 2018. Here, we chat with Laughlin about his ultimate aesthetic, his design journey thus far (including a recent Palm Springs project co-designed by Studio AR+D Architects) and what his fans can expect next.
Laughlin transformed this restaurant space at Providence.
Describe your design aesthetic in three words.
Balanced. Timeless. Organic.
The talented restaurateur-turned-designer
What sparked your passion for design?
When I first started owning restaurants in my twenties, we usually had a limited budget so it really forced me to learn quickly about design, the work of people who inspired me, extensive sourcing, repurposing items and expanding what I thought was possible into everything we did. Had I not been forced to be incredibly hands-on and dive so deep into it, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to learn. With every new concept, I got a little more comfortable and started taking more chances. I’ll always be a student learning whatever I can about design and building, but the older I get, the more inspired and confident I become.
Neutrals steal the show in Laughlin’s latest Palm Springs home redesign.
How has your restaurant experience informed your design?
As a restaurateur, I’ve had to consider the overall experience for the customer: Do you feel welcome when you first walk in? Is there a natural flow from one space to the next? Is there good light during the day? Are the seats and booths comfortable? Will the atmosphere be memorable? I think through all these things when I design a space, whether it’s a home, a store, a restaurant or a bar.
Tell us a little bit about your latest project.
The Palm Springs home is a true labor of love that embodies my passion for ground-up projects, exceptional living and sustainability. The 4,185-square-foot desert dwelling is one of Palm Springs’ most sought-after neighborhoods, and I made sure it maximized its surroundings through unique features like double-sided glass breezeways, connecting living spaces to the landscape. I incorporated locally sourced materials, solar panels, a fully integrated smart home system—all things I want in a luxury home. This project reflects my commitment to creating a home that not only satisfies the needs of its occupants but also contributes to a more sustainable future.
The chic showroom at Buck Mason Hancock Park, designed by Laughlin
In your opinion, what makes a great luxury home?
A great luxury home is one that meets all your needs; it doesn’t necessarily require the most expensive elements, but it should simplify your life and enhance your day-to-day experience. Find things that make you excited to come home and proud to share with others.
Any design trends you’re seeing for fall?
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of integration of older character pieces woven into modern design. The blend of high and low, and new and old isn’t anything new, but for some reason, I’m seeing it a lot lately, and the layering and warmth that it evokes is definitely inspiring me for fall.
The tastemaker incorporated the desert project’s inspiring surroundings in its stunning design.
Name some L.A. brands and showrooms that you love to shop.
Lawson-Fenning, DEN, Kalon
I’m developing several luxury residential and commercial projects in Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear. From a design perspective, I’m hyper-focused on making the mountain and desert communities in Southern California the very best that they can be.