Designer Laura Bohn, a keynote speaker at Blue Grass Trust garden show, loves Ikea

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comMarch 1, 2013 

New York interior designer Laura Bohn is a featured speaker at the 2013 Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation’s ­Antiques and Garden Show.

DUSTIN PITTMAN

  • IF YOU GO

    Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation's Antiques and Garden Show

    What: More than 80 exhibitors of antiques, gardens, designer vignettes, silver, jewelry, collectibles and fine home furnishings.

    When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 8, 9; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 10

    Where: Kentucky Horse Park Alltech Arena, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy.

    Admission: $10 daily, $15 three-day pass

    Learn more: Bluegrasstrust.org

    HIGHLIGHTS

    There will be free lectures daily, but here are some other highlights. All require reservations; call (859) 253-0362 or go to Bluegrasstrust.org. A full schedule also is available online.

    ■ Gala Preview Party: 7 p.m. March 7. Catering by Donna, silent auction, exclusive shopping. $125, $95 for 35 and younger.

    ■ Luncheon Lecture: Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. 11:30 a.m. March 8. $60.

    ■ Cocktails and Conversation: Laura Bohn with Dale Fisher. 4 p.m. March 8. $40.

    ■ Luncheon Lecture: Jon Carloftis. Noon March 9. $60.

    ■ Appraisal Fair. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 9. $20; includes daily show ticket.

Noted New York interior designer Laura Bohn's favorite go-to retailer might be a surprise to some.

"I absolutely love Ikea," said Bohn, a keynote speaker at next weekend's Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation's Antiques and Garden Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.

For accessories for the kitchen and bath, metal shelving, hardware and the like, "you can't get much better," she said.

She's been known to use purchases from the moderately priced Swedish retailer for high-end projects and to shop there for her own home.

It is Bohn's willingness to buck convention when it interferes with style that has made the member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame an enduring figure in lofty Gotham design circles.

The website for Laura Bohn Design Associates explains her style as a well-edited approach that uses "unexpected hues and shapes together to give rooms depth and richness." Bohn, who is also a fan of the retailer Restoration Hardware, said her style hasn't shifted with interior trends over the years but has gotten bolder.

"When you get older, you've done the sheepish thing and now you are into being bold," she said.

One of her favorite tricks is to paint a portion of one wall, say from the floor to 6 feet up, a bold color to tie furniture and accessories together. (Another version of the same idea is painting a rectangle on one wall.)

"It's a quicky thing that sort of unifies the space," she said.

Bohn said digital tools such as Pinterest, can serve as fabulous design inspirations. But, she said, do-it-yourself should go only so far.

For a homeowner to take on any kind of significant construction without professional help is a mistake, she said: "You are asking for trouble."

When she is working on a project, Bohn said, the first thing she does is build trust with the homeowners and understand how they hope to use the space. She tries to bring out "what it is they want, your fantasy of how you want to live in your space," she said. "Hopefully a designer will take you there and beyond."

Bohn's favorite kind of project is limitless, she said. But that doesn't mean a limitless budget. She likes being able to start from scratch, going down to the studs, to reconfigure a space in a new way for a new purpose.

Her dream client is someone who is adventurous and willing to try new things.

And that, she said, "can happen on any kind of budget, a big budget or a small budget, if they are willing to try something they haven't seen before, you can get good results with that."


IF YOU GO

Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation's Antiques and Garden Show

What: More than 80 exhibitors of antiques, gardens, designer vignettes, silver, jewelry, collectibles and fine home furnishings.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 8, 9; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 10

Where: Kentucky Horse Park Alltech Arena, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy.

Admission: $10 daily, $15 three-day pass

Learn more: Bluegrasstrust.org

HIGHLIGHTS

There will be free lectures daily, but here are some other highlights. All require reservations; call (859) 253-0362 or go to Bluegrasstrust.org. A full schedule also is available online.

■ Gala Preview Party: 7 p.m. March 7. Catering by Donna, silent auction, exclusive shopping. $125, $95 for 35 and younger.

■ Luncheon Lecture: Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. 11:30 a.m. March 8. $60.

■ Cocktails and Conversation: Laura Bohn with Dale Fisher. 4 p.m. March 8. $40.

■ Luncheon Lecture: Jon Carloftis. Noon March 9. $60.

■ Appraisal Fair. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 9. $20; includes daily show ticket.

Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: Bluegrassmoms.com.

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