A Conversation with Leslie Lamarre: Interior Designer and Co-founder of TRG Architecture

CEO Khai Intela
Introduction In this exclusive interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Leslie Lamarre, an accomplished interior designer and co-founder of TRG Architecture. Leslie's unique journey, from growing up in a New England farmhouse to...

Interior Designer & Co-founder of TRG Architecture


In this exclusive interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Leslie Lamarre, an accomplished interior designer and co-founder of TRG Architecture. Leslie's unique journey, from growing up in a New England farmhouse to establishing her own design firm, is a testament to her passion and dedication. Join us as we delve into her experiences, challenges, and accomplishments in the world of architecture and design.

Getting Started as a Designer

Q: How did you get started as a Designer? LL: Growing up in a 19th-century farmhouse ignited my love for design. My dad's DIY projects were a constant source of fascination, and I actively participated in restoring and beautifying our home. This experience laid the foundation for my future career. From helping friends with colors and furniture choices to rebuilding a historic bungalow with my husband, design has always been my calling. Although I initially pursued journalism, founding TRG Architecture in 1995 allowed me to finally follow my passion.

Description of TRG Architecture

Q: Can you describe your business to our readers? LL: TRG Architecture is a full-service architecture and interior design firm specializing in high-end custom homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. We create dream homes that reflect our clients' unique vision, both inside and out. Our diverse and talented team of 16 professionals collaborates closely to bring these visions to life. The cultural richness and varied perspectives we embrace contribute to the quality and excellence of our work.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Q: What does being a business owner mean to you, and why did you become an entrepreneur? LL: Being a business owner grants me the freedom to unleash my creativity. It allows us to choose the projects we are genuinely passionate about and shape our firm's identity. Interestingly, entrepreneurship was not a deliberate choice; it naturally evolved as we pursued what we love most.

Learning from Experience

Q: What have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years? LL: Before becoming a business owner, I had the invaluable experience of working in an environment where employees were genuinely cared for. This taught me the importance of prioritizing employee well-being. At TRG, we have built a benefits program that fosters a healthy work-life balance and cultivates a positive and productive atmosphere. Taking care of our team, just as I was once cared for, has been instrumental in our success.

Challenges Faced by Women

Challenges Faced by Women Today

Q: What are some of the challenges you believe women face today? LL: The #MeToo Movement has highlighted one of the most significant issues women face. Sexual harassment and assault pervade all industries, including architecture and interior design. It is high time we address this pervasive problem and work towards creating an inclusive and safe environment for all professionals.

Succeeding in the Workplace

Q: What advice would you give to young women who aspire to succeed in the workplace? LL: Trust your instincts and find your voice. Your opinions, ideas, and contributions matter. Don't be afraid to speak up and make yourself heard. Empowering yourself is the first step towards success.

Professional Accomplishments

Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? LL: Winning nine national design awards in a single year—2017—stands out as a significant milestone in my career. It was a testament to the dedication and talent of our team at TRG.

Achieving Work-Life Balance

Q: How do you manage your work-life balance? LL: Rule number one: avoid discussing work matters at home. Rule number two: reserve weekends for personal time and avoid client meetings. By establishing clear boundaries, I ensure that I have the necessary space to recharge and maintain a fulfilling personal life.

Childhood Dreams

Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? LL: As a child, I aspired to become a veterinarian. I have always had a deep love for animals, and that passion remains with me to this day.

Five Things About Leslie Lamarre

Five Things About Leslie Lamarre

  1. If you could talk to one famous person, past or present, who would it be and why? Julia Morgan, the first licensed woman architect in California. She defied societal expectations and became a role model for professional women.
  2. What do you love the most about living in the Bay Area? Being close to the ocean, San Francisco, skiing, and the beautiful wine country—how can I choose just one?
  3. What place have you always dreamed of visiting? India, for its rich history, spirituality, vibrant colors, and captivating textures. It's a sensory feast and a constant source of design inspiration.
  4. What's the best advice anyone has ever given you? The importance of maintaining a sense of humor, especially in challenging situations.
  5. Is there something else you would like to accomplish? Yes, but it's top secret! Stay tuned for exciting updates.

Thank you for joining us for this captivating conversation with Leslie Lamarre. Her journey and insights serve as an inspiration to aspiring designers and entrepreneurs alike. To learn more about TRG Architecture and their exceptional work, visit their website at www.trgarch.com.