Members Only

An Expression of Intent

To celebrate their 25-year business partnership, Sandy Lucas and Sarah Eilers of Lucas/Eilers Design Associates published a book! Expressive Interiors, an in-depth analysis of their design philosophy and how it is the basis of the elegant, comfortable rooms they create, was released in September 2020.

Sandy and Sarah have a unique business arrangement, in that they are full business partners, but each runs separate teams, designing their projects independent of each other. It was interesting to see (or not see!) the differences in their approach, perhaps shown most clearly in the third section of the book, where each designer shares details of their own home—including what they dislike about it! Perhaps one of the most inspiring projects in the book is one that was completed nearly 20 years ago, that you’ll be hard-pressed to tell the age of, a true testament to why the principals and elements of design truly matter.

Sarah, as a member of Design Trust, shared some significant details regarding the lengthy, and frankly expensive, process of getting a book published, nearly seven years from the first pitch, to publication. A DTL members-only panel discussion that included Sarah, Sandy, the talented photographer Stephen Karlisch, and Rizzoli editor Sandy Friedus explored how the initial book concept was refined, how decisions were made on photography, and more. Getting a look at various versions of pre-publication layouts and the graphic design decisions was a fascinating look at the level of detail and expertise that goes into making gorgeous design books.


One of the most surprising aspects of the process was that, while their investment in professional photography played a key role in helping land a publication deal; they still wound up having to go back and reshoot every project they wanted for the book. Working with acclaimed editorial interior photographer Stephen Karlisch, who helped develop a photographic theme for the book, was an investment in time and money that definitely paid off.

Take a look at the before-and-after comparisons below to see how much richer and more vibrant the editorial images are!

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