Her ‘need’ to create filled designing unique spaces
'Taking space and redefining it is what we do best.'
MATERIAL GIRL: Julie A. Lancia, left, founded ALX Group 12 years ago, growing the firm's reputation through interesting work and use of creative materials. At right is her assistant, Gloria Fournier.
PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
By Michael Souza PBN Staff Writer
Julie A. Lancia has been the principal of ALX Group Inc., in North Providence, since it opened 12 years ago. “The ALX Group was started as a vehicle for me to start creating some different interior spaces, creating different pieces of furniture or cabinetry to fulfill the need that I had to create,” Lancia said.
Her design firm has earned the reputation of being unique in its use of creative materials.
She goes to great efforts to find material across the globe. She travels to many countries several times each year to see the latest styles and trends, inspiring even more creative work. “I was in Portugal about two months ago working with a furniture designer. It’s good to get out of the box and take a look around,” Lancia said.
But that doesn’t stop her from paying close attention to what is going on stateside, especially in the Ocean State. With more than a decade of experience she has developed relationships with some of the best artisans, contractors and craftsmen in the area. “Mostly I try to use Rhode Islanders, I try to keep everything local,” she said. “There’s an unbelievable group of craftsmen here in Rhode Island.”
The company is willing to take on any commercial or residential project. Recently the work has been more residential. “There are a lot of times when we will take a raw space and have to transform it, it’s what I prefer to do,” she said. Other facets of the company’s expertise include remodeling.
It is a versatile practice, able to design space in a high-rise in downtown Providence – a space that was recently featured in Design New England Magazine – to a mill on the Blackstone River in Pawtucket. The mill space was constructed of stone, brick and wood, but Lancia never feels compelled to use the same materials. “I try to do a complete juxtaposition of what’s there. There’s a great way to make a harmonious marriage between a brick wall and a contemporary, hi-gloss fixture or a couch or a kitchen,” she said.