Formerly a Creative Director, Carole's artistic talents led her to embark on a career in interior design and form her namesake firm in 2004. Her incredible eye for tailored millwork and use of bright whites with strong, dark wood grains are just two of the things that make my heart swoon when I look at her brilliant portfolio.
Read on for more about Carole's artistic inclinations, design philosophy and most memorable destinations! Thank you Carole for participating in this series!
Can you tell us about your first job in the design field?
I have always liked to make all sorts of things, and spent a great deal of time crafting or creating art as a kid: sewing, cooking, ceramics, jewelry, embroidery, painting and drawing. My first career as a graphic designer and art director was in many ways very satisfying, but home projects, where I could think about a space three dimensionally, and tap into many of those childhood pursuits, influenced my decision to transition into interior design about ten years ago. First I trained as a kitchen and bath designer, and then three years later started my own practice, so I could focus on the design and decoration of any area in a home. This initial kitchen and bath training was really advantageous, as I quickly learned a lot about construction. Consequently many of my projects have involved designing for extensive renovation first, with decoration well integrated into that process. Space planning, millwork, finish selections and furnishings are very much informed by the interior architecture.
I define it as simple luxury. Live with only what you love, and let a room breath. Figuratively this means, donʼt weigh the room down, or confuse your senses, with excess, and literally, let the outdoors in whenever possible. Pay attention to the tactile quality of objects as much as their form. Celebrate memories with art, mementos, and interesting family photographs. Really think of your home as being synonymous with who you are; fill it with comfort and a sense of calm.
What is your most memorable travel destination?
Itʼs hard to pinpoint one place, as most of my travels have been memorable for different reasons. Istanbul, Rome, Provence, London, Northern California and Wyoming are some of my favorites. Istanbul for the food, moorish architecture, and confluence of cultures. Rome for itʼs visible layers of modern and ancient history. Provence for biking, landscape, and farmers markets. London for shopping; walking; the parks; and museums, especially the Victoria and Albert, and the Churchill Museum. Northern California for spa treatments, biking, hiking and wine. Wyoming for incredible scenery and horseback riding. It would be fantastic to spend a month in each every year.
First, consider function: is the room equipped with essentials that add comfort and ease for how youʼll spend your time there? Then, think a bit like a curator, make each accessory interesting on itʼs own, and in the way itʼs combined with other objects. Natural elements add a sense of calm to a room. Mixing textures and finishes adds depth. Display personal artifacts collected over a period of time, and change or add to them periodically to keep a room fresh.
What has been the greatest lesson since opening your business?
Itʼs really important to continually reevaluate and streamline the design process, which is inherently complex. There are so many details and variables to consider to bring a project to completion. Clients value our ability to articulate and simplify the process almost as much as the end result.