Today we’d like to introduce you to Carole Carr.
Carole, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I moved to Los Angeles twelve years ago to be with my now husband, who I have known since I was eight years old. We grew up together in Montreal, Canada. He had moved to LA a few years earlier to start his own business (ironically in the home fabrics industry).
Prior to coming here, I was helping to run my family business, an automotive group with several brands under its umbrella.
I worked closely with high-end customers and learned so much about client relations, as well as managing budgets and the business side of things. I grew and learned so much from that experience but deep down, I knew it was not my life’s calling. I always had a creative side and hadn’t found the right outlet for it yet. After moving to Los Angeles, I dabbled in some classes and eventually fell into interior design. From that moment, something clicked. I had always known I loved design, but it never dawned on me to make a career out of it. I went on to work for some boutique companies and eventually started getting my own clients. I decided it was time to branch out on my own, and founded Carole Carr Design in 2009.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been challenges, of course, but doing things that make us scared is how we learn and grow and ultimately become more confident. I remember that for my first job on my own, I felt a lot of pressure to accomplish the task, refurbishing three rooms with a very tight budget. I had to get creative and know how to play with a few high end pieces but mostly, more cost-effective solutions. I was ultimately scared that the client wouldn’t like my work. But everything turned out great, and the clients ended up using me again for some of their other projects. Then, when I landed my first remodel job, I was terrified and not sure of what I was doing. However, I learned fast and was intuitive enough to seek advice from specialists.
I was not afraid to ask questions and kept taking in all of the information that I could. I had so much to learn about construction elements such as engineering, framing and waterproofing—it was like a whole other world to me. The client asked if I could do the lighting plan for the home, and I blurted out “Sure!” even though I had never done one before. Thankfully I had a wonderful lighting professor and remember pulling out all my notes from school. I hunkered down and re-learned everything I could about how to create good ambient lighting, mood lighting and focal lighting. So, were their struggles? Yes. Did I have some difficult clients? Yes. Did I ever come up with concepts that didn’t workout? Yes. But if you don’t take chances then you will never get the rewards.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am first and foremost an interior designer, but I also consider myself an artist, a curator of extraordinary goods and a cultivator of creative thinking. Fusing cultures and styles excites me.
I like to think of my signature style as a thoughtful combination of traditional glamour mixed with California cool—inspired by both my Montreal upbringing and the more casual elegance of Los Angeles life. I love clean lines and contemporary architecture and I always bring in dramatic elements such as marble, high lacquers, metals and woods. I love layering these materials with warm and sophisticated finishes like linens and velvets.
So much of my inspiration also comes from my clients, who come to me with their own preferences and tastes that always serves as my starting off point. I am known for merging different styles together and creating something truly unique that is tailored to each individual.
The beauty of what I do is that no two projects are alike—however, the common denominator is that they all have a sense of livable luxury.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
There are so many things that define success to me. The most simple answer would be to finish a project with happy clients who really enjoy their space and feel like I understood them during the process. Clients who came back to me and referred me to others—that is the ultimate end goal and the only way I have grown as a business successfully.
I also believe in personal success, and that involves continuous evolution. Being open to the world around me and creating a great community of vendors, contractors and resources. Constantly expanding my knowledge. Staying curious and non-complacent by continuously searching for what’s new, interesting and inspiring. And lastly, finding a balance between work life and family life.
- Address: 1530 camden ave
- Phone: 3109943310
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @carolecarrdesign
- Facebook: Carole carr design
Photographer Erika Bierman