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Meet the Designers Pt.1: Rooms With a View 2013

Five Questions for Carey Karlan and Victoria Vought

Each of the twelve interior designers participating in Rooms with a View 2013 comes to the show with their own style, experiences, and aesthetic. Their challenge: Embrace the theme of “Americanism,” and look at interior design as a story that depicts our history, lifestyles, and state of being as a nation. Leading up to the event, we’ll be featuring interviews with all of the designers participating this year. Check back soon for more, and don’t miss Rooms with a View at the Southport Congregational Church on November 8-10.

Five questions for Carey Karlan of Last Detail Interior Design

athome: How did you get your start in the interior decorating business?
Carey Karlan: Before this, I had a ten-year career in television advertising sales—Then I had five children, including triplets. Needless to say, I had to give up the commute to New York City and work in a field that had more flexible time. I took some classes at the New York School of Interior Design and worked at a store for awhile, and worked with designers locally. Now that my children are older, I’ve made it into a full-time career.

ah: How is your home designed?
CK: My personal home is about charm, personal objects that are important to me, and comfort. Everything that I’ve collected reminds me of a life’s adventure. That’s what I love about my house—it’s full of memories and every object tells a story.

ah: What is your favorite piece in your home?
CK: I have oil portraits of my children. I treasure those paintings. There’s something more mysterious, intriguing, and complex about them than photography. I’m originally from Oklahoma, so it’s more of a Southern tradition.

ah: What primarily inspires your design concepts?
CK: Sometimes it’s the fabric, sometimes it’s the color, or it’s the carpet. For every job you approach, there has to be one controlling element—something that gets you excited.

ah: If you could design for anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
CK: I would have loved to design for Winston Churchill. I admire him—he was a wonderful painter. He would have been a fascinating person to know and talk to. I would have used all of his art because I love all of his work.

Five questions for Victoria Vought

athome: How did you begin a career in interior design?
Victoria Vought: I was an art history and architecture major at Brown University and I also took classes at Rhode Island School of Design, but I had always had an acting bug. I went to acting school after I graduated from college and I had parts in soap operas and Saturday Night Live. But when you do acting, you spend most of your time working in a restaurant because it enables you to have the free time to go to auditions. I got tired of that. My best friend’s mother was an interior designer, Marilyn Glass. I started to work for Marilyn full-time, until she decided not to do design anymore. Then I went out on my own in 2003 and have been doing this since.

ah: What are your favorite places to shop for your design projects?
VV: I love going to Stamford and trekking down each aisle of galleries and each aisle of the arts center. You can find some wonderful treasures there. I love shopping in places like that because you can find such unique pieces because people are so unique. I have found so many things at Hiden Galleries because there are so many eclectic dealers.

ah: What are some of your favorite pieces in your home?
VV: The farm table from Craigslist. I have the bottom half of a monk’s desk that was in my family. It has these carved details of figures on the sides and these secret drawers. My coffee table is my grandmother’s Louis Vuitton 1920’s shoe trunk. Another piece I love is this French armoire that I found in Housing Works while a prescription was being filled. They were selling it for pennies.

ah: What is one dream project you would love to get your hands on?
VV: My really big dream is to do a beach house. I am originally from California and I really wanted a beach house. It’s not what’s in the house, it’s about what draws people to the beach—it’s about what is outside that window.

ah: Which cultures are sources of inspiration for your design aesthetic?
VV: I love Spanish design, I think that’s the California in me. And I love French and Italian design. I respond to cultures where they have this big glorious spread of food where everyone sits around and talks. That’s my thing—creating spaces where everyone can enjoy each other’s company.