1. What made you want to get into interior design? And what would you say is the role of an interior designer within a hotel company?
Carole: I was encouraged to pursue interior design by my parents. My mother inspired me at a young age, with her buying junky “character homes” and “polishing” them up for sale. She was a valedictorian, musician, talented painter, ceramicist, watercolorist, poet, and prolific writer. I enjoyed helping her in her studio and came to love all the arts. Our home always had a piano & old typewriter she was hammering on with exuberance. She would read poetry out loud over the coffee pot. I miss her greatly, and appreciate the little talents she passed to me and my amazing daughter. One of my first jobs at 16 was working at a furniture store and was encouraged by the owner to get my formal design degree then specialized in Kitchen & Bath design.
My role now as a hospitality designer has been exciting to help create “brands” that shape guests interactive experience of the places they’re visiting. I especially enjoy working with the Trace Hotel group and found their mission to support local talent especially rewarding. Collaborating local artists, crafters, woodworkers and installers is a wonderful process.
Carole is most excited when helping convert design ideas into successful and fulfilling results. Here she showcases an innovative “white board reveal” in The Dundee Hotel’s boardroom.
In addition to interior design and architecture, Carole is an accomplished painter. Her work is featured in Territory restaurant.
2. Your website quotes Karl Lagerfeld, saying, “There is no beauty without strangeness.” What does this quote mean to you, and how does this inspire the way you approach your work? (P.S. we love that quote!)
Carole: I quoted Karl Lagerfeld, on my Instagram page saying, “There is no beauty without strangeness.” because I believe there is more “memorable” beauty found in unique and unfamiliar experiences. Curating a balance of comfort & unexpected visual beauty is my goal with each project. I get great joy visualizing the project and seeing the tangible result come to fruition
3. What inspires you? And who would you say are your biggest influences
Carole: I’m greatly inspired by my travels and especially being outdoors. I love beauty in nature and try to replicate color palates from nature. One of my earliest trips during Architecture school took me to Villa de Este in Italy. I loved how Pirro created outdoor “rooms” with his gardens and I’ve tried to bring the outdoor inside ever since! Fornasetti’s whimsical art also made a great early impression!
For the squad room, I was very inspired by my first visit across the Willamette river, it was showering and the sky was filled with puffy clouds, I watched a playful black bird on a telephone wire and noticed the shimmering light on the orchards. The few drops of rain I experienced were giant oversized drops of rain it was almost surreal. I loved the beautiful rolling hills dappled with plantings and farm equipment. There was an old dark blue truck parked by an oak tree that stood out in my mind. It felt as if I stepped into another time & place. I had also just learned about local block print artist Paul Gentry who captured these pastoral experiences in such a unique way. His work reminded me of Italian artist Fornasetti whose work is described as theatrical scenery.
This special town has a unique history. The name “Independence” conjures up a sense of “freedom”. The Oregon Trail ended in the Independence Valley territory and it’s this rich history I wanted to give a nod to with a modern twist. I hope guests are “freed” from their everyday lives to come renew.
On location during the construction of The Independence.
The interior design of the hotel was an integral part of the development, and bringing Carole in early played a huge role in the success of the hotel’s opening.
4. What are you hoping guests will experience when walking into the squad room for the first time?
Carole: I hope guests sense my vision of merging old & new, a nod to a rich historical landscape. They will be impacted by the puffy cloud wallpaper & wowed the drippy chandelier inspired by the droplets of rain and friendly black bird I watched on my outing. . I hope this space unifies kindred spirits and encourage lighthearted playfulness! I want guests to gather around the oversized sectional and live edge game table to play cards listen to music and celebrate life together.
5. What do you think is the most important tool in your design toolbox?
Carole: The most important design tool is my iPad! Pinterest is great for researching product and getting ideas “pinned” down. Attending trade shows & gallery openings is the key to finding unique products. I research using BRAVE search and avoid Google because it only shows all the same paid advertising.
6. What would you say is the biggest interior design faux pas?
Carole: Being predictable or boring is the greatest design faux pas!! No two projects for me look the same- I want my work to inspire the “spontaneous” at heart.
With beautifully appointed fittings and an inclusive design, the squad room is a fantasic space for family gatherings, girls or guys weekends, special events, or anyone who wants the experience of a “grown up” sleepover.
7. What is the strangest question or request that’s been asked of you?
Carole: The strangest question or request that’s been asked? I converted a bathroom out of a closet in San Francisco, which I thought impossible, but his wish was my command! It turned out great and we became special friends.
8. If you could design a space for anybody (celebrity, family member, historic figure, etc) who would you pick and why?
Carole: I would love to design a space ship lounge for Elon Musk, it would challenge all my senses. I respect his visionary courage and I think it would be a sexy collaboration!
Functional spaces are one of the design ideas Carole brought to reality at The Independence.
Carole putting the finishing touches with that perfect piece of art.