q&a with interior designer // caryn cramer

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Every month for my internship I interview a home design expert. Usually I ask about the season and holiday decorating, their opinion on certain styles and find out what or who inspires them. Here is a snippet of my recent conversation with Caryn Cramer, a trendy lady with an eye for well-traveled style.  She has fabulous advice about decorating for the holidays and keeping a lovely home. The original, complete Q&A can be found here.
Photo courtesy of Caryn Cramer.

Q: It often takes years for a person to develop and refine their personal style. What was this process for you and how would you describe your style?
A: I lived in Copenhagen for a while–I just moved back from there a little over a year ago. between living abroad and travelling throughout the US and overseas, I think my style tends to incorporate these other geographies, mindsets, cultures + colors–there’s always something a little indigenous or tribal or “other” to my taste. And I love contrasts between places, time periods, history, and material textures; I like the relationship of things in a space that are a little bit opposite or just totally unrelated from one-another. They get you thinking. Objects do relate to one another when in a space–things you wouldn’t expect to–and they create a story. That dialogue between objects is the kind of environment that inspires me.

Q: Who inspires you?
A: My clients do. I have this very detailed questionnaire that I make everybody fill out before I work with them just so I can start to get in their mind – get in their head and learn what they’re passionate about, what their hobbies are, what their favorite space they’ve ever been in is … I try to understand how to make all these things become 3-dimensional. And I think, when done well, the home inspires that person, it reminds them of their past, but it helps them move toward the future and who they want to be. When there’s really good, thorough concept development with a client it will give them an inspiring space.
Q: Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is approaching. What do you do to transform your own house for the holidays?
A: I love scents, and smell is our strongest sense. One of my favorite things is bringing in branches or a tree, and burning scented candles. There’s this whole wonderful evergreen forest smell that’s just inspiring to live with this time of year. There’s a Danish word, “hygge,” that perfectly describes the sort of cozy, warm, delicious feeling you get sitting around with people on a winter evening over great food, conversation and lots of candlelight. Christmas comes at a time of year with the least daylight–so why not enjoy the beautiful intimacy of gathering together at home, cuddled around the fireplace?
Q: For those who don’t have the time or resources, what can people do to make their homes more festive at Christmas?
A: The first thing that came to my mind is de-clutter. De-cluttering is such a cleansing thing to do and it gives you space to be more in the moment and present and cheerful as you celebrate the holidays. Once folks have de-cluttered their space, I think they should add interesting textures from the natural world–flower bouquets, tree branches, evergreen garlands–things that are nice to the touch or smell but that aren’t that expensive, and they’re also not a permanent addition to your home. I would always choose something real over something fake–be it a strand of popcorn for a garland or an evergreen wreath. These things have an authenticity that feels good to be around.

1 comment:

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    Thanh Le - HomeDesignLove.Com