I recently interviewed Carol Kipling who is an interior designer and storeowner in Los Angeles.
Carol Kipling's store is a wonderful mixture of eclectic vintage furnishings that have been reupholstered and/or re-finished. Following are some questions I asked Carol about her work and experience in the field of interior design. - Vanessa (aka Turquoise)
(Please note that Carol Kipling just recently moved from her Melrose location to 7321 Beverly Blvd, Bungalow 5, LA CA 90036, PH: 323.934.4080.)
How did you become a designer?
Mine was a traditional path; while I was a student studying design someone saw my work at school and hired me for their interior design firm. My first experience and good advice to anyone else who aspires to be in this field is –when I first started working I happily worked my little derrière off volunteering time to do even the smallest tasks and offered to work for free evenings and weekends doing anything that was needed to get done.
The payoff for this effort was a very happy company who then rewarded my dedication and hard work with a fast track elevation in my career.
What is your favorite color to work with and why?
Greens are the best colors to work with. As they are a neutralizer for the human body, keeping blood pressure and heart rates in a relaxed state.
What color and design inspirations do you see using in the future?
Historically design trends come and go based on the social and cultural energies of that time. For my own work in design, knowing that my Hollywood based clients are very bright and confident people, I concede to be inspired by each client's own taste and what inspires them. The important rule we do always abide by is maintaining social responsibility to the planet so we will not use materials that are endangered or cause harm.
For color inspirations, my training has been in the science of color and the human response so utilizing color is focused on the cause and effect it will have on each client's mind and body. For a primary design space the color is completely influenced by the specific need of the health of a client. For example if a client needs a place to be restful and relaxing I would incorporate a palate of colors such as blue eucalyptus, sage green and lavender leaf –which calms the body system. If, however a client wanted a space, perhaps for their child, that would promote creativity and energy then we would elevate the blood, digestion and brain through the use of colors like persimmon red, iridescent orange, and cocoa bark.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Nature – I always look at its energies, color and textural balances and incorporate these elements into the environments I create for people to live in.
Which interior or furniture designers do you most admire?
There is no particular person that comes to mind. I do admire any designer who has great intuitive ability to create timeless fashions that evoke a sense of comfort and the familiar.
Describe your design theory in 4 to 6 words
To create a sense of quiet.
What is your signature mark that you always try to implement in a space?
Contemplation, I encourage my clients to select their own accessories; pottery, books, flowers from their garden-anything that pleases them and evokes a pleasant memory. I then facilitate the placement of their object into a still life that is at once spontaneous and studied. An example would be incorporating my client's found pinecone into a table arrangement (this is my use of a design principle of relating to things that are suggested rather than totally revealed), my client can then recreate the calm he feels when walking in the woods by merely viewing the pinecone.
If you could redo any space what would it be?
All medical facilities. Healing could take place much more quickly if we provided a healthy environment primarily through color that was complimentary to the human condition.
What have you learned from having your own business that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
Honestly, I have learned that every space I create for a client is specifically for that client's needs and has nothing to do with my own desires or ego. It has humbled me.
What are the best practices when it comes to client relations?
Customer service, customer service, customer service. Take care of your client and a happy client will be your best marketing tool for your own success.
Are there any hard and fast dos and don'ts you'd like to share?
Everyone should know that running a successful business in design is made up of a small percentage of time doing design itself and a big percentage of time involved in business and management. The best designers will fail in their business if they do not implement and/or surround themselves with good support staff to execute proper business and management of projects.
If you hadn't become a designer, what do you think you would be doing now?
A chef. The business of cooking is so much like interior design - creating and orchestrating a moment for one to experience color, texture and taste.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Design is very important to mankind even if one lives in a tent or in a large estate - they still need someone to create those objects and elements for them to live in. Helping to improve the human condition, through education and leading by example is something I know I will still be involved in.