Q&A With Caroline Willis
We are so excited to share some insights and inspiration from interior designer, Caroline Willis!
Scroll below to see what she has to say about the industry, the latest trends, and her advice for new homeowners – plus a peak at some of her fabulous work!
How did you first get involved with interior design?
I was a history major at The University of Virginia and assumed I would go to law school. An associate at a law firm in New York gave me some great advice when I was deciding between a paralegal job or an internship at Chrisite’s right out of college. My internship at Chrisie’s led to an introduction to friends at Mariette Himes Gomez’s firm, Gomez Associates. My assistant’s assistant position there was an invaluable introduction into the design world. I moved to Atlanta after New York and worked under Dan Carithers. Dan was a true mentor to me.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
All sorts of places! I love pouring through design books for inspiration. Travel and nature always inspire me to see things in new ways. I find old buildings and architecture particularly inspiring.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Managing expectations around long lead times and keeping lots of moving parts all moving in the right direction.
What is the most fun/rewarding part of your job?
Helping clients love their homes. The installation days are the most exciting and fun, but I really do enjoy the design process. Figuring out how people want their homes to function and how to incorporate things that are important to them.
Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on?
I have a lot! Two most recent favorites include a beautiful home on the marsh in Kiawah, SC and a long running project here in Atlanta. Long running jobs are always wonderful because you really get to know your client and both of these clients really went for it.
How would you describe your style?
Classic, clean and comfortable.
How has the industry changed since you first got started?
Social media and Instagram have really changed things since I started. It has opened up the design world in some major ways. Most of them good.
What predictions do you have for styles/trends in 2023/2024?
I hope we continue to see a focus on texture and things with patina. I’m not all that trendy though so I am probably a bad predictor! I think people should decorate with what they love then they do not have to worry about things going out of style.
What advice would you give a new homeowner, or someone embarking on their first design project?
Take the time to figure out how you want to live. Try to finish at least one room in it’s entirety so that when you walk into that space you can really feel your efforts. Don’t forget the art.