At Alice Lane, we are constantly on the lookout for fresh and innovative inspiration. There are so many talented designers out there who inspire us that we have decided to do a Guest Blogger feature! To kick-off this fun feature, we are interviewing Caitlin Wilson.
Caitlin has such a vision for bold colors and patterns. She resides in Dubai with her family and is inspired by her unique surroundings. On her blog, Caitlin Wilson Design: Style Files, she shares her expertise and passion for design.
When was it that you were first inspired to be an interior designer? While I was in Paris on study abroad in college we visited estate homes and chateaus all over France. I fell in love with beautiful design and began to recognize an innate love for art that I had felt from the time I was a little girl when I would constantly paint and draw. I soon rediscovered the creative side of my childhood, began working at a flower shop and changed my major to Interior Design and added a minor in Art History.
What inspiration have you drawn from the various places that you've lived and traveled? How do you incorporate it into your design? I have been amazed at the inspiration I've found all around me in Dubai. Middle Eastern architecture is interesting both in the old style and the modern. Arabic geometric patterns cover the mosques, malls, buildings, walls, floors and elevators. I feel like I'm constantly looking at a Kelly Wearstler or Windsor Smith pillow and it's so beautiful! In addition to Middle Eastern/Arab inspiration I love the influences of India, Persia, and Central Asia (They also have a large presence here). I have developed an obsession for rugs - whether they're Turkish Kilims, Persian silks, or handmade wools from India... the art of rugs is fascinating to me. I am loving the juxtaposition of old rugs in a modern setting so I've been incorporating that in my recent designs.
Who is your design icon? It's a tie between Kelly Wearstler and Celerie Kemble. Kelly has revolutionized modern design and Celerie is a master of eclectisicm. Though I'm not quite as avant garde as Kelly nor as traditional as Celerie, I admire both of their innovative approaches to design and textiles.
If you could choose, what would be your ultimate dream project? My ultimate dream project would be to build MY own custom home with an unlimited budget. But since that might never happen, I'd love to work on a boutique hotel. I also have an obsessions with opening a super glamorous nail and beauty spa! Whenever I get a pedicure, I daydream about how much more enjoyable it would be if I were surrounded by gorgeous wallpaper, fabulous furniture, and lush fabrics.
What is your design "pet peeve"? Pictures being hung too high or too far apart!
What is the most difficult part of being a designer? Most rewarding? Sometimes clients expect me to be a mind reader and magically create their ideal space without sufficient communication. Most rewarding is definitely when you finish the project and you know your client loves their new space and the way they feel in it.
What advice do you give when helping someone determine their style? Try to identify the look or feel you like by dissecting a picture of a room in a magazine or design book piece by piece. I think a person shouldn't be limited to one style if they aren't certain what they love yet. If you're confused as to which style you like best, it's okay to dabble in different ones till you eventually figure out what style suits you over time.
Where do you go for inspiration? Design Centers, magazines, travels, blogs, and of course Alice Lane whenever I'm in Utah!
What is your favorite place in your home? My daughter's room makes me feel cozy, comfortable, and happy... and it has a beautiful view of the Dubai skyline!
What would you say is your favorite "finishing touch" to a room? Favorite finishing touch... it's so hard to pick because they are my favorite part of the process! Probably books and quirky collector accessories!
Thanks to Caitlin for taking time out of her busy day to chat with us. To see more of her beautiful work head on over to her blog, Caitlin Wilson Design: Style Files