Caitlin McCarthy has this universal style appeal about her. At first glance you are not sure if you should be getting fashion tips, hair consultations or make-up suggestions, but you know she has great style written all over. Hence, it should be no surprise Caitlin is one of LA’s hottest interior designers. So hot she beat out many interior designers all over the country to win HGTV’s 2014 Fresh Faces Awards. (That is Hot!) So we should consider ourselves lucky as her color tips can apply to all the things we secretly wish we could ask her. Plus the girl gives us great exclusive insight on one of her top secret projects we are sure you will see in glossy pages in your favorite mag or on your TV screen come next year.
CAITLIN’S TOP 5 ESSENTIALS TO SELECTING COLORFUL FURNITURE PIECES
Here’s how it’s done:
Designers often say don’t be afraid of color, but we also want to encourage consideration. Color can have a visceral effect on us, so as long as you use the color mindfully, and liberally. When selecting colorful pieces for your home, it is helpful to remember a few tips.
1. Choose your color palette ahead of time and have a game plan when you go shopping. I am a firm believer in using color in any application of your environment, but not just any color combination. Stick to your palette within each space and only add colors to the design after you have slept on it.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CAITLIN MCCARTHY
2. There are tried, and true color palettes we love universally for centuries. Our eyes are trained to notice patterns, so when we see color palettes that remind us of our nature or activate familiar memories, we find it pleasing. If you are having trouble selecting a color story, consult your local art supply store. They will use a color wheel to help you come up with a look you will love. Of course, professional interior designers are also experienced in color theory and will be able to create a visually rich space for you that also enhances your lifestyle.
Dagi Cueppers Photographer
3. The color is not a substitute for material and form. To me, that means that just because I love a yellow leather sofa, it is not to say I am also going to love a yellow fabric sofa in a different style. Remember that color will render differently in a different light according to sheen, texture, shape, and location within a room.
PHOTO BY MARY COSTA
4. All colors land somewhere on a scale from light to dark. You can use multiple shades of the same color to create contrast or drama. If you are not sure what end of the scale a color is on, take a picture with your smartphone, change it to black and white to identify the gradient. It will help you create a dynamic look no matter which colors you are using.
Photo by Jessica Sample
5. I love using color, but if fuchsia it is too much for you, it is ok to stick to neutrals. You can create a color palette with subdued hues and a combination of whites, blacks, grays, and caramels that can still be high impact.
DID YOU LOVE THESE TIPS?
WELL MEET DESIGNERLEBRITY™ CAITLIN MCCARTHY!
A good designer knows that well made essentials will always outshine lavish extras. –Caitlin McCarthy
NOT A VALLEY GIRL
You are not originally from LA, but you have the LA whimsy design style on lock. Where did your bravery for bold colorful furnishings and sophisticated sense of panache come from?
My travels around the world have informed my affinity for bold colors. From staying with the Berbers in Morocco who adorn themselves and their nomadic camps entirely in cobalt blue, to enjoying the liberal use of gold in Thai temples, I’ve seen color and pattern be used by cultures of all kinds in amazing applications. And so, my wanderlust has provided me a generous stance when it comes to adding vibrancy and using color in my work.
I’M A WINNER!
Congratulations on winning HGTV’s 2014 Fresh Faces Awards. We have to know some of the major changes that have happened in your life and design business since winning?
Being named HGTV’s Fresh Faces of Design has been at the helm of my brand’s narrative this year. It’s so wonderful to be acknowledged, but more significantly, it’s wonderful to connect with more people who share my love of design. The talented team at HGTV has been hugely supportive, but I've also created an engaged new community and a dream list of clients because of how widely my work has been shared.
AN INTUITIVE JUDGE
Talk about full circle, you are now judging this year’s Fresh Faces Awards. How do you plan on coming to a decision once you see the final nominees?
I feel so grateful to be the Fresh Face of Design this year and as the first designer to hold the title, I’m aware of the immense responsibility I have to award it to the next deserving talent. I’ll be looking for a design that has a point of view and a clear design statement, that has beautiful materials and details, and that has a fresh and unexpected quality.
From acting on a network television series, to videoing your DIY design tips, to styling rooms for IKEA commercials, you have a variety of camera love. Any plans to step in front of the camera again?
Being an interior designer who is also comfortable on camera opens up a lot of exciting opportunities. I love to share my passion for design with others and to host before, and afters, DIYs, or giving design tips are great ways. Working with HGTV, IKEA, and Mixed Makeup have been amazing, and I will be creating more video content, collaborating with some of my favorite brands, and releasing the segments on a variety of platforms. So, stay tuned in the later half of 2015 and the beginning of 2016!
Currently, you can see me talking about Fresh Faces of Design and sharing past design projects here.
BACK TO BASICS
With the fast ride to Designerlebrity™, your heart seems to be back to creating fabulous spaces for your clients. We hear you are working on something special and we are thrilled to get the exclusive sneak peek shot of it!
There are several projects in the works, one in particular; I am very excited to share. Here's a sneak preview of a kitchen remodel in the works. It is still in developmental stages, but the transformation will be stunning! Space will feature custom tile work, metallic grout, matte gray cabinetry, and brass accents.