CG Creative Interiors is a full-service design firm based in Atlanta owned by the talented Caryn Grossman. I met Caryn recently on Facebook and after seeing images from her home, I decided to share it with you today thanks to Caryn who so nicely sent a slew of beautiful photos to me. Her home reminds me a movie set, it feels very southern and like the homes I visited growing up whenever we went on field trips to Charleston. Her home, a converted telephone factory with an original concrete floor, is very charming and glamorous unlike it’s roots, and there is genuine personality here. The texture and pastels mixed with jewel tones looks very pretty and in Caryn’s creative home, it all really, really works. I can see that she is very creative but also artistic, and her home seems to be an ever evolving series of art installations almost like a theater, gallery or retail space — I love that. And in a way, it almost does function this way as she frequently holds art events in her home. Nice!
In addition to seeing her space, I thought I’d ask her a few questions about her business and inspirations. Would you like to sit in on our chat?
Holly: Have you always been a designer? What got you interested in design as a profession?
Caryn: I’ve always been entrepreneurial, working for myself since I was in my 20s, but my first round of business was in marketing and communications. I would concept, write, and act as art director and creative director for all of my client’s campaigns. I specialized in architecture and design firms, and somewhere along the way it occurred to me that I was far more intrigued with what they did, than what I did. I took some additional courses in design, and loved it so much I asked the chair of the interiors department if I could join his program. That was more than 10 years ago, and I’ve never looked back!
Holly: Who are some great people who have influenced your work along the way?
Caryn: I’m inspired by just about everything visual, and love designers who take risks, who aren’t afraid — whether it be film, fashion, interiors… I am wholly inspired by Javier Mariscal’s animated brilliance, Nani Marquina’s whimsical designs, Philippe Starck’s often sarcastic style and Ingo Maurer who makes it all look like play. Closer to home, Clint Zeagler, inspires me in all forms fashion and style, while Christopher Moulder, a sculptor who plays with light, helps to ignite my own creativity.
Holly: What is your design philosophy?
Caryn: Awhile back, when I was first finding my own style, a friend gave me a book called ‘Breaking the Rules’, and I guess I have been, ever since. I believe that spaces are meant to come alive, to express, to evoke. They should have meaning, resonance, for all who pass through. Great spaces render emotion; they comfort, they enliven, they convey. I believe that good design is magic, that each space tells a story.
Holly: How would you describe your style?
Caryn: Each of my projects is decidedly different, yet each tells a story. I think that’s the common denominator, the story, rather than a particular look or style. For my own personal space, I’ve created what feels, to me, like a Paris apartment, full of salvage and vintage finds, set within the stark walls of an old industrial surround. I love the play of contrast, the opulence of silk taffeta drapes, pooled on a concrete floor. Prior to that I lived in an old bungalow, where the focus was on color, rhythm and flow. There’s a Japanese theory, Shakkei, where there are three views, the immediate, the one that’s beyond, then the one that’s beyond that. My little bungalow was all about those views, one room leading into another, and then the view beyond.
Holly: Do you gravitate towards a specific palette and if yes, what colors and why?
Caryn: My palette changes with each client, with the feelings we are trying to convey. For an ad agency, we chose a deep red and mustard, lively bold colors, while for a residence the palette was pale — blues and lavenders, very soothing, very relaxing.
Holly: If you could design a room for anyone, who would it be, which room and why this particular person?
Caryn: Goodness, that’s a hard one. I think it would be for a fashion designer, like Coco Chanel, her dressing room perhaps.
Holly: What things inspire you as a creator?
Caryn: Everything! I love fashion, tiny opulent touches, silhouettes and contrast. I love the way music can fill a space, the way a certain refrain ‘feels’ like a particular color or scene. I love when, even in discord, there is an absolute harmony. I’m also tremendously curious. I love the creative process, even more than the result.
Holly: Can you suggest some of your favorite design books that may inspire decor8 readers?
Caryn: Just about any book published by Phadion inspires me — I love the way they put the books together, the binding, the pace of the pages. Taschen is another great publisher. Books of botanicals, with arrangements of glorious colors and textures. As for titles, I can’t really say. It’s rare that it’s an interior design book that inspires me; rather its books on fashion, industrial design, graphic design.
Holly: And finally Caryn, what is your most cherished possession in your own home and why?
Caryn: Teacups passed from my greatgrandmother, to my mother, and then to me. Each one is different, like notes in a melody.
Thank you Caryn for connecting with me on Facebook, and for accepting this interview – it has been a pleasure to get to know you better.
Oh and readers…. I have to comment on this: don’t you LOVE the idea of having your home function as a space in which you hold events that are centered around art, design and good music? Oh yes, I love this idea. And I vow today that if I happen to find a larger flat here I will host some events and invite whoever will come because seriously, what a nice way to get to know others and share with them some of your favorite things!
(images: cg creative interiors)