Caitlin Murray is no stranger to the pages of Rue. In September 2013, we named her one of our top young designers to watch. Just 2 years later, her own home landed on our cover — and ended up being one of our most popular tours to date. Her saturated style stands out in a sea of whitewashed woods and neutrals. And while we do love neutrals, there’s just something so refreshing about the vibrant colors Caitlin is bringing to the forefront. What is most striking about this young designer, however, is her belief that “design should make you feel great.” Love that! Today, she tackles our #5MinutesWith questionnaire with ease… and we think you’ll love what she has to say:

MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
It was 2009. I was only about a year out of journalism school and into my (what I thought would be forever) career in PR… but I spent my lunch breaks devouring the office copies of Domino Magazine and researching design schools. Suddenly, the recession happened and hit the public relations industry hard. My then-boss took me aside and told me she would have to either lay off the team or put us on an unpaid furlough. I took advantage of the opportunity to make the leap and enrolled in design school.

I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
My current obsession is smoothies. The more antioxidants and super foods, the better—chia seeds, flax seeds, macha, and kale. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but after eight years in LA, the whole health craze thing has finally worn off on me! Also, I need a morning cuddle session with my pup before braving emails.

SUCCESS IS:
Balance, friendships, fulfillment, fun, freedom, gratitude, kindness, abundance, and peace of mind.

YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
A cell phone in my hand (the nature of the biz), something on my lips, and at least five gold rings.

MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
There are so many amazing fabric and furniture brands that I trust with my life. I’d be honored to be a featured designer for any product relating to home with a large enough platform that I could reach the masses.

THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN LA:
Whenever I travel to incredible places, I always get warm and fuzzy the second the plane lands back home (which I believe is saying something considering the insanity of LAX). Still, I have lots of love for big cities and tiny beach towns the world over!

WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
I try to do at least one thing out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. And I say yes to any event where I might meet and learn from other creatives… then I commit to going, even if I’m tired or busy or whatever the excuse. I think it’s important to keep switching things up when you’re in an artistic, service-oriented profession. Otherwise I tend to get stuck in my head and feel like there’s nothing else happening in the world beyond my projects.

ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
You can do and have anything you want, but first you have to believe that it’s already yours.

IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
The current dream is a diversified career that includes commercial design, products, collaborations, and real estate. I’d love to be living in an impeccably designed historic home in Hancock Park… maybe with a little family. And fingers crossed that I’m still sticking to a working-out-and-eating-well regimen!

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
I want to help make the world prettier, lighter, and happier.

To learn more about Caitlin, click here. For a closer look at her work, click through the slideshow!