Interior designer Christina Karras took a leap of faith in October by opening her own boutique in Los Angeles. The space is an embodiment of her designs – antique plates next to hand-worked leather cuffs, oversized art and dainty vintage, and one-of-a-kind pieces everywhere. Clearly, Christina is not afraid to embrace passionate design. If you are still looking for an indulgent Christmas gift for the design lover on your list, you’re in luck. The online Christina Karras store is now in business.
Congratulations on launching your online store!
I had been in the business design homes and doing everyone else’s space for fourteen, fifteen years. A lot of my work is based in the vintage world. I was constantly collecting for my clients. I found myself wishing I had more area to show them work other than my warehouse where everything is piled up and the only time I’m refinishing a piece when its for a clients space. In a boutique I can express the complete idea of what I feel sensual, bohemian living is- relaxed, sexy, full of eclectic blends – that I couldn’t nail when doing someone’s home. I wanted to create a pied-a-terre that clients could come in and experience the full effect.
It’s a lot to have both the store and continue your design work, though. How do you balance it?
I am best when I’m busy and I have a great team. Absolutely great team. I’m highly into collaboration so when I have big project I pull in my designer friends and we all collaborate. I’m doing a huge project in an old Frank Sinatra house and I’ve pulled in a team of 10.
I’m a mom, so I’m juggling all the itme. I love what I do so much so it doesn’t feel like I’m doing so much. I’m bouncing from one beautiful thing to the other so it’s not bad. If I stay up all night doing design, I love that honestly. It just feeds your soul.
What can we expect to see when we walk into your shop?
I have a lot of vintage lighting pieces turned into glamorous pieces that can go into a hippie home, or a rock and roll home. I do a lot of rock and roll clients because they like that my work they can still hang out and play guitar but on luxurious silk. My custom pieces are inspired by vintage but have a modern edge that brings it into today.
I have a stable of really interesting artists that I always pull from in my work, in my homes and all my projects. I only shop vintage, custom from me, or from California or the United States. It’s all local; all done by hand. One of my favorites is a leather dream catcher by my friend and soul mate H. Jaye. She does beautiful leather work- bags, fringe cuffs, pillows- all the leather and skin work. Then my friend, Persephone, who is the most fabulous apothecary/ witch doctor and she does bath salts, rose candies, lotions and potions. Her branding is black and glossy and really pretty. Then I have Sky from Haus of Sky, who I’ve taken under my wing. She’s young- only twenty years old, and really talented. She does a lot of crocodile and incredible color. She’s a punk edge to my hippie luxe vibe. So it’s a bunch of women who round out the space. Plus books. So people can feel like they have entered into a real world.
How do you create that feeling of an entire world in your designs?
You want everything to be beautiful to your eye; you want your eye to dance around the space. As long as you are looking around at everything beautiful and nothing is random. Maybe what holds your rings at night is a beautiful clay bowl from France in the 1940s and it’s beautiful to touch when you put in your rings in, its beautiful to look at, that’s how I design.