We first introduced you to Caitlin & Caitlin when the young designers were presented as Rue’s Top 7 Designers to Watch in 2014. Since then, the duo used their experience as “The Next Big Thing” to launch two successful LA firms. Caitlin McCarthy founded an eponymous firm, Caitlin McCarthy Design, while Caitlin Murray is heading up Black Lacquer Design. Today, we’re taking a closer look at a recent collaborative project in LA’s Miracle Mile, and snagging insider information and tips from each designer along the way.
While most travel from the city to the countryside to relax, this client does just the opposite during her time off. As the owner of a produce distributor business and organic farm, the resident requested a hip urban oasis – perfect for a young single woman enjoying one of LA’s growing cultural areas, Miracle Mile. We spoke with the designers to learn more about this urban retreat, gaining design tips along the way.
Thanks for joining us! We’ve featured some of your work before. How did you get started in interior design?
McCarthy: “I’ve been practicing interior design for over five years. My background is in art and film, so I’m passionate about telling a visual story, which I try to do with interiors. My style constantly evolves. I’m always interested in what’s fresh and I like to weave in the new trends and sensibilities with what’s timeless. I’m not drawn to overly feminine or overly masculine spaces, but more how design elements play against each other to find balance. I’ve been exploring more commercial projects lately in multi-family residences and hospitality. I love the idea of create a habitat to be enjoyed by many people. When I do residential work, I prefer working with clients who love design. It’s best when the process feels collaborative and a project has more meaning when I know the design will be enjoyed and appreciated by my clients.”
What was the space like at the beginning of the project?
Murray: “My favorite part about this project was starting out with a clean, white canvas—no matter what happens from there sort of auttomatically looks fresh! The client and I developed a friendship as the place took shape which gave a peak into her personality and encouraged me to take design risks—like the blue velvet sofa as the centerpiece of the living room. The room is still actually waiting on a gorgeous, oversized piece of art that is in the process of being painted by a local artist I commissioned… so stay tuned for a follow up shot! For now, the negative space speaks volumes.”
There is a lot of personality a modern space. How did you tackle this project?
McCarthy: “The scope of the project was bringing her newly purchased modern multi-story townhouse to life. I loved the clean architectural elements immediately, but knew the space could use warmth and a lot of personal touches. The project was completed over the course of about 6 months, and more final extra touches added here and there as they trickled in. The sizes of each of these spaces were a little unusual. The master bedroom was far larger than most you find in this area, whereas the living room was small and narrow. I approached this challenge by scaling the furniture to the size and orientation of the space. In the master bedroom, I found large over-scaled pieces that could fill the space. The effect is breezy and plush as opposed to impersonal and expansive.”
The master is really beautiful. We’re ready to snag some tips for our own!
Murray: “The master is one of my favorite bedroom designs. It’s incredibly cozy yet clean. The subtle grasscloth wallpaper adds a luxurious layer that compliments the sheer linen drapes, all feeling very California chic. The abstract art piece by Jenny Prinn ties the whole room together and was the perfect excuse for a fun turquoise chair by Jonathan Adler and a rich navy accent wall. The sweet, small print on the Serena & Lily bedding adds the perfect detail while keeping the whole space looking cool.”
We love the gallery wall! What can you tell us about it?
Murray: “The stairway landing was another great opportunity to accent the bright white walls. The client wanted a place to show off photos of her family and adorable niece, so a gallery wall was the natural solution. Beyond that, when it comes to secondary spaces like these, I’m all about throwing in a console table and fabulous sconces—then calling it a day. You can’t beat practical surfaces and majestic lighting!”
How does this home reflect your design sensibilities?
McCarthy: “I love designing spaces that are both classic and modern. I think that if you combine functional and sensible pieces with more decorative elements, the result is fresh and inviting. I want a room to feel instantly inhabitable, and I achieve that feel by incorporation pieces with visual interest, pieces with inherent comfort, organic materials like wood and stone, and a bit of glamour, like brass and copper.”
For more information from each designer AND to see the gorgeous details in this bright space, start the slideshow!