Talking Shop: Carrie L. Riley
How did you get started with your interior design career?
I always felt that I was born to be an interior designer! My parents owned a large flooring company and I went to visit spec homes with my dad. I had a large dollhouse and would redesign it with samples from their store and then started working for the largest Interior Design firm in Omaha at 16, where I started at the very bottom and was their “do everything girl.”
What kicks you out of bed everyday?
I just adore my job and I am not sure how to articulate why I love what I do, it is genetically in my DNA. Helping my clients to create something inspired by their dreams and that they cannot accomplish themselves, is so rewarding.
What’s happening today from a design trend perspective in Sarasota?
Coastal Contemporary is most definitely leading the trend. We get a lot of clients that are moving down from more traditional homes in the north and want to declutter, lighten up and minimize. They transition to comfortable homes that are modern, cosy, livable and complimentary to our tranquil scenery and climate.
Tell us about working with Murray Homes?
I love and am humbled by the fact that Steve Murray and I have worked together since 2003. We both started out on our own, almost at the same time, and we have evolved to where we are today through style changes and economic ups and downs. We have always been a great team, are on the same page and can have completely candid conversations. When we collaborate, our teams work seamlessly together.
What was your favorite collaboration with Murray Homes?
A recent California Contemporary on Bird Key that was a spec home that transformed as it evolved. The original scope of design required that the house be versatile and attractive to any buyer; however, the client loved it so much that they decided to move in! It then became personal and we brought in their own touches and flairs. The result is a stunning, rich and livable waterfront home, that is family and entertainment friendly.
Tell us about your clients
Our client base is fabulously varied in terms of age and design directive, particularly given that we live in Sarasota with such a diverse culture. Our team enjoys learning about people and the dynamics of their lives, because that is what drives their design.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
With the internet inspirations are endless, but I do enjoy staying in amazing hotels and absorbing their design styles, as well as attending Highpoint, The USA’s largest furniture and design industry expo - oh, and late night web surfing of course...with an added inspiring glass of wine!!
We obviously have to ask about your own dream home…
My home would be and is ever changing, because in my profession every time we work on a new project it inspires me and creates a domino effect. If I could buy a new house every three years I would...ok, maybe every two years!