Designer for Hire

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Interior designer Lori Carroll on 2 am rises, award-winning bathrooms, and the art of rapid clothes shopping.

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Photo by Chris Mooney

Early bird or night owl? “I can go either way, depending on what my project deadlines are. I can stay up longer if I have to, or I’ve been known to get up at two or three in the morning to work on a project. But my most creative time is early morning. Most mornings I’m up at 4.30 or 5, which means sometimes I’m in bed by 8 pm. Sometimes I’ll hit the wall after a week and sleep for twelve hours straight.”

Favorite accessory? “I’m not really a jewelry type of person. Maybe it’s because I’m hands-on. I’m usually drawing or on a job site. My favorite accessory is a Franck Muller watch my husband gave me 15 years ago.”

Favorite faux pas? “Back when I was just getting into design I once sent a purchase order to a client, which was stating cost to the client. I thought I’d sent it to a manufacturer. It was definitely what you would term a ‘grow-up moment’.”

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Lori’s award-winning powder room, with curvature.
Photo by Jon Mancuso

Who is your dream customer? “Clients who are fun to work with and respond to questions, and are open to new and creative ideas. And people who allow me to do what they hired me to do.

“I have clients sign off on everything – fabrics, finishes. It’s making t hem part of the process, and it gives them ownership.”

If I weren’t an interior designer I would… “I’d be a clothing entrepreneur, designing and selling shoes and purses. I’ve always loved apparel, ever since I was very young. I think that’s why interior design has been such a great fit for me. I love working with color and pattern and scale.

“I don’t have a favorite store to shop for my own clothes. I buy things based on look and style. It could be Target, it could be Neiman Marcus, it could be a boutique. I can go in and make a decision very quickly. I know what I like, and I don’t have a lot of time!”

If I could change one thing I would… “I’d have peaceful coexistence around the world. It really pains me to see people shooting and killing. What a strong world it would be if we did that.”

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“Ametis” faucet with LED lever. Photo courtesy of Graff

You’re known for your powder room and bathroom designs. Tell us what’s hot in these rooms right now. “Graff has a new organic, free-form faucet line that is stunning.  While at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show recently, one particular product from Fiandre Architectural Surfaces caught my eye.  Their Gres Porcelain slabs have the look and feel of natural stone, making them one of the most exciting products I have seen recently.  I’m looking forward to using it on a future project.

“Working on projects with local architect Marc Soloway always tests my creativity.  In a powder room in one of his custom homes that  had unique dimensions, I fabricated the countertop into a curve around the inside wall. That, along with other features like a wood and metal divider and cantilever corner shelves, earned it a 3rd place national award.”

* Last month Lori Carroll won awards for her powder room and two bathroom designs from the annual National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). View the finalists here. Contact Lori Carroll Associates here.  


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