Article Contributed by The Local Vault.
When Greenwich based designer Carmiña Roth works with her clients to transform a home, she draws not only on her talent as a savvy interior designer using inspiration from her education at New York School of Interior Design and her experiences living abroad (she counts Italy and France as previous home bases) but she puts into play her right brain skills and her past in financial client services to make the process streamlined and efficient as well.
We caught up with Carmiña for tips on antique shopping, where she goes when she needs a dose of creative inspiration and insight into the holy grail of all design.
TLV: Your approach to design makes use of a broad knowledge of a styles and eras. What look or design movement are you particularly into at the moment?
CR: I love mixing old and new, high and low-end, so I’m always on the lookout for something that is being overlooked and possibly undervalued. I also love searching for new emerging artists and photographers. My design sensibility is always evolving.
TLV: How has your background in business helped you in your work as a creative person?
CR: So many individual components need to be coordinated to design a space. My background in finance and law helps me with many technical aspects such as budgets, structural requirements of plans, health and safety issues, and building codes. Designers must be able to work collaboratively with architects, contractors, and other service providers, and be willing to negotiate and mediate when necessary to resolve problems. Moreover, designers must have excellent time and project management skills, since we frequently work on more than one project at a time, under demanding deadlines.
TLV: What is the best piece of advice that has impacted your life as a designer?
CR: “Buy the best, and you will only cry once.” – Miles Redd.
There is nothing worse than wishing you had paid just a little bit more to have exactly what you want. A subpar version will always remind you of the purchase you should have made.
TLV: What item or element of design in your home makes you most happy?
CR: My home is where my art is. Our personalities are reflected through the art we choose to display. It can inspire us, make us happy, or even motivate us. Living in a purely functional world would lack meaning – I love to surround myself with the creative expressions of others, including my children’s art.
TLV: What are 3 favorite sources of inspiration?
CR: There are so many sources of inspiration that I find useful. Art and photography often inform my color schemes. I keep a pin board over my desk sorted by color (ROYGBIV) to remind me of subtle and unexpected combinations. New fashion seasons can also be a great starting point for themes. Very often fashion designers and interior designers look to the same color forecasting sources for inspiration. Social media, such as Pinterest and Instagram, also provide me with visual inspiration. I often start a new project by creating a Pinterest board for each room of the house and pinning everything I like until a cohesive theme gels for me – then I can edit, reinterpret and blend the best ideas with my own.
TLV: What is one item always worth investing in?
CR: The unexpected treasure that I can’t stop thinking about. I typically find my favorite pieces when I’m not looking for them, but I can always find a place for them. Real love lasts forever.
TLV: Do you have a personal indulgence that surprises people?
CR: Solitude. As a wife, friend, and working mother of two, I cherish my moments alone, where I am able to engage in activities that I perform for the sake of themselves rather than for a functional purpose. One of my favorite solo indulgences is sitting on the beach or by a fire flipping through new design books and magazines.
TLV: Where are your favorite places to shop for antiques?
CR: Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in Paris, 1stdibs, and lesser known auction houses throughout the world.
TLV: What do you turn to when you need a dose of creative inspiration?
CR: I can find creative inspiration pretty much anywhere as long as I stay present to it.
Travel is perhaps my favorite source of inspiration, but I can also find it sitting in front of my computer while researching a historical style or clicking through Pinterest photographs.
TLV: Any advice for amateur designers or someone redoing a room or home on their own?
CR: Scale and proportion are without a doubt the most important elements to achieving great design. To put it simply, “scale” is the size of things. “Proportion” is the relationship between them. Together, they are the holy grail of all design.
Learn more about Carmina Roth Interiors: carminarothinteriors.com
(Profile Photo by Alan Barry)