August 26, 2011
I am so excited to introduce my new series “Coffee With..” I have been busy interviewing either in person or via email some amazing Interior Designers and bloggers. And I will be sharing them with you over the next few months.
Today I want to introduce you to Liz Caan of Liz Caan Interiors. I first saw Liz’s work on La Dolche Vita and fell head over heels for her designs.
Not only are her designs amazing- she is a beautiful lady!!
Love her use of color!
This closet is scrumptious!
Love the color and mix of patterns in this room.
Liz’s studio- All I can say is
Liz was so gracious to agree to my interview and I love it that she says she’s a “fabric & carpet snob”.
When did you know that Interior Design was your passion?
I didn’t have an ah-ha moment, I took a slow and steady path and treated it as a hobby for most of my life. Like most people in this industry, I re-arranged my room every 5 minutes as a child but I was stuck with the wallpaper and the furniture my mom had chosen. So when I went off to college and had my 1/2 of a dorm room to do, I was able to create my own space away from home. I spent an entire summer, sewing and sourcing all of my bedding and accessories. Since we couldn’t paint or wallpaper, I constructed a life size upholstered palm tree that I made out of bright fabrics and put it over my bed. I think my roommate thought I was crazy, but I loved my space. Although I was an Art major and pretty sure I would be a graphic designer, I continued to decorate all our apartments and 2 homes. I made lots of mistakes (and lost lots of security deposits) along the way but I was able to use my home as a ‘laboratory’ (and I still do). It was after I left a sales job in corporate America and we moved to Boston 8 years ago, that I realized I loved this and wanted to try and make a living at it.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere from art to the illustrations in a children’s book to my garden in the backyard. I am always making mental notes of things I see. In our home, I took a lot of inspiration from a Henri Maik painting we acquired and it really has permeated the entire house. When I need a kick, I will go through my Muriel Brandolini files for inspiration. She takes huge risks with color and paint and fabric. I love her uninhibited and unconventional approach to design.
What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favorite site?
I don’t have a favorite book but I have many I love. The same goes for magazines but over the years I have most consistently loved Elle Décor. The fashionable, eclectic interiors they feature are what I find really inspirational. I have many favorite sites but I access all of them through Google Reader so I can effortlessly stay up to date. I do frequent the Barneys.com Home Section. It’s been well edited and I go there for accessories and inspiration a lot.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
The most frustrating part is the paperwork. I loathe it. I also do not enjoy collecting money, but it is all equally important. I spent 10 years in the business world and the business side of this job is just as important as the creative side. The most rewarding part is seeing a really truly happy client at the end of a project, but I also feel really good when I am able to solve a tough problem. While I don’t like problems or challenges to necessarily come up in a project, they are inevitable and the creative and strategic problem solving is what I find really rewarding.
What decorating techniques/ideas/projects would you recommend to a homeowner who wants a quick fix to their room?
Paint is a very impactful and inexpensive way to spruce up a room. I also would recommend looking at their room through the lens of a camera. The perspective changes and you will start to notice things you didn’t before. I like to visually clean up a room immediately. Clean up the edges and reduce visual noise by making a focal point and arranging the room around that. Get rid of clutter and edit the pieces and accessories. This can all be done in a weekend.
What’s something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
Good quality textiles (and workrooms). I am a fabric and carpet snob. I think it’s really important to invest in these pieces (and people) as they will age most gracefully.
What’s your favorite color combination lately?
Greys and Lavenders with shots of pink. I can’t seem to shake it.
Most cherished possession?
My Henri Maik paintings. We have 3 and they are so cheerful and playful and make me so happy.
What would your dream project be?
A tree house. I’m a kid at heart and I’d love to design an amazing tree house…without a budget of course. Wink, wink
Thank-you so much Liz for sharing your insights and joining me for coffee (well, a virtual coffee that is).
Head over to Liz Caan Interiors
to see more of her beautiful work.