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Carl Williamson’s Interiors: “A dialogue between design styles; juxtaposed to avoid sameness.”

The Luxe List

carl 1

Who & What has inspired your work?

I am surrounded by inspiration in my daily life-a limestone cornice on a landmark building in DC, a sumptuous garden, saturated colors found in nature, beautiful textiles and of course, my clients. When I travel, I’m inspired by the richness of diverse cultures around the globe; from the markets and bazaar’s of Morocco to the Classism of European architecture to the Americana atheistic of the North Eastern United States and beyond. Inspiration is ever present.

The designers that inspire me are Jacques Garcia, Albert Hadley, Lorenzo Mongiardino, Mark Hampton, Sister Parish, Mario Buatta, and Elsie de Wolfe, Bunny Williams and Charlotte Moss. Each of these designers create spaces that endure the test of time. 

Living room - transitional living room idea in Baltimore
Inspiration for a transitional living room remodel in DC Metro
Example of a transitional dining room design in DC Metro

Describe your design process

The design process begins with listening!  We have several sit down conversations with the client. It is my job to fully understand how the clients live in their home. How they entertain? Who lives in the home-children, extended family, pets, etc.? What is the client hoping to achieve? Timeline? Budget? Sometimes you need to read between lines-fill in the gaps. It is part detective work, psychologist, and counselor.

Once I have a clear picture, then my team and I will conduct a site visit. The spaces are measured so that we have a clear indication of what is existing. I determine if there needs to be structural modifications-perhaps to improve the overall function of the floor plan. Then I set a scope of work.

The project is divided into a construction phase (if necessary) and a design phase. Then we produce the floor plans with full schedules of furniture, fabrics, window, wall, floor treatments, art, lighting, and accessories. We produce digital design boards so that the client can see how the various aspects of how the design relates and flows. Fabrics are on hand allowing the client to experience the feel and textures of the textiles. I present the design-both structural and interior. Any changes requested by the client are discussed. We generate the project timeline. Once we gain full approval, the design is implemented. It is rewarding to see the clients vision come to life. Turning over the finished project , receiving the positive feedback, provides all of the reassurance that it was a job well done!


What is the one design element you cannot live without?

Color! Whether it be saturated or a play on cool neutral hues, color is vital to creating the desired atmosphere. When selecting a color palate, I take into consideration the geographic location of the property. I determine what type of natural light the room receives throughout the day. I determine what the architecture of the home calls for; a bold use of color or neutrals.

Bedroom - transitional bedroom idea in DC Metro
Example of a transitional kitchen design in DC Metro
Family room - transitional family room idea in DC Metro

What are the top three things that you encourage a client to splurge on?

Fine, custom, bench made upholstery first and foremost. The piece of upholstery is all about construction. It is about what you don’t see-Rock maple hardwood frame, 8 way hand tied springs, Marshall units at the inside back of the upholstery, foam and muslin before the face fabric, down or spring-down seating. If you start with exceptional construction, the upholstery piece will never fail the client. It is heirloom quality seating. 

Hand made, custom sized rugs. These works of art are created on an upright loom using Himalayan wool and or silk in contemporary, traditional or transitional styles. The handmade element of the rugs give them a life and patina that is unique and special.

Original, fine art. Art, of course, is subjective and personal. Art can be works on paper, oil on canvas or panel, sculpture, pottery, bronze statuary and the list goes on and on. If a client has an art collection is it a big win. If not, we can certainly work with an art professional who will curate a collection for the client.

Home office - transitional home office idea in DC Metro

What spaces in a home do you take the most pleasure in designing and why?

 For me, the dining room is the setting where life events, special moments and the gathering of friends and loved ones take place. I take great care to get the lighting, seating, window, wall and floor coverings just right. 

Example of a transitional dining room design in DC Metro
Inspiration for a transitional home design remodel in DC Metro