We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline McLean and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caroline, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
It’s widely accepted that feeling good about one’s surroundings promotes a sense of well-being. So my goal as an interior designer is to create spaces that function for individual needs, feel comfortable, but most of all, bring joy. And if I can do that whenever possible by reusing, renovating or restoring, maybe I can help our planet a little bit too.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

Well, with so many remodeling projects going on right now, there’s definitely a demand for help solving tricky design problems! That can mean finding creative ways to make a small room seem spacious, a wide-open space feel cozy, or (especially since Covid) figuring out ways to “bring the outside in” to an apartment, town home or high-rise condo.
My approach tends to be more about lateral thinking and less about decorating ideas – which often comes as a surprise to the client who, expecting a design concept with a hefty price tag, might be better advised to simply switch bedrooms with their kids or re-purpose their formal dining room as a craft studio.
I doubt I would have had the foresight (or confidence) to offer such suggestions back in my Junior Designer days. But with a few decades of experience “under my belt”, I’m not shy about being direct, honest and sharing the lessons I’ve learned to guide clients, step by step, through the design process. That way they can arrive at their own decisions, avoid potentially costly mistakes, and feel a real sense of pride in the results. Then next time, they just might call me for a quick fix when they get stuck!

(Of course, if someone wants to retreat to their private island while I completely renovate their primary residence, that’s fine too!)

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’re lucky to be long-time South Bay residents so keeping things local works for us, especially if our house guest has traveled a long way to be here. After celebrating and catching up with a nice bottle of wine (or two) in our back garden, we’d probably start Day 2 with a scenic tour of the area, driving through the Beach Cities and winding around the Palos Verdes Peninsula to enjoy the spectacular views of the coast. Lunch at Nelson’s (Terranea Resort) is always a treat, especially if it’s whale-watching season.

Other favorite Things to Do might include: browsing the boutiques in Hollywood Riviera, late lunch at a Creme de la Crepe sidewalk cafe (cinnamon apple crepes with almonds and whipped cream!), strolling the Esplanade to Redondo Pier (with sunset cocktails and Fish ‘n’ Chips at Tony’s) and a late evening walk with Lucy dog around the neighborhood.

We’d likely while away an afternoon in Hermosa Beach, spending a couple of hours exploring Stars Antique Market on Pier Avenue – where I happen to have a space – followed by locally brewed craft beer and tacos at Hermosa Brewing Company.

Being an Art Deco addict, a visit to the Queen Mary (Long Beach) is always a grand day out (wearing essential cloche hats from my collection!) and our BIG Saturday Night finale might be a jaunt to downtown LA for martinis, supper and live jazz at The Cicada Club in the Oviatt Building on S. Olive St.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To Peter, for his words of wisdom, wicked sense of humor and for just being there.

Website: www.carolinemcleandesign.com

Instagram: @scottiedog_studios and @scottiedogvintage

Linkedin: Caroline McLean

Image Credits
Siri Berting Photography

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