For interior designer and Coronado local Caroline Kaine, her recent homecoming to the island was nothing short of kismet. Born at Coronado Hospital, raised on the island, and an avid participant in Coronado Cheer, as Caroline puts it: “Growing up here allowed for extra freedoms and experiences I don’t think many other kids might have had. I always knew there was a deep sense of community and others looking out for you.” After receiving her B.A. in Design from Cal State Long Beach, Caroline “moved to San Francisco for a few years” before receiving a Design Assistant role with COUPAR and returning to University of Southern California to receive her M.S. in Design.
Where you grow up certainly has an impact on your adult life, and for Caroline, a childhood in Coronado allowed her to meld and weave pieces of her youth into a career. Her interest in interior design, “is also connected with Coronado. In grade school, my friends and I would ride bikes or walk around and try to look into open houses. The real estate agents would let us in to take a peak and show us the niche features of the spaces. I always loved how they took time to entertain us knowing we weren’t ready for that down payment quite yet! Another reason was my parents: my mom would always point out the historical homes spread around town, while my dad has many amazing skills including remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. Watching him completely redo a room sparked my interest in design.”
Caroline and I sat down over a coffee at Little Frenchie to discuss interior design philosophies, trends, and more.
What is your Interior Design philosophy?
My personal philosophy when it comes to design is to take your ego out of it and really step foot into who you are creating a space for. The interior is not for me, it’s for them, and getting to design for someone else is an amazing challenge and honor. Clients are always teaching me something and I am constantly learning new perspectives. Connection is a huge part of the process for me.
What inspires you?
The potential of spaces. The beginning brainstorming and scheming of a project is always really exciting and creates a lot of fun energy. Helping someone design their home is special because that’s where most people want to spend precious moments like raising kids, becoming grandparents, holidays, birthdays, and the harder moments of life. I always am inspired by the client and love to integrate their special moments like travel or hobbies into the space. It’s easy to design a trendy place that looks good, like no one touches anything, but I think the best part is making a home for someone that blends in with their life and experiences and is able to be lived in.
When designing a room, what is the most important factor for you?
The most important thing for me is to consider the space and ensure the room is able to be experienced with ease and a good flow. I also am huge into scale. Every item needs to relate in some way. For example, if I have sourced large nightstands, I want to make sure to source table lamps that relate to the size of the nightstand because if I were to select a smaller lamp it would make the room off-balance. It is always important to look and see how all the items relate back to each other as a whole.
When looking to the future of Interior Design, what trends do you see becoming popular and what are important factors for others to consider?
It’s crucial to choose pieces of quality. These days, many things are cheap or made with no care. In the past, people dedicated their lives to crafting solid wood furniture or skilled workers in general made things that last a lifetime. Now, large companies are outsourcing to factories that create furniture that will need replacing more than once. I encourage people to look for companies that take pride in the craft. As far as trends, I think things are moving back into more color and less of a minimalist vibe.
Do you have any sources you’d recommend to others looking into Interior Design for themselves or their homes?
I love “Architectural Digest” to get ideas — especially their YouTube videos that take you on a tour of someone’s home. I can get lost in those. Instagram is another great place to get inspiration, as so many accounts are dedicated to this topic. For furniture websites, one of my favorite American-made companies is Maiden Home, designed and made in New York.