WORKAHOLIC // INTERIOR DESIGN AGENCY – CARTER DESIGN
Cy and Genevieve Carter are the founders of Carter Design, working both independently and together on interior design projects for the past decade. They had the fortune of working with the talented team at Commune Design which led them to start their own agency. Genevieve enjoys making visual decisions, and her work takes many shapes and represents multiple contexts from large-scale retail spaces for Undefeated and Kiki de Montparnasse, to wallpaper reproductions inspired by the “Peacock Room” inside her family’s historic house on Long Island. A sixth-generation East Coast artist, Genevieve bucked tradition by setting her sights on the uncharted wilds of the west, but not before detouring for school down south, where she picked up both a degree in Studio Art and Cy, her husband and partner. Cy is a film and theater actor with over a dozen years of professional design experience. Equally at home on a film set or a sprawling remodel for the same high-profile cast of characters, the span of Cy’s projects underscores the strength of his creative range. He got his first break in interior design while working at Los Angeles antique stores in between early acting gigs. This penchant for well-constructed objects can be traced to Texas cattleman roots and a childhood spent refinishing furniture with his grandmother on the family ranch. Together, they have covered a lot of ground and managed a surprisingly diverse list of commercial and residential clients. They enjoy bringing a sense of playful curiosity to projects, working with sound, sustainable materials and incorporating the talents of local artisans. We caught up with the talented duo at their home in the Hollywood Dell to see what makes them Workaholics.
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Genevieve and Cy Carter and we own and operate Carter Design, a design firm in Los Angeles that focuses primarily on interiors. We are parents of two girls, I have a wallpaper line and am an oil painter and Cy is also an actor. I like to say we make visual decisions and massage moments really well.
Where is your workspace?
Our workspace is in an upstairs bedroom in our house in the Hollywood Dell. It has its own entrance with stairs that cross a bridge. It looks over our lawn and has a beautiful view of the Los Angeles basin, especially at sunset. We design there and on our job sites around town.
What made you turn to this direction?
We each have really rich family heritages from very specific places. I grew up in an artistic family in the Northeast and Cy grew up on a Texas cattle ranch. We were each raised building and designing and saw how place and home creates life. Cy worked steadily at antique stores between acting gigs where he picked up a lot of knowledge of furniture. Then he freelanced for a number of really great interior designers. Early in my career I worked in advertising and branding, then after studying interiors more in depth, made the switch and worked at a design firm. It became clear that fusing our talents and opening a firm of our own would be a good thing to do.
Was this always your dream job?
It has always been a dream job for both of us and we are happy and grateful to find ourselves here.
How much of the week is work and town much is play?
Hard to tell. We have a talent for attracting great clients so the time we spend with our client feels like play a lot of the time. The same is true for a lot of the vendors and fabricators we work with. It is really important for us that the process of design be playful, and we try and carry that with us.
What has been the most exciting thing you have done with your work and what is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in?
The tumbleweed wallpaper has been a fun project from last year. The ranch where Cy grew up was experiencing a drought and so there were more tumbleweeds than usual. It was a great experience to look at something that is a “problem” and transmute it into something artful. A dream situation would be to turn the two wallpaper patterns we currently have into fabrics.
How do you find your inspiration?
Through travel, our family, and music. We love going into new places and spaces and examining why they feel the way they do. Most of these places are off the beaten-path and usually involve older generations and nature.
How do your define your personal style, work, clothing etc?
Intuitive and simple. We each like the things around or on us to have integrity and be a real material. You can always find leather, denim and cotton on us in some form or fashion.
What’s something someone may not know?
We both like white jeans and often one of us has to change as we emerge for the day wearing them.
For more on Carter Design go to // http://www.carterdesignwest.com