JOANNA CARDEN OF CARDEN INTERIORS
Interview by Angel Quintana
Photo Credit: Joanna Carden
Magazine: Issue #38
How would you label your interior designing style? Clean, balanced, and inviting.
What’s your best tip for maximizing a small space? Especially for gallery walls to avoid being overcrowded? I love to visually make the space feel bigger, by ironically using larger furniture, but less furniture. Placing curtains at the top of the ceiling help make that small space seem bigger and finishes off the room. I like to choose at least 7 pieces for a gallery wall to help make it cohesive without making it overwhelming. Using the same style frame for the whole gallery wall can make a statement while also blending in with your space.
How important is it for your brand to showcase your work on intsagram? Do your followers tend to be more of fans and admirers or do they often turn into clients? It’s SO important. I think people like seeing the face and life behind the ‘brand’. It also gives people a sense of what I can do apart from my own personal style. I love a particular style and really enjoy when my clients want that style, but I also enjoy working on completely different styles that make it challenging and fun.
What amount of people do you work with in person vs virtually? I would say 80% are local/in person clients and the rest are remote. Remote is new to me and definitely a challenge, but my clients have been so great and patient and it makes the process fun and easy. Usually we don’t have a serious deadline so that helps with the ease of the project especially when you can’t see the space in person.
When did you decide to become an interior designer and begin turning something you love into your career? I was 18 when I decided that I should pursue interior design. I started design school with a correspondence program in NYC. It was put on hold when I got married and we started a family, but my husband encouraged me to start a business on my own and that I didn’t need to wait until our kids were gone to do that. So here I am!
What was the toughest thing to overcome when you first started creating your brand? The doubt. I didn’t go to a 4 year school for a degree and I am figuring out the process as I go by talking to other big designers in my area and across the country. It’s been so challenging, but also incredibly rewarding knowing that all of my work eventually pays off.
What piece of advice or wisdom would you give to someone aspiring to become an interior designer as well? You can start from anywhere. It’s never too late to get into interior design, and all of the work is worth it. The biggest help to me has been a strong support system. I have family, friends and designers that continually encourage me and motivate me to keep going.
Did you go to school for interior design? Like I mentioned before, I started a correspondence program in NYC and put it on hold when I started a family. I don’t have the time or money to go back to school just yet, but will definitely be pursuing a degree in the future. That training is priceless.
What’s something you’ve learned through trial and error? How to manage clients. It was easy when I started out with just a few clients, but as soon as business started picking up, I wanted to say yes to everyone. That’s not possible at this point, especially being the only set of hands behind the brand, and I had to learn to schedule out my clients. I was afraid to tell people there would be a wait. However, they would much rather me be honest with them and wait for a later period, than have me overcommit and not be able to deliver on time.
Did you know the kind of style you wanted to do from the get go or did you grow into it through experience? I definitely have a particular style that I love, but I know it will evolve over time as I learn and gain more experience. I look forward to the future and seeing how time will affect my style.