Interior Design Visionary, Karen Larkin
Interior Designer, Karen Larkin of Karenna’s Design Studio draws inspiration from her clients and the world around her. Karen is constantly inspired by nature, art, fashion, and travel. She loves to find new and interesting ways to incorporate these things into her designs. Karen’s goal is to create a space that is both beautiful, peaceful, and functional. Most importantly, her objective is to create a space that her clients will love. Karen Larkin has developed a passion for helping people create spaces that reflect their personal style and make them feel good — a space that helps cultivate the best version of themselves. After all, your home should reflect who you are and what is important to you. As a result, Karen’s clients’ spaces serve as the canvas to create their peaceful masterpieces. Karen loves nature, so she often draws inspiration from the colors and textures she sees in nature. Also, she loves art, and often finds herself inspired by the colors and shapes she sees in paintings or sculptures. And of course, she’s always inspired by the latest fashion trends.
As an interior designer who specializes in creating beautiful, peaceful, and functional spaces, it is important that her clients feel heard, understood, and taken care of throughout the entire design process. Karen begins with the end in mind. Meaning, she wants them to be excited about their new space and the design process, not stress about it, so that is also a part of the inspiration. From the initial consultation to the final reveal, Karen Larkin will be with them every step of the way to ensure that their space is exactly what they envisioned. Karen strongly believes everyone deserves a home they can be proud of and love.
Walk us through your design process. Where do you start?
Karen Larkin: Designing a home should be a fun and exciting process! I enjoy getting to know my clients and helping them bring their visions to life. I am passionate about helping people create spaces that are both beautiful and functional, but most importantly, spaces that make them happy.
The first step is the initial consultation. When I enter a space for the first time it is so euphoric, my mind runs wild with creativity, my eyes are sharpened to details, and my ears hear the despair in my client’s heart! I’m observing and assessing the space as the client tells me what they want in their home, how they want to feel in the space and they want to come home to a beautiful space. But I feel so much more through the conversation. This allows me to get a feel of my client’s personality. I ask a series of questions that will give me a better understanding of who my client is and their needs within their space. It is so important to understand the purpose and function of the space to be designed. As I’m designing and planning the space, knowing my client’s budget allows me to know the type of decor elements and furnishings to use.
After the consultation, I begin working on the design for the place. Take all information gathered and start the plan of the space. This includes but is not limited to the layout of furnishings, searching for home decor items and furniture, lighting, paint selection, color scheme, and style of space. Also, working on the budget or cost of the design elements needed for the space. I work to have a conceptual design or visual of the space to present to my clients within two weeks after the initial consultation. Design plans are presented to the client for approval or any changes. Once approved, contracts are signed and the interior design project begins.
What is your specialty as an interior designer?
Karen Larkin: My signature services are the living room and bedroom. Specializing in modern and contemporary design styles. I believe that everyone deserves a space where they can relax in and feel at home. I especially love these two spaces for several reasons.
For me, the living room is the heart of the home. It’s where we entertain guests, relax with family, and curl up with a good book. Creating a space that is both functional and stylish is always a fun challenge. We spend a lot of time in our living rooms, so it’s important to design a space that reflects our style and lives up to our expectations.
I also love bedroom design because it’s a chance to create a serene and inviting space where you can relax and recharge. A space you can escape to, your retreat inside your home. It is the most intimate and personal space for the homeowner. Whether it’s a luxurious master suite or a cozy guest room, I always aim to design bedrooms that are both stylish and functional. I love working with different furniture layouts, choosing colors and fabrics, and finding just the right accessories to pull it all together. Your home should be a true reflection of who you are! Seeing the final product come together — and knowing that my clients will be spending time in a room that I designed — is always a great and rewarding feeling. Everyone deserves a home they can be proud of and love.
Describe a time you went above and beyond to get the job done.
Which design in your portfolio are you most proud of?
Karen Larkin: It is my job to exceed my client’s expectations, so I’m always looking for opportunities to go above and beyond. Ensuring my clients are happy and satisfied requires a lot of sacrifices on my part as a designer. I’m always working to improve my skills and learn new things to make sure that each project is better than the last. This dedication has led to some very happy clients who are always thankful for my work.
I work late nights and weekends, but it’s all worth it when I see the result and my clients are happy. This is what drives me to always do my best and exceed expectations. I want everyone who works with me to be completely satisfied with the final product. My number goal is to deliver high-quality work that my clients can be proud of.
Some projects require me to put in extra work and sourcing furnishings and decor accessories can be difficult and time-consuming. But no matter what the challenge is, I’m always up for it. I love a good challenge and I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills. This dedication to my craft has led to some satisfied clients who are always happy with the final product.
Going above and beyond for my clients is just part of who I am. I always want to deliver the best possible product and experience, no matter what it takes.
What is the best thing about your work clients have appreciated, and as an interior designer, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Karen Larkin: Creating a peaceful and beautiful space for my clients to come “home” to is the best part of my job! I love when they walk in and say “wow, this feels like me!”. Seeing my client’s faces light up is priceless and I get to experience that joy with them is why I do what I do!
“Karen was amazing to work with. She really took the time to get to know me and my style. My home turned out even better than I could have imagined!”-Client Testimonial
“I had a great experience working with Karen. She was very professional and made the design process so easy. I would definitely recommend her to anyone!”-Client Testimonial
“Karen was so easy to work with and helped me create the perfect space for my family. I am so grateful for her help and would recommend her to anyone!”-Client Testimonial
“I absolutely love my new bedroom! I never thought it could be so perfect. Karen really helped me capture my style and created a space where I can relax and feel at home. Truly my retreat! Thank you so much!” -Client Testimonial
“I am so happy with my new living room! It is exactly what I wanted and more. Your design process was so easy and stress-free. I would recommend you to anyone!” -Client Testimonial
The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing the reaction of my clients when they see their newly designed space for the first time. It is so gratifying to know that I have helped someone create a space that they love and that they will enjoy for years to come. I am passionate about helping people create beautiful and functional spaces, but most importantly peaceful spaces. The home is like the heart of the soul because it should be a place where you can relax and recharge. I am honored to be able to help people create that space for themselves. I believe that it should be a reflection of who you are and what is important to you.
Tell me about your ideal design project. If you could conceptualize anything from start to finish, what would it be?
Karen Larkin: My ultimate ideal design project would be a complete home renovation. I love the idea of being able to start from scratch and create a space that is unique to my client. Having the freedom to explore different design concepts, and truly unique elements, and being able to work with a client’s budget are all important factors in an ideal design project for me. I also love the idea of being able to see a project through from start to finish, and seeing the result, in the end, is always a huge reward.
In an ideal world, my clients would be open to new ideas and willing to take a bit of a risk when it comes to their homes. They would be willing to step outside of their comfort zone to create a space that is truly one-of-a-kind. My ideal client would also be working with a realistic budget that allows me to be creative and explore different design options.
At the end of the day, an ideal design project for me is creative, and unique, and allows me to push the boundaries a bit. I love being able to work with clients who are open to new ideas and willing to take a few risks to create a space that they will absolutely love. I would achieve this by working closely with my client to get an understanding of their style and what they are looking for in their space. I would then put together a design plan that reflects their style and meets all of their needs. Throughout the process, I would be there to support them and answer any questions they may have. And finally, I would reveal their beautiful new space to them!
That design process would look like this:
1. Initial consultation- This is where we would meet and discuss their design goals, budget, and timelines. We would also take a look at your space and get an understanding of the layout and what we are working with.
2. Design concept- I would put together a design concept that reflects their style and meets all of their needs. This would be a complete design plan, including furniture, fixtures, finishes, and anything else that would be needed to create the ideal space.
3. Implementation- I would work closely with my clients and contractors throughout the entire implementation process to make sure that everything is going according to plan.
4. Final reveal- This is where you get to see your beautiful new space for the first time! I would walk you through the space and point out all of the design details that we incorporated. You would then get to enjoy your new space!
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Photo Credit: Shaun Hope of May Alice Photography