Have you ever looked around your house and thought, wow, this could use a refresh! You might not know how to go about it, or how much it might cost you to update your house. That's where Blythe Interiors comes in!
One thing we love about Spokane is how welcoming it is to 'newcomers' - whether it's people who've left Spokane and returned, or transplants from other states. Spokane is an excellent place to live, work and play, and that's why it was so much fun to interview Carter Crandall of Blythe Interiors.
If you want to learn more about what styles will be popular in 2019 and beyond, how much a typical home remodel/refresh might cost, and hacks to spruce up your house on a budget, keep reading our interview with Carter Crandall of Blythe Interiors below!
Everyday Spokane: Please tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to Spokane?
My husband retired from the Navy after 24 years of service, and after moving countless times we couldn’t wait to find a forever home for us and our two boys. All we knew was that it was not going to be in California. We started researching places that I could continue to work around a metropolitan area. It had to have four seasons and water yet remain in the Pacific Coast time zone – per family’s request. After nixing Denver, Portland and Seattle, we switched gears a little and that’s when Spokane popped up on our radar.
We came out for a visit at the end of September and fell in love! Soon, we found ourselves signing papers to buy a house and scheduling the move! Last thing to do was tell Blythe Interiors goodbye. To my surprise, they offered me the chance of a lifetime to open up an office in Spokane, and of course I couldn’t have been happier. We are so happy to be here, offering Spokane the opportunity for interior design that doesn’t break the bank.
What sparked your interest in interior design?
My start in the industry was a bit later in life, as I had already spent some time in the college circuit as an athlete, as well disregarding any other way of life for the future. After my junior year, it was time to get serious about what I was going to be when I grew up…. It was my mom who actually planted the seed of Interior Design, having reminded me that I have always had an innate gift for spatial reasoning, as well a fascination with the way people lived in their homes. (A special thank you to my neighbors for leaving their drapes open at night so I could peek inside!) I decided to lean into that gift and see what I could do with it.
A few months later, I found myself accepted and enrolled at The Design Institute of San Diego. During the next few years, I wanted to immerse myself in the industry, so I chose night classes while I worked during the day at a design firm maintaining their source library. After graduating from the Design Institute of San Diego, I quickly joined the ranks of some of the top designers in the field, working amongst some of the most talented humans I know. My 20-year background includes Commercial, Hospitality, Residential and Model Homes Design.
Where does your inspiration come from when designing a home?
This is a big question to answer, but one I get asked a lot. Let’s just first say inspiration is EVERYWHERE. For example, my number one inspiration for color combinations, surprisingly, are BIRDS! These creatures have some of the most amazing color combos I have ever seen together. When I am struggling with my love-hate relationship with color, I just open my board, “bird color schemes,” and get revived by lime, burnt orange and white, or black, turquoise and hot pink.
Speaking of boards – let’s just give our hats off to the creators of Pinterest and Houzz for help with inspirational visuals. There is nowhere on the planet that you can get as much visual information into your brain as these websites. What inspires me changes all the time – But, what inspires our clients is the bigger charge, right…?
As a design professional, we find that no two clients are alike, and that’s a good thing because we are always being challenged. Pinterest and Houzz can be great tools in this area. We can have our clients start inspiration boards for their upcoming kitchen makeover or living room refresh, and what we typically find is a spattering of a little of this, and little of that. Our job is to look for the commonality between all of the photos and help determine a style or direction, pinpointing what the client really loves, and bringing that to life.
Tell us about Blythe Interiors! How did you get started with them, where are their offices, and what is the Spokane office specifically like? What makes Blythe Interiors stand out?
I started with Blythe Interiors about two years ago in San Diego. Jen Verruto, our Founder, interviewed me —and as she remembers it, I really didn’t give her a choice to not hire me! I was so impressed by the amount of projects Jen was able to amass in such a short time, and with such a simple philosophy: “affordable design for everyday living.” It was clear that there was a serious market for affordable design. Blythe Interiors was killing it, and I wanted in!
Quickly, my client load started stacking up, and I found my niche within this company that had a niche of their own in the industry. I ran most of the major construction projects, everything from ground-up new construction to bathroom and kitchen renovations. I like to say that I specialize in foundation to finishes. When it came time to change things up a bit with my move to Spokane, Blythe Interiors didn’t hesitate to come along with me. We are excited to bring a new design approach to this secret jewel of the Evergreen State.
Tell us about trends for 2019 and beyond! Are neutrals, subway tile and farmhouse sinks still 'in'? What are your predictions for 2020?
COLOR, Color and More Color!!!
- Bold Color: Infusing several different color trends together, from softer muted and matte palettes to bright jewel tones.
- Natural Luxury: Global, organic and nature-inspired design blended together for a collected look, with a bit of bling and sophisticated metallics in a natural palette.
- Black & White Accents: Bold graphic art, rugs, and accessories that add drama.
- Velvets: Adds instant luxury!
- New Traditional, blending a lot of clean modern lines of furniture with traditional patterns, colors and textures in accessories, such as heirloom rugs, French motif vases and art, and classic plaids, florals, and velvets in pillows. It makes for a fun juxtaposition and a fresh take on Traditional style. I love mixing in the glam of iconic Art Deco-inspired pieces, as well.
What’s not on my list…. Farmhouse. This isn’t to say that it is going away anytime soon. We just think that the movers and shakers in the industry are trying to elevate it a bit more... Dare I say, Luxe Farmhouse?? What does that even mean? This means we are warming up the whites, bringing in more camel tones and luxe fabric, like velvets & leathers, as well less distressing. Shiplap — or nickel gap, as it really is referred to in the industry — has been around for years and years. Joanna just had the right platform to give it some life. We are seeing a more refined use of it, like tongue and groove planked walls and ceilings with a clean, smooth finish, making it more of a background detail and not a focal point. A little more Southern charm, if you will.
If someone is looking to freshen up their house on a budget, what are 2-3 things they can do now to make their home feel less 'blah' and more 'yay!'?
$0 - The quickest and cheapest way is to rearrange existing furniture! I find it funny how scared people are to swip-swap the sofa and chair or put their headboard on a different wall. Sometimes I even encourage my clients to swap rooms… meaning put the dining room where the living room was, for example. If it doesn’t end up working out, change it back. No money was spent, and you got some steps in, right?
Most of the time it does work, though, and it helps you to look at your house in a whole new way. Next thing you know, you’re questioning every room in your house. Another thing I have clients do is shop their own house. Those bedside lamps in your bedroom may work better in the living room, or the dresser you used for your kid’s room may look rad as an entry table.
If someone just does not want to deal with a home update, what does Blythe Interiors do for them? What can they expect from working with Blythe Interiors?
So why hire Blythe Interiors…or any Interior Designer, for that matter? First off, Interior Designers have been trained to see spaces in different ways. When designing a room, or an entire house, we pay close attention to scale, proportion and balance. We know the reasons why a room doesn’t feel right, or why leopard print pillows can be a neutral in a room full of florals. (Now that’s just crazy talk…or is it?) Most often, we are fresh eyes. We help by peeling back all of the emotion surrounding your things, so you can get the most out of your home.
So why isn’t everyone hiring a designer? In short, because they are crazy expensive, right? Not Blythe Interiors. We came into this industry to flip that concept upside down and unveil a new era of affordable design to everyday people. We start each project with a 2-hour design consultation to give clients as much help as we possibly can. We don’t keep our secrets or our discounts to ourselves, which is why we charge for consultations.
Each consultation is different, and you are in the driver’s seat. We can pick your paint colors, your new sofa, rearrange your space with you, help you budget for an upcoming remodel, be fresh eyes to a haywire DIY remodel, or just gab about the new season of Property Brothers. After your consultation we charge an hourly rate for any ongoing or additional assistance or services. Spokane, we are here for you, so let’s get this party started!
Summer Special: July – August 31
- Our 2-hour design consultation price is $275.00
- Hourly Rate is $95.00/hr
Thank you so much to Carter Crandall for sharing her Spokane story and business! If you're looking for an amazing interior designer and think Carter is a good fit for you, make sure to visit her website and contact her ASAP - make sure to take advantage of their summer special!