Carey Taylor perches on a tall stool in the back of her interior-design showroom off Woodruff Road. Behind her, shelves overflow with fabric-swatch books from high-end houses such as Stroheim, Kravet, and Scalamandre.
She is clearly in her element amid the samples of nubby tweeds, tone-on-tone silks, and patterned damasks that fan out in a textile color wheel around her on the table.
Growing up in nearby Hickory, North Carolina, Taylor may have subconsciously caught the design bug while attending furniture markets with her parents. Her mother, a hairstylist, is the creative soul, while her father boasts a head for business.
“I inherited the best of both of them,” she says.
Taylor was headed for a pre-law curriculum at college when a friend suggested she would be good at interior design.
“I’d never thought of that before, but it just felt right,” she says.
So Taylor did an about-face and enrolled in The Art Institute of Atlanta, where she was required to take classes in graphic design, art history, fine art, drawing, and color theory, among others.
“It was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” Taylor says.
Though the training was rigorous, it gave her an invaluable grounding in the fundamentals of color, balance, and scale, and how to blend them together to form a cohesive and lovely whole. Taylor, who often finds inspiration from a single fabric, likens her customized residential projects to the Food Network show “Chopped.”
“I get a basket of design ingredients and I create beauty from it,” she says.
After college, Taylor worked as the senior designer for Carolina Furniture and Interiors before opening her own business in 1999. These days, she balances the myriad hours she spends on design projects with the time she devotes to her husband and two teenage sons.
Taylor takes a measure of a client’s personality and style before embarking on a project. For their part, clients rely on her intuitive design sense. Case in point: Years ago, Taylor helped a young woman design an addition to her house. The woman trusted Taylor so implicitly that she had a T-shirt made commanding contractors: “Don’t ask me, ask Carey.”
An artist who admittedly leaves part of her heart and soul in her projects, Taylor draws her greatest satisfaction from seeing a space come to life. No matter the style, “a home,” she believes, “should be a collection of things that you love.”
Find out more
C. Taylor Interiors
2131 Woodruff Road, Suite 1000
Greenville, SC 29607
A few favorite things
In composing her design scenarios, Taylor fits an array of fabric patterns together like the pieces of a puzzle, with an eye toward proportion, scale, and balance. These two diverse tableaux illustrate both her savvy design style and her mantra to “create, not replicate.”
Warm gray: The new neutral
New and fresh warm-gray tones build a neutral but sophisticated palette. From the silver-embroidered gray linen to the understated GP & J Baker wallpaper with its airy toile feel, many of the elements in this grouping flaunt a subtle shimmer that plays off the handmade eglomise tile by Carla Cianfichi.
A self-professed “fanatic about embroidery,” Taylor pairs Scalamandre wallpaper with embroidered and appliqued fabrics and a geometric-patterned cut velvet by Kravet Couture. “The fabrics in this grouping display 15 different shades of green,” she says, “and create a mood for the beautiful Italian porcelain pieces to pop.”