Home is where people should feel most comfortable, especially when it comes to the bedroom and bathroom. Preston Hollow resident Jolie Carpenter has found the best of the best in interior design across the state and showcases them in her latest book, “Beautiful Bedrooms and Baths of Texas”. Readers might be surprised to discover much more than the traditional — and stereotypical — ranch-style home. This is Carpenter’s eighth title highlighting Texas, and in addition to being on the cutting edge of interior design, she has also written a children’s book to help kids deal with one of America’s growing issues.
Where did you find your knack for interior design?
My major in college was interior design. It’s always been my passion. I love furniture, art, fabric, lighting. I always redecorated my room growing up. My degree is in communications from Texas Tech [University]. I feel grateful now because interior designers have to deal with the cranky homeowners. I get to deal with all the fun stuff.
How did you choose the homes for this book?
I keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on. I know a lot of people in the industry. I find these through networking. I keep up with who has won awards. I try to keep myself in the know. It’s like fashion — it changes all the time. These are women who are super talented. And men. Interior designers are like musicians — you either have it or don’t.
What makes Texas home design so unique?
One thing that shocks people is how modern and contemporary these homes are. There’s a misconception about Texas having old, ranch-style homes. This book shows that our designs are as good or better than those around the country. They’re keeping up with what’s going on. I love to have a variety of styles. People pick these up for inspiration — from small, high-rise apartments to sprawling mansions. Some people are intimidated by this book and may think that it’s for people who are wealthy. But that’s not true. There are plenty of things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money.
What are some examples of low-cost design?
The use of paint and lighting. Anyone can paint a wall, and it can change the whole mood. Take a color you love, and slap it on the wall. Be bold, and surround yourself with what you love.
How does all of this play into your own personal design?
I have colors I feel comfortable in. I like whites and neutrals. I think your surroundings affect you. The homes of my aunts, grandmother and myself were nothing fancy [growing up]. I use the resources around me.
You’ve also written and published a children’s book, “Change is Okay with Kacie Shay”. What inspired that?
That’s my little pet project. Kacie is my niece. She thinks she’s famous now because her name is on the cover of a book. I wrote it when my sister got a divorce. It’s for all the kids whose parents have divorced. To show them that, if they’re ever in Kacie’s shoes, things will get better. I plan to write another children’s book, a series about caring for animals.
Tell us about your next design book, ‘Spectacular Outdoor Living of Texas’.
It’s beautiful loggias, extravagant playhouses. You would never guess that some of these are in Texas. And it’s a trend right now, too. Who doesn’t barbecue in Texas?
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