Designer Crush: Kara Smith

1. How did you first get your start in the design world?
Growing up, I was fortunate to travel the world with my family, and it left an impression on me. The diverse, yet extraordinary places that I visited, each with their own unique art, textiles, aesthetics, and culture, inspired me to pursue a career in a creative field. I ran my own LA-based event planning company and created a contemporary women’s fashion line, before eventually finding my niche with interior design.
2. How has your background in fashion influenced your work in interior design?
Fashion is such an incredible influence in my practice today. To succeed in fashion, you need to be able to keep up with its fast-paced, and constantly evolving nature, all while maintaining a higher point of view. That mindset is the same way I approach interiors.
3. Travel is one of your big sources of inspiration – what’s your favorite destination and why?
A couple of years ago, I traveled to Cartagena, Columbia for a friend’s wedding. I loved the city’s vibrant culture and history, as well as its food, colors and textiles. Another favorite is Paris — the city lends itself to a design aesthetic that is classic, romantic, sophisticated and magical.
4. What is a design trend you’d like to see more of? Less of?
I’d like to see more spaces that have a clean and livable vibe, where the beauty and luxury come from the functionality of the space, the high-end quality of finishes and design, and the luxe appeal.  
I am completely over the overdone vintage eclectic with a hit of modern.
5. What was your most stressful scenario as an event planner?
It’s hard to recall a single moment, because it was so long ago. I was only 18 years old when I founded the company, and just starting out in my career, so I had to learn about balance.
6. In your dream world, your favorite Hollywood celebrity hires you to design their dream vacation house: who is it and what are some of the special touches you’d incorporate into their getaway home?
The Obamas, specifically Michelle. I would love to create a sanctuary that is warmly modern and futuristic, yet approachable. I picture detailed built-ins with a mix of finishes and then very comfortable furnishings.
7. What was the most influential musical album (or artist) in your life and why?
Nas – Illmatic. I loved the mix of poetry and music.
Lightning Round!
Coffee or tea?
Spring or fall?
New or vintage?
Heels or flats?
Chocolate or vanilla?

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