Friday, November 2, 2007

InnerViews: Carla Kantola

InnerViews: A Creative Interview with Interior Designer Carla Kantola

Our InnerView today is with Interior Designer, Carla Kantola. Carla's Atlanta-based firm (C. Kantola Interiors, Inc.) creates aesthetically pleasing interiors designed specifically for each client's individual lifestyle.

Image: © C.Kantola Interiors

JJLJ: Hello Carla! First of all, let me welcome you to this session of InnerViews. I want to thank you for agreeing to be a part of this new series.

How did you come to work in Interior Design?

CK: I have always had a love for design and an interest in houses. My husband and I renovated six houses and built two so I really think it might be a sickness. Several friends encouraged me to become a “decorator” but I knew I didn’t want to do that until I had the proper education to support it. When we moved to Atlanta approx. 13 years ago I immediately researched colleges that offered accredited interior design programs and decided on the Art Institute. After completing a BFA in Interior Design and working part time for a couple of design firms I was fortunate to land a job at Gandy Peace, a high-end residential firm. Working for the extremely talented Charles Gandy and Bill Peace was an experience that I will always be grateful for. A year after Charles retired I decided that it was time to try it on my own so here I am.

Image: © C.Kantola Interiors

JJLJ: What continues to be a source of inspiration for your work?

CK: So many things inspire me and that’s why I love design so much. It is ever changing. I love observing nature and trying to translate it into a room whether it be a particular color, texture or shape. Traveling is another wonderful inspiration. You never know what will spark an idea. As a matter of fact, I’m still waiting to create a room based on the colors of this beautiful cat my husband and I saw when shopping at a men’s boutique in Savannah. Think of soft taupe walls with elegant white curtains and a splash of aqua blue in a pillow or piece of furniture or art.

Image: © C.Kantola Interiors

JJLJ: Is there anyone who has played a significant role in your career?

CK: Charles Gandy and Bill Peace as I mentioned before have probably played the most important role in my career. Their work is amazing and I learned so much about design and the business side of design while working for them.

JJLJ: What are you currently working on?

CK: Currently I’m working primarily on our own home. We moved back to Atlanta this past December after having lived in Dallas, Texas for two years so I have tried to focus on our house as much as possible. Attached are a few photos of our house. I’ve also given myself permission to take this past year off so I could have a break. As with any job we all need to get away from time to time so we can re-energize ourselves and clear our minds. I think this is crucial to any one who works in a creative field and I feel very fortunate that I have been able to do this.

Image: © C.Kantola Interiors

JJLJ: How do you see your work influencing others?

CK: I hope that I enrich people’s lives by helping them make their home a place where they feel comfortable, tranquility as well as happiness. This sounds hokey but your home should be a place where you can go to escape the day to day craziness.

JJLJ: What is the strangest or funniest comment or question you've ever gotten about your work?

CK: Probably the funniest thing someone has said about my work was when we lived in Dallas and a neighbor knocked on our door unexpectedly to ask a question about our fence. I invited her in and as she looked around she commented “wow, I don’t like contemporary design but your house looks good.” I’m still not sure if she liked it or not!

JJLJ: What is your idea of personal success?

CK: My idea of personal success is achieving whatever you set your personal goals to be. Don’t set your goals based on someone else’s standards but what you want achieve.

Image: © C.Kantola Interiors

JJLJ: Are there any links you would like to share?

CK: I currently can’t think of any links to list but my website is

JJLJ: Thank you, Carla for contributing to InnerViews. We wish you continued success and look forward to following your career.

CK: Thanks, Jennifer.

For more information on Carla's designs, please visit her website.