When a designer is at the top of his or her game, an unmistakable sense of confidence, ease, and spirit is evident in every detail. Such is the case for Chris Carroll – the brains behind lifestyle blog The Life Creative. A site that aims to put a playful spin on all things interiors. An aspiring writer in another life, Chris completed work experience at Who Magazine at the age of 24. That is, until he decided reporting wasn’t enough. Armed with an interest in design, he disrupted the interior world with a unique, charismatic and ultimately easy ways to spruce up the home.
“I thought I wanted to get into entertainment reporting, but on my lunch break one day I picked up the first ever copy of Real Living magazine,” says Chris. “It was love at first sight and from then on I knew I wanted to work in the world of interiors,” he says. “Shortly after I studied design and interior styling, and everything took off from there.”
Chris works on the premise that beautiful design can be affordable, individualized, and integrated to meet the client’s needs. With this philosophy in mind, he makes diagnoses of clients’ homes, notes what they need to add, subtract, or rearrange, and then prescribes the elements needed to improve a room or home. “I really try to get to know the client,” says Chris. “Not only in terms of what their style is and the colours they like, but their needs too,” he says. “Function is so crucial when it comes to interior design, and I think that’s often overlooked by the public.”
“There’s a perception that we as designers and decorators just make things look pretty. But it’s really about helping people carve out and create their ideal space for looks and liveability.”
In only a few short years, Chris has established himself as a force to be reckoned with amongst the highly competitive interior design market. He is constantly searching for concepts and designs that exhibit the same adventurous spirit that drives him.
“I try to get in a little bit of irreverence of kook-factor if the brief will allow it,” says Chris. “Homes shouldn’t be so serious, so I like to throw in a little fun if I can. “It’s not always possible, and sometimes it’s something as small as an ornament, but I try. In a recent project I included a wooden pig. Because, why not!?”
There’s nothing Chris can’t do with a blank canvas. Most of the magazines you open have Chris’s foot print somewhere in their pages. From approachable, modern design with colour right up to multi-million dollar homes with a moodier vibe – Chris runs the gamut.
“My style is always contemporary, clean, well layered and sophisticated,” says Chris. “And it’s always useable and approachable. I tend not to do stuffy, show homes, and I always mix and match skimp and splurge pieces. Even people with the money to spend still love a bargain – and I love delivering them!”
The future appears bright for Chris, who has several projects in the pipeline. “The design side of the business is going really well and the clients keep coming,” says Chris. “I also run the TLC blog, which will still exist in the future but will become more of a database to help people make their homes amazing – with a tonne of resources they can use.”
So what does it take to bring a dream to life? Chris believes it’s as simple as being yourself.
“It’s such a simple concept but so many people (especially in the world of design) try to be something or someone else,” says Chris. “Authenticity is a wonderful thing, and I find that the more yourself you are (and the more you embrace your differences), the better your projects go, and the better the experience is for you and the client.”