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Healing design

Keith Carrington ‘nourishes the soul’ one room at a time.

Ever since he graduated from The George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in interior design, his splendidly striking spaces have helped make a noble name for himself in South Florida.

Keith Carrington, who established Keith Carrington Designs in 2005, has been heralded by homeowners as having a style that embodies eclecticism and elegance and is infused with intelligence.

“My father was an interior designer, and my mom had great style, so I get it from them,” Mr. Carrington said.

There is a reason his work has appeared in Architectural Digest and in a book titled “Christmas at Designers’ Homes Across America.”

“My training is totally traditional and so are the people I’ve worked for,” Mr. Carrington said, referring to famed Milwaukee designer Robert Forrest and Palm Beach standout Scott Snyder, a former member of the AD100, Architectural Digest’s annual list of top tastemakers.

Prior to his employ with Mr. Forrest and Mr. Snyder, he worked for an international firm that designed palaces in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. His latest endeavor is to remodel boutique hotels in the Caribbean.

“I love traveling to see something different,” Mr. Carrington said.

When at home in West Palm Beach, he is busy remodeling his own abode, much to the dismay of Bailey and Barclay, his Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

“I’m always doing something,” Mr. Carrington said, pointing to a ceiling he ripped out and replaced and an exterior wall he built for privacy.

He just finished a job at an oceanfront condominium, in which he transformed the lobby from one that looked like it might appear in a hotel to a calming residential setting.

“I think we did a great job in the end, although it was challenging, to say the least,” Mr. Carrington said.

He has made it a goal to have his clients be at peace in their domains by striving to reflect their personalities, much like his living room — a mix of English, French and Italian decor with a modern yet bohemian vibe — reflects his. One of his favorite quotes is attributed to the extraordinary talent that was Robert Hadley: “Decorating is not about making stage sets, it’s not about making pretty pictures for the magazines, it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.”

Here are his thoughts on design:

Tell us a little bit about your philosophy of design.

I liken my work with that of an educator, teaching others how to live graciously. Let’s face it, most people have bad taste. I don’t, so I like to share it.

How has that evolved over the past 12 years?

I would say my design philosophy has evolved as I have. I chose to listen to clients instead of speak, to understand instead of demand to be understood, to be patient instead of hurried. As I’ve become more authentic, so has my work.

Is there any one constant, or signature “look,” in a Keith Carrington design? Since I started my company, I have always followed the road less traveled. I never want to sell “a look.” I would rather interpret what a client is attracted to and weave my design sensibilities into his or her lifestyle, whether that be modern, traditional or somewhere in between.

What is your favorite design trend right now?

For more on Keith Carrington, visit or call 561-542-5381. 
COURTESY PHOTO For more on Keith Carrington, visit or call 561-542-5381. COURTESY PHOTO I avoid trends at all costs.

How do you balance your career with your romance for remodeling your own home?

Since I’m always shopping for my clients, I’m on the prowl for unique items. Occasionally, I come across a must-have item for my abode, and bringing a new piece into my fold usually means a repositioning and an edit job. I like to think that I don’t have possessions; I’m merely a custodian of objects here to enjoy them during their sojourn into my life.

What is your favorite place for relaxation?

My favorite place is my own back yard, swaying in a crocheted hammock that I picked up in the Keys. It’s flung between two palms, and I get to catch the balmy breeze while gazing up at the beauty of nature.

Whom do you follow design-wise?

I don’t follow anyone, but I do admire the work of Robert Couturier and Timothy Corrigan, as well as French designer Phillippe Starck. Phillippe’s work is clean cutting-edge. I tell anyone who visits South Beach to at least pass through the legendary lobby that he designed for the Delano hotel. It’s a spiritual experience. It has that awe factor that I strive for, and it nourishes the soul. ¦

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