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At Home with… Carley Page Summers

It’s safe to say, we are all in need of a bit of escapism right now. And Carley Page Summers photography will do exactly that. Through her unbeatable eye for interiors she whisks us away to the souks of Marrakech, her client’s stunning homes across the globe and her enviable home in North Carolina. Her 1940s eclectic home is full of rattan and bamboo furniture, antique mirrors and artwork, plenty of plants and a cute corner nook where the sunlight always seems to hit. Not only is her home quite literally our dream house but she designs, styles and photographs for some dream clients too. The breath-taking home of @Atlantishome and the beautiful Moroccan riad @riadjardinsecret to name a few. We don’t know about you, but whilst we’ve been self isolating we’ve become even more interior obsessed so we jumped at the chance to speak to Carley about her creative process, how she keeps inspired plus her favourite flea markets across the world. As well as seeing some more shots of her drool worthy home and those Marrakech shots that inspired our first buying trip to Morocco. 

Carley is 30 and has lived in her home in Greenville, North Carolina for four years with her husband and their two cats. 

How do you start your mornings and ease your way into the day?

My alarm goes off at around 7:30 am. I typically put on a pot of coffee and relax in my quiet corner which is downstairs in my pink chaise. I love the way the natural light comes in through my windows in the morning, so peaceful and inspiring. I typically make breakfast, which is usually something simple but yummy like eggs and salsa or avocado toast, and then I’ll throw on a jumpsuit or rocker T with a great pair of black jeans. You can always find me wearing my turquoise engagement rings and my brass bangles from Morocco. Then I will commute to my new office space, which is located in Uptown Greenville and get my booty to work!

How have you adjusted to quarantine life and everything that is going on at the moment?

Adjusting to quarantine life hasn’t been easy, but just like everyone else, I am making the best out of all of this uncertainty. I had just started commuting from my home to my new office space for only about a month when everything started to go into lockdown due to the Corona virus. Now, I’m back working in my home office and I miss my new space. I’ll drop by the office from time to time to check on things though, which leaves room for excitement about my future endeavors once all of this is over!

Some specific aspects of my daily routine and the design process haven’t changed. I have a lot of clients whom I already virtually design and style because they either live across the country or even on a different side of the world, so adapting to running a 100% digital business hasn’t been too difficult. However, with that being said, a lot of my design process is hands on and in-person. I find quarantine especially hard when I am working with my interior design clients who are either building or remodeling a space locally, or with my styling and photography clients who have scheduled and paid to fly me out to their locations prior to the virus and have now have had to either postpone or cancel their project all together.  

What does a typical day involve?  

No two days look the same for me! I am constantly running around and on my feet completing errands, pick-ups and drop offs for my clients, or having a photography shoot for a collaboration. Sometimes you’ll find me glued to my computer editing photos from a past session or doing more creative work like crafting up mood boards and picking out furniture or other interior selections for a client’s home, other times I’ll be busy all day working remotely with clients over FaceTime doing consultation calls.

As I mentioned, I have a new office space that I had been renovating before the virus came into play, for myself and team members which consists of my amazing design assistant and wonderful new interns. Depending on what stage I am at with each of my clients will usually help me to predict my daily tasks. Whether that may be creating mood boards, spreadsheets, FaceTime consultation calls, Instagram collaborations, etc. I’ve really been into doing my work with 1940’s French jazz music playing recently. I love having it on in the background of my thoughts and design processes.

No lunch for me is typical (haha!) and neither is the time I eat it! I love to shake up my pallet so it could be Mexican soup one day, a really good café salad from a place across the street from my new office space, or even a classic chicken salad lettuce wrap I bring from home. Sometimes I’ll go out and meet my hubby for lunch or he’ll swing by the office and eat lunch with me and my team.

I have meetings with different design clients or styling for photography clients almost daily and I have a design assistant who helps maintain the admin work and assists me with my calls and client mood boards. I typically have around three or four social media collaborations going on at one time so I try and make sure I am staying up to date with what’s going on via Instagram and I love giving my followers a look into my daily office space life via Instagram story when I can. A lot of times I will have clients even create their own Pinterest mood boards for their dream space so I can already begin to get a visual idea of what they’re looking for. I really enjoy scrolling through Pinterest and even Instagram for inspiration.

I usually close up shop around 5pm when my husband also is getting off work so we can make or grab dinner together.

What advice would you give aspiring female entrepreneurs?

It’s never too early to start working on your dream job. Start now. It doesn’t have to look or flow perfectly right away but stay consistent with your drive and work ethic and everything else will eventually fall into place. Females should know that they can never work too hard, or too early, towards their dreams.

Homeware shops and market recommendations?

Threve Mercantile

Canary Lane

Puces de Vanves (a flea market in the south of Paris)

Etsy

Favourite market find?
My large French gold mirror!

Your last adventure and your next?

My last adventure was spent in New York City. I was styling and photographing spaces in Brooklyn and in the Lower West Side. My next adventure is scheduled to be in Morocco, where I will be shooting and working on my new book.

Current favourite song, book and film?
I currently love The Difference by Flume, it’s really lifting my spirits while I’m working around the house. My favorite book would have to be The Bible, it’s something I can lean on constantly for wisdom! My favourite film would have to be the last one I watched, which was Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf

Any inspiring Instagram accounts for us to follow?

@hollywoodathome

@francoishalard

@sfgirlbybay

How do you maintain work/life balance whilst running your own business?

I think maintaining work/life balance is everything. I really try to “unplug” from work once I am home at 5pm with my hubby and two kitties, Ariel and Buddy. Having intentional face-to-face time with your loved ones and pets is sooooo important. In order to assure that happens though, it does mean that when I am at the office I am on my grind and knocking things off my to-do checklists (I am a BIG list gal)! I work really hard during the day and spend my time both wisely and intentionally. I do this so I can feel content, relaxed and at-ease when I close up shop and go home at the end of each day.

How do you wind down at the end of the day?

I wind down each day a little bit differently, but I mainly enjoy cooking with my husband in the evenings. It’s very relaxing and inspiring to cook and play music (with lamp light) with someone you love.  I also love relaxing with my kitties at night, very therapeutic if you ask me. Finally, I try to straighten up the house for the next day so I wake up more peaceful!

www.carleysummers.com

@carlaypage

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