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February 23, 2018
It is my pleasure to bring you our latest installment of our 5 things series. This time we are so excited to have had the opportunity to chat with Caitlin Flemming from Sacramento Street and Caitlin Flemming Design. I have been following Caitlin for what seems like the lifetime of this little blogging gig. She has a gorgeous sense of design and her style is so timeless and clean. L O V E !
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a marine biologist and decipher the language between dolphins or a photographer. As a child, I lived in Mexico and my father was a conservationist. We would go to remote areas of Mexico for his work and that’s probably where my idea of working with dolphins came from. As I got a bit older, I decided being a photographer would be the job for me – especially if it included travel. It doesn’t surprise me at all that I’ve ended up in a creative career. I think my eye was developed at a young age and it was bound to be my path in life.
Where do you find inspiration?
I tend to find inspiration all around me. It can be how the light is hitting the bay when I take my daily walk, or the pattern of the leaves outside my bedroom window. But I think it’s during my travels that my inspiration is enhanced. Maybe it’s that I don’t have the distractions of home and so I notice more details that I might overlook at home. Every trip I’ve taken brings me new lessons and ideas for my design. After a trip to Nature is still the best teacher – there is no better design.
Do you work from home? Office? Studio?
I always worked from a home office until having two kids and it was next to impossible to focus on my work at home. I now have an office one block from my home. Luckily it’s on Sacramento Street!
Are you a City girl or a Country girl?
I’m a city girl with a big part of my heart in the country. As a child I always lived in cities (Washington D.C., Mexico City, Portland) and that’s where I continue to enjoy living but I also crave time in the country. Growing up, I spent part of my summers on working ranches in eastern Oregon as well as in Mexico where I would ride horses and herd cattle. There is nothing better than getting your feet dirty and breathing fresh air.
What are you reading right now?
I’m trying to challenge myself more in my reading choices. Recently, I’ve been diving into travel writing from the past. Right now I’m reading The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byran. It was first published in 1934 and is in the form of a travel diary on his ten- month journey through the Middle East. He begins in Venice and ends in Peshawar, India (now a part of Pakistan). It’s considered to be the first example of great travel writing. I heard about this book and others in an interview of Carolina Irving in Milieu Magazine. I finished reading the article and ordered all the books she referred to. It’s been such a source of learning for me.
I love to travel and seeing travel through the eyes of those who went before me, has been an eye opening experience. Byran doesn’t mince words on his disdain for interior decorators, but perhaps there are lessons I can learn! For example, when he enters the Mosque of Sheikh Lutfullah, he states:
“I have never encountered splendour of this kind before. Other interiors came into my mind as I stood there: Versailles, or the porcelain rooms at Schonbrunn, or the Doge’s Palace or St Peter’s. All are rich; but none are so rich. Their richness is three-dimensional; it is attended by all the effort of shadow: In the Mosque of Sheikh Lutfullah, it is a richness of light and surface, of pattern and colour only. The architectural form is unimportant. It is not smothered, as in rococo; it is simply the instrument of a garden. And then I suddenly thought of that unfortunate species, modern interior decorators, who imagine they can make a restaurant, or a cinema, or a plutocrat’s drawing-room look rich if given money enough for gold leaf and looking-glass. They little know what amateurs they are. Nor, alas, do their clients.” (page 232)
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