I discovered Carrie and CDOT Design Studio’s work a few years back when I was working with a Buyer that was on the hunt for something special. This home was a breath of fresh air, a capsule of inspiring design, so different from what we’ve been seeing. I knew immediately that this was someone I wanted to meet. In-person, she did not disappoint – stylish and bursting with great energy, it was instantly apparent how her love for design is infused into her work.

Nothing is better than a personal tour, so when Carrie extended an invitation to The Neighborly Group to come check out her latest design project in Paradise Valley, we jumped at the opportunity. I sat down with her to get a behind-the-scenes look at her inspiration, work process, and nab a few styling tips. Enjoy!

R: Where did your style evolve from? 

C: I started designing in 1999 and I’ve done all sorts of design work and still do to this day. My style evolved as I worked my way up and all of those experiences drive what I do now. 

R: What do you love most about what you do? 

C: I love the interactions with my clients and as tough as it is sometimes working on a residential project with a couple’s dynamic, that sometimes is the most rewarding. I’ve had people say I’ve literally saved their marriage – because they started the project without a designer and realized that they were going to get divorced over it! I also love the creative process of working with all my trades and contractors to build up loyalty. I do a lot of construction administration and that’s one of my favorite parts because it’s where all the crucial details come in. 

R: What was the inspiration for this house? 

C: We were given the shell, and because no client was telling us what they wanted, we had the freedom to find the design direction that was best suited for the style of the home. The house was really boxy and all stucco, and there were already a few houses in the neighborhood like that. We wanted something modern with that California casual vibe but still fitting with its environment. The house told us what it needed on the outside – a Desert Modern vibe – and we ran with it on the inside. We kept it monochromatic on the inside and introduced little portions of color in the hard materials. 

R What is your most loved detail in this house? 

C: Definitely the kitchen. The hood was one of those moments that was a non negotiable. When we were working on the layout for this house and the space plan, we knew we kind of wanted each little archway to be an experience as you’re going through the house, so the hood was the cornerstone of what that would be. It’s framed out by two different arches and it’s stunning in marble.

R: Can you share a few of your design sources? 

C: I love this lamp in the entry. It’s from Crate and Barrel and it’s one of those pieces that goes with any decor. 

The sconces in the living room are from Allied Maker. They have an incredible selection of gorgeous, handcrafted lighting that are true statement pieces.  

The floor in the wine room is from Tabarka Studio. We’re in love with natural, timeless materials and they’ve got an incredible selection of handmade terracotta tiles. 

R: What are some tips for designing a great space? 

C: 1. Think about how you use the space and if you want each room to have its own identity or be part of a greater open floor concept. 

2. Think about layers. You always want to be seeing something interesting in front of you. What’s your experience when you walk from room to room.

3. Give things room/space to breathe. A lot of people don’t know that trick.

R: What are your go-to whites? 

C: Dunn Edwards – Warm White: DEW380 

Dun Edwards – White Picket Fence DET648

They also have a new finish that I am obsessed with. It’s called EXQUISITE® and it’s matte but still wipeable. 

R: What does good design mean to you?

C: I think good design means something unique, something that’s original. 

Check out more of CDOT Design’s work on Instagram at or get in touch via her website at: 

Written by The Neighborly contributor Ruth Price

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