Copyright 2013. Carolyn Anderson Design. All rights reserved.

What I discovered through this was that I had been intuitively working at deeper levels all along without realizing it; and that I could now help people more effectively by consciously utilizing the wisdom I had embodied through these studies. It wasn't long before this occurred:

 “I want you to design my home so it flows with beautiful, positive energy," said one very conservative client, to my surprise and delight. 

Throughout my career, my work has initiated some very positive changes in the lives of my clients and has been deeply fulfilling to me.

​​In 2005, I felt compelled to go deeper with my work. I had done a lot of beautifying, and had built long-term relationships with clients; and I felt the time had come to take things to another level. I expanded my study of Feng Shui, learned about energy healing and shamanic practices and intensified my study of color to enrich my knowledge of the unseen interactions between people and their home environment.

After graduating from the Academy with honors, I was asked to teach Historic Interior Design there. At that time the Presidio was changing hands from the US Military to the Department of Interiors and was designated a National Park. I enlisted the help of several Park Service personnel to be ‘clients’ for my students; and the Presidio became our laboratory for developing many skills needed for embarking on a career with a focus on Historic Preservation. In 1996, I was invited to teach Senior Design Studio at UC Berkeley School of Applied Arts. There I taught Commercial and Residential Studio for two years.

​During these years, I was involved with high end home interior design in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as for some of the wonderful “Grand Dame” hotels downtown. I also designed furniture for Mike Furniture, a trendy retail outlet in the City. In addition to my design work and teaching, I shared my experience and knowledge about seamlessly updating antique homes as a speaker at the Traditional Building conferences around the country. The talks I gave during these travels brought me clients across the U.S., one memorable one being an antebellum plantation home in Huntsville, Alabama. When the client approached me after a talk, he informed me the kitchen was in an outbuilding and had been pretty much destroyed by nearly a century of neglect. After exploring many solutions involving connecting the outbuilding to the house, we ended up settling on a design that utilized one of the bed chambers inside the house and creating a graceful and elegant space that gave the illusion, when complete, that it had always been there.

In the early 2000’s I relocated to the Northeast where I was blessed with many wonderful residential projects involving not only antique homes, but also new construction and renovations of newer homes. These projects allowed me to develop some abiding relationships with contractors, architects and the best clients any designer could ask for. I continued teaching, but now in continuing education classes at local facilities. I found that I loved sharing what I knew with homeowners who would use the information immediately on their own homes, empowering them to take on projects that had previously mystified them. I have continued this offering ever since, wherever the opportunity has presented itself. As I traveled the country and engaged in projects from the West Coast of the U.S. to the East Coast of Canada, I gained tremendous experience on many styles and ages of homes; as well as many different people with different needs and expectations. I shared what I had learned along the way by writing articles for nationally distributed magazines including “Old House Journal” and “Fine Homebuilding”.


My interior design career started in 1991, quite by surprise, when a fellow student referred me to a friend who needed help with his kitchen. I was in my second year of study at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and was really inexperienced, but the opportunity was so compelling, I said YES. I learned more during the process of creating a kitchen around a huge 1939 Magic Chef stove in a 1910 Colonial Revival than in the entirety of my AAU education. The owner had very specific ideas for making the kitchen fit the house; and, focused as I was at the time on Historic Preservation, I was ​thrilled to take on this project. The results were wonderful, and my career was launched.