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Karen Larkin is Taking Interior Designing to New Heights

In 1996, Karen Larkin’s uncle planted a seed suggesting she should be an interior decorator and she responded, “no one would pay me to come in and decorate their home.” Karen really had no desire to be an interior designer, but she found herself decorating her own spaces and those of family members and friends. In fact, Karen had been decorating for over 15 years for herself, family and close friends, but never for pay.

In 2018, the seed that Karen’s uncle had sewn began to bud when a young lady reached out to her about decorating her living room. At that time, Karen was an event planner and decorated events. Karen knew nothing about interior designing, or so she thought. But this proved to be another time of “divine alignment” Karen says, as things in her own life began to shift.

In 2019, Karen began redecorating spaces in her home, and posting what she had done on social media. The objective was to show people that you can redecorate your home without spending a lot of money, giving it a high-end look at the fraction of the cost.

Kreative Kreations by Karenna’s founder Karen Larkin’s goal as a professional interior designer is to create a tailored design by allowing it to be a beautiful reflection of you, and the people that live there.

 

What inspired you to follow your career path?

Karen: I’m no stranger to decorating. I just never did it for hire. But as a result of what I was doing in my home, I fell in love with it and things began to shift. In September 2019, I landed my first paying interior design project. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. My client discussed what she wanted and how she wanted to feel when she walked into that space. She said, “I trust you Karen, and the process”. The result was everything she wanted and more. What I delivered for her exceeded her expectations. The reveal of the final result was a reaction I will never forget. My client was in tears and couldn’t believe that was her kitchen. That type of reaction is priceless and that’s when I knew this is what I was called to do. In 2019 the seed that had been planted and watered, Kreative Kreations by Karenna’s began to grow.

So the seeds were planted and God made them grow!

“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”

1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT

What are some unique qualities about your work style and talents that keep you high in demand as an interior designer?

Karen: Each interior design space should be unique and individualized to each client. I believe a space should promote peace and tranquility with the everyday functionality of the space in mind. It is very important to listen to the needs of my clients. As a professional interior designer, it’s my job to create a tailored  design by allowing it to be a beautiful reflection of my clients and the people that live there.

I don’t have one particular style that I like. I love to blend different styles. But I believe if I had to pick one it would be mid-century modern and bohemian. Mid-century pieces, because of their straight lines, bring that masculine energy to a space. Masculine energy represents power in a space, but balanc[ing] it with feminine energy brings softness and calmness to a space. One of my unique qualities is the use of different tones and textures. Different tones and textures bring depth and interest to a space. I also like to mix metals and different wood tones. What I like my clients to understand is that everything does not have to match, but should flow and complement each other well.

What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?

Karen: What I love most about what I do is designing living rooms and bedrooms. In fact, my signature service is living rooms, family rooms and bedrooms. Generally, living rooms are (near) the entrance to the home or the first space most people enter and it should be welcoming to the residents as well as guests. It should feel warm welcoming and inviting. It should be the space where “peace” greets you at the door, and where living takes place. A space where memories are made, bonding takes place, family and friends gather, fun and laughter are shared and a space to just relax and unwind from a long day. The living room should set the tone for all the other spaces in the house allowing everything to flow.

Bedrooms on the other hand are very personal and should truly be treated as your sanctuary. It should be the one space that is all about you. It should embody who you are as an individual and every element within that space should be reflective of you. It is the space where you can escape. I like to call it the foundation of the home’s interior design.

Every space in a home should flow and complement each other. This helps bring balance, cohesiveness and harmony to a home which results in “peace” — having a positive effect on your behavior, mood, emotions and attitude by enhancing mental clarity and the ability to focus better. Everything we need and desire in our lives starts at home, this is the beginning of improving our overall well-being. God desires that we should live in peace and He can use things within our home to give us that peace.

“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7 NLT

Please tell us the story about how Kreative Kreations by Karenna’s came about?

Karen: As I mentioned, in 2019 I began to redesign and decorate the spaces in my home and post them on social media. But I wanted to show others that you can have a high-end look in a space or those inspired spaces without breaking the bank.

As a result I had a few consultations, but it became surreal when I got that first client that hired me for a kitchen makeover. I planned to do makeovers as a side hustle just because I truly enjoyed doing it. Well fast-forward, God had a different plan! In 2020, due to the pandemic, I was let go from my job. I took on a few more redesign projects and the reaction of my clients was more than I expected. They began to express how they felt in their space after the makeover. It was at this point that God began speaking to me. This was the business He gave me, and as long as I was working for someone else I would put what He had given me second and He is [a] God that would never be second, so I needed to be removed from that job because He knew I wasn’t going to leave on my own.

In 2021, Kreative Kreations by Karenna’s came to fruition. The more projects I took on the more my clients would share with me how they felt after I was done. God began to show me more and more that it was more than just decorating, it was about changing the lives of the people that lived there and helping bring things in alignment. God showed me it was about creating a place of “peace”.

As the designer, I began to feel the difference in the atmosphere after the completion. I knew then this was my calling and my divine purpose of God! I begin to realize that this was bigger than decorating, God just used the gift of interior decorating as the vehicle to transform people’s lives and bring things in alignment within their home that was out of order. Kreative Kreations by Karenna’s was birthed from my very own testimony. My home is truly a “peaceful place”.

How has the journey been for you as a decorator and designer these last 15 years? Have there been any challenges?

Karen: For 15 years it was a hobby and I enjoyed decorating for family and friends. Everywhere I lived, it was important to me to make a house my home, still not knowing that it was God’s plan for my life.

Since launching my business, there have been many challenges in truly understanding this industry and the operations of the business. Obtaining new clients and learning how to get the business on the radar to attract clients while working on building relationships with vendors, contractors, and even other interior designers has its challenges being a new interior designer and [a] new business.

I continue to persevere regardless of what I face. Attending trade shows and continuing my education in the industry has been amazing and exciting, which has opened some doors for me and I have made some new connections. Every day I’m learning more and more about my business and the industry which has contributed to my growth and confidence as a designer expert over the last year.

 

 

What else would you like our readers to know about you?

Karen: I’m excited to announce [that the] “Peace At Home” program will launch on April 12, 2022. It is a 6-week program that will allow you to create peace at home. This program will help give you the desired look and feel in your home, [which] is going to promote creativity and productivity, help decrease stress and anxiety, and improve your overall well-being by improving [your] self-esteem and self-confidence. So it’s more than creating a beautiful space, but beginning to transform your life. The beginning of thriving and not just surviving. I want to help you live a life of peace and happiness, in this busy world. Go to createpeaceathome.com to enroll today.

Also, in July 2021 we launched our online home decor shop, Karenna’s Home Decor. We specialize in unique home decor items. Check us out at shop.karennasdesigns.com and receive 25% off a purchase in support of reading this article. Use discount code: Swag25

Any home decorating tips you could leave our readers for the fall season?

Karen:

  • Display things you love. Your home should be a reflection of you and your family. A reflection of your style, your tastes, your values, your priorities, your story.
  • Think of where you’re happiest, and bring elements of that place into your home.
  • We are seeing lots of curves, soft lines, and arcs in furniture to provide an environment of comfort and calm.
  • Use of cozy textiles for more comfort.
  • Seeing more designs with muted nature colors such as earthy greens to be paired with other nature-inspired colors like sky or ocean blues, warm browns, sandy beiges, soft whites, and soft grays promotes a restorative and calm feel.

Testimony:

Cheryl — Choosing colors for the exterior of my home proved to be more challenging than expected. I decided that I needed help, and I am so glad that I found Kreative Kreations by Karenna’s! Working with her has been an absolute relief and joy. She put my mind at ease in our initial conversation regarding what the color consultation involves and includes, asked great questions and listened! Then, the color boards she sent were just what we talked about; not only what I talked about, but what she envisioned based on our communication(s), and the style of my house. What she presented towards what I was seeing was really good…. but her vision was GREAT! This is by far one of the best experiences I have had, and will definitely request her services for upcoming projects!

Keep up to date:

Facebook: Kreative Kreations by Karenna’s or Karen Adams Larkin

IG: @kreativekreationsbykarennas

Tiktok: kreativekreationsbykaren

LinkedIn: Karen (Adams) Larkin

Photo Credit: Shaun Hope of May Alice Photography

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