Carol Williamson, president of Carol Williamson + Associates Interior Design established her company in 1984 in Portland Oregon. Prior to her own business, she worked as head of the interior department for an architectural firm. Initially she worked strictly in commercial design. However, over time various clients asked her to work on their residences and from there it led to the design of their yachts. She has completed many yachts for American builders such as Christensen and Trinity Yachts, but has also worked with European builders such as Benetti. Some of her designs include the 190-foot (58.2m) Trinity Carpe Diem and several Christensens such as James Bond-themed 161-foot (49-meter) Casino Royal as well as the 2017-launched Christensen Silver Lining.
What is your favorite part of your job? Why?
I get to create spaces for clients everyday that are a reflection of them…of how they love to live. It is gratifying to see clients react to each project when they see everything come together at an installation. What an amazing thing to get to create beauty each day.
Who has influenced you the most? Why?
My Father. He was an artist. I feel very lucky that he taught me from a very early age to see the beauty in light and shadow. To be present in the space I inhabit whether I am inside or in the out of doors. He talked about the textures and the nuances of light and color through out my life. It has been a huge influence on the color palettes I create and the depth of materials I use to develop a rich layering of textures and patterns in the spaces I design.
What is the most effective daily habit you possess? Why?
Keeping my sense of humor. It is a wonderful way to keep each day and all that comes with it in perspective.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am inspired by everything. There is so much beauty in this world we inhabit. What I see and experience each day finds its way into my design work.
If you could choose one location for your next travel adventure, where would you go and why?
Croatia. One of the Senior Designers at CW+A is from Croatia. The pictures and her stories of the land and the sea are amazing. It is a truly beautiful place on Earth.
How do you manage balance in your life?
I try to remember that work is only a part of my life. That taking time away from the intensity of the creative atmosphere I inhabit each day allows me to come back to my projects with a fresh more open frame of mind. I have always found that creative thought flourishes when one is in a more calm and happy place.
Where are you the happiest? Why?
Sun Valley. I grew up in Idaho. When I visit there it is as if my soul is at home. I find great peace in the mountains and rivers, the scent of the air and the sound of quaking Aspens.
What does it mean to you to be an ISS judge?
I am very honored to have been asked to be a judge. This is a very specialized industry and there are many very dedicated and talented individuals that are passionate about creating these beautiful yachts.