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Carden Interiors


Carden Interiors

Emily Dean

1. Tell us a little bit about you!

I’m an Interior Decorator living in Washington D.C. with my husband and my sweet little boy who is a year-and-a-half. I live in the city and grew up in the country. Two different worlds, but I love them both for so many different reasons! I was homeschooled and grew up with five brothers (yep, only girl!). I also spent most of my life playing soccer and taking ballet classes which brought me some of my favorite memories.

2. What inspired you to begin decorating and move into interior design?

I remember, around the age of 13, being excited anytime my mom was updating a room in our house. I wanted to see what she was going to do with it and always had to input my vision for it. I was constantly changing the theme of my room (country chic to hawaiian paradise—not my finest moment), rearranging furniture, changing paint colors. I had always dreamed of helping others with their own spaces. It wasn’t until I had spent 1.5 years at a Christian private college studying Liberal Arts, that it finally just clicked—I should find a Design program.  I applied to different programs, some overseas. I got into some of them, but then not long after, met my future husband, got married and then we immediately started a family. So Interior Design was put on hold. It wasn’t until recently that my husband, friends, and family all were encouraging me to start a business on my own. And here I am!

3. Does your personal style change, or fluctuate according to your circumstances and time of life? How has it changed since marriage and motherhood?

Oh goodness. My husband is always commenting on how often my taste changes, but that’s really just because I’m always changing out furniture and accents. I definitely think it’s always getting better. I do a lot of research, look through a lot of books, read a lot of design magazines, spend hours on Pinterest. That all definitely affects it. I think that it’s maturing as I get older and I’m ok with that.

4. Do you have any tips for simplicity and style for moms and busy women in general? 

Less is more. Don’t over-decorate. Pick only your VERY favorite items and use them in your space. Advice I always love to give is if you are on a small budget, go neutral with your larger pieces, because it’s always more affordable to change out pillows or accent pieces than it is to change a couch or an area rug. Craigslist is your best friend!

5. What is your dream project, if you could be doing anything with your design what would that be?

I hope to someday be able to do a full remodel and design. To have someone give me complete freedom with their home. THAT would be amazing. 

6. Have you had any exciting opportunities already? Tell us about those.

I have an upcoming shoot with The Washingtonian for one of my bedrooms, and partnered with Minted for a really cool piece for the space, which I’m very excited about! Another one of my upcoming clients may be featured on The Every Girl or Glitter Guide, so you know I’m crossing my fingers for that one. I’ve been able to work with companies like Brit + Co, Rocksbox, Framebridge, etc. I’m constantly aware of God’s blessings in giving me so many exciting opportunities to grow this business and do what I love. I wouldn’t be in this position without Him.


7. As a young mom living in the city and just starting your own business, what advice would you give to new entrepreneurs? What's worked for you? What hasn't?

I wouldn’t be here without my husband, my sister-in-law (who designed my beautiful website!), and my friends. I’ve had so many people help me get started and they’ve all spent countless hours supporting me, giving advice, and pushing me when I wanted to give up. You need a support system to make it through, especially as a mom! It’s also pretty stressful to have to meet with clients and never know if your toddler is going to behave or not. Thankfully I’ve been blessed with fantastic clients that have told me to bring my son, and are always so patient. That doesn’t mean he won’t get into a dog’s water bowl, though. ←-this has happened numerous times.

8. What are three things you can't live without?

God, my family, my friends. Can it be that straight-forward? Relationships are my life. I would give up -everything- to keep my relationships. They’re what support me, encourage me, bring me joy, and show me love, every day.

9. Last question! What is the highlight of your day?

The morning time when I get to hang out on the couch and be lazy with my son while we watch Daniel Tiger, the mid-afternoon time where we wander this beautiful city and get a latte at my favorite coffee shop or wherever we can find caffeine to get us through the rest of the day, and the evening when my husband and I can relax together, baby-free, and catch up on one of our favorite show.