“Anytime I see something that’s a little bit funky and off, I’m instantly drawn to it!” proclaims Caroline Rafferty. It’s just about the last thing you’d expect to hear from a designer based in Palm Beach—a place synonymous with buttoned-up, pastel interiors—but if Rafferty has any say in the situation, that won’t be the case for much longer.
Originally from Palm Beach, Rafferty spent most of her childhood in Michigan. She moved to New York City to study art history, then worked in real-estate development (her family is in the business) before starting a fabric-and-furniture line with a friend. In 2012, Rafferty and her husband decided to return to Florida. “It was the coldest winter in New York, so there wasn’t much cajoling involved,” she laughs. Once settled, she launched , focusing on idiosyncratic interiors. “There are so many amazing traditional designers here who I respect,” Rafferty says. “But if you want eclectic and colorful, there aren’t a lot of other people doing it.”
It’s that ability to mix masterfully—think midcentury furniture with heirloom antiques and modern art—that’s made her a local design celebrity. “I love throwing whimsical pieces into every home,” she says. “It’s always a good idea not to take things too seriously.”
Rafferty is now parlaying that sentiment into her own retail shop, , which she opened earlier this year with her similarly design-minded mother. Born out of her frustration with not being able to easily source her favorite items after leaving New York, Rafferty's store carries vintage pieces, hard-to-find brands (Nicholas Newcomb, Editions Milano), and independent textile lines. One more reason to shop there: They donate part of their proceeds to different nonprofits throughout the year.
Come back every Wednesday to get even more inspo and ideas from Caroline, as part of our Next Wave Wednesdays column!
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