Debi Carson: Art installation at Ogier

Doing it for the Kids – Artists’ Corner: Debi Carson

Photography by Richard Schoonover

Debi Carson—a name that to many residents, needs little introduction—is the bearer of many hats.

Working in the interior design industry for over 20 years, she balances her artistic career with her successful family businesses CharterPort BVI, Southern Trades Yacht Sales and the popular Cane Garden Bay Surfboard Co. Visitors and residents will likely have seen the fruits of her creativity, whether exhibited in her interior design projects or distinctive art pieces.

Encouraged in her academic life by art and history studies, she combines her skill in interior design and artistic flare—the two facets of her business Debi Carson—to create spaces for a wide and varied client base: the commercial client, hotelier, retail and residential, the young and young at heart, and the yachtsman.

With a bachelor’s degree in interior design and an NCIDQ Certification (National Council for Interior Design Qualification), she utilises her abilities to exceed the surface decoration of rooms, delving into the intricate study required to meet the project expectations. Debi explained, “Interior design involves research and knowledge of the user of the space to provide solutions best suited.” Working on the development of the space based on the occupants’ needs, a collaborative vision is conceived.

Customising her interior designs with materials to operate in balance with the elements found in the BVI’s tropical climate, the experienced designer gains a full understanding of the projects she assumes. Subsequently, Debi attempts to inspire her clients with innovative perspectives, empathising with their requests, exploring the aesthetics and physics of the room, and if arriving sufficiently early in the construction procedure, collaborating with the project team of architects or contractors involved in the construction process.

Debi Carson Design: s/y Fantasy Island 58’ Catamaran guest cabin aboard

“[For a kitchen] I will ask: what is it in that room that makes it unique to you? What is your preferred style of cooking? Do you like to bake? Is it somewhere where two people cook at one time? Or is it just a one man kitchen? Do you have an extensive wine collection that needs to be housed?” she said with regard to her initial analytics of an assignment. “…it is vital to work with the client to assess and identify specifics for each space.” When asked how design solutions vary for those aboard a yacht, Debi said, “My experience around the boats allows me to guide clients to products most suited for the corrosive marine environment with an understanding of the limitations of space.”

In essence, Debi is able to help clients define their project and aesthetic vision to make their house or yacht a home and avoid mistakes. “It’s important to think how you will move in a space and function, for example thinking through the electrical switching so that you don’t have to cross a dark room to turn on lights…or backtrack upon exiting a room.”

Using her art to enhance her interior design, Debi’s training in mechanical drawing and watercolour rendering ranges through wax, oil, pastels and pencil drawings. Equally, her canvasses cover a broad spectrum: “I’ve painted on objects, surfboards, furniture, tapestry, on soft goods, and produced murals…” she explained. “Because I am an interior designer, when painting commissions, I look to respect the space, the scale and energy level of the use of the space. In the paintings at Solé Spa, I wanted to implement [a] restful and peaceful state of mind, and implemented the tones of our Caribbean Sea and the horizon lines we often view.”

Debi Carson: Acrylic on canvas installation at Sole’ Spa

Her art installations include BVI companies Ogier, KRyS Global, the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA), Conyers Dill and Pearman, Deloitte, and the popular lunch location Village Cay Deli.

Debi induces stimulation from a variety of influences, meaning her art varies from abstract and landscape to nature, caricature and realism. Expression of colour and the emotions provoked by the range of shades is a huge factor in her productions.

Consistently seeking ways to expand her craft, for 2013 and progressing into 2014, the artist is raising awareness that she not only can design for the serious solutions of adults, but also those for the younger generation.

Debi Carson Design: Aimee and Joshua’s new room complete with a little chalkboard area on the wall for creating art

“I’m not only here as a resource for commercial work, hospitality [and] residential…” she said in relation to her newest motion toward children’s rooms, “An aspect of challenge in our local area…for design solution here in our community is for the kids.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to collaborate with young creativity to incorporate ideas and bring their spaces to life,” Debi continued. “It’s so rewarding to see their smiles and enthusiasm for change. I have a series of peel-able wall stickers from Pop and Lolli that I stock and have been implementing in children’s spaces. They are made from fabric and vinyl, stand life-size, and kids can be interactive with them. The characters have accessories or can be educationally supplemented with numbers and letters.”

Debi Carson Design: A little lion painting that was a special request for Joshua, and the little bird on the tail to tie into the bird theme on his sisters bedding

Discussing her research into this market, she said: “In other regions, there is a multitude of retail and supply geared to a younger market that is definitely akin to the whimsy spirit, just not as readily available for us. I thought it would be something good to offer as another service that maybe people haven’t realised.

Debi Carson Design: ShyAnn putting on some glasses on the character Wendy

In reviewing recent projects, Debi described: “One little girl started with a room that had no sense of her bright and colourful personality and ended up with art and painting on the walls, a loft bed for her to cosy up beneath with a book and some little twinkle lights, which have become her favourite thing.”

Similar to her modus operandi in all her projects, she preserves the concept of making the room she’s designing belong to the individual – in this case, the children. “You want to take the time to make their room, a spot that makes them feel like it’s theirs – a safe haven and a place to nurture their imagination,” she said, paralleling the ethos that has made her business prosper.

Pop & lolli wall decals and artwork painted by Aimee and Joshua

Debi intends to continue this direction and is optimistic her success in this area will expand this market in the BVI.

[box]Debi Carson NCIDQ 017742–
Sr. Interior Designer – Fine Artist–
Phone: 284.494.5423 Cell: 284.541.0505–
The Christopher Building , Road Town, Tortola BVI, VG 1110–
email: [email protected][/box]

Below: Examples of Debi Carson’s innovative art and interior design projects 

[nggallery id=53]