A self-claimed tree hugger from Colorado USA, Kari Whitman is an interior designer who puts the environment above all else, but that doesn’t mean she lets style fall by the wayside! Kari is so in-demand that she has gained the title of Designer to the Stars, designing the homes of Jessica Alba, Emelio Esteves, Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffiths, and the list goes on.
Yet for Kari, being a designer was a career that nearly never happened, with her first love actually being acting. “When I was a broke actress, my very successful actor friends would come over to my modest apartment to see what I had done in such a small space,” explains Kari. “They saw my potential and then started hitting me up to do big places in LA County, like Hollywood, Malibu etc.”
Since then, Kari’s never looked back, with her projects taking her all over the world, including this month, Australia, where she will be headlining the International Seminar Series at Decor + Design and Furnitex in Melbourne. “I will be discussing the process of green design, star clients, and pet-friendly collaborations,” says Kari. “I will be giving everyone my secrets for making green, earth-friendly design tangible for any style and I will also be sharing my experience and findings for creative, innovative products, art and expressionism through design!”
Kari isn’t afraid of stepping outside of the box, believing green design can fit any style. “We do tons of different things to make our designs eco-friendly and creative. From old blue jeans used as insulation to existing furniture being completely stripped down, reformed and modernised, all the way to adding a rescue pet at the end for an overall “good vibe” in the home!”
As an animal lover as well, Kari has a great interest in pet-friendly design, leading her to start her own eco-friendly dog bed company greenerpup.com. “Animals should always be a part of the family and sleeping inside with their owners. I also believe in having beautiful dog beds with covers that match the room. It will always make your doggy or kitty’s sleeping area vibe with the space.”
With a style that is very eclectic, funky and fun-yet-elegant, Kari’s work life isn’t just meeting with celebs and playing with pets! “An average day for me is work, work, work,” says Kari. “Constantly dealing with installations, clients and products. I’m also actively creating my paint mixing kit Wall Makeup and my furniture line. Because my clients are all over the world, I’m on a plane more than I’m at home.”
Decor + Design and Furnitex will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from next Thursday 10 July to Sunday 13 July. For the seminar schedule and to purchase tickets to hear Kari speak, visit Decor + Design here.