Style Files: Katie Crider

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Photograph by Richard Leo Johnson

Katie Crider spent the last decade climbing the ranks of the acclaimed design firm Dorothy Draper & Company. Today, she’s the director of product development of Carleton V. Ltd., the brand’s textile design branch that specializes in original printed and woven fabrics. Three years ago, the Savannah native left the glitz of New York and started working remotely from the Hostess City, where her personal style flourishes in her own home, as well as the homes of family and friends. And despite having clients all over the world, Crider says it’s the small projects close to home that make her happiest. “It’s so satisfying to go to a friend’s house, see the wallpaper I suggested for their powder room, and see that they’re loving it,” she says. Here, Crider dishes on all things interior design.

What inspired you to be a designer? I went to St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, and I had a really good art teacher who is still there, Carmela Aliffi. I went to the University of Georgia as a science major initially, then decided at the last minute to change my major to interior design. 

From science to interior design — that’s a big jump! Well, it’s so scary to choose a creative career. You really have to think, “How can I survive on this?” That’s why I made a specific decision to go with interior design because [UGA] had a great textiles program, and I loved the nerdy science aspect of looking at fibers under a microscope or picking out certain fibers for a woven fabric.

What brought you back to Savannah? I figured since I work with clients from all around the world, I don’t need to be in New York anymore, and I was getting a little bit exhausted being there. Technology has changed the industry so much. Sometimes there are visits to mills, but mostly I can do it from home and travel when I need to. 

Does your work with Carleton V. influence your personal design style? I’m a sucker for pink — I guess it’s the whole Dorothy Draper designer in me that won’t let go. Everyone who knows me knows that I will always try to add some pink in there! But my home downtown is a little quieter than the Dorothy Draper brand, too. It has these beautiful original brick fireplaces and neutral walls. Because I work from home, I need a little bit of visual peace.

What’s one interior design trend you wish would leave already? I used to have a whole secret Instagram account dedicated to making fun of trends I disliked. I’ll probably get in trouble for even having an opinion, because I’m supposed to be pleasing the masses, but the white subway tile in the kitchen? We’ve got to stop that. 

Any trends making a comeback?  I like how people are less afraid to paint wood. At my parent’s house on Isle of Hope, I’ve convinced them to paint their built-ins and their sunroom this acid green that looks amazing with the marsh. And I’m so proud of them that they weren’t scared to do it!