Light & Bright Carlsbad Home and Interview with Olive + Oak Interiors

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story: Interior Design: Olive + Oak Interiors · Photography: Vanessa Lentine

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The best part about what we do here at HAVEN, is building a community, hands down. That’s why you’ll rarely hear us using the word ‘followers’. Because whether you’re here as a creative serving up inspiration, or if you’re here to soak in said inspiration, the beautiful part is when we all support one another and cheer each other on.

Today’s feature is a product of that, thanks to the lovely introduction to Hope Clark of Olive + Oak Interiors by our friend Anastasia at The Identité Collective. My first thought was, how in the word had we not come across Hope’s work before? By the looks of today’s tour, I think you’ll agree that it’s stunning. But beyond that, she runs a business that is centered around promoting holistic wellness and sustainability and her passion for what she does is truly contagious. Grab your morning cup and dive into our beautiful interview with Hope below!

Tell us a bit about your story. What was your journey to becoming an interior designer and how did Olive + Oak Interiors come to life?

My name is Hope Clark and my love of design started early. As a kid I can remember saving my Chuck-E-Cheese tickets for anything I could decorate my room with, and moving my furniture around despite my mother’s protests. I was also raised around the residential design process and staged homes as my father has his own Landscape Architecture practice, and my step mother was a realtor.

Olive + Oak Interiors was born out of years of working in design, eating it up and breathing it in, and realizing there was a hole in options for clients. I couldn’t find a firm that was centered around promoting holistic wellness and sustainability, so I created it!

If you had to describe your design style like a cocktail, what would it be?

A mojito – light, refreshing and a modern classic

Can you tell us a bit about this project we’re featuring today? What was the inspiration behind this design?

Happily! Our Robertson project was a new construction home in Carlsbad. The inspiration behind this project was really the client’s fresh start in Southern California, after moving here from Seattle. We wanted the space to be as light and bright as possible, in contrast to the client’s cloudy Pacific Northwest roots, as well as play with the indoor-outdoor lifestyle they were craving. We had so much fun consulting on all of the details during construction, making sure all of the selections worked in harmony. It’s really easy to go too white in a white kitchen, so we added in a beautiful marble backsplash to add interest and some timeless character, and the La Cantina window was a must!

What does your design process look like and what are your main priorities when beginning a new project?

The beginning of the design process typically starts with a Design Consultation. This is a two-hour, in-person consult where we walk the home, listen to what the client is wanting, take photos and measurements and sit down and discuss function, aesthetics, budget, lifestyle and timeline. We really prioritize getting to know what makes them unique and have several tools (surveys / questionnaires) that delve into the details. After the consultation we put together a Proposal, and after we get the details approved we dive into to creating the design!

How do you approach design in your own home when you do it for others on the daily?

My approach to designing our home was similar to how I design for clients, and I feel going through that process has really helped me create better strategy for our clients. For instance, though I think it’s important to have your holistic design mapped out (both for peace of mind and to avoid wasting money on the wrong items), I also absolutely understand not being able to enact the entire plan in one phase, and wanting to make the most of your investment (we couldn’t do it all at once!). I also approach a space at a time, because that sense of completion feels so much better than having all your spaces at 75% done. I also feel that energy (mental and financial energy, as well as your time) are all precious, so try I focus on maximizing for greatest return on investment across the board, because that’s the most satisfying!

For someone on the fence about hiring a designer, what would you tell them?

Hiring a designer is an investment, but essentially it’s insurance on a few levels. The more selections you’re going to have to make, the more likely the process is to make you want to pull your hair out, but also the more likely something you choose is going to be incorrect – either for the aesthetic balance of the space, or the functionality you’re hoping to have.

Think about even something as simple as your décor. Maybe you’ve bought a few things you liked here and there but they don’t make your space feel finished like you’d hoped? Or worse, maybe you bought something big and realized it doesn’t fit or function, or it’s really hard to design around.

Hiring a designer means you’ll get that wonderful, finished feeling, and you can leave the balancing act to someone with training, experience and extensive sources, all while avoiding wasting money or time on the something you regret.

What timeless design elements are you currently loving or looking forward to using in upcoming projects?

I’m not much of a ‘trend’ follower, in fact I always try to design for timelessness. In terms of current elements I’m loving – I do love the resurgence I’ve been noticing in more storied pieces. I love using items that feel European or are full of character to balance out newer finishes and furniture, that balance always feels curated and elevated to me!

What challenges did you encounter in your first year of business?

Learning more of the business side! I love my work and working with clients, and am really well versed in everything it takes to create and execute designs, but learning about SEO and LLC vs sole proprietorship, etc. was a bit of a curve.

What does a beautiful home mean to you and what is your number one tip for crafting a space you’ll love for years to come?

A beautiful home is a feeling to me. It’s the same feeling you get when you take the time to look up at sunlight through tree branches, or slow down during your cup of coffee. It’s about contentment and bliss, and I think that feeling is really personal. As such, my number one recommendation for creating a space that you’d love for years to come would be to really find out what you love – not what’s trending, but what makes you feel like slowing down and letting out a big sigh of blissful contentment – and then be really consistent and disciplined in creating that feeling in your space.

“A beautiful home is a feeling to me. It’s the same feeling you get when you take the time to look up at sunlight through tree branches, or slow down during your cup of coffee.”


If you could go to lunch with any boss babe (or gent), who would it be?

Shea McGee. I’ve met her a couple of times briefly and she is the epitome of what I hope to be in life and in business – she is kind and down-to-earth, as well as loves what she does and you can sense that excitement.

Instagram accounts you’re currently crushing on:

I love @_harlowejames, @thimbleandcloth and @kate_zim_turpin

Current favorite book and/or podcast:

The Business of Design and A Well Designed Business – can’t stop myself from binging those!

3 apps you can’t live without:

Meditation Timer, Reminders and Camera!

Favorite beats usually playing in the studio:

I love jamming to other creative’s playlists, so whenever an artist or person I like shares their Spotify I hop on that train. Recently have been listening to ones by @_harlowejames, @meredithmejerle and @jennikayne

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