Debra Wittrup has been inspiring people with fun, do-able DIY projects for nearly 12 years. Recently she teamed up with a collaborative group of photographers, stylists, editors, and writers who are passionate about imaginative design to produce the Caruth Studio Blog. After years of creating commissioned content for print publications and websites, she’s focusing on what she enjoys most: fresh, attainable design and fun, affordable experiences to share with cherished companions. Wittrup is excited about her new blog-venture and AMMC was excited to take time to learn more about what makes her tick:
Please tell us a bit about your background and what led you to your inspiring Caruth Studio blog project?
I’ve been editing home and garden magazines and producing feature stories for over 12 years. I enjoy writing and producing stories that offer inspiration to people who want to create a custom look in their home and have fun while doing it. The blog is really an extension of the work I do on a daily basis that allows me to post about whatever interests or appeals to me at the time without the restrictions of a magazine/website mission or format.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m drawn to so many different styles that it’s hard to claim one as my own. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy what I do so much—I get to experiment with all of them. My home is decorated for comfort, relaxation, and company but it’s hard to label it as a style.
What inspires your style and your work? Where do you find inspiration for your projects, personal and professional?
I find inspiration everywhere—anything the eye lands on is grist for the mill. That’s why I find travel so beneficial. Each part of our country (and others) has its own culture, its own material and culinary specialties, it’s own traditions. That’s the kind of education and inspiration I soak up like a sponge.
You mention in a recent editor’s letter that you’re a wallpaper convert. What does that mean to you? How does your knowledge of wallpaper today differ from your perception of wallpaper past?
For starters, I’m no longer a skeptic. I’ve removed old wallpaper and it was a labor-intensive procedure that tainted my enthusiasm for using wallpaper even though I do love what gorgeous paper can do for a space. Having used the new easily-removable wallpapers when producing stories, I’m thrilled to find that they really do come off completely and easily.
In your opinion, what are three of your favorite, most impactful decorating ‘quick fixes’?
In the living room, adding color and pattern with pillows, throws, curtains, or a patterned lampshade
In the dining room, bringing in a bold geometric pattern area rug.
In the bedroom, luxurious and pretty linens on the bed. And making the bed every morning is essential to pulling that room’s look together.
We love your idea of giving the TV some OOMPH with a wallpaper background. What other
unexpected places might you suggest installing wallpaper?
Around a bed headboard, on the backs of bookshelves, over a fireplace mantel, in the eat-in area of a kitchen, as a frieze above high wainscoting in a dining room, on the drawer fronts of a plain dresser.
Is there a dream product, space or project you would love to have/complete in your home?
I would love to have room for a light and airy sunroom/greenhouse/potting shed where I could wait out the cold months of winter and early spring in contact with growing things, putter around, raise seedlings, and relax with a book on a tech-free evening.
If you were a wallpaper or textile pattern, what would it be (e.g. styized floral, oversized geometric, natural, damask, stripe, velvet flock, etc.)?
Stylized floral, without question. Florals are vibrant, gorgeous, and make me very happy.