Carrie Quinn has always been intrigued with the idea of transformation. When she was a little girl, she was mesmerized by the magic machine on her favorite television show, Hobo Kelly. “She placed large pieces of ‘junk’ into the machine, turned the crank several times, and whoosh—toys would come rushing out of the chute for kids lucky enough to have their names drawn from a basket,” Carrie remembers. “The junk had been transformed into toys—it was magic!”
After school, Carrie would rush home to an arts and crafts book that she used to make all kinds of treasures. Recently she was helping organize some drawers in her mom’s home and found the napkin holders she made all those years ago from toilet paper rolls, scraps of fabric and white glue. “I was blessed with a mom who always encouraged my creative endeavors,” Carrie beams.
Learning the Trade
In high school, Carrie took an interior design class and fell in love with the work. She was assigned a project to redesign her bedroom, and her supportive mother agreed to let her rearrange the furniture and even pick out some wallpaper.
After high school graduation, Carrie attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. At the same time, her parents were building a French-style home in Palos Verdes. She worked with her mother’s interior designer, learning the ropes and gaining invaluable hands-on experience.
Carrie founded her interior design company, Maison Luxe, in 2007. Her original location was in Manhattan Beach, but when the building changed owners, she relocated to a charming historic building on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach.
A Cool Vibe
“When we moved to the new location, I was told by a few locals that one of the building’s original owners was a member of the Beach Boys—and that Jim Morrison used to practice in the very spot where my desk sits now,” she says.
Carrie remembers shopping in the building when it was the eclectic Either/Or Bookstore—filled with New Age books and incense and cats sunning themselves in the windows. Next the space became Re:Style, carrying alternative streetwear. “I remember taking my son shopping there,” she says. “The display window showcased different styles of Doc Martens boots.”
“Our clients’ most personal spaces are upgraded and uplifted! It’s kind of like magic.”
She transformed the space so it reflected her vibe as Maison Luxe—bringing in antique vintage doors from Europe to separate her design office from the retail space, and keeping the original wood floors. The view of the surf from outside the shop adds to the charm.
“Sometimes I sit at my desk and smile, knowing that where the cats once sat in the window—and then the Doc Martens—now there sits a beautiful bed with a blush-colored duvet and vintage pillows made from antique rugs,” Carrie smiles. “So many people who enter our shop comment on the good energy of the place. I wonder if it is this old building itself—which has housed so many creative endeavors, musicians, entrepreneurs and small businesses—that gives a warmth and comfort to all that enter.”
Carrie spreads that coziness to her clients’ homes as she works with them to match design plans to their tastes, lifestyles, budgets, kids, paint colors, furniture plans and timing. “We take all that info and all our years of experience and drop it into our ‘magic design machine’ to produce a cohesive design that is tailor-made for each client.”
Carrie and her team find the collaboration with their clients so rewarding. Watching the transformation that takes place on installation day is the best part of the job. “Our clients’ most personal spaces are upgraded and uplifted! It’s kind of like magic.”
When making significant changes to a client’s home, Carrie emphasizes attention to detail and follow-through so the client knows that each phase of the project is being handled properly. She also offers “quick refresh” projects, where the design team brings merchandise from the store and other retail outlets and transforms a client’s room in one day.
In addition to her store on Pier Avenue—which carries a fabric library, furniture, candles and gifts—Maison Luxe also features a website that is frequently updated with curated collections of Carrie’s favorite items. She offers Zoom consultations and works remotely with customers who live out of state.
Owning a retail store for 14 years and an interior design business for 21 years has taught Carrie a lot, and she loves to pass along the tricks of the trade. She encourages clients to be mindful of what they want to be surrounded by in their home environment, and she helps them add those extra comforts.
Change can be challenging and full of uncertainty—especially in the world we live in today. But in Carrie’s opinion, despite the ups and downs, transformation of the spaces you hold dear is always worth the challenge.