Caro­line Boyd De­signs: Un­con­ven­tional ar­chi­tec­ture

GA Voice - - Metro Atlanta Living -

“It’s im­por­tant that I know how they want the house to feel. Do you want it to feel in­for­mal, rus­tic, or com­fort­able? It’s about find­ing the ef­fect you’re go­ing af­ter.”

By DAR­IAN AARON daaron@the­gavoice.com

If given a choice be­tween the mun­dane and un­con­ven­tional, trans­gen­der ar­chi­tect Caro­line Boyd will choose un­con­ven­tional ev­ery sin­gle time. As the CEO of Caro­line Boyd De­signs, a res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tec­ture firm ser­vic­ing metro At­lanta, north Ge­or­gia and the North Carolina moun­tains, her de­sign aes­thetic and ap­proach to new or re­mod­eled homes can­not be con­fined.

The phrase “Be True To Your­self” is placed promi­nently on the front page of her web­site and pro­vides po­ten­tial clients the first inkling that a Boyd de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence is not only rooted in form and func­tion­al­ity but also truth. She shows up to work armed with over two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence from two sep­a­rate firms—HLP Ar­chi­tects and Har­ri­son De­sign As­so­ci­ates—prior to launch­ing her own com­pany, a master’s de­gree in ar­chi­tec­ture from Ge­or­gia Tech and a re­cent tran­si­tion that has al­lowed her to flour­ish both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally.

Ge­or­gia Voice caught up with Boyd to learn more about the woman who can only be de­scribed as fear­less and un­con­ven­tional in her ap­proach to life and de­sign.

—Caro­line Boyd

Tell us about your ap­proach to de­sign­ing homes.

The main things that I do is try to match and sup­port the client’s life­style; make it a re­flec­tion of who they are. I like to get to know the client as well as I can in a short pe­riod of time. As far as my aes­thetic, it’s usu­ally what they ask for. And that can be a trap be­cause some­times words are lim­it­ing. If some­one says, ‘Oh, I like crafts­man style.’ Then all of a sud­den you’re handed a vo­cab­u­lary for cer­tain things that ev­ery crafts­man’s gotta have. I would love to do some [homes]

April 15, 2016

that are wildly dif­fer­ent and unique but I haven’t done that up un­til this point. I love a lot of things that are un­con­ven­tional but so far no one has asked for it. (Laughs)

You spe­cial­ize in new home de­sign as well as re­mod­els. Do you have a pref­er­ence?

They both have their ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. The re­model has the ad­van­tage that you know what you’re re­lat­ing to so you want to make it a com­po­si­tion that works— one that looks like it was al­ways there. With some­thing new, it’s kinda like step­ping out into a wide-open field and you can go in any di­rec­tion you want, which is great if you want some­thing that’s un­con­ven­tional. But on the other hand, you can spend a lot of time fig­ur­ing out the di­rec­tion be­cause every­thing is pos­si­ble.

Has your tran­si­tion pre­sented any chal­lenges in terms of deal­ing with old or new clients?

The clients have been re­ally good ac­tu­ally. There may have been some jobs that I didn’t get be­cause maybe they were a lit­tle ner­vous or some­thing. I’m get­ting closer and closer to be­ing pass­able as time goes on. Of course, ini­tially they may have been a lit­tle jarred. It’s been great. It’s been al­most no neg­a­tive re­ac­tion.

The de­ci­sion is very re­cent. It was the end of Au­gust 2013 when I started go­ing out dressed in pub­lic. Since then, I guess it was about two years ago when I first started work­ing as Caro­line. I’ve ac­tu­ally only been on hor­mones for a month. So I’m ac­tu­ally very new in my tran­si­tion.

Your cho­sen name is Caro­line. Does that name have any sig­nif­i­cance to you?

They don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to know too much be­cause I try to walk them through it. On my new web­site I’ll be show­ing un­con­ven­tional forms of ar­chi­tec­ture that I’m at­tracted to. The rea­son for me do­ing that is to ed­u­cate peo­ple. I don’t think peo­ple know some of the op­tions that are avail­able. It’s im­por­tant that I know how they want the house to feel. Do you want it to feel in­for­mal, rus­tic, or com­fort­able? It’s about find­ing the ef­fect you’re go­ing af­ter.

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