Cary Ray is a highly sought after interior designer living in Highland Village. She is running her expanding business while also being a wife to photographer husband, Ryan, and mom to two boys, River and Rocky. Cary’s designs are marked with an elevated and approachable feel that she achieves by strategically using handmade items and vintage pieces that tell a story.
Our team often references her work as a source of inspiration so we were honored to get her perspective on design and hear which Sparrow & Co products she really loves.
Sparrow: You seem like such a natural when it comes to having a design eye and your specific style. How did you get into interior design?
Cary Ray: It was nowhere on my radar until we bought our first home, which I know happens to a lot of people who end up in design. I figured out that I really enjoyed it, and as more people inquired about help for their own homes, it just naturally transpired into a business!
Sparrow: How do you describe your design aesthetic?
Cary Ray: I really love that as a creative I'm always learning and evolving, and when clients trust me to try new things. I always aim for a classic foundation that feels lived in and comfortable and have an affinity for found objects and vintage furnishings to keep things unique and interesting.
Sparrow: Are there any decor elements you find yourself continually drawn to?
Cary Ray: I'm always attracted to anything handmade. Pottery, dishware, art, or textiles that have been hand-blocked or hand-stitched.
Sparrow: You’re a mom of 2 adorable boys, so we have to know, how do you incorporate style while still having kids at home?
Cary Ray: A lot of people think you have to put all the cool things away when you have kids. While I think that can definitely be true for some things, there are great ways to incorporate interesting and beautiful items that you don't need to worry about getting destroyed. Large baskets to throw less appealing toys into, wooden bowls for those found little rock collections or seashells from a vacation. There are definitely ways to keep things interesting without worrying about little hands.
Sparrow: We’d love to know where you find inspiration!
Cary Ray: Makers and artisans, travel, architecture. I also look through and study a lot of those beautiful coffee table books. They're an education aside from just being pretty.
Sparrow: Any favorite design tips you can share with us?
Cary Ray: Sourcing and adding vintage into spaces will always infuse personality and soul. Going to Goodwill, estate and garage sales, online sources like eBay and Etsy can be treasure troves. Find what resonates with you and what you enjoy and do that. Don't take yourself too seriously that it's not fun anymore because you're worried it doesn't look like something you saw somewhere. Enjoy the process of finding what you love and building your own story.
Sparrow: Do you have a favorite room in a house to design?
Cary Ray: I really enjoy kitchens and living rooms. Being the heartbeat of the home, I really love to make a big impact in these spaces the most.
Sparrow: From following your work, we know the end product is always beautiful. But we also know it takes a ton of work to get there. What’s your favorite part of your job?
Cary Ray: Figuring out what the client loves and watching spaces evolve. The idea of someone getting to use and really enjoy a space I had a hand in creating is everything. I really believe your environment deeply impacts the way you feel, and if I can help make it better, that is the greatest reward of this job.