The very best interior designers embody a lifestyle, one that is instantly recognizable the second one walks into a room they’ve created. For San Francisco native Caitlin Wilson, that style is posh but not too precious, full of lively prints, pastel colors, and classic furnishings.
Having relocated her family and business to Dallas from Portland, Oregon earlier this year, Wilson found the ideal place to display her girlie aesthetic in her new Henderson Avenue shop. Part office, part boutique, and part showroom, the 4,200-square-foot space offers everything from last-minute giftables to full vignettes of bedroom, living room, study, and dining room.
Wilson began her career in 2007 after taking an intensive course in design at Parsons in New York City. Passionate about color and pattern, she built her business on the back of her successful blog while getting her feet wet working for other designers. A fortuitous encounter in a shop she was working at led her to her first interior client.
“Someone came into the store and asked, ‘Who did the displays?’ and it was me,” she recalls. “It’s funny the way my life has turned out because I do both of those things. I do design, but I always loved the retail side and wanted to have a store.”
Wilson made a successful foray into e-commerce in 2011 and opened her first brick-and-mortar shop in her hometown in 2016. In search of a larger location she could use for both her interior business and sales, she looked for “a place that we could style and install wallpapers and create these rooms.”
Having visited Dallas in January, she felt the city was a perfect fit. Her online sales were strong in Dallas, and Wilson’s traditional-with-a-twist look worked well with the way local women choose to decorate.
“I feel like our customer here is a little bit fancier and more fun," she says. "She likes pattern and to make a statement and to be different, all those things of what my brand is. Women here take pride in how they look and how their home looks. She’s an experienced shopper — she knows what she likes and isn’t afraid to show it.”
Clients can pop in to Caitlin Wilson for a room refresh, full home design, or just to pick up a scented candle or bouquet of fresh flowers. Wilson offers everything from lively wallpaper to greeting cards, and her prices are surprisingly affordable for such luxe designs. Signature patterned pillows introduced in three to five seasonal colorways retail from $75 to $90. Settees range from about $800 to $4,000, and a hand-knotted 9x12-foot Persian rug retails for $2,950.
“I wanted it to be an experience when you come in the store,” Wilson says of the mix. “It’s always fun to find something cute and unique. I feel like because I’ve lived overseas and all over the U.S. I have a broad range of tastes, but at the end of the day it all comes together in a cohesive and strong way.”
With four children (her youngest is only 8 weeks old), a burgeoning business, and exciting collaborations in the pipeline, the sky would seem to be the limit for this ambitious designer. Her merchandiser-husband, Brigham, recently came on to handle the business side of things so that his designer-wife can focus on growing sales from her colorful new headquarters.
“I’ve got a really good team, so we’re in a good groove,” Wilson says. “I can’t believe I have a business and my husband works with me. I still pinch myself, but at the same time my motto’s always been ‘Make it happen.’ I feel like every year there’s something new we add on.”
Caitlin Wilson is open Monday through Friday, 10am-6pm, and Saturday, 11am-6pm, at 2923 North Henderson Ave.