Style Star

What I Wear to Work: Riley Interior Design’s Carrie Riley

Interior designer and former Bucs cheerleader Riley shares the secrets to her sophisticated style.

By Alicia King Robinson November 10, 2016

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Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Carrie has style in clothing and in design. And those who know the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader agree that she is as sweet as she is beautiful. Carrie reveals some interior design secrets and tells us about her home and one of her prized possessions.

WHO: Carrie Riley, 38, principal and owner of Riley Interior Design and a licensed professional interior designer

WHAT I DO: Riley Interior Design is a full-service interior design studio. We love being involved with projects from their initial design stages and working with the general contractor and architect to develop the desired spaces for our clients. At the end of the day, it's their residence, their facility or their project they are entrusting us with, and we want them to feel the pride each and every time they enter the space.

FAVORITE INTERIOR DESIGN STYLE: I tend to be drawn to a classic, sophisticated style with clean lines and a timeless feel with a fresh approach to what's trending without being trendy. We design for every style and genre, which is the true beauty of the interior design industry. You work with every facet of design. Every residence has its own flair, and we want to complement that.

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BEST INTERIOR DESIGN TIP: Don’t over-accessorize or clutter your home. Keeping it simple helps the focal pieces and design details stand out. Sometimes less is more. It's  similar to a woman wearing a beautiful outfit but overdoing it with too many distracting accessories. 

FAVORITE PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON: One of the most intriguing projects that we were involved in was the Orioles spring training facility. We worked on all the interior design for the Orioles’ owner suite, clubhouse, retail shop and cafe.

One of the more interesting residential projects we designed was inspired by the Cove Atlantis in the Bahamas. We flew to the luxurious hotels property to surround ourselves in its essence and style prior to creating the design. 

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WHERE DO YOU TURN FOR INSPIRATION? Everywhere! You can derive interior design inspiration from anything--a vacation, a city, a car’s design--literally anything. You can be grabbing a latte and something might just inspire you for a particular project. Online mood shots are a great resource for research, and I turn to magazines and Pinterest as well. But I’ve found that living and experimenting with the things you have on a daily basis can inspire you the most.

DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE: Tailored, classic and put-together. I dress according to what my day is like. All my outfits are thought through and I consider all my accessories based on my attire.

DO YOU HAVE A STYLE MANTRA? Always have one or two pieces that stand out. Not everything needs to scream at you. For example, if you’re wearing great heels, dial back on the accessories. Don’t overdo it on everything.

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HOW HAS YOUR STYLE EVOLVED? I’m not that boho-trendy girl. I try to stay more classic and purchase pieces that will stand the test of time. I also like to purchase pieces from small businesses and boutiques. I love being able to support my fellow female entrepreneurs like INfluence, PAINT Nail Bar and Marmalade Salon & Boutique.

FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Parker, Vince, Alexis, JBrand, lululemon, Chanel and Tom Ford for sunglasses and Louis Vuitton and Gucci for handbags.

MY GO-TO ITEMS: Tkees [flip flops] are always in my handbag. I also have an obsession with sunglasses. I match them based on my outfit, and one pair (sometimes two) are always on hand. When I travel, I typically take four or five pair.

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MOST PRIZED POSSESSION? I would say my Super Bowl ring from the 2002 World Championship in San Diego with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders. I was a cheerleader for the Buccaneers, and it was an experience not many people can say they were are part of. It is a large, heavy, very detailed gold ring designed by Tiffany's. It is the same size and scale of what the football players wear and is engraved with the score, year and my last name.

GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE? One year for my birthday, my company’s anniversary and Christmas, I purchased the Louis Vuitton artsy handbag and wallet in a Blanco ivory color. It was something I had always wanted to buy for myself.

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FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: My go-to stop for dresses, events and special nights out is INfluence on St. Armands Circle. They are always getting new pieces in, and they have a limited amount of each look. You don’t typically have to worry about someone else wearing the same outfit to the same event.

Depending on where we go, I might wear JBrand jeans, heels and a great off-the-shoulder top for a more casual dinner look.

Carrie is wearing a French Connection dress, Joe’s heels, Michael Kors watch, a gold side-cross necklace from Jennifer Zeuner (from INfluence), a Swarovski Crystal bracelet, classic gold hoop earrings, a thin Catbird ring (from INfluence), diamond ring by Bony Levy, a trillion-cut gold engagement ring, Chanel sunglasses, a Gucci handbag, OPI Bogota Blackberry nail polish and NARS satin lip pencil in Bansar.

Similar Styles | Dress: here or here | Heels: here or here | Watch: here | Rings: here and here |  Earrings: here | Nail polish: here | Lip pencil: here

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 A Florida native, Alicia King Robinson is the director of public relations at Sarasota-based ThreeSixOh Public Relations and the blogger behind New Version of You. Her love of fashion and eye for stylish living began at an early age. Meant to inspire, she explores fashion and the evolution and ever-changing versions of ourselves with style-inspired content.

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