Born in New York, but as far as Carleen is concerned, she is Denver bread. Carleen moved to Denver when she was just 6 months old. Carleen’s family is from Romania, which means they are super close and share their loving culture over many generations.

Carleen always considered herself a more artistic person. “Growing up I modeled, so after college I spent a few years traveling and that opened me up to the world of design.” Beyond fashion, Carleen was able to see some amazing places. Living in modeling agency housing aka model homes, she was always finding ways to spruce up her space on a budget knowing she wouldn’t be there for extended periods of time.

Carleen started The Model Home about a year ago after being a successful home stager. The perfect segway. The Model Home specializes in Airbnb properties. Taking a smaller budget and an often less picky customer, she gets to use her knowledge, creativity and passion to turn a home into a business. “When someone lives in a home, they have more specific requirements to meet, Airbnb owners are a bit more flexible and let you truly execute your vision.”

Let’s talk style. “You have to take the architecture into consideration. If it is a more traditional home, you’re not going to use completely contemporary furnishings. With Airbnb properties, I tend towards more modern or quirky styles and with the right eye, it can be fun to mix new and vintage looking pieces. Right now mid-century modern is the go-to style, it’s fun to experiment with ways to make it feel different and unique, adding some vintage flair is a great way to do that.” 

During an interior design class Carleen was in, the instructor said “have a conversation with the room” focus on architectural style. Is there something you want to hide or exaggerate?

What’s that? You don’t have an Airbnb, but want to hire Carleen? Read this, fellas.

“My style is a little more masculine. Men tend to be a little easier as a client because they don’t always know what they want and it’s helpful for them to have someone with to direct them and help create a space love. Most guys assume they don’t want or need good design but once they have it, they wonder how they could live the way they were living before! Even into their 40s, men live like they did in college unless someone intervenes.” Have you ever heard of a mandle? It’s a more masculine scented candle, like cologne. A scent a man wouldn’t be embarrassed burning.

We asked Carleen, what is one small thing people can do to improve the look of their home today?

Carleen: Men, HIRE SOMEONE. Airbnb, should have personality. It should reflect the neighborhood or city. It should be charming, cozy, quirky and provide an experience. Everyone else, hardware and lighting. Knobs and pulls are a great way to improve your look, as well as new, affordable lighting options. Both options are easy updates that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Carleen is motivated by the end product she creates. “Seeing what you start with and  then what it transforms into is very rewarding.” The Model Home is budget friendly because they believe good design doesn’t have to break the bank.

Sarah Clark1 Comment