Five Questions for: Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry of Pulp Design Studios

pulp design studios carolina v. gentry beth dotolo
Beth Dotolo (left) and Carolina V. Gentry (right) of Pulp Design Studios. Photograph courtesy Pulp Design Studios.

“THE BEST DESIGN COMES FROM A SOLUTION TO A SPECIFIC PROBLEM, NOT A COOKIE-CUTTER STYLE,” says Beth Dotolo, who along with business partner Carolina V. Gentry, founded the Dallas- and Seattle-based full-service interior design and home furnishings company Pulp Design Studios in 2007. Over the last decade, Pulp has been busy creating bold and unexpected—yet entirely livable—spaces for its residential and commercial clients as well as signature products such as a globally influenced accessories line, The Kismet Collection, and a chic, pattern-rich textile line with S. Harris/Fabricut. Last fall, the firm announced its move into the Los Angeles market, opening its third office, by appointment only.  

See below for more on what Dotolo and Gentry are excited about in 2019 and why the duo thinks LA is the perfect fit for Pulp.

kizmet collection pulp design studios carolina v. gentry beth dotolo
Photograph courtesy Pulp Design Studios.

Why did Pulp Design Studios decide to open an office in Los Angeles?

BD: We had one of our longtime senior designers make a move there for her husband’s job and we figured that since our company is built around the culture and personalities, why not support them in their move and bring our aesthetic to LA? After all, that’s how Pulp ended up migrating from Dallas to Seattle, and it’s been one of the best things for our company.

CVG: Los Angeles is also such a hip and vibrant community! We love the “California cool” vibe, and it meshes well with our aesthetic, too. We love modern, casual design that has a sense of adventure and moments that are unexpected. It’s a perfect fit for us, really.

What’s the most thrilling project you’ve worked on in the past year?

BD: We’ve had amazing clients, but for us personally it was realizing our dream of having a licensed textile line with S.Harris/Fabricut. Carolina and I have created our own products before, but to have a larger-scale licensed line was amazing. We loved the creative aspect of working through what we wanted the fabrics to look and feel like, and we’re really proud of how the entire collection turned out. Now we’re on to other product lines.

CVG: I agree! As for projects, the one that’s been the most thrilling is a project on Lake Washington in Seattle. It’s one of the largest homes we’ve ever done on the West Coast and we also were able to use a lot of our new fabric collection. It’s been challenging in a good way, and we can’t wait to have it completed and photographed.

Photograph by Stephen Karlisch.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

BD: From travel and from our clients. We really try to design with blinders and be inspired by our experiences both inside the home and out of the home. Most of our design inspiration comes from the problems that need to be solved for our clients. The best design comes from a solution to a specific problem, not a cookie-cutter style.

CVG: I’m so inspired by color and by travel. My mother is from Mexico, so I do love pops of color and great patterns in textiles. We also like to create custom designs for our clients—things that their neighbors and friends don’t have. And we’re always on the lookout for unique and unexpected pieces as we travel.  

Describe your typical morning routine.

BD: I wake up and sit down to work on the @pulpdesigns Instagram while my husband brings me a cup of coffee and I snuggle with our kids before they eat breakfast. Then we all break to get started for the day and once everyone is out the door, I head into the Seattle studio to see what the day holds. No day is ever the same at Pulp!

CVG: I make my bed! Your day can’t start until you have a beautifully made bed. I also take care of my little Frenchie fur-baby Luna. I love spending time with her and my husband. I shower and dress while listening to the radio (yes, old-school FM radio), and I like to make a full breakfast for me and my husband—it’s the most important meal of the day!

pulp design studios carolina v. gentry beth dotolo
Photograph by Aaron Leitz.

What excites you most about interior design in 2019?

BD: I’m excited about the fact that our clients are becoming less risk-averse. More and more, our clients are wanting us to design something they love. Design shows and posts about gorgeous interiors are so popular now that people are more open to adventurous looks.

CVG: I agree, and we really see that with color. It used to be that we would have to talk a client into being a bit bolder with color, but now people are embracing the idea that color isn’t scary. I’m also looking forward to designing for our new Los Angeles clients —any excuse to travel and we’re on the plane!

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