When introducing Caroline Rafferty, there is no one word to use. Interior designer, architect, businesswoman, historian, philanthropist, author, and product designer are all perfectly fitting titles for the Florida-based design entrepreneur. In thirteen years, she has expanded from New York firm owner to Floridian design mogul, and spread her influence across the country. In partnership with her mother Julie, Rafferty founded The Grand Tour, a retail store in Palm Beach, where a portion of the proceeds of their varied collection of curated home goods benefit The Fresh Air Fund’s children’s initiatives in New York City. Shoppable in their Florida boutique and online, The Grand Tour is a collection of Rafferty’s favorite things- and her taste is spot on. As a working interior designer as well as shop owner, Caroline brings personality and vibrant color to her projects, from West Village apartments to West Florida beach houses. Meet the all-around design pro below, and support The Fresh Air Fund on www.grandtourhome.com!
The Grand Tour is a menagerie of Caroline’s favorite things, and doesn’t shy away from color. If fun design is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it at The Grand Tour.
Andrew Joseph: Dream country to work in or dream project to take on?
Caroline Rafferty: A dream project for me has always been to do a hotel from top to bottom. The idea of creating a memorable experience for guests that tells a story has always been appealing to me.
Andrew: Vintage or new?
Caroline: Both, always. I love mixing time periods and styles. It allows a room to tell a more interesting story.
Andrew: Style/design icon and why?
Caroline: My grandmother. She was effortlessly stylish in all ways. From her clothes to her homes and how she entertained, she embodied glamour.
The Grand Tour is a showroom of sorts; Caroline offers her favorite textiles and wallcoverings to visitors looking to decorate their own spaces, or designers seeking the next best thing.
Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Caroline: My family, friends, and 10-20 minutes of solitude each day. My life has become incredibly busy, and finding a few minutes alone every day to meditate and reflect has been essential.
Andrew: Favorite place to view art and why?
Caroline: The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. I adore Peggy Guggenheim and find her life story beyond fascinating. She also collected some of my absolute favorite paintings and they are displayed at her beautiful home in Venice. What could be better?
Andrew: What is one Instagram account you can’t live without?
Caroline: @tmagazine is the most beautifully curated feed of style, culture, travel, and design. All the things that inspire me the most.
About The Maker | Caroline’s approach to design speaks to her love of the arts, her intuitive business sense, and her unique first-hand experiences with many aspects of creating the built environment. She studied art history and architecture at a post-graduate level before opening her own boutique real estate development and construction company in 2006 in New York, through which she orchestrated a street art festival and published a subsequent book with Shepard Fairey. In 2008, she co-founded Carolina George, an interior design firm with its own line of fabrics and furniture also in New York. And after moving to Palm Beach with her family, Caroline established Caroline Rafferty Interiors in 2015. Her interiors are characterized by rich color palettes; thoughtful, collected furnishings and art; bold patterns and textures; a mix of time periods; and a strong emphasis on ethically sourced materials. Most recently, she’s decided to parlay her design ethos into opening The Grand Tour with her design-savvy mother Julie, using as inspiration her grandmother Dearie, who was a tastemaker impassioned by kindness and generosity.
In this vein, Caroline is a board member of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium as well as the Fresh Air Fund of New York. She sits on the board of trustees of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and is president of the board of trustees of the Lovelight Foundation—a nonprofit she co-founded with her mother whose mission is to empower at-risk women and youth in urban areas. She is also on the board of trustees of Palm Beach Day Academy and is a former board member of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. Caroline and Julie have spoken extensively about generational philanthropy and legacy building for several organizations, including the Institute for Philanthropy, the UJA of Palm Beach, and the Women’s Fund of Central Texas. Caroline holds a Master of Fine Arts in Art History from The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
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