Decorating & Design

March 18, 2021

Designer Spotlight: Carmen René Smith On The Power Of Maximalism

Freedom lives in maximalism — at least according to Oakland-based designer Carmen René Smith. Her bold, culturally-rich and curated portfolio as principal designer of Aquilo Interiors is as captivating as it is rule-breaking. “I’m drawn to eclectic and layered style because there is freedom in doing what goes beyond the barriers of traditional design,” she says. “I like the unexpected, fun and fearless.” Named one of Apartment Therapy‘s Design Changemakers to Know in 2020, Carmen’s maximalist approach is paying off in big ways. She’s acquired clients across the globe and celebrates a decade in the business this year. 

A former student of California College of the Arts, Carmen’s work combines the functionality of her background in architecture with an innovative flair. Scroll down to see how her passion for maximalism comes to life in a North Beach, San Francisco, small space.

Author: Joseph Cicerone

Meghan Caudill (interiors); Darren Ankenbauer (headshot)


Carmen René Smith, Aquilo Interiors