How I Work: Carrie Frye, owner of Carrie Frye Interior Design

How I Work: Carrie Frye, owner of Carrie Frye Interior Design
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(Note: Our How I Work series is brought to you by AccruePartners – building people, companies and careers by being at the forefront of the staffing and executive search industry).

Have you been to lunch or dinner in Charlotte? Well then chances are you’ve seen Carrie’s work. She’s the real deal and has worked to design popular spots like Luna’s Living Kitchen, Dean & Deluca, Sea Level, Midwood Smokehouse and Viva Chicken (there’s a bunch more, too).

Here’s how she works.

Office location

My home studio is my primary work space, but I also co-work in coffee shops and other public spaces with friends and other talented individuals. It keeps my creative juices flowing.


Job Title

Owner, Carrie Frye Interior Design


Anywhere from zero minutes if I’m in my home studio that day, to 90 minutes if I’m meeting with a client in Columbia or Greenville, SC. My job takes me all over Charlotte and the Carolinas. It’s one of the things I love about it.

What do you do during your commute?

If I’m driving to a client site, I’m usually on the phone, talking with a client or partner. It could be an architect, general contractor or someone that’s supplying lighting fixtures or flooring. My job is all about details. So I spend much of my day managing them.

Phone Type

iPhone 6s


Desk photo



Dell Latitude E5430 laptop


Gadgets you can’t live without

 iPhone 6s, original iPad and my laptop

Do you listen to music while you work?

I use Pandora. I might listen to anything from country, to rap or 80s dance mix, depending on my mood. Right now, I’m listening to the Prince station in tribute.

What software are you a power user of? 

AutoCAD for design

What’s your favorite spot for a business lunch? Your order? 

This is hard to answer because I design restaurants for a living. So I have a lot of favorite places. Right now, I like Bedder Bedder & Moore for the soup, the turkey provolone pita and an unsweet tea.

Social media habits

I still read the newspaper and magazines! But I do check Facebook and LinkedIn to start my day and usually once in the evening. I have a social strategy for my business, and I have someone to help me manage that. So I don’t necessarily look at that every day.

To-do list manager

My brain. I know that sounds crazy, but I don’t keep a written to-do list or use an app. It’s always worked for me.

What everyday thing are you really good at? 


What’s your one favorite thing about your job? 

That it keeps me busy; I don’t do idle very well.

Best time-saving shortcut or Charlotte life hack

Recently, I started using Executive Car service to drive me to out-of-town client meetings or jobsites. As my business has grown and expanded outside of Charlotte, I found myself spending time driving when I could be productive in terms of designing or creating project plans. It’s amazing how much I can get done while someone else drives. It’s the kind of business expense that pays for itself many times over.

Sleep routine 

I usually fall asleep with my twin boys in their room when I’m putting them to bed around 9. I’ll stumble to my room later and sleep until the alarm goes off at 6 a.m. On the weekend, I don’t set an alarm and might sleep until 9 or 9:30. Sleep is my secret weapon.

Where do you go around Charlotte to get away from the office? 

If I need a change of scenery, I’ll grab my laptop and head to Mayobird in Dilworth or Luna’s Living Kitchen (one of my clients) over in Southend to work. If I need to clear my head, I might spend a few minutes in retail therapy at Paper Skyscraper or Handpicked.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? 

Cape Cod potato chips and an unsweet tea (just don’t tell my kids). 

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing? 

I’m not sure. Maybe a home organizer? I love to have systems for things and everything in its place. It’s probably part of my design mind.

Best job advice you’ve received

My mom always told me “worrying doesn’t pay.” It applies to work and life in general. I’m Type A, so I’m still working on that one.

Last book you read (grade it on a A-F scale): 

The Widow” by Fiona Barton. It was a book club read; a psychological thriller and definitely dark subject matter. I’d give it a B+.

Last movie you watched (grade it on a A-F scale):

“Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” I first saw it years ago, but I watched it again on Saturday night. I was in Savannah for a girls’ weekend, and we toured the house that’s in the movie so I wanted to see it again. I’d give it a B. 

What’s one thing people don’t know about Charlotte that they should? 

Charlotte has history! You just have to look for it. For a long time, I didn’t know that either. Then I served on the board of Historic Charlotte (now part of The Charlotte Museum of History), and I learned about all of the amazing historic buildings and neighborhoods that are still here. 

Is there anything else that we didn’t ask that you’d like to tell our readers? 

Even though I design restaurants for a living, I’m a terrible cook. It’s ironic. It’s a good thing my husband is a great cook, and I know lots of good take-out places.

What other Charlottean would you like to answer these questions?

Jennifer Belk, Founder and Co-owner of Loom Coworking.

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