Clifftonian Spotlight: Carl Lana on DIFFA National Basket

Carl Lana designed our beautiful #sundownerbeachpicnic themed basket donation for the DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) Picnic By Design event. In honor of his help and beautiful designs for our basket, we wanted to sit down with Carl and share our interview with you.



Q & A With Carl Lana

Joanna: Carl, you write, “I am a New York based interior designer whose experiences have shaped me and taught me many things about life and how to live it.” Which experiences in your life have influenced your work the most?

Carl: Living in a fast paced culture, I have seen many things that a city like NY offers.  However, many of my travel experiences have left a major mark on my designer soul.  My travels through England, France, Morocco, and Turkey – just to name a few – left me with indelible memories from which I still, to this day, derive inspiration. My years growing up and living in NY have been ones filled with exposure to so many wonderful and unique art, cultural movements, and moments in history (so many, and so hard to narrow down for you right now). The acceptability and awareness that New Yorkers have of just everyday life and their neighbors is a treasure trove of memorable times in my life.  My coming of age in the late 1960s/early 1970s was a time of freedom and enlightenment, where so many mores, doctrines, and standards were shattered and from which a raw and lusty romanticism emerged that still influences me.

Joanna: Speaking of your influences, during the past 38 years of your career, who or what stand out as being the most significant?

Carl: Anything or anyone that made me question the acceptable standards of how to approach “good design”. Those who have directly influenced me and the movements that they crusaded are people such as Ward Bennett, Joe D’Urso, Bray-Schiable (all major players in the High Tech aesthetic). Then designers John Saladino, Bob Patino & Vicente Wolf (they were a major design duo in the late 70s thru the mid 80s and for whom I had the great opportunity to work at that time). These are just at the top of my list of influencers when I discovered the world of interior design.  There are others but these men brought to the world of design a new approach that said we can still create elegant and timeless interiors, while being innovative, minimal, curated, diverse and eclectic.

Joanna: You have stated that the focus of your work has been to apply your philosophy of how to live, and to help your clients develop the proper backdrop for their own lives. How would you explain this lifestyle/design philosophy to your followers?

Carl: My basic philosophy is just this: Design is, in all its aspects, a vital component in the human experience.  Through cultural and historical references, appreciation for classical order, and the love of “High Style,” I breathe life into empty space to create a menagerie of unique narratives that are both exhilarating and comfortable to live with.


Pictured Carl Lana Pinterest| Twitter

by Joanna McElnea