See Why The Citizenry Co-Founder’s Home Is Always Filled With a Little Chaos – And “Artistic Mess”

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

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WORDS BY Heather Goerzen

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Published on January 24, 2022

After two years of postponed tickets and rain (more like covid) checked travel plans, it’s safe to say our bucket lists have grown substantially. Don’t get us wrong, being homebound has had its moments (finally tackled that tik-tok paint trend and DIY kitchen reno), but nothing beats wandering cobblestone streets in far-flung cities, experiencing new cultures and peoples, and bringing home treasured memories – and storied mementos.

To only fuel our wanderlust, we traded in our paint brushes and dusted off our passports as we chatted with Carly Nance, co-founder of designer fan fave: The Citizenry. You know, the globally-inspired home decor brand that’s behind those stunning artisan-crafted textiles and iconic safari chairs you’ve pinned on repeat – not to mention baskets, ceramics, artwork and so much more. Passionate that “homes should be reflections of the journeys we take,” Carly and her team set out to develop exclusive collaborations with master artisans worldwide, designing handcrafted pieces with soul and story. Not only are they meaningful, sustainable, and all that design goodness, they’re simply put: beautiful

Photography by Lisa Petrole, for The Citizenry

Our designers unequivocally agree… The Citizenry is our must-have brand for that well-traveled home vibe.

And now we’re inviting you to an open house with the artistic genius and wandering soul who originated it all: Carly Nance. Ahead, find everything from the trend Carly’s crushing to the design tip she swears by, plus the inside scoop on what’s always in her suitcase, weird habits, and… well, keep reading to find out.

The Citizenry co-founder
Photography by Elizabeth Lavin, for Domino Magazine

Open House With Citizenry Co-Founder: Carly Nance

What are three things you can’t live without?

Outside of my husband and daughters, I can’t live without travel, music, and red wine. 

What’s the possession you’re most proud of?

During the pandemic, my husband and I bought a fixer-upper lake house a two hour drive from our home in Dallas, Texas. It’s the most beautiful location, but it took us a year and a half to renovate into our ultimate escape. We’re still working through the finishing touches, but it’s become our go-to for mental resets at the end of our crazy weeks.

When no one is looking, your favorite thing to do at home is…

Make an absolute artistic mess with my five-year-old daughter (Sullivan) and turn rooms in our home into “galleries” of our works.

The Citizenry bedding
Photography by Lisa Petrole, for The Citizenry

What is one item in your own home you think everyone should have?

This is a shameless plug, but it’s true – our stonewashed linen bedding. After touching almost every piece of linen in Portugal, we partnered with the country’s oldest family run linen mill to perfect a process that creates the absolute softest, most luxurious linen I’ve ever slept in. I look forward to climbing into bed each night!

Our Design Team also knocked the palette out of the park. The collection is designed to mix and match, and I love switching up combinations across rooms for an easy refresh. 

Something we would never find in your home?

Consistent cleanliness and organization. With two little ones and two busy careers, our home is always filled with a bit of chaos. 

Also carpet. I’m a diehard rug person!

What’s a design tip you swear by?

Stacks of art and coffee table books can quickly add interest to a space. I tend to fill blank areas – across benches, consoles, and coffee tables – with stacks to add layers and dimension to any room. 

Plus, I truly enjoy collecting them and tend to pull from my always-evolving collection to give as gifts on special occasions.

The Citizenry decor
Design by Ginger Curtis, Urbanology Designs

A trend you’re crushing? 

So many, but the last few years have given me a new appreciation for nature and bringing the outdoors in. I’ve been mixing in lots of nature-inspired objects and textures.

Right now, I’m investing in layered jute rugs, natural fiber wall art, and earthy, imperfect ceramics. I’ve also been using large twigs and branches from walks for styling.

What Citizenry piece are you currently obsessed with?

It’s like choosing between children, but The Lomas Wall Hanging is probably my favorite piece that launched last year.  

This piece is crafted by a fair trade cooperative in Queretaro, Mexico, using raw, recycled cotton. She’s as sustainable as she is beautiful.

The Citizenry Japan
Photography by Hazel & Pine

Most memorable travel experience?

I’ll go with my last trip for The Citizenry pre-pandemic… Japan. 

Not only is the country breathtakingly beautiful, but the culture values intentionality and connection – to others and to nature – in a way I’d never experienced. From Japanese onsens to forest bathing and visiting zen gardens and temples, I found myself savoring all the slowed-down moments.

These values, and the patience that comes with them, has also created one of the world’s best craft cultures. It was a humbling experience to get to finish our collection on the ground with so many incredible artisans. The Japan Collection is still one of my favorites.  

One thing you always pack?

I always pack (M)ansai 7 makeup pods to make sprucing up quick and easy. Game changer!

Biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Easy…quitting my day job in advertising to start The Citizenry. I had no idea how high a cliff I was jumping off or how long it would take to build this vision. It’s been an adventure, to say the least.

The Citizenry rug
Photography by Lisa Petrole, for The Citizenry

Where do you go for inspiration when you’re stuck?

Historically, I’d hop on a plane. 

In the pandemic, I tend to head outdoors or to an art museum.

Fave IG account you follow for inspo?

Less inspiration and more of a mental escape, I’ve started reading poetry as a pandemic-induced guilty please. @poetryisnotaluxury is a lovely follow. 

Since my feed is flooded with beautiful images of interiors, the words are a nice break.

What’s your go-to 3pm pick-me-up?

A pour-over coffee. Black. 

Carly The Citizenry
Photography by Kirsten Francis

What is the thing you’re most excited about right now?

The idea of traveling internationally again. It finally feels within reach. 

Weird habit you’ll never let go of?

Chewing on my pens. I know, it’s gross. But it just creates better ideas. Trust me. 

Ideal weekend morning routine?

My ideal routine would be sleeping through it all. Any morning that starts with sleeping in is a luxury. 

Favorite self-care indulgence?

The Class by Taryn Toomey.  A workout + meditation + music. I’m hooked. 

The Citizenry home
Photography by Elizabeth Lavin, for Domino Magazine

Craving a home filled with soul and story? Work one-on-one with a designer to translate your global modern home dreams into real life, including your favorite The Citizenry pieces. Let’s design something beautiful together, starting with our style quiz.

Words by Heather Goerzen