Name: Hilton Carter
Location: Baltimore, MD
Size: 3,200 square feet
Type of home: American Colonial
Years lived in: 1, owned
As Apartment Therapy’s Plant Therapist, Hilton Carter is the first person we turn to when our snake plants are looking sad or our pothos needs propagating. His deep knowledge about all things green, his fresh sense of style, and his warm, you-can-do-this attitude have helped many a plant-filled home flourish. Including his own.
As you might suspect, Hilton’s Baltimore Colonial is positively packed with plants — more than 300 of them, in fact. He even has a planter built into the floor — a happy accident after he had to rip up some of the wood due to termite damage! When it comes to the rest of his space’s style, Hilton has taken a more minimalist approach. From the Cloud sofa and treasured artwork to the sculptural planters and vintage light fixtures, he chooses everything with intention, and he knows when to say when. The result is a home where everything feels like it’s exactly where it belongs — and with whom. That’s central to Hilton’s whole design philosophy: “Fill your home with pieces you love, not things you’re just holding on to just because.”
Hilton starts by dreaming up a room’s theme, then thinking about how it might come to life and coordinate with other parts of the home. “What’s the color story?” he asks. “What textures are going to create the biggest impact? What conversation is this room having with another?” By thinking about both the parts and the whole, everything feels more organic and cohesive.
Then Hilton brings his vision to life — in good time. First, he creates a mood board of pieces that will evoke the special look and feel he’s going for. “Then I’ll order swatches of the materials that I’m looking to add, then place them in those rooms to make sure they’re doing what I want them to do,” he says. “Once I have a good feel of it in the space, that’s when I’ll make a purchase.” If Hilton’s home has you inspired to browse, Shop with Google lets you compare styles and price points at a glance and find pieces inspired by looks you love.
Perhaps the best example of Hilton’s thoughtful approach to design is the sunroom, a renovation that’s so green and exuberant that it feels like it’s always been there. “It’s just so full of life,” he says. “Sometimes I can hear it calling out to me to come and relax within it. I’ve created the space with that in mind. I think it’s working.” We definitely agree.
Inspiration: Art, design, and nature.
Favorite Element: The in-floor planter.
Biggest Challenge: Editing myself so that I don’t over style a room.
Biggest Indulgence: Plants and chairs.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home? The cord chairs and gold planter in the sunroom. The Cloud couch and vintage sconce in the living room. The hourglass black planter and black-and-white rug in the entryway. The sconce and concrete vanity in the powder room. The refrigerator and coffee garage in the kitchen. The USB lanterns and speckled metal side table in the guest room.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: When working in a smaller space, you have to be more precise with your purchases.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or piece of decorating advice? Less is more.