Coming from a multigenerational family of builders, Carolyn Pearsall-Kurgan grew up watching her father at work on job sites designing custom homes. As she learned more and more about the building process, she found herself drawn to the interior design aspect of home building and got her first job with a local home designer at the age of 16. She flourished under the mentorship of this designer and went on to achieve a Bachelor of Applied Science in design and applied arts from the University of South Carolina in 1991. Further mentored by an engineer and contractor, Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan struck out on her own in 2009, establishing Simply Southern at Home.
Today, Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan works alongside her husband, Lenny Kurgan, at both Simply Southern at Home and their separate cabinet business, where they specialize in kitchen and bathroom designs. With her expertise in interior layouts and design and her husband’s skills as an engineer, they offer a range of services in interior design, cabinetry, custom tiling, décor and custom artisan pieces. Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan has made a name for herself through her emphasis on unique designs and finding what is best for each individual client, rather than repeating the same cookie-cutter designs. It is important to her that the homes and pieces they build for their clients make them feel good, and she puts great effort into sourcing unique furnishings to go with her designs.
Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan attributes much of her success to hard work, recalling that she and her husband used to work 16-hour days when they first started out. Furthermore, she is deeply grateful for the support they have received from their team members, who help to form an incredibly stable foundation for their business. Excelling as an entrepreneur, Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan is motivated by her love of her work and the appreciation she has for the flexibility that being her own boss brings, as it gives her more control over the kind of work she takes on. In order to keep abreast of new developments in her field, she maintains professional affiliation with the National Association of Professional Women and the Sherwin-Williams Company, where she is an advisory member. As she looks toward the future, Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan has plans to launch her own line of wallpaper and custom fabrics.
Involved in a wide range of projects, Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan considers her favorite sort of work to be modifying existing floor plans to accommodate for additions and modifications. One of her most memorable moments was working with a client who was displeased with an addition she’d had done with another company. It was a complicated project that required a lot of back-and-forth dialogue between the homeowner and the design team, but eventually, they perfected the design to exactly what the client wanted. This was memorable for her because she loves a challenge and putting all the pieces together to create a solution. Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan also fondly recalls the time when she was told by a client that she designs happy spaces, which she feels was the best compliment she ever received.
For her excellence, Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. She is particularly proud of having been approached to be featured in Architectural Digest, and she has also appeared in Elle Decor. She considers having her work recognized and being published as a result of said work to be her greatest professional achievement. In 2019, Simply Southern at Home was named a top South Carolina interior design firm by Build Magazine. More recently, Ms. Pearsall-Kurgan was presented with an Excellence in Design Award in 2021.