DV8 Interior Design Gallery of Carefree, Arizona, has been featured in such publications as Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, House & Garden and many others. The firm offers custom design furniture, whole house designs, and real estate staging. And as clients and customers peruse the savvy and sophisticated settings of the Gallery, it’s highly probable that they have no inkling of the story behind this phenomenal success.
Owner and designer Caroline Von Lintel grew up on a farm in rural Kansas, near the small town of Oakley, population 1200. “I was always a tomboy. I was the fourth child out of eight children, with two older and two younger brothers. I call myself the redneck girl in the middle!”
At one low point of her life, Caroline was left with essentially nothing, with her three children to support. “I spent ninety days with a shelter in Hays, Kansas. They supplied me with a hand up--food, shelter, and the strength to reassess my life and decide what I was going to do next.” She laughs that, “All I had for transportation once was a John Deere tandem bicycle! I would take my children one by one to school, starting with the youngest. My child in middle school thought he was going to die of embarrassment!”
Today Caroline is able to give back by doing the remodeling of shelters for Save the Family. “I was introduced to this group by Laurel D'Antoni, wife of the former coach of the Phoenix Suns. I’m happy that I’m in a place now where I can help others. Having been through it all, I’m so in touch with what families need. If I have anything extra at all, I will take it to the shelter. It has almost become a compulsion of mine, but it feels healing and the right thing to do. I’m not the socialite type, so if I have an extra $1000 I will buy a washer and dryer for someone, certainly not diamonds for myself.”
Refreshingly down to earth and honest, Caroline admits “My Gallery is well known and I work for famous people, but I’m not famous, fancy, or wealthy.”
She continues, “But I’ve always helped people on a personal level. Once I was working with a realtor. They knew of a family with 10 children moving into the area. Their truck had broken down, and what possessions they had were stolen. The father was physically handicapped, the mother mentally handicapped, they had absolutely nothing, a truly tragic situation. When we looked in on them, they were using tinfoil to cook their Thanksgiving dinner. We got their living space furnished, and one acquaintance of mine who owns a resale shop brought them clothes, shoes and games in her pickup.”
Caroline has lived in Arizona for 11 years now. “The rest of my family and my parents had all moved out here one at a time, and finally I was the last to come to Arizona. I appreciate the climate, and the calm environment, but especially I love the generous, gracious people found here!”
Speaking proudly of her children, Caroline says “My 27 year old son is a creative director at the Jim Hensen Studios in Los Angeles, my daughter is a professional photographer for Ansel Adams Studios, and my 17 year old son wants to be a helicopter pilot!”
She also maintains close ties with her siblings. “My brothers are in the military, and my sisters are in modeling and acting. My sister, who at one time was ‘Miss Kansas’, had her own show “Black Scorpion” on the Sci Fi Channel produced by Roger Corman Productions. It was then that I met Meryl Streep at a Hollywood premiere.”
Caroline is a firm believer in Save the Family’s mission “ To provide homeless families with children the tools necessary to achieve long-term financial, parental and personal self-sufficiency through a comprehensive program of transitional housing, case management and supportive services.” And she is a true example of their motto “When lives are shattered, there are many pieces to the story. We ask you to examine all the pieces.”
Caroline Von Lintel and her DV8 Design Gallery showcase what a hand up can accomplish!
What are your volunteer activities? Remodel and resurface shelters
Which social event is your favorite? Hearts of Gold -Save the Family
Favorite Restaurant? Mastro's
Who is your hero and why? John Murphy. John is the most dedicated person I have ever met. He helps people realize their dreams-he is supportive and has an amazing ability to push people beyond their own boundaries. Everything John does is for someone else. He is a very simple man. He loves fishing and watching basketball and collecting music and a good cigar from time to time. I have never met anyone as selfless as John Murphy.
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Meryl Streep
If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Jodi Foster
What gives a woman/man style? The way they carry themselves
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? That I am eclectic
What words describe you best? Kind
What words would you like others to use to describe you?That I inspired them.
What was your first job? Working at a hardware store
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Too sensitive
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Too sensitive
What is your greatest indulgence? My wardrobe
What is the greatest gift you have ever given and received? Hope
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My children
What is your current state of mind? I feel blessed and sometimes guilty at the same time. God has been so very good to me.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My children-they were such great kids-and now awesome adults.
What is your most treasured possession? My energy
What is the quality you most like in people? Honesty
Favorite books / Writers? The Seat of Your Soul
What is the best advice you have ever received? Realize your natural path, stay on it, and go within yourself to find the answers to life's toughest questions.