Decorating & Design - Inside Design

Inside design: Barbara Barry

Award-winning decorator, designer and tastemaker, Barbara Barry tells us all about her design influences and inspirations.

Barbara Barry has earned her induction into the Interior Design Hall of Fame. She’s the empress of everyday elegance who imbues every interior with an air of quiet confidence. Simple and stately, grand and girlie, Barbara brings that ivory tower of chic within reach.

hailbarry-story-mainlivngroom.jpg Photography courtesy of Baker Furniture

Style at Home: How would you define your brand?
Barbara Barry Simple, elegant, quiet. I’m not really about fashionable items; I’m about understated items because they’re something that you go back to again and again. You can dress them up, you can dress them down and, over time, those pieces serve you most.

SAH: Who inspires your designs?
BB
I come from a family of painters, so I’m inspired by artists like Ben Nicholson (a British painter known for his abstract reliefs) and John Singer Sargent (the prolific American portrait artist). I love art and art history, but my biggest inspiration is nature.

SAH: In what ways?
BB From the most beautiful celadon agave to the palest pink rose in my garden, I see beauty in the simple things that exist all around us – I don’t have to be in a forest or a field to be inspired. I love watching the colours blend as I stir milk into a cup of dark coffee; I get excited about the pavement turning wet and dark grey when it rains. I’m a nut for life’s little subtleties.

Lead photography by Mike E. Harris.

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