Mar 14, 2013

Design Bloggers Conference - Interview with Barbara Barry and Kravet - Part 1

Barbara Barry with *me* and Beth Greene of Kravet Inc / Blogfest 

Has someone ever moved you, made you feel true emotions, simply by reading out loud to you?

This was my experience while listening to the soft and eloquent voice of Barbara Barry while speaking last week at the Design Bloggers Conference. As part of the great selection of keynote speakers, brought in part by the collaboration between the team of DBC & Digital Sherpa and that of Kravet Inc. and Blogfest to the lineup of this year's conference.

Barbara during her talk, took us on a journey through her view of the world of interior design, sharing her thoughts, and emotions and stunning visuals that are all part of her new book: Around Beauty.
Barbara Barry

In this two part interview, I hope to share with you some of the moments from this talk, Barbara's collections with Kravet, and the moments that left me feeling inspired and eager to come back to New York and spend my days bettering myself as an interior designer as well.
"..within every small story is where things live..we often overlook things ~ we need to really look" - B. Barry

So after the conference, I reached out to Barbara and asked her to share a little more in detail with me some of the
Photo:  Dining room*, Piedmont, California residence
(photo from Around Beauty – credit David Meredith)

DAP: Could you share with us a few examples of how your daily inspiration and design come together and become a reality. 
BB: "Inspiration (from Around Beauty): Sometimes the colors of a room are predetermined. My job is to show up, look outside, and observe a decision that has already been made, usually by nature. The colors of this room come from the view right outside the tall French doors that open wide onto a great stone terrace. And walking out, the first thing I saw were the colors of a towering redwood grove. Decision made. The rich brown veneer of the dining table and drinks tray recall the trunks of the trees, dark in shade, softer in the brighter light. Dining chairs and doors draped in mellow mustard wool are evocative of the faded seeds and pods scattered on the terrace. Dappled around the room, in pillow and porcelains, is the deep blue-green of redwood fronds."

Photos:   Mexican Fig Tree/Living Room*, Pacific Palisades residence
(photo from Around Beauty – credit David Meredith)

BB: Inspiration (from Around Beauty): …as soon as I entered [the home’s] light-filled courtyard, I was spellbound. Standing in the middle, in its own dappled light, was a huge Mexican fig tree, its lively green leaves twirling like castanets. Upon moving closer to its thick and sensuous trunk, luscious layers of shadowy, nuanced color became visible. In that instant, I gained my inspiration for the project. All the colors I needed for both inside and out were right there on that tree trunk in soft tones of sage, butter, cinnamon, and celery….

Photo:  Agave / Dinner Plates* (photo from Around Beauty – credit David Meredith)

BB: Inspiration (from Around Beauty): Connections inspire designs; they also point to what’s there already. Colors and shapes seduce me daily…anywhere, anytime, all the time.

" is not static .. it's an experience, as you travel from one room to the next ~ feeling the mood.. "

Around Beauty - Rizzoli

" .. when i got around to writing a book, I wanted to write about what was underneath design   wrote my book about BEAUTY ~ "Around Beauty" as I have been circling around it my whole life" - B. Barry  

"like in nature - cool is balanced by a little warmth"

"... allowing our eyes to rest, to give it some beauty and calm to rest upon .."
 "..our emotions don't need an education, we know how we feel .. "

" is almost like painting by numbers.. cracking open some California pistachios and voila ~ Color!"  

"... it's so wonderful to be a designer and realize a vision! .. an honor" 

So I hope you enjoyed some of these snippets from Barbara's talk, beautiful images of her book, and feel inspired yourself from these words and images.

On tomorrow's post I will delve a little deeper into how Barbara takes cue from her finds, and daily  inspiration while creating collaborating on the product collections, such as the one for Kravet, among others.
You won't want to miss that, especially as we have a few special sneak peaks!

In the meantime ~ want to know more about Barbara Barry, her design team, what the office looks like and a lot more about her inspiration? Sure you do!
This great interview by Traditional Home's Jenny Bradley (who also happened to be one of the speakers at DBC) shares some great insight!

Image Credits: Thank you Barbara Barry for sharing these images with me from your book and your online portfolio of images here.
Please note that all photography from Barbara’s book is credited to:  Photo by David Meredith, from Around Beauty (Rizzoli NY) by Barbara Barry


  1. Beautiful post Jennifer! Love that you reached out to Barbara Barry and she gladly did this two-part interview with you!


  2. gorgeous post, very inspiring, looking forward to part 2!

  3. Trees are gorgeous and when you combine them in your room design in different sizes, they transform the look of the room. For me trees bring freshness from a design prospect.


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