In Praise of My Design Heroes: Barbara Barry

May 29, 2013

I have had the pleasure of actually meeting many of my design heroes. This past year seemed to bring me many more opportunities. There is one designer who I was hesitant about meeting. You know how it is, you hear stories and I was afraid that meeting her would ruin my high regard for her work and her products. NOTHING could have been further from the truth! The old saying, “don’t believe everything you hear” is so true in this case.

Barbara Barry is a renown designer of long standing. She is know for her clean line interiors, rich neutrals and sophistication based in a classic California vernacular. What more could a designer guy like me from Southern California ask for, right!? Like many of other idols, I pay her the great compliment of being able to say that I live with her furniture in my own home. Her first book, Around Beauty is stunning, in that it is not just a bunch of pictures of pretty rooms. She goes into depth about what beauty is to her and how she finds inspiration in out of the way places. The section entitled, “An Elegant Mess” actually choked me up because, I thought no one else got it! How could it be that I was the only one who saw beauty in the seemingly mundane, the way I do. Barbara made me realize I wasn’t crazy and when I told her this, she looked me straight in the eye, held my hand and told me, “of course you do Dann, we truly are kindred spirits.”

What I realized in the first moment of meeting Barbara is her amazing graciousness. She looks you in the eye, touches your hand and speaks with eloquence and sincerity. You are the only person in the room when Barbara is speaking to you. it made me realize that this intimacy that she shares with everyone she comes into contact with is what she infuses into her interiors. Barbara Barry creates rooms of quiet sophistication, high quality and intimacy. Those are the elements of truly successful rooms and truly successful people…like Barbara Barry.

I have no doubt that I will be a life long fan!