I’m so honored to present this week’s Fab Friday: Barbara Barry, passionate designer, world-traveler, and author of the fabulous book “Around Beauty,” which was published earlier this week. During her book tour, we sat down and talked all things design, current obsessions and new ventures.
Robin Baron: Welcome Barbara! What would you say is your greatest source of inspiration?
Barbara Barry: I am deeply influenced by the things that exist freely in the world. I am inspired by the beauty in nature, from a single golden leaf that falls to the ground to a fluffy white cloud in a summer sky. When I’m in nature I observe with more intention. I see more and the world seems more magical.
RB: Do you think that your style can be defined?
BB: I love this question because I have often wondered that myself. My work is more of a philosophy than a style and that philosophy is one of simplicity and calm. This is where I believe real elegance lives. I like to think of my work, with all due respect…like an English film, meaning an ensemble…no one star but a harmonious whole where everything is in relationship to each other. Simplicity of line, fluidity of form, quiet colors and natural harmonies…that’s my style.
RB: You see the world from an artist’s perspective. What does that mean?
BB: It means I see my rooms as walk-in paintings. It means I start every project with a color palette. Like a writer who thinks in words or a musician who hears musical notes, I see my world in colors and forms and their special relationships.
RB: Tell me about your design process.
BB: Mine is a search for beauty and understanding of beauty. I experience the world in a very visceral way. I am deeply influenced by my surroundings and it is vital that I am in an ordered space. I am never without a blank piece of paper and my watercolors are always close at hand. But I am not linear…I work in a stop/start way and have learned to deal with constant interruption.
RB: What has been an exciting recent project for you?
BB: My new book, Around Beauty! Because it has been my most personal project….
RB: Tell me about your book.
BB: My book is a love story really, a love story of my life, my work and the magic and joy it brings to me. It is a book about design but also about how design delivers a way of being in the world. It is told in short stories in which I hope to share my ideas and to inspire others.
RB: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would that be?
BB: I always imagine a clear calm lake in the forest. I am looking at a lot of lakes in the world but I haven’t found mine yet.
RB: What is your guilty pleasure?
BB: Ice cream and reading.
RB: What’s next for Barbara Barry?
BB: Taking some time away from work…
RB: How would you define “fabulous”?
BB: Well, let’s bring it all together…nature, a pristine lake, beauty and good friends.