SUMMERTIME WITH BARBARA BARRY
Barbara’s new pieces arrived just in time for summer daydreaming. Her iconic blend of relaxed elegance lets us kick back in style with her new natural textures and comfortable forms. We sat down with Barbara to get her take on relaxation, travel and creating that perfect summer setting.
When designing a piece of furniture or an interior, how do you imbue comfort and relaxation?
The first thing I think about when designing an interior–and then furniture–is the mood of the room. We all want to be more relaxed these days, and certainly in our own homes. The new finishes Baker is offering really set the perfect stage for kicking back and being less formal.
Anyone in the design world knows it takes a lot of work to bring a vision to life: How do you stay calm and relaxed; balance the stresses of the job?
Truthfully, I don’t see my job as stressful…and that is because I am so passionate about what I do; and because I have a great staff that supports me in so many ways. I am very fortunate in having long term, comfortable relationships. And I do yoga!
What are some design tips to creating a comfortable and relaxed setting, either at home or in a vacation home?
I believe we need less then we think we do. I say keep some air space in your rooms. Allow for the stuff of life and summer to have a home, be it an inner tube or a bicycle. It just feels more relaxed when it isn’t so full.
Summer is a time of indoor/outdoor living, and in California that lifestyle is year-round. For those in other climates, how can they invite a lounging, summer feel into the home during the “off seasons?”
Begin by doing a good spring-cleaning! Do you really need all that stuff? Really? It will feel so much lighter with less, and then you can decorate with the season’s offerings of sunflowers, fruit, new books and friends.
What are some of your favorite summer traditions – is there anything from your past that you still do presently each summer?
Every summer I travel and I seek a new adventure. I always choose a balance of wilderness and a new city. This year, it is up in Canada on both coasts, and Stockholm. I love to see how others live and celebrate a much shorter season than I have at home.
If you were to create the perfect summer palette — I’m talking textures, colors, scents, shapes — what would that look like?
I love white in summer. You just can’t beat it as a backdrop for vibrant color and a tan. Think white Levis, anything goes with them.
Lastly, we all love a little ice cream or fresh fruit in the hot weather — what’s your summertime treat of choice?
Fresh chilled mangoes with a squeeze of fresh lime. The color alone is enough to get you going! Oh did I forget to mention the tequila?