There are few people that I have come across in my life that make an impact on me and admittedly Barbara Barry is one of them. This month I had the distinct honor to meet Barbara at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles. Amongst her many talents of design, writing in symphonic notes is some of her best work. She can dance a word unlike I have ever heard; the fluidity is incredible…one can only wish to write so beautifully.
Go with me for a moment prior to our meeting; while she was being introduced you knew the Barbara you had seen on marketing campaigns or the beautiful woman behind the fabrics you loved was more than a glossy page or textile could translate. There in that moment was a genuine adoration for this elegant lady we all admired from afar. During her speech; she read excerpts from her book Around Beauty, you could feel a shift of emotion in the room, as though a glorious calm swept us all away clinging to her every word. She made me want to be a better designer.
Barbara lives for beauty unabashedly every day; it is her North Star. Her philosophy of finding beauty in the quotidian resonates with me, as in all things whether its the petal of a flower or the ladybug in the grass there is something simple but extraordinary to discover. It is my philosophy: Everyday Glamour. As you read her book, you too will see she craves as we all do for beauty everywhere…even in “the happy roundness of a soup spoon.”
Waiting to visit with her and sign my book was worth it; she was simply captivating. She spoke to me as if no one existed around us. Her ability to connect on a personal level was uncanny. As you learn about her you will realize her most notable trait is that she is very meticulous; thought her initial exchange to me was cute: “I am so glad you dressed up today, no one dresses up anymore.” Of course, she was speaking my language because if you know me at all, this is just who I am, I value dressing everyday. Although I don’t see it as “dressing up,” its just customary in my life. Dressing for me is just as beauty is for Barbara, commonplace. There was a wonderful connection I had with her as if I had known her all my life…but the most memorable was before we bid our good-byes, she gently affirming, “I will never forget you” my exchanging with, “I’ll always remember you.” She said, “how very fluid” and without either saying another word there was a quiet connection made.
(Image Above: photographer Andrea Anthony Brooks – thank you my sweet friend for capturing this special moment XO)
Below is one of my favorite images in her book. She takes you through her Dance of Design, into the homes of her clients and into her personal world showing you her love of beauty in every way throughout her life and home. “When I think about what moves me most in my life, IT IS BEAUTY.” Here are a few images of Barbara’s work from her book and via Barbara Barry, her signature color palette from growing up in California: pale-blue greys, saturated celadons of agaves, and myriads of greens outside every window – ” I feel my most alive on the edge of an idea.”
“There is no substitute for the real thing…in people as well as in products.” (Piedmont, California)
“Simplicity is essence with conviction.” (Beverly Hills, California)
I highly recommend you buy her book and then curl up with a blanket to savor every moment. A Manor of Speaking is one of my favorites in the book, her telling the story of the day the beautiful front door arrived, this one spoke to me as so many of us have clients who don’t realize what they truly paid for until they see it, a wonderful moment to witness. Hope you’ve enjoyed this short journey with me presenting the beautiful Barbara Barry. Please read further to see how you can have a piece of Barbara’s coveted designs in your home.
Barbara has recently just launched her new outdoor collection here at McGuire Furniture which is worth the browse and buy.
She also has a lovely textile collection with Kravet – beautifully narrated video below showing her Indochine Collection
Barbara Barry Lighting Collection http://visualcomfortblog.com/
Mar Vista Collection by Barbara Barry for Boyd Lighting – Feb 2013
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