12th Apr 2019
Two years into your work with Barr Baleares, as creative lead for the Barr Group, tell us a bit about your journey into interior design…
Having been brought up in a creative environment, with parents working in the industry, I was immersed in interiors from a very young age. A degree in product design, at the University of the Arts London, led to work in the fashion industry. From there, the gradual overlap and progression into interior design was completely organic. It was clear from the outset that Stuart Barr (director of the Barr Group) and I shared the same vision for the creative arm of the organisation and, after some intense ideas sharing, the seed was sewn for the incarnation of Barr Design. From there creating interiors (and exteriors) across the island of Mallorca has added a whole other dimension to our work and has been a great creative adventure. Myself and the rest of the Barr Design team quickly found ourselves deeply steeped in the Balearic aesthete culture.
What would be your dream interior design challenge?
I love the mix of old and new, so probably working from scratch on something like an agricultural barn conversion or a dilapidated old Finca comes close to my perfect project. A starting point which has some inherent architectural interest but with the potential to enhance and update for modern living. Of course, an endless budget would also be fabulous and brave clients! A recent project was for clients whose lives on the island are very much centered around their yacht, which can be seen from their port-side apartment. Our brief was to create a simple, stylish land base from which to access their ‘vida náutica’! With a complete project managed service, including design work (concept boards shown above and below), sourcing, strip-out and refurbishment, our clients are delighted with the results (finished images coming soon).
When starting with a blank canvas, where do you go for your inspiration?
This is my favourite part of the job. I usually get the best ideas when outside of the office, when I am not 'searching'. It may be a detail in a restaurant, a finish in a retail shop or brickwork on a building. Ideas are everywhere. I love accidental colour combinations, when colours meet in 'real life' and look great together unintentionally. Barr Design UK are perfectly positioned between Oxford and London and as such we have plenty of sources of inspiration on our doorstep. The same walk on a different day can create completely different ideas depending on the projects in mind and outlook in that moment. Similarly, whenever we are working on the island, with Mallorca’s deeply entrenched design-led vibe, set against such stunning scenery, there is something new at every stone clad turn.
What trend would you like to see come into fruition?
Juxtas! I always love the balance between two opposite ideas. At Barr Design we love to mix the rough with the smooth, letting minimal lines contrast against rustic form. The sharp black lines of La Bellesa’s bathrooms, for example, against an exposed natural rock built into the shower or the starkness of the black ‘crittal’ screens against the wonderfully irregular dry-stone walls.
Where do you take inspiration for projects on the island and beyond?
The focus and feeling behind each project comes very much from the client brief. However, it is no surprise that we often find ourselves designing for individuals who share our penchant for paired back simplicity and our passion for clean lines combined with simple statement pieces. With La Bellesa much of the project inspiration came from the materials and traditional manufacturing found on the island. Setting rattan and stone against a simple backdrop of matt black fixtures and fittings and a neutral colour palette, with the aim of emulating the simple elegant island vibe. For Crinan Barn, the look was much sharper. The client was keen to let the architecture of the barn, with its high ceilings and interesting lines speak for itself, the palette subtle, so as not to overpower the far-reaching views.