Above: White fabric poufs provide extra seating for guests and are low enough to preserve the ocean view (Photo by Brad Nicol); Below: LA based interior designer Sarah Barnard (Photo by Erik Hyler)
The Queen of Space
BY: NATALIE FRIBERG
Incredible space requires the knowledge and capabilities of an incredible interior designer. But in the creative and innovative hub that is Los Angeles, there is no shortage of gifted specialists.
Starting in December, we set out on a mission: Uncover an interior design professional that is on the forefront of the industry, yet capable of producing the elements of superiority, class, and professionalism required by our readers.
Enter eco-chic interior designer Sarah Barnard. Recognized by the International Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology as a Building Biology Practitioner and by the United States Green Building Council as a LEED Accredited Professional, to name a few, Sarah brings a great degree of eco-friendly cognizance to each of her projects.
Above: Cotton velvet draperies in a saturated burgundy tone connect with the tiny berries in the woodland wall upholstery; Below: Better Times Peonies brighten a display of the homeowner's favorite things (Photos by Steven Dewall)
Q: How would you describe your design style?
SB: Each of my design projects is as unique as each of my clients. The foundation of a successful project is getting to know my clients well, including their personal interests and lifestyle choices as well as what colors and styles most appeal to them.
I take a contemporary approach to create a timeless look, keeping it fresh and sophisticated. I prefer details that have a personal meaning for the client: a motif that reflects a favorite place; an antique with family history; a special collection; or a child’s artwork.
One area I specialize in is healthy, sustainable design. I have exceptional resources that offer appealing natural furnishings and fabrics, energy-efficient fixtures, and organic and non-toxic materials to support a healthy lifestyle.
Another area I specialize in is historic preservation.
I enjoy giving classic styles a fresh face while preserving their vintage charm.
Overall, designing a home for a client is deeply personal. It requires establishing an essential level of trust, which I ensure through ongoing and open communications.
Q: Your mantra is: “Where smart design, sustainable choices and healthy living converge.” What do you mean by “smart design”?
SB: Smart design is design that’s healthy, beautiful, functional and enduring. I design homes to my client’s desires, lifestyle, and special needs.
Q: What are some options that homeowners have when considering sustainable choices?
SB: Stunning tiles, counter tops and even beautiful textiles are being designed out of creatively re-purposed materials. There are more energy-efficient light fixtures and avenues that bring more natural light into a home than ever before. Using local artisans to manufacture custom-made cabinetry and furniture is a responsible choice that homeowners can trust to deliver unique items of exceptional quality.
Q: Is there a favorite room you have designed or project you have completed?
SB: I am always up for a challenge and love it when clients bring me unusual requests; whether it’s designing a display room for a special mineral collection or crafting a custom kitchen into the perfect functional space. I also love designing for children and pets!
A passion of mine is designing both historic properties and modern architectural spaces. I always strive to bring harmony, balance and a connection to nature to the space.
Q: What design trends are you most excited about in 2017?
SB: There are three major themes and trends that I am excited about: Handmade furnishing items from natural materials, made by artists, not factories. Collecting! There has never been a better time to support the arts and start or expand a collection of paintings, sculptures and/or pottery. Customizable textiles printed by local artisans - personalization has never been easier!
Q: What do you recommend as first steps to those who may be unfamiliar with smart design and sustainable choices?
SB: Start small. Sometimes just a few simple changes can have an enormous impact on the health of your home or work environment. If you aren’t ready to redesign your entire home, I often recommend starting with the master bedroom since this is where we spend a good portion of our time. This room above all others needs to feel restorative and calming.
Also, consult only with experienced designers. Professionals like myself can recommend smart, sustainable choices and create a wonderful experience you will never forget! ◆