On Decorating – Some of My Favorite Q & A’s


People often ask me what it is like to be a designer. It is thrilling.  Every day brings new excitement, new problems to solve, joy and appreciation in clients’ lives, which brings joy to mine.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment in making positive changes to people’s lives.  I recognize that this is not neurosurgery and I am not saving lives but I am making lives happier when people live in beautiful homes.

How did I get started?  I actually joined my parents and their decorator, the late, great David Barrett (who was uber famous in his day) as he decorated their beautiful home.  I joined them for months on end; my opinion was often asked and one day Mr. Barrett turned to me and said, “Child you have a talent.  Why don’t you go to decorating school?” I took his advice and enrolled in the New York School of Interior Design. Upon completion of my studies, Mr. Barrett offered me a job in his firm.  On my mother’s advice I started my own company instead.

What’s different today from when I first started?   There seems to be a sense of urgency – many people want immediate gratification so they may buy on line or catalog – and not choose to go the custom item route – Custom of course would result in more detail, better quality – a product that is more unique and individualized.   So some of my decorating has become a mix of instant gratification and custom – as we do tend to live in a more casual manner than we did years ago.  And of course, we also have clients who only want custom. God bless them! – Custom gives designers license to create such beautiful, distinctive items for the home.

What am I looking forward to?  I am looking forward to writing my Interior Decorating Book.  I think I am the last designer standing not to have published a book!!  I am in the process of writing it and am looking forward to seeing it published.

What in my private life helps enrich my business? My values – to be the best that I can be in all areas of my life … to maintain high moral and business ethics – with kindness to family, friends and clients.  Keeping these core beliefs is what also keeps my business going with many long standing relationships with clients and with vendors.  I have also had the opportunity to do extensive traveling.  Those travel experiences help to enrich my vision of design for each of my clients … with influences from my world travels.

How do I feel about website shopping? It clearly has its place and has become quite sophisticated and is successful.  On occasion I do shop the web, particularly with vendors I am very familiar with, but for major pieces I like the tactile touch of the wood; I like to see the details that you can’t see in a picture, to view the quality of the item and check if any scents go along with the product. Even with a quality report, I feel more confident seeing the item for myself.

Do you have any other questions you would like to ask? Let me know and I will do my best to respond to you.