Interview: Highly Acclaimed Interior Designer To The Stars, Chris Barrett

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing highly acclaimed Malibu, California Interior designer, Chris Barrett to get her take on interior design, decorating and how to make your house a home! Barrett has been featured in Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, In Style, Traditional Home, California Home and has worked with the likes of John Stamos, Mathew Lillard, Charlize Theron and Candice Bergen.

Decnews04_ChrisBarrett_lg Chris Barrett – HGTV

Candace Rose: How and when did you decide on a career in interior design?  

Chris Barrett: I was an actor for many years. When I had my son, I decided I wanted a career that I could control a little bit more. Ignorance is bliss! I didn’t realize at the time that, just like acting, you never know when your next job is coming. I went to the UCLA Interior Design program. I liked the first class, then took another and another. After my first year I got a design job. I kept going to school and very slowly kept working. I’m pretty sure that I’m a better designer than I was an actor.

 

Hotel Oceana_ Restauraunt Booth_Karyn Millet Santa Barbara's Hotel Oceana designed by Chris Barrett; Photographer – Karyn Millet

Hotel Oceana_Kitchen_Karyn Millet Kitchen – Santa Barbara's Hotel Oceana designed by Chris Barrett; Photographer – Karyn Millet

Hotel Oceana_Lounge Seating_Karyn Millet Lounge Seating – Santa Barbara's Hotel Oceana designed by Chris Barrett; Photographer – Karyn Millet


CR: What inspires you as a designer?

CB: Everything! Travel, landscape, fashion, music, jewelry. I’m currently designing a line of exterior fabrics. It reflects my Southern California upbringing and my love of saturated color. It’s been a fun project and I think the result is a fun line.

CR: What has been your favorite project thus far?

CB: My favorite projects tend to be the ones I’m currently working on. Whatever I’ve learned on past projects influences the next project.  I’m in the midst of completing two projects – both happen to be in Manhattan Beach. One is a Spanish Colonial with the most incredible carved plaster ceiling in the dining room! It’s the first time I was able to use this particular craftsman and it is spectacular. The other is a Southern California Modern. It’s fresh and light and I love it!

 

MSG_Dining Room_Michael Garland 2 MSG – Private Southern California Residence designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed by Michael Garland

MSG_Dining Room_Michael Garland MSG – Private Southern California Residence designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed by Michael Garland

 

MSG_Living Room_Michael Garland 2 MSG – Private Southern California Residence designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed by Michael Garland


MSG_Living Room_Michael Garland MSG – Private Southern California Residence designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed by Michael Garland


MSG_Master Bedroom_Michael  Garland 2 MSG – Private Southern California Residence designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed by Michael Garland

MSG_Bed Nighstand_Michael Garland MSG – Private Southern California Residence designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed by Michael Garland

CR: What is your interior design style?

CB: I create a story for every project so they tend not to look too similar. Although I think there is a definite ease and freshness to my style. I like to create livable interiors, residential or commercial. I’m not big on flash.

 

Sashi_Entry_Karyn Millet Manhattan Beach, California's Sashi Sushi Lounge designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed Karyn Millet

 

Sashi_Exterior Dining with Waitress_300  Manhattan Beach, California's Sashi Sushi Lounge designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed Karyn Millet

 

Sashi_Sake Bar_Karyn Millet Manhattan Beach, California's Sashi Sushi Lounge designed by Chris Barrett & Photographed Karyn Millet

CR: What are some of the common mistakes homeowners make when trying to decorate?

CB: Vacation art or furniture is not usually a good idea. What works in Bali doesn’t necessarily work in Kentucky!

SO_Bathroom_SouthernCA_Gorgeous Bathroom designed by Chris Barrett (Private Residence)

CR: Do you have any tips for readers looking to redecorate?

CB: Buy quality. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It should be well made, have good lines and some sort of character. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Measure carefully. Draw your room if you can. If you can’t, write the measurements down and take them with you shopping. Shopkeepers are usually very happy to help you figure out if something fits or not. Don’t forget you have to get things through doorways or up stairs.  Matching is boring. Scale and proportion need to work to mix things but a matching set doesn’t have much character.

Be sure and visit Chris Barrett Designs for more information. PS Don't miss out on her "Chris Likes" page, she has impeccable taste!

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1 Comment

  1. SisterBatik
    January 4, 2011 / 11:12 am

    Hi

    We love, love, love your blog, here at SisterBatik.

    We are home decor lovers and create pillows; filling spaces with our snuggly, characterful and dreamy pillows. We would love you to visit our blog http://sisterbatik.blogspot.com/

    Happy New Year – we look forward to following your blog in 2011!

    SisterBatik

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