When I come across a brilliant designer, I immediately look through their portfolio, admiring the exquisite interiors and the meticulous attention to detail. I came across Baker Design Co. a month ago and fell in love with the settings Libby, the business’s owner and principal interior designer, had created. I sent her an email to express my admiration for her art and to see if she would be open to answering some questions.
I’m excited to share our interview with you today, along with a few samples of her work.
LIBBY, I ADORE THE WAY YOU MATCH ANTIQUES WITH MODERN DECOR TO CREATE VISUAL TENSION AND BALANCE. Why is this matter significant? I believe that a space’s harmony between the ancient and the new is crucial for a variety of reasons. The tension of textures is the first. Something that is older usually exhibits more natural wear and tear or a patina, which cannot be artificially produced. These components give the area character. They have a talent for making the area distinctly your own.
I naturally gravitate toward furniture with simple forms. Additionally, really classic lines. This, in my opinion, is where the modern component enters. My preference is to de-clutter the scene in order to make room for something amazing to serve as the main point. Second, despite the danger of seeming monotonous, I believe it is necessary to have a variety of goods in a room since the flow is better. There are shops for that if you wanted everything to look the same or similar:)
WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU ASK NEW CLIENTS? WHY IS A LIFESTYLE ANALYSIS IMPORTANT? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT THE WAY YOU DESIGN? USE EXAMPLES ONLY. I enquire as to whether they are tidy freaks or really organized people. I inquire as to how often they entertain. It’s funny how these three simple questions can reveal some fairly crucial characteristics that will guide my design decisions. For instance, if someone is a clean freak, I won’t recommend large, slouchy linen sofas or ruffled bed linens because it will likely drive them crazy to constantly straighten those items.
The same is true for people who are organized. Every object and place should have its own functions. If they desire things to be organized and clean, I wouldn’t overaccessorize their home. The solution would be a few standout pieces! Additionally, if they party frequently, I am aware that I must utilize performance textiles on sofas, barstools, dining chairs, and other furniture where it matters.
You layer numerous neutrals and don’t mind blending patterns. CAN YOU SHARE A TIP FOR ATTAINING THE LOOK? Usually, I start with a neutral basis, like the wall color or the fabric of the sofa, and work my way up from there. The size is important when combining patterns and colors, which is a fantastic thing to keep in mind at all times. Because they oppose one another, I adore wearing a wonderful abstract print with a more fitted piece, like a stripe. It resembles J. Crew and Anthropologie sharing a residence.
Decide who has a bigger personality for you—J. Crew or Anthropologie—and go with that. Do you like a preppy or a boho look? Once you know which one will demand more attention, you may scale the other aspects down to make the more noticeable one stand out.
In bedroom design, COMFORT AND SERENITY ARE HIGHLY VALUED. AGREE YOU? WHAT ELSE MATTERS? Absolutely agree! My next purchase would be luxurious bedding and sheets! I have a thing for luxurious bedding. My retreat is my bed, so it’s critical to provide each guest with a bed that is comfortable for them, complete with lovely, comforting linen.
Sleep is extremely important, and we actually spend more time in bed than we realize. The ability to have at least two different layers of light—or more, depending on your space—also contributes to a sense of ease and tranquility. It’s great to have reading or bedside lamps in place of overhead lighting at night, as well as window coverings that allow you to block out all light at night but let it in at dawn to wake you up and give you energy for the day.
HOW COME TILE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT TO DESIGN AS PAINT OR FABRIC? DO YOU TAKE A RISK OR PLAY IT SAFE? On this one, I absolutely limbo:) I like to be daring in rooms that demand attention, like the kitchen, the master bathroom, or the mudroom. When I say something is bold, I don’t always mean that I’m using a bold color or a bold pattern; it could also indicate that the installation or scale is bold while the tile is basic.
For instance, we tiled the full wall of both the kitchen walls, from the counter to the ceiling, in one of our kitchen design projects. The tile itself had color and wasn’t too outrageous, but it has a lot of impact because of where we purposefully placed it. In order to respond to the question, I believe I do both.
WHAT IS THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED FROM A CLIENT? DID YOU LOVE HEARING IT, AND WHY? My favorite query is this one! Some of our favorite people have told us that we have changed the way they live. This is the finest praise someone could give me since I want to help clients make small adjustments to their houses that would improve their lives. Sometimes people don’t realize that anything in their home is bothering them or causing them trouble until it’s a safe, serene haven that requires little upkeep. Hearing that makes me happy because it confirms that I have done an excellent job.
Thank you so much to Libby for answering my queries despite her hectic design and installation schedule. Beautiful spaces, no? Does she not possess amazing insight? Such valuable lessons in her responses!