Designer Profile: Interview with Barbara Franceski

This Designer Profile Series began as a little pipe dream in February and has quickly grown into interviews with fourteen top Interior Designers as a more personal look into their well-recognized careers. Their insight and advice has fed my desire to learn what it really takes to "make it", not just creatively but professionally, in the design industry and I've selfishly (I admit it) used this blog as reason to converse with some of those I most admire.  But fifteen just feels like a good number to end it on...

I've decided to end the series with one of Washington's finest designers, Barbara Franceski, whose sophisticated interiors are at once fresh, modern and timeless.  Since a young age, Barbara's artistic inclinations led her toward a career in interior design and her extensive travels have offered continuous inspiration.  As an NCIDQ-certified designer, Barbara and her namesake design firm have been recognized with numerous awards from the Washington design community. She is certainly a remarkable designer to watch and I'm so pleased to have her for the final interview here on The Beautiful Shelter.  Thank you Barbara!

Can you tell us about your first job in the design field?
Right out of college, I served as project manager assistant at a Knoll systems furniture dealer. I logged many hours on commercial and government installations and reconfigurations, did lots of space analysis and planning, specifying, and tracking. I went everywhere around DC--from the basement of the Pentagon to the Marine Corps Base in Quantico to law offices and federal government agencies. It sounds fun as a first job, but I quickly realized that the contract side of interior design wasn’t my thing. However, I will always be thankful for the experience, especially for the large amount of space planning I had to do which serves me well even today.

What is your design philosophy?
I always set out to create elegant, dynamic interiors. How I get there on each project may differ, but I pay attention first and foremost to the space and its architecture, the surroundings, and my client. A great deal of thought goes into my interiors. I don’t simply place a floor lamp next to a reading chair and declare mission accomplished! I care about the placement and shape of the chair, and the lines of the lamp in relation to the chair, plus how they both relate to what’s going on in the bigger context of the room and even the house. I tend to blend the classical with the contemporary, and have a good time playing with textures, patterns and colors. The end result is a smart, eye-appealing, eminently livable home.

What is your most memorable travel destination?
Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy is one of my favorite places in the world. Beyond gorgeous scenery, new adventures to be had around every corner, incredible food and drink, and a palpable sense of ease that makes you want to stay forever.

What are your “best practices” for accessorizing a room?
Art and accessories are what make a space complete. A room can have good bones, beautiful furniture, and still come off absolutely flat. It’s this last layer of personality that sets your home apart and quite frankly, makes you feel at home. That being said, I am somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to accessories. Every inch of wall space or table top does not need to be covered. Remember that the space around an object is just as important as the object itself. And, the ability to combine, edit and refine is essential.

What has been the greatest lesson since opening your business?
It’s two-fold. First is to be true to who I am. With that in motion, my value as “trusted advisor” to my clients is priceless.

Photography Credit: Angie Seckinger and Gunnar Westerlind

Thank you again Barbara!


ChampagneMaker said...

I am so crushing on those zebra cube poofs!

Unknown said...

Can you tell me the lovely light yellowish paint colour on your living room walls please? Thanks!

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