DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Barry Dixon

BARRY DIXON’S signature blend of warm southern hospitality and global influences have made him one of the world’s most sought after interior designers. It’s a pleasure to focus our designer spotlight on Barry Dixon. After all, we have been a trusted source for the sought after designer for almost 30 years.

Barry Dixon’s work is featured in Barry Dixon Interiors and Farrow & Ball: The Art of Color and Barry Dixon Inspirations and Fortuny Interiors. Dixon lives and works in his 1907 Edwardian estate, Elway Hall, located on over 300 acres of farmland in the heart of Fauquier County, Virginia’s horse country.


“A room should start a conversation before people actually start exchanging words.” 
– Barry Dixon

 


 

 

Elway Hall

 

Why do you choose Ironware?

I love the mix that Ironware offers. I see so many aesthetic influences in their collection that span multiple cultures and periods. The variety of finishes offered along with custom variations allow me to create something new every time. And I adore the crafted nature of Ironware’s finished pieces. I can see the human hand in each creation…the art of craft.

 

Virginia home interior by Barry Dixon featuring Ironware’s Isadora Chandelier

 

From Southern Home Magazine, interior by Barry Dixon, showing Ironware’s Astrid Pendants

 

Bend, Oregon interior by Barry Dixon featuring a custom Ironware Dominic Light Mobile

 

Name a designer you admire and tell us why.

John Saladino. He is a master at melding past with present, as well as a superb aesthetic editor.

Favorite travel destination?
Home.

Current favorite color to use in projects?

I am in love with jades and blue-greens at the moment. Also, deep browns and warm
greys.

How would you best describe your style?

A mix of old and new, clean and complex…I like to pull favorite pieces from different
periods and mix them in a fresh, modern way for life in the 21st century.

Most memorable design challenge?

Completing an extremely large new private residence in Beijing several years ago in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics. It involved bi-monthly trips over the North Pole to China from D.C. over a long period of time. We prefer our projects a bit closer to home.

What is your favorite moment when designing a space, from start to finish?

Laying out the space plan of a home is my favorite part of the job. It’s the first time we start to see how the rooms will come together. And of course, installation day…the day the new rooms become a 3-dimensional reality.

What informs your aesthetic direction?

The rich history of our aesthetic past, the cross-cultural influences and confluences of
East and West and the views from the windows of a home.

Name three things you can’t live without besides family, faith and friends?

Dogs, antiques and coffee.

Describe a favorite piece in your personal home.

I am in love with anything and everything that I have in my home. Either for sentimental or personal reasons or just because I think the piece is beautiful. I am especially fond of a 7th century Chinese ceramic tiger “pillow” and a 13th century Asian “Scholar’s Stone” on its original wooden stand.

 

7th century Chinese ceramic tiger “pillow” and a 13th century Asian “Scholar’s Stone”

 

Other Barry Dixon projects:

 

 

To see more Barry Dixon Inc. projects, visit www.barrydixon.com.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Betsy Wentz Interior Design

Betsy Wentz

We first collaborated with Betsy Wentz on a stunning Palm Beach Mediterranean Revival home in 2016 and we continue to be amazed at the range and scope of her work not to mention her sheer enthusiasm. Never one to follow trends Betsy focuses on the sustainability of her design work and connection with clients for beautiful, meaningful and enduring results.

Captured for Modern Luxury Palm Beach. Interior by Betsy Wentz Interior Design, featuring our Antonia Chandelier. Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography.

Captured for Modern Luxury Palm Beach. Interior by Betsy Wentz Interior Design, featuring our Madison Pendant and Pascale Sconces. Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography. 

Captured for Modern Luxury Palm Beach. Dining room by Betsy Wentz Interior Design, featuring our Maresol Chandelier. Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography.

What is your favorite and least favorite aspects of being a designer? My favorite part of being a designer is the relationships you build. So many people start as clients or vendors and end up as friends. I also love the collaboration. When you work with a client and they trust you, the end result is so good. My least favorite is the business side of the job. Making claims, tracking orders and collecting payments. I’m very lucky to have an excellent office manager who loves balancing accounts!

Name a designer you admire and tell us why. I have a designer crush on Kelly Wearstler. I love her use of color and her funky, edgy, eclectic style.

Favorite travel destination? We took a family trip to Mustique in the West Indies last year and I would go back over and over again. From the views to the food to the sea turtles – the whole place is really special.

Name something that has inspired your work recently. Participating in the 2019 Traditional Home Hamptons Designer Showhouse and the 2020 Veranda Kips Bay-Palm Beach Designer Showhouses has been an inspiration for me. It’s a real chance to flex your design muscles and also meet and see some really amazing design work.

Most common mistake you see in interiors? Under-scaled lighting and rugs. It kills me to walk into a room and see a dinky chandelier and a 6×9 rug that should be 10×14.

Current favorite color to use in projects? I am a color lover, so I get excited to add any palette to a project. If a client likes yellow – I am all in!

Describe a favorite piece in your personal home.  My favorite piece is a gift from my 93 year-old very eccentric and reclusive neighbor. I came home from work one day to find a beautiful electric blue lacquered mid-century modern coat rack at my front door. There was a hand scribbled note that said ” This is from the 1950’s World Fair and it belongs with a fun person who will appreciate it.” She was right – I love both the coat rack and the story behind it.

Why did you choose Ironware for the Ocean Block in Palm Beach project? Ironware was a perfect fit for our Mediterranean revival house. The first lights we chose for the project were the Maressa Sconces for the entry. The detailed millwork in those sconces complimented the front hall tile. We then added chandeliers and other pieces in several rooms.

 

Architecture by Kirchhoff & Associates Architects, Interior by Betsy Wentz Interior Design with Maressa Sconce.  Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography.

What do you especially appreciate about Ironware? I appreciate the quality, the range of styles and finish options available from Ironware. The service is also exceptional. We’ve done a few custom lights and had the chance to talk directly with the person who designed and built our item.

What is one piece of advice you have for an interior designer just starting their career? Meet as many people as you can, there are so many opportunities to learn.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or not, who would it be and why? I’d give anything to have dinner with my mom before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is so hard to watch someone you love go through this terrible disease.

A few Betsy Wentz Interior Design projects:

 

 

 

Thanks to Betsy for spending your time with us! Check out more of Betsy Wentz Interior Design at her website here.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Paula Daher

PAULA DAHER has been designing exceptional interior spaces since 1995. As the firm's principal creative director at Daher Interior Design, Paula's solid strategic foundation coupled with her frequent international travel provides boundless inspiration for the firm’s many projects.

"Our homes provide nurture and rejuvenation. In our busy lives, that moment you walk through your front door and say ahhhhh….happy to be home, that is what I want all of my clients to feel." - P. Daher

         
Interior by Daher Interior Design with Ironware's Cassiopeia Chandelier Photo by Michael J. Lee
 
Interior by Daher Interior Design with Ironware's Ondine Chandelier Photo by Michael J. Lee
 
Entry way by Daher Interior Design with a customized Ironware Twinka Pendant Photo by Michael J. Lee
 

What is your favorite travel destination? My latest muse is Morocco. I have been 5 times in the past 18 months (planning my daughter’s wedding) and the country has become dear to my heart. Marrakech is a designer’s dream with color, texture, and handwork. All this in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The ceramics bring a level of craft to be appreciated by all and the tile, oh the tile...intricate designs to inspire and send me over the moon! And then the food, the perfect combination of Middle Eastern with a French influence. Trés bon.

Is there a special detail you always add to your projects? Each project is unique and needs to appeal to the client. Art is the one element for me that, when added to a room, can make it sing and just feel complete.

Most common mistake you see in interiors... Accessories that do not add to a room or shelves, they detract. Less is more. Elevate the simple without clutter and the simple becomes beautiful.

What are you reading? Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Tell us about a lesson you learned on the job? Ha! When do we not learn from a job? Each project is unique with a different set of parameters unique to the home. Each project has an army of trades people to pull the entire project together from start to finish. There is always something new to resolve and work through and this becomes the basis of our decisions for each next project. In nearly 25 years of business, I have definitely learned a thing or two on the job. 😉

Name something that has inspired your work recently... Morocco has left an indelible mark on my soul and bits and pieces have been finding ways into my work. Nothing is more magical than a piece of pottery made in a Berber village, brought home and placed on display in a contemporary space.

What has been the most outrageous request you've ever had from a client? My latest request, and unbelievably, two clients simultaneously: three TV’s on the same wall! Yikes – a definite challenge.

What do you especially appreciate about Ironware? Ironware has become a go-to for my firm. The true customization of the products in terms of size and finish allow us to work them into a variety of rooms of various scales.  Many of our projects are in Boston’s brownstones, typically thin buildings with ceilings 12’ tall. Ironware is an easy resource in terms of customization with efficient fabrication and shipping.

Name something on your bucket list... My never ending quest…..to  be fluent in French and not just a fluent 4 year old.  A solid few months in Paris or Marrakech could do the trick!

Why is interior design important? Our homes provide nurture and rejuvenation. In our busy lives, that moment you walk through your front door and say ahhhhh…happy to be home, that is what I want all of my clients to feel.

   

A few favorites of Daher Interior Design projects, all photos by Michael J. Lee:

To learn more about Daher Interior Design, go to www.daherinteriordesign.com.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Tricia Huntley

TRICIA HUNTLEY founded Huntley & Co. in 2006 following a decade designing hotels and working for the residential firm Solis Betancourt. Prior to that, she received a master’s degree with honors in interior design from George Washington University and an undergraduate degree in photography and art history. Huntley & Co.’s work has been shown in numerous publications including ADPro where our Celine Pendant designed by Tricia was featured.

Clockwise: Tricia Huntley, Celine Pendant designed by Tricia Huntley, custom Diego Bed

Who is a designer you admire and why?
Muriel Brandolini. I admire her creativity, fearlessness, passion for craftsmanship and ability to mold her very particular look into something traditional or modern.

Where is your favorite travel destination?
Italy.  Rome and Florence are favorites – The Boboli Gardens particularly in Florence.

What or who has inspired your work recently.
I recently watched the documentary ‘Agnelli’ about the life of Gianni Agnelli. His style is legendary. His clothing, grooming, homes, cars, art, mannerisms—all were impeccable, incredibly glamorous, and yet, totally effortless. He embodied midcentury Italian style.

Is there a special detail you always add to your projects? 
Bespoke furnishings. We always create custom furniture, lighting and/or softgoods for our projects.

What is the most common mistake you see in interiors?
Uninspired art. Seeing a well-executed interior with art that’s decorative or pedestrian is soul-crushing. An artwork collection should be a mix of genres and price points; some should be thoughtfully curated pieces, others should be “finds” from vacations and flea markets. It shouldn’t be too perfect, too much of the same or purchased based on what your friends own.

What is most exciting to you in your career at this moment?
The landscape of our industry is constantly shifting and it’s become an ongoing challenge for designers.  The good news is that I love a challenge. I never thought I would have to explain or defend my professional value at this point in my career, but I’ve come to realize that it ups my game in many ways. I continually pursue new levels of excellence in design and business. That keeps my job exciting and interesting.

How would you best describe your style?
Eclectic yet edited.  I like unexpected pairings and a bit of tension wrapped in a thoughtful, comfortable envelope.  

Describe a favorite piece in your personal home
I purchased a vintage coromandel screen last year and installed it in my dining room. It has a rich warm wood finish with slightly colored carvings. It has great scale and is both very elegant and a bit weird. It’s flanked by crystal Swedish sconces with my dining table, pink leather chairs and brutalist chandelier completing the arrangement.

What are three (four!) things you can’t live without besides family, faith and friends?
Comedy radio, cursive handwriting, my Swell water bottle and Nina, my beloved Norwegian Elkhound.

Name something on your bucket list
Going on safari in Africa.

What music are you listening to right now?
70s soul, country and the Sia station on Pandora.

Why do you choose Ironware for your projects?
Ironware has substance. Playing the textural and sculptural against clean lines is part of what makes a Huntley & Co. interior. Ironware is the perfect counterpoint to more tailored furnishings.

A few Huntley & Co. Projects:

To learn more about Tricia and Huntley & Co, go to www.huntleyandcompany.com.