We’re taking a break from the world of jewelry to focus on an interior designer by the name of Katie Barker. A fan of Disney movies, she’d compare her own Innermost Interiors aesthetic to Frozen. Elegant, magical, dramatic and very imaginative. A student of design in the UK, we talked about where she’s at now, styles coming from across the pond and more.
Kendra: Was there a particular room growing up that inspired your interest in design?
Katie Barker: I don’t think I could choose one particular room. However, around eight-years-old my family moved to an old Georgian house in the countryside. The house needed so much work but the possibilities were endless. The high ceilings, detailed coving, original fireplaces and other period details thankfully still remained giving the home its unique style. The mystery of the house and the stories behind it inspired me. It had originally belonged to smugglers and dates back to around 1650. There is one window hidden inside a wall which apparently was where the smugglers would signal using candlelight to boats on the nearby Solway.
The right-hand part of the upper window is actually inside of a wall and not accessible at all:
Kendra: Did you head off towards school for design or did you start elsewhere?
Katie Barker: I am currently still studying my degree in Interior Design BA (Hons), coming to the end of my first year of three. I knew design was what I wanted to do from a young age. As a child I described my future profession as a “gluer and sticker.” I choose design related GCSE’s and A levels at school that I knew would help me progress onto an Interior Design Degree. My course is a distance learning course with the National Design Academy which means I study from home.
Kendra: Are there any style trends in interior design you’re noticing in the UK that the US is failing to follow?
Katie Barker: In the UK we have a huge trend of “up-cycling” furniture, however, I am not sure how big this is in the US. The most fashionable trend is to use Annie Sloan paint which will paint over any surface and is great to create distressed ‘shabby chic’ looks. This is fab as more and more old furniture is reused rather than thrown out and waisted. Courses are held all over the UK to teach about up-cycling and Annie Sloan in particular.
Kendra: Do you have to pay attention to global trends in your line of work or is it better to stay local?
Katie Barker: I live in the Lake District in England so it is important to take into account the natural beauty of the area when designing and so in a sense, it is best to stay local. I do believe, however, it is also important to pay attention to global trends in the Interior Design world too. Design trends move fast and it would be easy to get left behind.
Kendra: Say a client came to you wanting some outlandish design they did see on the big screen. How do you manage to tame their wild wants into controlled necessities?
Katie Barker: I would ask the client about their favourite scene of the film, what stood out? Any particular buildings or interiors featured? Favourite character? And where the movie was based. Using these key factors I could narrow down the design scheme of the room using perhaps one or two elements inspired by each of these factors and decide what is really necessary.
Kendra: What lays ahead for you as we enter the spring?
Katie Barker: I will soon complete my first university year and progress onto the next. Then I plan to find work experience or a placement to progress my skills further in both design and business. I want to build up my Instagram as much as I can. It’s the best way to showcase my designs, inspiration, and build up a network of other designers to collaborate with.
Kendra: Finally, when you’re working on a design and have your music playing…what five songs are always on a loop?