Interior Designer Spotlight with Barbara Gilbert
Founder-owner Barbara Gilbert Interiors, Dallas, TX.
After 22 years of owning an insurance agency, Barbara Gilbert decided to leave it all for her dream job as an interior designer. It was an easy change since she was already decorating many of her friends’ and relatives’ homes. She went back to school to study interior design. After a few years, things blossomed for Barbara and she formed Barbara Gilbert Interiors in Dallas, Texas, winning multiple prestigious awards, working as an HGTV Pro Network Designer, and serving on the executive committee of the Interior Design Society.
Join me as Barbara shares her insights on interior design and more…
What Does It Mean to Be a Certified Dewey Color Specialist?
“I took a series of rigorous classes about how colors work with each other, using color in interior design, and color theory, and I successfully completed all the course work. What it means is I not only understand how colors interact with each other, but also how they affect people on a psychological level. There’s a whole system to this and I find it fascinating. Our interiors should work to create the state of mind we want for a space. For instance, a bedroom should be relaxing, not invigorating.”
What Trends Are You Seeing in Colors Today?
“Right now, I’m seeing a big resurgence of gold, particularly in accessories and lighting. Not a brassy gold, but more of a champagne or softer gold. I think that gold will be in style for quite some time because it has such a warm, elegant feel.”
“For neutral colors, I personally feel gray is still going to be the ‘new neutral’ for a while. I also predict a lot of ‘greige,’ which is a taupe-and-gray mix. People love having interior spaces with soothing colors, and neutrals with a pop of color for visual interest. This all goes back to the psychology of color—our homes are our havens and where we want to recharge.”
Benjamin Moore’s Broxburn Greige and Asford Greige.
What is It Like Being an Interior Designer in Dallas?
“For the longest time, the style that most people desired in their Texas homes was traditional. I think due to the influx of people moving to the Dallas area from other parts of the country, the taste has finally started to change. Now, most of my clients want homes where the inside is more transitional, which is like a warm contemporary.”
“People in the South also want outdoor family rooms and outdoor kitchens—bringing the outdoors in, or making the outdoors have a really easy flow, transitioning to the inside of the house is really important now.”
How Does Someone Choose an Interior Designer?
“I find that most of my business is through word-of-mouth or from online sites. Houzz.com is huge for me—we get a lot of business from my profile on their website. We specialize in residential luxury interior design, and most of my clients are looking for someone who is highly qualified, with an exceptional portfolio of work, and we offer that. Price is usually not an issue for them.”
What is One of the Ways You Bring Value to Your Clients?
“I go to the High Point Market in North Carolina, the largest home furnishings market in the United States. Because I have a commercial space, I am able to buy furnishings direct from the manufacturers, so our clients get more for their money. My clients trust they are going to get furniture that is comfortable, high quality, and a good value.”
Frisco, Family Friendly Home – Barbara Gilbert
Which is Your Favorite Interior Design Magazine?
“I do have a favorite interior design magazine; I love House Beautiful. They feature colorful and tastefully done homes.”
How Did You Become a HGTV Pro Network Designer?
“HGTV called me and asked if I’d be interested in showcasing some of my work. I said I would and uploaded some examples from my portfolio. Then last year, they were in Dallas and I was one of the designers interviewed to go into their program. I passed the interview and they just recently did an article featuring me as the Dewey Color Specialist.”
How Do You Pick Out Sofas with Your Clients?
“A lot of sofa manufacturers now have ‘make it yours’ programs. We can choose the arm style, legs, back style, pillow type, and dimensions. That’s typically what we do to make a custom piece. We will either use the manufacturer’s fabric for the base fabric or COM (customer’s own material). For the pillows, we pull designer-brand fabrics creating a look that’s unique to my client. This is what is called COM, even though typically it’s just another vendor’s fabric.”
Highland Park Remodeled Residence – Barbara Gilbert
What Are Your Clients’ Biggest Concerns When It Comes to Buying Rugs?
“They want something that is going to be family-friendly and on-trend, but not outdated in five years. The rug also needs to be easily cleanable. Wool is one of the easiest fibers to clean and it’s also non-allergenic. So when we are sourcing for high-traffic areas, I always do a wool rug. Depending on the client’s budget, the rug could be hand-knotted or a high quality hand-tufted rug.”
For more on Barbara Gilbert: www.barbaragilbertinteriors.com