A Conversation with Jamie Barr
Originally from the outskirts of Washington DC, Jamie attended Savannah College of Art & Design earning a degree in Interior Design. Since graduating she has accrued numerous happy clients and a breadth of experience ranging from residential to hospitality. Jamie joins the Collective team as an Associate Designer.
Here, we get to know Jamie, what inspired her passion for design and how her personal client-designer relationships translate into beautiful spaces.
How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
When I was younger, I preferred to watch home and design shows instead of cartoons. All my friends were watching Nickelodeon and I was tuned into HGTV! My parents bought a fixer upper when I was ten years old which really sparked my interest in design. I loved watching the process and the transformation of an outdated home into new, stunning spaces.
Can you remember the first space that had a big impact on your interior design career?
While I was attending Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia, a restaurant in town asked my class to design their new location. My team's concept was based on the use of space during the Prohibition Era as a fight club. We created a modern, eclectic design with a nod to the history of the building. The restaurant owner ended up choosing our design for the renovation.
This project held a lot of firsts for me. It was my first collaborative design project and I discovered I loved being able to bounce ideas off other members of a cohesive team. I was introduced to real-time client interaction and watched the project develop from start to finish. It was a truly memorable experience to kick off my career.
How do you describe your job as a designer?
Making spaces beautiful yet functional, to adhere to my client’s way of living.
How do you manage the variety of clients and types of projects?
Lists. Lots of lists. But really, it gets so personal with each individual client. When it comes to managing each project and client, it’s all about how we help them find their style while offering our skills to give them the best product in the end.
Walk me through the beginning of your design process…
I always ask my clients to share inspiration photos. From there, I start to conceptualize ideas for color schemes, textures, and fabrics. Then, together we create a concept that reflects what they might be looking for. That’s when I really dive narrowing down every detail.
How important is relationship when designing a client’s home?
It’s huge. Designing a home is very personal. It’s so important to establish trust early on with a client by being open, transparent and establishing a budget upfront.
How do you help clients whose design aesthetic might not be like yours?
At the end of the day, my main purpose as a designer is happy clients and that means working to create spaces that are stylish and functional no matter what the client’s style is. Creating an aesthetic different than my own is part of the process.
How do you make sure your client’s house feels like home?
I always make sure a client’s day-to-day lifestyle is accounted for through the new design.
What does a successful project mean to you?
Establishing a solid relationship with a client where they can look back on the process and say Collective made the entire experience easy, enjoyable, and attainable.
What spaces are you currently designing?
I’m really excited about a home Lisa and I are working on that’s a new construction project with our sister company, Pinnacle Mountain Homes. These clients are looking to create the best of the best.
I’m also thrilled to be designing another project with Oshi. We’re completely refurnishing a home to make it a better fit for the client’s lifestyle and vision of home.
What do you see for the future of design?
I think we are going to be seeing more minimalism while still investing in high-quality, long-lasting pieces.
I also think that sustainability will continue to grow in the design world. The industry is constantly making efforts towards that. It’s important to me to find materials that are kind to our environment, especially living in the Colorado mountains.
Finish this sentence. Every space needs…
Function and a welcoming ambiance.
What do you like best about your line of work?
Being creative on a day-to-day basis and interacting with different clients to consistently meet or exceed their expectations.
What made you want to be a part of the Collective team?
When I came in for my interview and got to experience the atmosphere at Collective, I instantly loved it and knew it would be a great place to continue my career.
What are you looking forward to most in your career at Collective?
Establishing special, lasting relationships with both clients and colleagues.