Interview with Linda Barker, Ideal Home Show 2011

Pippa Jameson Interior’s Shopping Contributor, Liz Danon, visited the Ideal Home Show and has this fantastic interview with Linda Barker .  Read on for a sneaky insight into Linda’s design influences, people’s spending habits and trend predictions for 2011…

When you decided to set up really Linda Barker, what was the style you began with and what did you draw your inspiration from?

It’s my signature look; it’s quite contemporary but its really friendly and comfortable. If I didn’t like it it wouldn’t be in the catalogue and it’s very much about how I decorate.
And my inspiration is really as a designer you just keep your eyes open wherever you go. I do all the trade shows so you’re always looking at what’s new, people profile new looks. You can go into a new hotel or a bar to find your inspiration.

Have you seen anything today that has caught your eye?
I have had a little look, I like the prince’s house, lots of style things in there which are really good. A lot of what I’m doing at the moment which is sort of salvage trends. They’re using a lot of clever materials. The beach house and the eco house that I’m involved in. It’s all quite inspiring.

I noticed that you did fine art at university, who is your favourite artist?
I like a lot of artists, Howard Hodgkin, his colour was amazing. A lot of art, not just painting, I like light installations. And then I like the masters, Piccaso, Monet and the modern stuff too like Tracey Emin, I do try and go to galleries when I get the time.

What trends of 2010 influenced you the most?
Probably the recycling trend, eco trend. Everybody’s got to be a lot more clever about the materials they use in their homes. it’s a very strong message.

Do you think that the current economic situation has contributed and influenced the way people spend?
Yes definitely, when people are buying things for their home, there are much more considered purchases, they’ve got to work quite hard in the home. People don’t just want a quick fix, they want longevity. We’ve found that people are spending a bit more on long lasting products.

What are your predictions for 2011 trends?
We’ll be much more aware of the providence of things that we put in our homes. I think we’ll be looking after the environment a lot more, but we’ll be having fun with interiors. It’s about creating an individual look, so not about a mass manufactured house. Maybe we’ll be making and crafting things ourselves.

What inspired you to become an interior designer?
I suppose having a strong art back ground and then combining that with being a house owner. Put the two together and loved it from then on.

What inspires you daily?
At the moment probably looking at design blogs.

Design disaster?
Probably on changing rooms, I did have a shelf of tea pots collapse on me. They all broke and they were somebody’s collection, about 30 of them.

What would you do to spruce up a room in an hour?
Move the furniture around, you can really give a room a whole new look by just shifting things. By bringing things into the bedroom from the living room, rugs, pictures everything can be interchanged.

What’s your favourite item in the home?
Probably a lovely wooden Buddha head that I found in a salvage yard

Most recent item you purchased?
I think I bought some glasses, because im doing some projects here for the theatre on recycling. And I bought some beautiful vintage champagne glasses from a charity shop, there were three which is probably why they were being chucked out. They’re very beautiful.

Most enjoyable part of the design process?
Thinking about the initial concept, that’s very exciting.

Thank you Linda for a great interview!


Meet Pippa

Pippa Jameson is an author, tv designer and interiors expert. The previous interior editor on several leading UK titles, Pippa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her 25-year career, Pippa’s unique and creative approach has won her commissions for large retail brands and celebrities to deliver exciting and engaging projects. 

She’s written the curriculum for the British College of Interior Design, produced and styled shoots for well-known brands including John Lewis, H&M & Team GB/DFS, worked as an International Stylist for leading paint brands in Asia, consulted on the launch and creative direction of major retail names including George Home and Wren, and most recently, published her first book, The Sensory Home. Pippa possesses expertise unmatched in the interior industry.