An eye for detail…

Photography: Kasia Fiszer

Justine Hodgson-Barker of local interior design business Barkerdesign tells Eileen Leahy what inspires her unique, eye-catching work and reveals the inspiration behind two stunning recent projects…

When I first interviewed Justine of Barkerdesign a couple of years ago she told me that interior design was ‘all about personality’ for her. Well, the talented designer, who launched her business in 2009, has certainly stuck steadfastly to that style mantra ever since and is now renowned for creating eclectic Insta-worthy designs in people’s homes that don’t slavishly follow trends but instead skilfully reflect their owners’ passions and personality.

The Barkerdesign studio has earned its reputation over the years for having an accomplished eye for detail and also the key ability to honour a property’s period.

“I do this by mixing up pieces from different eras – curating vintage pieces along with artisan commissions. Combining these with new designer finds is what sets my designs apart in the industry,” explains Justine.

“Central to my design philosophy is the interpretation of the client’s brief to create original, eclectic interiors that surpass trends, creating spaces that are every bit as individual as my clients,” she adds.

The business is based in Tunbridge Wells, but covers the whole Kent area, for both residential and commercial.

“Every project is different, which is why I have created three services for each level of a project. These range from complete refurbs through to space planning and mini-consultations to help you solve your design dilemmas.”

Recently, Justine has completed two stunning projects: a Georgian villa in Sevenoaks and a manor house in Lewes, East Sussex. As the beautiful pictures on this page testify, her talent for picking out the right kind of colour palette, fixtures and fittings for each period of home is razor-sharp. And unlike a lot of designers who thrust their personal taste on clients, Justine is all about incorporating an owner’s style, taste and existing pieces into any new scheme so it artfully reflects them and not a trend…

Gorgeous Georgian:

The brief: “I wanted to create a loved and lived-in family home. So we mixed contemporary and classic with a distinctly French feel. We kept the overall style calm and relaxed with all the practicalities needed for a growing family. We curated Georgian antiques along with contemporary takes on classics and new designer finds which provided the ‘wow’ features to bring a fun element.”

Majestic manor house:

The brief: “This project called for a style that carefully created furniture and objects from different eras to create an effortlessly cool vintage vibe. We allowed the bones of the building to lead with a timeless backdrop where we could, and enhanced the space with statement artwork and objects, whilst linking through to more maximalist spaces where layered lighting created a magical and fun atmosphere in the evening.”


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