Reviving a Classic

The moment you enter the New Bedford, Massachusetts, home of Interior Designer Bill Barr, his creative flair and passion for visual artistry are immediately evident. Intriguing vignettes occupy virtually every space throughout the rooms of the Colonial Revival home which he purchased seven years ago after falling in love with its plentiful period details and abundant charm. With the goal of  ultimately remodeling the entire house, Barr finds that, so far he’s thrilled with his results of the nearly completed lower level. The space has been converted back to its original glory, yet with a few liberties taken to accommodate a more modern way of living.

INTERIOR DESIGNED BY Surroundings PHOTOGRAPHY BY Diane Anton

INTERIOR DESIGNED BY Surroundings
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Diane Anton

With a background in fine arts and a career that started in visual display for a major national retailer, it’s no wonder that Barr found himself drawn to the world of interior design. Now Barr is an accomplished designer for Surroundings in Mattapoisett, where his keen eye for color and scale, coupled with excellent listening skills, have clearly made him a natural. And natural seems to be the best way to describe his innate talent for creating warm and inviting environments.

Although many designers feel that it is easier to design for others than for themselves, such is not the swiss replica watches case with Barr. “I simply buy what I love and figure out where to put it later. Clients often want to see the big picture right from the beginning and I understand that completely, but when I design for myself it happens more organically and things just seem to fall into place,” he explained.

There is a distinctive feeling of order in Barr’s home. Unexpected elements for a property of this period, such as the mixture of contemporary and transitional furnishings were all masterfully edited by the designer. Every piece has a purpose, even if that purpose is simply to delight.

Barr explained his own design method, saying “My personal style is tonal, traditional luxe meets comfortable modern. I enjoy an eclectic mix of furniture and I’m not hung up on pedigree. Colors, shapes,replica watches textures… all inspire me.”

Considering that Barr is overseeing his own renovation, it’s rather fitting that the construction phase is his favorite. “We fell in love with the gracious staircase, the quarter-sawn oak floors and the wonderful pocket doors, but the home had been converted into a dentist’s office in the mid-1950s, so when we bought it the first priority was to remove the office that occupied the two front parlors,” said Barr.

Another area of the original home in which a little creative license was called for was a butler’s pantry that didn’t survive the remodel in the 50s. “We left that out as well in order to garner a larger kitchen which was not typical in homes of this period, but gives us more functional space,” said Barr.

Looking ahead, Barr plans to complete the second floor by designing and adding a second bath. With his current projects taking him from Cambridge to Barrington, RI, and down to Cape Cod and Nantucket, it will no doubt be a work in progress for some time. Just long enough to find a few new treasures and a lot of inspiration along the wayhttp://www.southernnehome.com/admin .

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