For this installment of Design Excellence, we take a look at the Eastern Shore’s own Jenny Barker, and Jenny Barker Design. Ms. Barker is a formally trained interior designer with over 10 years of experience whose passion for design started as a young girl watching her grandfather, a retired engineer, create scaled drawings. At an early age, Jenny began refining her design vision by designing homes, complete with floor plans. This passion led to art and fashion and a most enviable career path. After graduating from Mary Baldwin College, Jenny moved to New York City and where she worked at Notorious Magazine as an assistant to the editor in chief, and at Butterick-Vogue and Redbook as an editorial stylist.
Desiring to return to her true design roots, Jenny attended the New York School of Interior Design, and after graduating in 2004, she started her own design firm. Her clients extend from Manhattan to Chicago and Virginia. Jenny has a reputation for being pragmatic, versatile, and honest while guiding her clients through the design process, helping them find their perfect balance.
Undoubtedly, being raised on a farm on Virginia’s Eastern Shore peninsula gave Jenny an early sense of adventure along with the paradoxical curiosity to see the larger world. Whether she was en point in ballet class, riding horses down deer paths, or designing and sewing her own dresses, her creativity and energy has become her trademarks.
For Ms. Barker, creating timeless style in your home doesn’t happen by accident. It is a very deliberate outcome; the result of honest introspection that includes the secrets of your heart and the things in your life that make you smile. “Your home should have the capacity to charm, surprise, and woo. It needs to be intelligent and confident, but most importantly, it has to be comfortable. I believe every interior should be a little sexy, provocative, or unexpected. It should have a sense of humor; and most importantly it needs to be easy- never forced,” Ms. Barker said.
According to Jenny, a great designer will enhance your personal style and bring continuity to your collections, “I will listen to your desires, look carefully at how you live, and guide you thoughtfully through the process. Our homes serve two purposes. They are the place we retreat and the place where we are able to live out our fantasies. Magic happens when those lines become blurred, when form and function become inseparable, and your home belongs to you as much as you belong to it.”
“There is balance in life everywhere – in nature or in our own homes… Everything should have a purpose…for me, designing knowing when to stay inside the box and knowing when to let go- to be free. Helping others find that balance and satisfaction in their lives is a wonderful adventure and a huge source of happiness for me. ” – Jenny Barker