Homes are made to be used and enjoyed.
Beauty does not have to be grand or expensive. No space is too small or unimportant to be beautiful. One’s environment affects one’s soul and good design brings a sense of peace to those who are exposed to it.
Rena Barclay is an American Interior Designer living in Oxfordshire, England.
After earning a BFA in Interior Design from the University of Georgia, Rena had the opportunity to be trained for many years by the iconic Interior Designer, Dotty Travis, in Atlanta, Georgia. After setting up Rena Dasher Interiors in 1994, Rena then attended the Sotheby’s History of Decorative Arts courses in London, England. In 1997, Rena moved to England permanently and worked for the English design firm Colefax & Fowler before setting up Rena Barclay Interiors.
Over the past 20 years, Rena has undertaken projects both in America and England. Her goal on each job is to provide her clients with a timeless interior which reflects their requests and requirements. Having a love for both contemporary and antique furniture and art, Rena creates interiors which are eclectic using proportion, colour and scale as guidelines. She provides her clients with end results which are not only elegant, but are also practical and comfortable.
Budgets are always met and no project is too small to undertake. Client satisfaction is our primary concern.
- What’s your go-to classic color choice?
- There are so many colours that I enjoy using that I couldn't possibly narrow it down to one go-to choice. I use bright colours, neutrals, pastels... whatever the scheme requires. There isn't a colour that I actually dislike.
- Is there a hotel that’s most inspired your work while traveling?
- I find inspiration from every place that I visit, so I can't say that I have been particularly inspired by one hotel. However, my very favourite hotel...in the world... is the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Rock. My husband told me about it for years and we finally went in 2015. I was stunned into silence by the beauty of the architecture,interiors and surroundings of the hotel. It took my breath away.
- Which pieces of technology do you use to document design inspiration?
- I use the camera on my iPhone most often to record things I don't want to forget and want to refer back to at some point. It is so easy to use and I can send photos to clients and suppliers in seconds. I get so much work done so quickly using my smartphone. I love it!
- Where do you go to spot new style?
- Everywhere! I see new and inspiring ideas and styles every day. One just needs to keep their eyes open!
- Do you have a favorite restaurant (for the design and the food, of course)?
- I think that Claridge's in London is very special.
- What’s your favorite small museum in the world?
- I adore the Wallace Collection in London and the Frick Collection in New York City. I never tire of exploring either one. I also love the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
- How do you usually start your weekend?
- If my husband and I are alone at home with no children around, we plan something special for dinner and ...relax!
- Who or what is your biggest design influence?
- My biggest design influence is Dotty Travis in Atlanta, Georgia. Dotty was my first boss and a very successful designer with spectacular style. She trained "my eye" and taught me to see things in a way that can not be taught at school. She was always willing to explain her decisions to me and never tired of my unending questions. She knew proportion and colour better than anyone I've ever met. She had such wonderful taste. Other great influences include Billy Baldwin, Sister Parish and Albert Hadly. Also, Nancy Lancaster and John Fowler. All iconic designers whose presence in the design world is still felt today.
- How do you keep it all together?
- I make it a rule to be at my desk by 8:30 am. If I start later than that, I find that I am behind all day. I stay on a strict work routine as working from home can have it's distractions. I make lots of lists and refuse to panic when something goes wrong. It is inevitable in this business and a cool temperament is essential in sorting out problems.
- Design a garden: groomed or freestyle?
- Both depending on it's surroundings. I love a freestyle garden connected to a farmhouse or cottage in the countryside and I adore a groomed garden in a more formal, stately environment. What I can't stand is pretension in any form.