Design from the Inside Out

Photo by Tonya Abeln

Photo by Tonya Abeln

Getting to know his clients is a well-known hallmark of Barry Wooley’s design style. Sure, he could execute a project exactly as requested, or even copy and paste a previous successful space, but he knows that in order for someone to truly enjoy their environment and feel comfortable within it, it should reflect their taste and their personality, sometimes in ways they aren’t even aware.

Throughout the years as a designer, Barry and his team have employed a reliable tool in the getting-to-know-you phase with new clients. Sometimes the questionnaire is met with hesitation, but he is quite convincing that the effort made to answer questions about yourself upfront, will result in more satisfaction in the end.

Beverly and Harry Bryan.

Beverly and Harry Bryan.

A keen observer, Barry has always used his personal surveillance, consideration and review as an additional way of sizing up the needs of his clients outside of what they may or may not be willing to admit on the questionnaire. From the color of their eyes to the color of their hair, the colors chosen for a room should complement the natural features of the individual existing within it.

Barry had a great deal of fun getting to know his clients, the Bryans, from the inside out in order to transform and update their townhouse. After Harry and Beverly had merged their lives and belongings together following the passing of their previous spouses, their desire was to start over within the space together. Barry prioritized the effort of identifying the most beautiful items among her impressive collections. Next, he identified a need to display her Depression-era glassware and occupied Japan china that were previously hidden within white cabinetry. Barry recalls, “We created a solution by installing seeded glass panes in the cabinet doors and lighting the cabinets with interior puck lighting.”

Seating was important to the couple who frequently hosted up to 40 people for Bible studies. You’ve heard the phrase, “He would give the shirt off his back.” Well, Barry’s version is that he would give the sofa from his own living room. He explains, “They had identified a sofa from a photograph and the designer had discontinued the fabric. I didn’t want to disappoint them so I gave them mine.”

The designer had to only look to his own BWB collection of paint to identify the soothing hues that would update what was formerly a dark room with an “oppressive” ambience. He and his team worked their final bit of magic when they sent the Bryans away to Florida for a week during the heaviest renovation. They returned amazed at the transformation that, besides a fresh coat of paint and beautiful new chandeliers and furniture, included a few surprises that Barry threw in based on his intuition and, undoubtedly, the questionnaire.life_prestigiouspropertiesbryans_ch_032

Nothing says satisfaction like a repeat customer and it didn’t take the Bryans long to return to BW for some additional design needs. Their desire this time, was to be able to enjoy and utilize their outdoor space as much as their newly remodeled indoor space. Barry notes, “Outdoor environments are becoming increasingly as important to address as the interior spaces. We custom built a pergola and patio with outdoor dining, seating and a charming courtyard. They now have access doors from their family room and their master suite.”

Now the Bryans can enjoy friends and fellowship on the outside as much as the inside.