Featuring Barry Wooley Designs and their take on the changing landscape of home design today
By Liz Bingham
Photos by Kathryn Harrington
Since the pandemic, people have been spending more time in their homes which is redefining the home design industry. We spoke to the Founder of Barry Wooley Designs, Barry Wooley, and Design Director, Greg Fickle, to learn more about the changing design trends and how Barry Wooley Designs can help make your home beautiful and functional.
What changes have you seen in terms of design requests or trends post-pandemic?
Barry: Designs that are tailored to comfortable living have been a priority for clients during and post-pandemic. Comfortable seating, fabrics and soft “hardscape” items like carpets and rugs are being used more in design as people adapt to being home regularly. Keeping in mind that clients have adapted to working from home, the request for office solutions has increased, including cord and wire control and “lifestyle” offices that fit residential interiors.
Greg: While open-concept isn’t going away anytime soon, clients are wanting a little more separation. We were around each other a lot! We all needed some space. Also, as close family and friends came together more in small groups, we wanted to enjoy that time together. Those moments became sacred. We didn’t want to spend time cleaning up the kitchen after a dinner party, but also didn’t want to look into a dirty kitchen from the lounging spaces. Some partitions became needed.
As far as furnishings, clients wanted no-fuss pieces. We want to spend as much time together as possible. As home trends typically follow clothing styles, think athleisure wear. Performance fabrics, comfort, items that can be easily washed, flexible styles that coordinate with one another, no ironing, bright and fun patterns mixed with neutrals, etc.
What do you think is causing these changes?
Barry: During the pandemic, people spent the majority, if not all, of their time at home. This led them to begin investing their time and money into making their homes comfortable for 24/7 living. With a limited environment where families were living, working, raising children and adapting to new norms, clients started to realize components of their spaces that needed new style and a refreshed design. Essentially, they were bored of staring at the same things in their house that they’ve had for years. The design and furnishings industry began leaning into the needs of clients during an unprecedented pandemic, which kept the industry stable for the last year and a half.
Are there any requests or trends you think will continue, even once we’re truly past the pandemic?
Barry: It’s been surprising to hear clients request carpets and larger rugs to cover hardwood and tile floors. These are investment pieces, and people seem to be transitioning back into wanting soft and comfortable surfaces. The reason it appears these trends may stay is because people wouldn’t invest in these pieces if they intend to replace them within the next few years. Not only that, but carpets and rugs have a more refreshed style that’s fitting the current age of interior design. It’s no longer like it was twenty years ago.
Greg: Definitely the trend to create efficient and dedicated home office spaces. The pandemic has changed how we do work for good. Whether companies adopt the practices now or in the future, some sort of hybrid version will inevitably be our future.
What’s the number one request you’re seeing now? And what’s your favorite trend you’re seeing now?
Barry: Things that are in stock and available now. It’s clear that clients have been willing to make decisions based solely on what’s available earlier, with our expertise in guiding those conversations to ensure the space still carries the integrity of our vision. Our design team is recommending more color to liven everything up from the monochromatic.
I have always believed life begins at home, and if you get your home right, your life will fall into place. It’s really comforting to see so many people taking steps to create spaces they truly love.
How is your new space conducive to these new trends?
Barry: Our new space allows us to carry a large overhead of in-stock and available one-of-a-kind pieces. While most design companies require clients to wait months for custom pieces, Barry Wooley Group Designs has a surplus of unique pieces – sofas, rugs, carpet, artwork, decorative accessories, occasional seating, buffets and tables – that clients can take home today. This also allows us to complete projects more efficiently because we can leverage our own in-house pieces to incorporate into our design projects when the client is on a shorter timeline. We consider ourselves lucky to offer high-end, custom, consigned furnishings from some of the best furnished homes in the region.
Greg: We are also a one-stop shop. If your space is not working for you, you need more space, a new space altogether, or to get rid of your space, we can make any of those things happen. We can help make your house meet your needs through furnishings, staging, additions, remodeling, etc. We can help get your house ready to sell if it no longer meets your needs, or we can help you find a new house and make it exactly what you need it to be!
Barry Wooley Designs
116 S 10th St.
Louisville, KY 40202