Design Inspiration

Barry Dixon discusses how personal objects, art and textiles bring life to his work

I had a chance to catch up with Barry following his lecture. Photo © Bob Narod.

Home & Design had the distinct pleasure of hosting Barry Dixon at the magazine’s annual Luxury Expo on May 6, 2012 at the Sheraton Premiere Tysons Corner. The renowned, Warrenton, Virginia-based designer delivered a seminar on “Inspiration,” revealing the philosophies he relies on to create timeless, imaginative and ever-elegant homes for clients around the globe.

Dixon treated guests to a visual feast of slides showcasing stunning projects in DC’s Capitol Hill, St. Barts, Venice and points in between. He encouraged homeowners to pull together a “personal history” of art, objects, textiles and even childhood possessions that hold special meaning. “You hire us [designers] for our filter,” he explained. “We take these elements, collate them in a weird way and create layers of meaning that lend a bespoke credence and a layering of emotion to the interiors that we live in.”

Dixon was inspired by his grandmother’s cocoa tin to design his Cacao Vine fabric for Vervain.

Barry Dixon is adept at freshening up his own home, Elway Hall, with flowers and accessories according to the season. Photo © Erik Kvalsvik.

Aside from his glamorous residential projects, Dixon has been busy designing a host of new collections that will be coming to market over the next year: a new line of fabric and wallpaper for Stroheim & Romann; his second fabric collection for Vervain; a signature Barry Dixon line of paints for C2 Paint (2013); and a 140-piece furniture collection for Arteriors Home that will debut this fall. He also introduced his latest furniture collection for Tomlinson at High Point Market in April.

An itinerant traveler who gathers ideas from around the world, Dixon ironically finds a good deal of inspiration on his own 140-acre Virginia farm. “Look around and see what speaks to you in the moment,” he advised his audience. “I get inspired by the walk to the barnyard, seeing what the wildflowers are.” —Sharon Jaffe Dan

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