The Artful Mind Dec. | Jan 2022

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Photography by Ben Gebo

BARBARA ELZA HIRSCH ELZA B. DESIGN, INC. Interview by Harryet Candee If only the world can do what Oscar Wilde said: “One should sympathize with the color, the beauty, the joy of life." As you say on your website, and I agree, what is it you provide that helps this to happen when it comes to your life and your work as an interior designer, Barbara? Barbara Hirsch: I am a 3-D thinker and this allows me to synthesize color, volumes, shapes, materials, into harmonious interiors for my clients. I’ve been blessed with a great eye and the understanding that beauty is one of life’s magical gift, and that it has a profound ability to affect one’s level of happiness and mood. My philosophy is that life is very short, and one should surround themselves with beauty as much as possible on this time on earth. There is plenty to appreciate in our surroundings, and as an interior designer I work hard to create an inviting and lovely interior for my clients. On a personal level, I never cease to be amazed by skies, plants and landscapes: I find joy and inspiration on nature walks, observing colorful ephemerous sunsets, examining the complex delicate construction of

petals and leaves. I draw inspiration on trips, gallery and museum visits. I appreciate architecture and all types of materials such as steel, brass, wood, glass, fabrics, wovens, All these and more contribute to feeding my creative mind as I take on new design projects. I wonder, how do you manage to create a beautiful space if the client does not have anything you see that is workable? Beauty is ready to happen: it is always lurking quietly and ready to be shown the way. I need to immerse myself in my client’s mind to understand what is attractive to them and what works. As I walk through their space and get to understand their needs and what they are drawn to, a design vision appears in my mind and my wheels start turning. Every client has an image in their heart of what they love and aspire to, and my goal is to make sure I am the right person to guide them to their dream interior. Part of the work I do involves having potential clients do homework for me and set aside images of spaces they love or hate. This


helps me figure out if I can get them to what they want. How much input from a client do you allow into your creative process? I allow a lot of input from a client as I truly believe the work is a collaboration. I see myself as a creative guide, and experience has taught me to be a very good listener and communicator. The designed space I leave you with should function for you and your family. You’re the one who will live with it and it needs to meet your sense of aesthetics and your space planning needs. The initial homework exercises I have clients do help me achieve this goal. This is a beautiful art that you do. With so much havoc and chaos we often find in our lives, you are permitted to take your paint brush and create layers of depth to make a space work. Can you share with us some of the insiders’ skills and principles that only an interior designer knows to follow? Thank you, Harryet, that means a lot to me! Some

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