29th Mar 2019
At the Barr Group, we are fortunate to find ourselves in the midst of a continuous stream of design ideas and specialist skill sets which weave their way through our projects. In a bid not to keep these fabulous talents to ourselves – we would like to take this opportunity to share the profiles and stories of a selection of these creative collaborators.
Interior designer Samantha Todhunter has brought a blast of vibrancy to our visual world and The Barr Group are delighted to have been trusted with the renovation of her wonderful Old Vicarage. Founder and director of Samantha Todhunter Design, Samantha and her studio team create interiors which exude an easy modern glamour – one peek at her Instagram feed illustrates just how varied and fabulous her work is. Bespoke pieces from glossy consoles to upholstered footstools add distinctiveness to her interior design projects… maybe we could find space for a shaggy lounge chair at Barr Group HQ!
Samantha’s Grade II listed Queen Anne property is the quintessentially English rectory – complete with walled garden, wooden modillion cornices, 12-pane sash windows, panelled walls and open fireplaces. The Barr Group are carefully following Samantha’s vision to bring a new lease of life to this handsome heritage property. In Samantha’s words, “my intention for the house is to achieve an understated and timeless look. My husband and I are both quite traditional in our taste – but there is an irrepressible quirkiness which will, of course, fight its way through”. We can’t wait to reveal more!
A few miles down the road, the Barr Group’s top-to-toe renovation of another eighteenth-century country house has also proved to be super-hot on the creative feed front! The brief from its overseas owners is wholly centred on aesthetics – in architecture as well as design. The StuartBarr CDR and BarrJoinery teams have found themselves working alongside the specialist expertise of Lottie Radford Studios on a range of highly crafted surface designs including gilding, Verre Églomisé and polished plaster.
Lottie’s specialist decorating company has a client list which is nothing if not distinguished, with projects to date including the Oxford & Cambridge Club and the Lansdowne Club, amongst other notable hotels, restaurants and private residences. Renowned for their creative flair and artisan craftsmanship Lottie’s teamwork hand-in-glove with construction companies and interior design teams, collaborating to create unique and beautiful spaces. The Barr Group team certainly looked on in awe, as surfaces throughout this country house took on a stunning life of their own.
Last, but utterly not least, the Barr Group have had the delight of working with specialist florist Claire Bowen. Claire’s company, Honeysuckle & Hilda, is a double act between a florist (who likes to write) and a dog (who likes to model). Wherever possible Claire and Hilda (a chocolate-brown miniature schnauzer) travel as a pair. It is Claire and Hilda’s recent move to the countryside which has brought the Barr Group into the happy orbit of their magical world. The property they have acquired comprises a curious juxtaposition of an old village pub, an old post office and bakery and a 1970’s extension as well as its garage and out housing. The renovation, extension and ‘melding’ of the cottage have been entrusted to careful hands at the Barr Group, including the conversion of the garage into Claire’s private floristry studio. We can’t wait to see the finished product, adorned with vines, trails and tendrils and packed with delicate wild blooms!
Claire and Hilda are based in Oxfordshire, and when not in the studio they escape for country walks and a bit of foraging in the hedgerows! From her adventures in the world of designer floristry to the antics of travelling with a canine friend, Claire’s 'Honeysuckle & Hilda' journal gives their jaunty, charming and environmentally-conscious take on all things floral.
With so many other great creative feeds pouring into the Barr Group organisation, we will leave this feature open… to be continued in future newsletters. However, before signing off, we would like to take the liberty of mentioning one more designer. High on our Barr Group ‘worship’/ ‘would LOVE to work with’ wish list is Sophie Ashby of the relatively new and undeniably exciting Studio Ashby. In an attempt to find out more about the DNA of this like-minded venture, a Barr Group contingent escaped to Chelsea Design Centre, armed with tickets for Elle Decoration’s ‘Conversations in Design’ event where Sophie was ‘on the couch’. Sophie soothed our visual and auditory senses, taking the audience through her self-taught, organic design ethos. Her modernist-meets-eclectic style and individualism reflect everything we believe in at the Barr Group. To read more click here - we can’t wait to see her most recent project: the ‘Peter Pan’ house on Bayswater Road!