Happy April, cuties! It’s fitting that vibrant spring weather is finally upon us here in the New York area…because for this month’s Kathy Kuo Home Trade Member Spotlight we have the very vibrant Larchmont, New York-based Barrett Oswald, the principal designer at Barrett Oswald Designs!
Barrett founded her business in 2015 and has been a KKH Trade Member for seven years. An FIT alum, she’s a detail-savvy interior designer and loving mom (you all know I LOVE shining a spotlight to my fellow mamas in the interior design world) who works with her business partner, MaryBeth Long, to create “stylish yet realistic” home designs primarily throughout New York and Connecticut. Her work is so chic, but also still perfect for families and children and anyone just living a full life with a love of beautiful details!
“The items at KKH are beautifully curated and if there are any issues, we can easily reach a team member for assistance.” -Barrett Oswald
I recently had the chance to catch up with Barrett about what’s new with Barrett Oswald Designs (there’s an upcoming coffee table book feature in her future!), how she approaches the design process and working with clients, and why she loves working on properties with historic charm.
Photos by Tim Lenz
Tell our readers about your business—what are your specialities and core offerings?
MaryBeth Long, my business partner, and I started our company in 2015. We were friends beforehand so when we meet clients, I believe people can sense our approachability which puts them at ease. We structured the company in a way where I can focus purely on the creative portion and MaryBeth can handle the operational side.
“We like to think our division of labor functions like two sides of the brain, which allows us to be incredibly efficient throughout the design process.”
How long have you been working with the KKH Trade Program and what stands out to you about it?
We have been members of the KKH Trade Program for seven years and the service and selection is unmatched! The items at KKH are beautifully curated and if there are any issues, we can easily reach a team member for assistance.
The various methods of accessibility are also key. Sometimes we use phone or email, but chat has been great when we have a quick question about a product or order.
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Do you have a favorite interior design style to work with on projects?
Not so much a style, but we love working on older houses, specifically Colonials and Tudors, where we can contemporize the spaces while maintaining their architectural integrity.
Tell us about a notable project from the past few years.
We worked on a classic colonial home in Greenwich, CT, that was constructed in 1924. The owners are avid art collectors, so we approached the house as a “frame” with its original broad wood floors as a base and detailed moldings as a border.
“Our clients trusted us throughout the process (which we know can be hard!) and the result was a thoughtful and sophisticated interior to compliment the home’s historic nature.”
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What have been some of the biggest joys and challenges you’ve faced in your career in the design industry?
We launched the company with a transparent pricing model that was uncommon at the time. It was challenging to break into the industry with a different model but we stayed true to our instincts and now have a successful business of which we are truly proud.
Speaking to fellow design pros: what advice do you have about working a challenging client or overcoming unforeseen obstacles on a design project?
It’s easy to forget the privilege we have working in this field. When projects or clients start to feel overwhelming, I try to take a step back and put things in perspective.
I have also found it helpful to overly communicate how our process works in the early stages of a project. That way the client is well versed in the benefits, and possible challenges, that come with designing a home.
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Are there any exciting updates with your business in 2023 that you’d like our readers to know about?
Yes! We are thrilled to be included in the new coffee table book, Modish: The Book of Great Design. The project featured is one of our favorites and was shot by our photographer and friend, Tim Lenz. It’s a very meaningful endeavor that we’re excited to share.
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The Kathy Kuo Home Trade Program
Feeling inspired by Barrett Oswald Designs? If you’re an interior designer or architect you can apply to our Trade Program to enjoy a wide array of professional benefits, as well as access to a thriving community of interior design pros. You can learn all about it HERE, but in brief, KKH Trade members receive: Competitive Trade Pricing, Free Shipping, Low Storage Fees, Dedicated Trade Specialist to Coordinate Orders from Start to Finish.