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Kristin Bartone of Bartone Interiors: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Whimsy — Add something whimsical to your space that makes you smile every time you look at it. This could be anything from your grandmother’s sewing machine (used as a side table) that brings back happy childhood memories, or your children’s artwork.

As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristin Bartone.

Kristin has over 20 years of experience as a professionally accredited Interior Designer in both residential and commercial design. As a young girl, her interest in design details was ignited while working by her father’s side in his furniture making studio. Along with being a Registered Interior Designer and NCIDQ certificate holder, Kristin is a LEED Accredited Professional by the US Green Building Council, has received the Design for Sensory Wellbeing certificate from the American Society of Interior Designers and is a Certified Color Specialist.

Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My passion for design started by following my father around his custom woodworking studio when I was 7 years old, looking for scraps of wood and metal to create my own sculptures. Growing up in a family of 7, we always needed an extra bedroom or bathroom, so we renovated every home we lived in. Experiencing that transformation of space firsthand planted the seeds for my passion for interior design.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

There have been quite a few exceptional experiences over the past 20+ years, but I’ll try to pick the most interesting one. I think the one I recall the most was an interview with a large, well respected architecture firm in Washington DC. The partner I interviewed with kept me for over 2 hours, telling me everything that was wrong with my portfolio. At first, I was horrified, I cried the entire drive home. Then I decided to take all the feedback and make my portfolio better and get prepared for the next interview. Tenacity is an imperative virtue in any creative industry. You have to be able to receive feedback and transform it into a positive learning experience to make yourself better.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I think the most difficult skill to hone as an interior designer is scale. We want to have impact, and sometimes oversize things, but this can also backfire. Once I specified a 3’ wide chandelier for a 30’ wide dining table. It was way too big and I ended up replacing it before the client even saw it… thanks to a great relationship with the builder! Now that huge chandelier is installed in my foyer!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

My team is working with an architect on a new commercial building for a well-known auction house. The company has had such explosive growth, their current space is pieced together and unorganized. I’m excited to move them into a new, beautiful building that helps them do their jobs more easily.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Measure twice, cut once. I always check measurements multiple times when I am at a client’s home. If I get consistent measurements 3 times a row, I feel confident moving forward!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I credit my father for being continuously supportive of every artistic path I pursued from drama to fine art, fashion design and finally interior design. As a fine wood worker who builds custom furniture, he has an eye for detail and the tenacity to work through complicated details to fulfill his vision.

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Color — Don’t be afraid of adding color to your space! Color makes us happy by feeling connected with nature. Yellow and green are some of my favorites.

A view — Ideally you want to see into nature, but If you don’t have access to an outdoor environment, bring the outside in through nature inspired patterns or art.

Olfactory input — Sense of smell is a hidden gem that creates more joy in your living space. It is actually part of the limbic system which processes emotion, supports memory formation and is strongly linked to your emotional wellbeing. Do you recall the last hotel you were in and what it smelled like? Light a candle (beeswax or soy to keep your home toxin free!) a La Berger air purifier that both cleans the air and adds a pleasant scent or a Zodax porcelain diffuser.

Mixing patterns — Doing this in the correct scale and adding both linear and organic pairings creates visual interest and activity in your brain. Mixing patterns successfully provides intrigue without being overly busy.

Whimsy — Add something whimsical to your space that makes you smile every time you look at it. This could be anything from your grandmother’s sewing machine (used as a side table) that brings back happy childhood memories, or your children’s artwork.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I’d love to educate people on how they can create spaces that support their physical and emotional wellbeing through green, biophilic and sensory based design solutions.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them :-)

Corey Damen Jenkins, I have watched his career explode over the past few years and he is such a wonderful role model for hard work and perseverance.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://www.instagram.com/bartoneinteriors/ or #bartoneinteriors

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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