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Sara Barney

Like a handful of the designers on this year’s tour, BANDD DESIGN’s Sara Barney started out in quite a different field, establishing a career in the TV industry in L.A. before moving to Austin and leading film and television sales for SXSW.

Now, in the three years since starting BANDD, she has worked with numerous young families to create spaces that are “casual, but still beautiful, approachable and functional.”

Recently, she took on an extensive project in the Camelot neighborhood near Lost Creek and Loop 360 with architect Stuart Sampley. The original home, which was a run-down ranch-style built more than 30 years ago, had the typical problems of older homes: It was dated, with a cramped floor plan and little functionality for today’s needs. With lots of input from the homeowners, the team built a reverse floor plan home with a modern farmhouse aesthetic that they say was “pushed a bit more modern with lots of naturals, leathers and a plaster-concrete finish on the fireplace to give it a cozy feel.”

For the designer, this project was all about taking risks and encouraging the family to be a bit more daring with its choices. For example, cue the bright blue kitchen and the floral wallpaper in the formal dining room to “anchor that side of the house and balance some of the more masculine, rustic pieces.” There’s also the bunkroom, which was one of the last additions to accommodate “all the neighborhood kids that come over for sleepovers,” with another fun wallpaper and clean, simple bunks that will work as the couple’s kids grow older.

One of Barney’s best design tips? Wallpaper! “It’s an easy way to break up white walls and bring more personality to a home.”

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