Design Showcase /

June 30, 2015
Designer Spotlight: Barry Goralnick
Designer Spotlight: Barry Goralnick

Today’s Design Showcase highlights Barry Goralnick and the fine-tuned method he applies to his many designs and creations. Founded in 1985, his firm, Barry Goralnick Architects, concentrates in both architecture and interior design. He also has a comprehensive collection of rugs and carpets custom-designed and exclusively available at Stark.

Why he became a designer:

At his office, creating and planning is the name of the game, with architects, interior designers, and industrial designers working on projects in all phases, from meeting potential clients to gathering inspiration. 

"One of the reasons I chose to be a designer is that every day is very different."

At any given moment, Barry himself may be sketching new designs, developing new products, or traveling to speaking engagements about his life in design.

Growing up near the beach, his love of building sand castles actually set in motion a lifelong interest in architecture. As soon as he learned to draw, he started drawing houses. 

As he got older, houses under construction intrigued him. He often snooped around, imagining what might be the bedroom, bath or living area. It was obvious that from a young age, he knew he wanted to pursue architecture as a profession; so he studied vigorously to prepare.

In terms of his style now, Barry states, “Every project, location, and client are distinct. Early in my career, most of my work was very classical and I was flattered when people [didn’t] know if the architecture was new or restored. Now I find that most of my work is modern, spiced with objects and details from history.”

What inspires him:

Barry loves to travel, visit museums, read, and go to the theater. “Besides Broadway, some of the best theater in New York is Off-Broadway and in unexpected places,” Barry notes. Whether for a particular project, or a new object, his eye for design inspiration is keenly trained wherever he goes.

“When I see a film, I focus on details - anything from a period molding to a fabric or wallpaper.”

That’s probably because Barry believes all components of culture influence good designers. As such, inspiration is to be found everywhere from history and literature to fashion and culture.


On creating style:

“Elegant. Distinctive. Livable. Individual.”

These are the words Barry hopes someone would use to describe one of his rooms. “Things don’t need to be so precious,” he explains. “It’s easy to mix in interesting old things from eBay, Room and Board, Crate and Barrel, whimsical art, [and] a great carpet remnant.” The end result combines unique findings for a great, one-of-a-kind designer look.

On handling difficult design situations:

“I am up for any kind of challenge,” Barry states. “The only thing that’s hard is when a client has the wrong idea for a space, or insists on keeping things that are unattractive or won’t function.”

For Barry, the worst thing to hear is, “But we’ve always done it that way!” His view is that his job, as a designer, is to educate clients, opening minds in the process. “Their lives and environments are better for it when we succeed,” Barry says. 

One tip that he offers is to always consider the opposite of what might be expected.  For example, a small room will look bigger with larger objects or moldings; a dark room will have a better presentation if you make it darker. 

Working with Stark:

Barry’s favorite thing about working with Stark is the line of rugs and carpets they have created together. Barry is currently using rugs from his Stark collection in a number of projects, including his own apartment.

“With Stark, there is no limit to what we can custom design.” 

“The sales staff is extremely knowledgeable and responsive, the art department is excellent, and the process is easy,” Barry adds. “When we get strike-offs of custom designs, there is a healthy amount of back and forth until our vision is realized.”

Stark’s vast collections of rugs and carpet are a deep well of creations and inspirations for many of the finest luxury designers working today. Whether they create exclusive collections for Stark like Barry Goralnick, or utilize our many elegant, carpets, fabrics, or wallcoverings to build their designs, the Stark experience promises to be of the highest caliber. 

Delve into the inner workings of even more talented designers that work with Stark in the Design Showcase.

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