“Insights Into Design” is a Riggs series on local designers highlighting the process, style, and inspiration that drives impactful design. Each post will feature a local designer and their designs to gain an inside perspective into the work and imagination of their kitchen projects. This edition features the designer Barbra Bright of Barbra Bright Design.
Tell us a little about your background. What factors contributed to you becoming a designer? How did you decide to become a designer?
I’ve always had a“good eye” and as a child, I sewed Barbie clothes with leftover fabric from my mother’s elaborate dresses. That’s where my love of color, texture, and pattern evolved. Prior to becoming a designer, I was a dancer in a show band for many years until I felt it was time to reinvent myself. So, becoming a kitchen designer was a complete career change. A friend, of a friend, owned a kitchen showroom and was looking for a design assistant and I said yes—and I loved it.
What is your process like when you approach new projects? What would you like new clients to know about your design process?
I always come into a project completely open-minded. I listen to my clients’ design intent and incorporate their goals into my design aesthetic.
How does living in the West Coast affect your design practice and your design thinking?
I love living in the Bay area, there’s so much beauty here without being fussy. It echoes my own design sensibility–modern, clean lines, but with a warm organic feel.
The appliances in both kitchens were focal points and drove the design. In the Sonoma kitchen, the design included the Pro 48 with glass doors and the 60” Wolf range—now those iconic appliances are meant to be seen. The Waterfront kitchen featured the Wolf 48” range with dramatic three-dimensional tile as the backsplash and the side by side freezer and refrigerator columns. These appliances were selected for both form and function.
If you were to give your younger self advice in regards to a career in design, what would it be?
That’s an easy one, “Take risks.”
I love to work in my succulent and cactus garden. I love their uniqueness and adaptability.