Rhug Wild Beauty With Vanessa Barneby

Friend of the brand, vanessa barneby, is co-founder of the whimsical barneby gates fabric and wallpaper brand, here she tells us more about her design journey and how she is inspired by the countryside around her.

Had you always wanted to be a designer and what drew you to interiors?

Like many other teenage girls, I envisaged myself working in fashion. But after a degree in Social Anthropology at Edinburgh Uni, I decided to do a Decorative Arts course in London. We had the most amazing teacher who taught us the art of traditional specialist paint techniques such as marbling and trompe l’oeil. We painted to Classic FM all day, and used piles and piles of old World of Interiors magazines for inspiration – this was my introduction to the interiors world. I spent a year or so after that painting in people’s homes, but then moved on to work as an Interiors Stylist at House & Garden magazine followed by a role as the Living Editor at British Vogue. It was while working at Vogue that the idea of Barneby Gates was born.


When you sit down to create a new design where do you start? where do you look for inspiration?

Everything and anything might inspire us. Alice and I are constantly what’s app-ing inspirational images to one another – whether it’s a tiled floor in restaurant in Barcelona or a graffitied wall in Berlin, an art exhibition, or a field of poppies on our dog walk. We don’t necessarily ‘go looking’, it’s just something that we are subconsciously doing all the time.