“I think I was scouring flea markets for vintage fabrics while holidaying in France as young as 14,” recalls Vanessa Barneby. It came as no surprise then, that she went on to work as a stylist for House & Garden UK and later VOGUE as their living editor, before co-founding her own wallpaper and fabric design company Barneby Gates, with best friend Alice Gates...
Between the two of them, they had five children in the first five years of the business. “Our babies just tended to come everywhere with us in those early years… it was mayhem really, but looking back I wouldn’t have done it any differently,” says Vanessa. The company began in 2009, launching with a collection of four wallpaper designs. Today, they have 46 different wallpaper designs, 21 fabric prints, and 10 cushions, all in a variety of colours. Everything is traditionally printed in the UK. And everything is heaven on earth, which makes it very hard to pick which wallpaper or fabric you want (because you’ll want it all).
Here, we step into her creative world, and get a peek inside her charming home in Hampshire featuring endless print inspiration courtesy of Barneby Gates, and talk about her career and motherhood journey.
Photography: Helene Sandberg. Go to barnebygates.com
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family...
I co-own wallpaper and fabric brand Barneby Gates with my oldest friend and business partner, Alice Gates. I live in a small village in Hampshire (South West of London) with my husband Tim, a producer, and my two children Lily, 11 and Gabriel, 9.
What did your career entail prior to Barneby Gates?
My first job after university was as a stylist for House & Garden where I gained an intimate knowledge of Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and all the other fabric and wallpaper brands out there. After five years there I moved to Vogue as their Living Editor, where styling shoots, writing about upcoming trends and examining the correlation between fashion and interiors were all part of my job.