Celebrity photographer Nigel Barker is a style icon. His look is sophisticated and effortless, and we admire his eye for fashion and detail. We caught up with him and asked him about his personal style as well as his tips for others who want to find their own. Here’s what he said:
How would you describe your personal style?
Nigel Barker: I like to call my personal a “fashion mullet.” On America’s Next Top Model you’d often see me dressed in a smart shirt, tie and jacket with jeans and sneakers. When you put it together it’s business on top, party on the bottom. Fashion is like life; it’s not one tone. Sometimes you want to be elegant, other times you want color everywhere. Ultimately my own style is not one thing; I like to have fun and combine things.
What advice do you have for someone searching for their personal style?
NB: I get asked this question a lot, and I always say I can tell you what I think will be best, but that’s just what I think is best. If you try a piece of chocolate you don’t need me to tell you that you like chocolate. You have to believe in yourself. It’s not so difficult. What do you like to eat? Do you like food that is plain? Exotic? Spicy? Do you like soft fabrics? Is your bed soft? When you go to films do you like romantic? Sci-fi? Action? Horror? What moves you? Start to write these things down; you’ll see there’s some sort of pattern. Style is the story you want to tell.
How would you describe your personal style? Tell us in the comments below!
Nigel Barker is a family man. As dad to Jack, 13, and Jasmine, 10, and husband to Cristen, his house is a busy and bustling place full of activity and laughter. Nigel says becoming a parent changed his life in several ways—from commitments to values. It also changed how he approaches design. WGTL blog caught up with Nigel to ask him for his tips on how to design a room for a family.
How has being a dad impacted your home design?
Nigel Barker: All parents would agree that being a parent changes your life as well as your home. Where you might have had something for show, now it’s important to have something that’s more functional. And it’s not just for our children; we have a dog, cat, a three-foot iguana and fish. Our home has to fit the many things we do. I have heavy bags from my photography, so pieces need to hold up to some rough conditions. My wife is a Yogi, and she’s often barefoot. You have to consider how you live when you design where you live.
Do your children impact your color choices?
NB: We don’t shy away from light colors. We think about what we can do to protect our furniture. We have a lot of earth tones as well as cream and white; it feels comfortable and relaxing and I love that blank canvas look and feel. In the right places it also works to soothe the children. You immediately feel an oasis of calm. It’s funny; when you put a child in a calm room, you’ll often find them sitting on the sofa and reading book for an hour.
Is your whole home calming or do you mix things up?
NB: Some areas are calm, while others areas are meant to inspire play. When you walk into my upstate New York home, the first floor has a modern look and feel, with the majority of the pieces from my NB2 collection. It’s very classic, simple and chic with elegant lines and a modern feel, yet not so modern that it feels cold or minimalist. Upstairs, each room is special. And we’re currently renovating the basement. It’s a huge project and it’s going to be predominantly a massive playroom. I’m the biggest kid I know.
Do you have a favorite piece of furniture chosen for your family?
NB: I love when all four of us can curl up on the sofa with our animals and watch a movie after dinner. We also love the daybed—it’s everyone’s favorite. Even the dog likes it. Furniture has to be functional. It has to stand up to real life. We treat the fabric so it repels a spill because that’s what life is like. Furniture has to be able to handle whatever you throw at it.
Nigel certainly knows how to design a room for a family. We’d love to know what changes have you made to your décor since becoming a parent?