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Celebrate Easter with Harrods – Discover

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Olivia Barr

Senior Designer

Olivia Barr
“I’m constantly looking out for patterns in trends and love photographing nature – it’s always a great source of inspiration”


A string of residential projects, the launch of Harrods’ first furniture collection, an exclusive wallpaper collaboration with De Gournay… Olivia brings 10 years of experience at Harrods Interiors to her work. She has an eye for trends, a penchant for bespoke rugs and furniture, and a passion for product design – which she nurtured with a Masters in textile design. 

Interior Motives

What sparked your passion for design?
I’ve always been passionate about design – from learning to knit and sew by watching my grandmother, to styling my doll’s houses using old carpet samples to define the spaces. I studied textile design at Central St Martins and then did a Masters at the Royal College of Art. I was never satisfied with just designing the fabric – I always wanted to think about what the end product would be, and often reinvented designs we take for granted in the process.

If you had to pick one design element to invest in, what would it be?
Art – you can take art with you from house to house, and it will always feel like home. It’s so personal, reflecting who you are, but it’s also a great way to incorporate colour or make a statement. I’d also probably say lighting – it’s one of the first things you notice when you walk into a room… Oh, and a decent mattress. Sleep is so important!

Do you foresee any interiors trends in the coming years?
We’re going back through the decades: we had the mid-20th-century-modern trend, which then moved into the ’70s with rattan and curved sofas. We then skipped the ’80s, and now the ’90s are on the agenda – I keep seeing patterned wallpaper with matching curtains, something I never thought would come back. But if done well it can work and make a big impact. I also think the need for sustainable luxury products is increasing. 

Where do you find inspiration?
I love seeing new suppliers to find out what products, materials and finishes they’re using. It’s important to get out there and meet people to see what they’re working on and what inspires them. Personally, I’ve always been inspired by nature. It has been redefining itself and evolving for years, so it’s got to be doing something right. I love taking photos of details, textures and forms in nature, often flowers or feathers – I once created a bespoke rug around the pattern of chicken feathers I spotted in the Natural History Museum! Scroll through my Instagram and you’ll find lots of observations on natural forms and colours, as I never know when they’ll inspire a product or scheme – I love spotting trends and trying to understand why they emerged. 

What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
The initial concept stage: meeting the client, getting to know them and how they want to use their home, and seeing the space. My mind just fills with ideas and I love finding references to convey my vision. And, ultimately, seeing their reaction to their redesigned home – that’s incredibly rewarding. 

The Home Trends to Know
The Home Trends to Know


The forecasts are in – from cocoon-like seating to the warm hues of the seventies, here’s what to expect from interiors in 2023.


Read & Shop
The Interior Design Studio department in-store at Harrods
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