PRIDE: Supporting Mental And Emotional Wellbeing Through Interiors


Portrait of interior designer Sarah Barnard

Interior designer Sarah Bernard, of Sarah Barnard Designs, creates highly personalized, restorative, sustainable spaces that support her clients in living their best lives. (Photo Courtesy Sarah Barnard)

In celebration of Pride Month, Luxe taps design pros to discuss empowerment, inspiration and the importance of diversity.

Interiors by Los Angeles designer Sarah Barnard aren’t just beautifully appointed; they artfully carry the weight of a very considered thought process that supports mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. “It’s important to me that people feel their home space is one of security and comfort,” says Barnard, who’s also been a leading voice in advocating for more inclusive design language. Here, we chat with the creative maven on keeping consciousness and compassion top of mind when it comes to work and words.

How do you express diversity stylistically through design?

I often design spaces around something beloved to my client, whether that is a garden, an object that inspires a cherished memory or a favorite work of art. Self-expression flourishes with a foundation of safety and security, and in my designs, I prioritize autonomy and comfort as a base for my client’s personalities to shine. 

How do you use your platform to raise awareness about important issues?

Our blog is a space where our studio can start conversations and highlight concepts of value. For example, we’ve increasingly focused on the importance of inclusive design language, sharing some of the changes in our studio’s language as we begin unpacking the history of common design terms and phrases, many of which may perpetuate a legacy of othering in design. The hope is to spark conversations and evolve the industry in a direction that feels open to a broader range of people.

Tell us about a recent favorite project.

I recently completed a project focused on home health through biophilia, art, and the thoughtful sourcing of organic and natural materials. It’s essential to my work that a space feels both calming and beautiful while also being mindful of the lasting impact of the design decisions on both a personal and environmental level. 

How can we express ourselves more authentically at home? 

Homes should offer a reflection of their inhabitants, so it’s important to reflect on personal preferences, beliefs, and sources of joy and beauty. 

Words of advice for your younger self?

Prioritize rest and restoration. While motivation is important, it’s easy to become burnt out if not also taking time for rest and personal fulfillment. Explore outside interests, enjoy nature and set aside time to be fully present with loved ones. 

sarah barnard open kitchen with white stone island looking into living area

Barnard looks to a project’s natural surroundings to inspire colors, textures and patterns. (Photo Courtesy Sarah Barnard)