One of the things I love about my job is all the incredible talent in this industry that I am exposed to.  This includes industry leaders of course, but also our next generation of stars.  At BSD, we encourage students to participate in internships – no matter what their interest’s are or what they “think” they want to do.  It’s important to be exposed to the real world of design which means enjoying all the crazy-happy-fun-outrageous days as well as experience the stressful-deadline-driven-fast-paced-difficult days.  They all exist.

Our latest intern is Rebecca Yohn, affectionately known as Beckie.  She is completing her sixth and final week with us so we asked her to write about her experience.  This is what she had to say:

Hey everyone, I’m Beckie Yohn and I am an Interior Architecture student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro! I knew for a while that I wanted to attend UNCG because almost my entire family graduated from there, but I didn’t always know that I wanted to be an Interior Designer. It wasn’t until the 8th grade when my mom put the idea that I could be a designer when we were redecorating the living room and she recognized that I had a designer’s mind. After that, I became more interested in learning about color combinations and took Drafting classes in high school at Weaver Academy in Greensboro. After graduating high school from Greensboro College Middle College, I began my Interior Architecture degree at UNCG, where I learned how to be creative, design well, and think critically. But it wasn’t until I started my Internship with Barbour Spangle Design that I learned what true creativity, design, and fun really was.

I first heard about Barbour Spangle Design when my Professional Practice class organized a Design Day for some design firms to come to our school to review our portfolios, resumes, etc. My professor provided us with a list of firms that would be there, and I knew that after researching all of them, Barbour Spangle was the one for me. I knew that I would much rather be with an Interior Design firm than an Architectural firm, but once I looked into the design work they had completed. I begged my professor to schedule me an interview with me at that time, but unfortunately, they were in high demand, but I didn’t let that discourage me. Not long after the Design Day was over, I sent my resume, cover letter, and online portfolio to BSD, and I was invited for an interview and I was able to complete a summer internship with them. I knew that I could learn a lot from the whole team, and I have.

Every day is a new adventure at BSD, and every day is a new learning experience. I have gotten the chance to shadow each of the designers and learn more about commercial, residential, healthcare, and showroom design than I could have learned in school or through another firm. I not only learned design from this firm, but I have also learned how a design firm should be run and organized. Because BSD is such a compact business, each designer pretty much has their own field and own projects, allowing each designer to see their projects through all the way to construction and installation, which is something that you don’t get to do in school or in larger firms. I have gotten to know each one of the wonderful people that would here at Barbour Spangle Design throughout these 6 short weeks, and I know that I will never forget what I have learned about design, and about life.


Thank you Beckie for all your hard work and your never-ending smile!

xo Christi

Our Team Has Grown!

July 19, 2013

We would like to welcome the newest addition to our team:  Emma Neidert

Ok so really, she is not all that new anymore…she started in November.  Emma has been a GREAT addition to our team and if you have not met her already, you are in for a treat when you do.

Emma B&W

To learn more about Emma please click here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

xo christi

High Point is a pretty amazing place this time of year.  In addition to the spring blooms mother nature brings our way, the city (literally) comes to life with our market friends.  Downtown is buzzing with activity from delivery trucks to furniture manufacturers, designers, day workers and the like; we are all here to create displays that keep today’s buyers coming back to High Point for more.

This spring, I believe we all feel a sense of renewed energy and excitement.  The Triad Business Journal just posted an article that says this market “is shaping up to be one of the best markets in years”.  Good, we need it.  (By the way, that article features one photo and it happens to be a showroom we designed with Nourisson!)

As designers in High Point, it goes without saying that we work on showroom interiors.  Our clients vary greatly as well as the products and we love each and every one of them.  Additionally, we are BUYERS.  That’s right, we get out there after weeks of set-up and late nights and walk those streets just like everyone else.  The difference for us is we know this city like the back of our hand – and with that comes some perks, some of which I thought I would share.  When we go to “other” trade-shows such as Atlanta, Chicago or Vegas (this year we plan to add NYC to the list) I am concerned about several things:  finding great new resources, how to make the most efficient use of my time and let’s be serious:  parking and food!

Lets start with the details first:  Parking and Food.  Honestly, neither has been all that great in the past but HP has made HUGE progress in both areas.

Parking:  As a buyer, you are able to park in the IMC Buyers lots located on Commerce and Green.  Be prepared, they will expect to see your buyers pass before you can enter and get there early, those lots fill up fast.  There are also several parking garages downtown:  one on Commerce between Elm and Main, one on Main Street between High Ave and Commerce, and one on Broad between Wrenn and Hamilton.  Again, show up early as they fill up fast.  Another option is parking at your favorite showroom (assuming they know they are your favorite)!  Many exhibitors have their own lot and will even shuttle you to wherever you like to go and even pick you up!  Be sure to make arrangements in advance.  You can also do something called Park & Ride, which I highly recommend if you are not an early riser.  These lots are located at the Oak Hollow Mall (there are electronic billboards directing you to the right location) and South Market Center Drive (this one is slightly closer to downtown but not as convenient to Greensboro).  As a last ditch you can pay to park in a variety of lots located in the heart of downtown.  For those of you that this irritates (I see this everywhere I go so HP isn’t the only city that charges to park) MANY of these lots are “donated” to local charities and the parking fee goes to raise money for that charity – if that makes you feel any better.

Food:  As much as I would like to fix a home-cooked meal for each and every one of you, I’ll be at market shopping.  Luckily, the options to continue shopping AND eat have greatly improved over the last few years!  Many showrooms now provide some sort of lunch ranging from light finger foods to a full-course spread.  The buildings themselves also now provide cafe and restaurant-like options.  Each building will identify where those spots are.  I am happy to report there is (finally) a Starbucks located in Market Square! And just spied this week:  a food truck on the corner of Elm and Commerce just outside of Market Square Suites entrance.  Inside the downtown shopping area (and in walking distance) there are several restaurants including Jimmy’s Pizza on Main Street, Penny Path (new) on Kivett, Oscars Burgers on Wrenn Street, and Elm Street Cafe (obviously, on Elm).  Just a bit further north you can find some local favorites including Sumela, Blue Zucchini, Blue Rock Pizza, Emerywood Fine Foods, Granny’s Doughnuts, and for a fine dining option, High Point Country Club (a private club that – true to southern hospitality – opens its doors to market visitors twice a year).  For dinner there are a variety of really great local eateries in the Piedmont Triad Area.  Some of my favorites include:  [Greensboro] Josephines, 1618 Grill, Southern Lights, The Iron Hen, Liberty Oak, The Filling Station, Bravo, Green Valley Grill and Printworks Bistro.  [Kernersville] Bistro B.  [Winston Salem] Mozingos, Sweet Potatos, West End Cafe, 6th & Vine, Milner’s, and O’So Eats..

The next question is how to make the most of your time?  One market I had a group from ORVIS come in town to shop with me.  At the end of the day, one of the executives said “it would have taken us days to cover the amount of territory you have covered in hours, thank you”.  As nice as this comment was, it was my responsibility to make it simple for them so I was happy to know I had done my job.  Even though I am local, you too can shop like one – it just takes planning.  I typically shop 3-4 days, more than many visitors I know.  In other cities we keep it to two so we have to be efficient.  Let me say this clearly:  PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.  Review things like the Market Preview, the Planning Guide, and talk to your reps.  Once you know where you want to go divide it out according to it’s location.  I typically reserve one entire day to see the large IMC building at the bus terminal and Showplace.  The second day includes one of my favorite buildings, Market Square (home to our office), the C&D building, 220 Elm, and the some of the showrooms located within and around this city block.  The third day I will do Hamilton and Wrenn Streets – some of these are spread out but our weather is so beautiful I enjoy walking this shopping route.  The fourth day I do any outlying buildings that are not on the loop mentioned above (this is also the day that is highly likely to get cut if necessary).

Map from the HP Market Authority

Map from the HP Market Authority

Transportation has vastly improved over the years and is an important component for getting quickly from one stop to the next.  High Point offers two free continuous bus lines that loop around the entire downtown area:  the RED line and the GREEN line (shown above).  You can get a bus map here go to page THREE for the Red and Green Line stops.  High Point also provides one of my favorite market perks – the G0-Anywhere shuttle van.  That’s right, they will take you anywhere, for free, within a three mile radius.  Go to the downtown Transportation Terminal or simply flag one down from any location in the Market area. You may also call 336.887.RIDE (7433) to have a shuttle dispatched to you. Go-Anywhere Shuttles will be operating from Saturday, April 20 through Wednesday, April 24, 7:30am – 8:30pm, and Thursday, April 25, 7:30am – 5pm.

If it’s your first time to High Point market (let me be the first to say WELCOME), I would highly recommend reading about being a first-time visitor on the High Point Market Authority’s FIRST TIME VISITORS section here.  It includes valuable information that you will want on-hand including videos, printouts and maps.

Lastly, one of the most important things I do when shopping market is finding great new resources….and that my friends is a trade secret I won’t be sharing today, sorry!  However, if you are interested in my favorite finds, you can follow my Spring market shopping Pinterest Board Fun Finds.

There is so much more to learn and know about market like buyers passes and where to stay among other things.  Be sure to visit the HP Market Authority website that provides an ample amount of additional information.

If you find this post helpful to your shopping experience please be sure to let me know and share it with your friends!

Good luck and hope to see you soon, in High Point of course!

xo Christi

You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.  The world never sleeps!

This month’s winston-salem monthly features a  home we recently renovated.  The article, titled Mother’s of Invention (read the article here), details the importance of creating a home that is designed around, and for, the family who resides there.

In her own words, our client wrote this about the project:

It’s not where you live, it’s how you live.  That concept has always stuck with us; whether it was living in Denver, Colorado, Durango, CO, The Bay Area in San Francisco, or South Texas along the Gulf shores all in Jennifer’s youth or just across the river from New York city in Bayonne , New Jersey or the Maplewood-in the suburbs, of New Jersey for Austin.   Home is that place where you go to find comfort and peace with those you love.  So it was when we first walked into this home that our family felt like we could live here really well…except with a few slight changes here and there.

So; the dream list began; a touch of the feeling from our past-Colorado nature, (bring the outside in with lots of windows) California casual (clean line cabinetry, concrete, fireplace), Texas expansiveness (open kitchen, living, dining)  New Jersey community, (close proximity to family within the house) , and Maplewood as place to play (boy cave/man cave).

Also, It’ not what you do, it’s who you do it with……the relationship is important…..working with those who want to collaborate, not dictate.  Who are open, not with set with preconceived ideas-creative and willing to take some risks.   So, the list began with who to have help us-architect, builder, designer.  We assembled just the right group:  Vicky Schober – the builder (who’s first reaction was excitement at doing something different and she’s a mom), Jill Spaeh – the architect  and Mom who wanted to first meet the whole family to understand “how we live” and the calm cool designer, Anne Barnhardt who was First a Mom and her priority was to help us better live as a family, but doing it with style and comfort!  Anne has since deceased and I see and feel her everywhere.  She was amazing in her talents and extended her warmth into every choice brought forth-thinking about the family first-the texture of the fabric, the feel on  the feet, the durability of 2 boys and how the space would be for their friends, on and on-it was important to her that our boys love their home and be drawn to come back in all the years ahead.

Desired end result…was for our family to walk in the door and have a rush of warmth and love awaiting, for friends to come and feel the pull of gathering, and for new friends to walk in and feel like they belong.

Photo by J. Sinclair

Photo by J. Sinclair

At Barbour Spangle our goal with each and every project is to help our clients – no matter if they are stay-at-home moms, executives, or retirees – create a sense of HOME.  Just as our client details above, that word – HOME – means something different to every one of us.  Design should be a reflection of who you are, the family that lives there, the people that congregate, love, play and eat together, not just something pretty.  It should be a place to find refuge, to have fun, to love, and to heal.

Have a good weekend everyone.

xo Christi

This morning I was working on my Minted Christmas card when I came across their designer challenge – needless to say my Christmas card is now sitting unfinished. 
Take a look at my first inspiration board entry….more to come!

NEUTRAL by Christi, see more

NEUTRAL board by Christi. See more

Minted is a great website for any type of paper goodies from stationary to invitations to personalized gifts. Each week I’ll be adding more designer challenge boards and adding them to my Pinterest page Happy Holidays.
xo Christi

There is nothing like a little “bling” to add some glamour to a room. Don’t you think?
With the announcement of several new products, the talented designers at Yellow Goat have proven they too know just how to pump up the GlamFactor.

BACCI is one of their newest introductions:  Glossy gold aluminium shapes poking through on both sides of a sheet of 10mm (3/8″) clear acrylic make for very impressive bling whether used on a wall as in this image or on a ceiling.

Appropriately named BIG DOME:  What else could you call these things? They simply are ‘Big Domes’, but they are made using the oldest boat building techniques in the world – stretching skin over a frame, in this case high tech aluminium skin and polycarbonate frame – makes them less expensive and much more interesting than other domes.

THAI SOUP:  It’s a bowl shape, it has a Thai influence but that’s where the similarity ends. This very glamorous piece is made up of hundreds of gold coloured elements forming the shape of a prayer bowl. Lit by a huge round opal pearl.

Our interiors certainly have their own bling factor, client requested of course.  If you are interested in pumping up your Glam-Quotient be sure to give us a call.

xo Christi Barbour
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This morning I opened up a trend report from ASID highlighting trends in the hospitality industry, to my delight one of our recent projects was right on target!  The topic was from a roundtable discussion at the HD (Hospitality Design) Expo and was related to the trends industry experts are seeing in restaurant design.

The author of the article (whose name I could not locate anywhere!) talked about what is currently happening in the hospitality industry.  A few of these trends were incorporated into our design of Josephine’s Bistro located in Greensboro, NC.  To read the entire article click here.

As the article states:

New Face of Dining: The influx of technology has led to an outcry for meaningful products and experiences. Tom Savigaar, of the Future Laboratory, said that, especially after the recession, people want to know the history, the heritage of a product. Experiential, sense of place, local, comfortable—from fine dining to casual dining, those continue to be the key words. So much technology has led to want for less is more, which continues the trend of stripped back décor, the been there forever, authentic feel. Overall, the new generation of diners want an experience, where a sense of casual comfort reigns. Fine dining doesn’t and shouldn’t have to mean white table cloths and servers in tuxes; a stuffy atmosphere. Luxury can mean special ingredients, staff dressed more casual, yet still knowledgeable, and crafted cocktails.

Use of Art: …from the artwork, to the menus, to the music, it has to be a whole package. Let’s just say it has to be all about the details.We have seen many restaurants use artwork as an inexpensive solution to really capture the spirit of the design, chef, or the menu….

Josephine’s lives up to these attributes and then some. To see examples of the features I highlighted bold above, just take a look.

The building used to be a print shop.  At one time a roof-top bar was considered but a side patio/pergola turned out to be the best option for restaurant seating.  Large sunflower sculptures were handcrafted by a local artisan.

The table tops came from wood that originated off family property and was hand planed, sanded and finished.  Metal chairs, barstools and an exposed ceiling all lend an air of industrialism speaking to the HD articles comment on stripped back décor.

The wine cellar area was handcrafted of wood that came from a barn off the restaurant owner’s family farm.

The artwork by roweboat art is all photographic images of farm animals and local farms, printed in a sepia tone the images are in keeping with the overall neutral color scheme.

Custom menu boards highlight specials, facts and local information.

The best part about Josephine’s is the food.  If you have not been yet, be sure to get by and check it out!

Josephine’s Bistro
2417 Spring Garden Street
Greensboro, NC 27403
phone: 336-285-6590

xo Christi

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Thinking of painting this weekend but can’t decide on a color?

I have a tool that is going to change your life.   Our friends at Sherwin Williams have created a bookmarklet that allows you to capture images you love on the internet and create a color palette from them.  This is very similar to our post on Design Seeds titled The Mysterious Wonder of Color.

With just the click of your mouse – viewers can select an image and receive a Sherwin Williams color based paint palette!  Just imagine!

Love your closet?  Use an outfit to inspire a room.

Love your garden?  Those favorite blooms of yours could inspire a palette.

What about that stationary you write your thank you cards on?  It too could inspire your space!

To get started you create a user profile on the Sherwin Williams Chip It site.  Click HERE to get started.  Once you set up an account and install the bookmarklet, you can tag any number of images you find inspiring.  This makes it so easy to take your favorite things and turn them into a room color.  It’s so easy, fashion designers put a great deal of time and energy to put an outfit together with fantastic color combos.  Stationary designers are paid a fortune to stay up on the latest colors and combinations.  And then there is mother nature!  Well….lets just leave it that she does it best.

I decided to test this out myself before suggesting it to you so I started with something easy, our logo.  The colors were very close to our original logo colors selected by our friends at Mitre Agency.

Next I took one of our projects, a room for the Junior League Showhouse, to test.  Except for the Pewter Green I felt like this was a good palette match.

The second guinea pig was a Women’s Imaging waiting room.  The soft serene room has equally serene selected colors.

At this point I was thinking to myself this might really be a good tool!  I was pretty excited and started to think about what else might inspire you to paint a room.

What about a great piece of art?  I used this painting from roweboat art for a test.  The result?  Great!

I couldn’t resist so I tried two more!  I know artwork can be the source of inspiration in many rooms.  Both Chip It selections were right on target.

Waiting on all these images to load on my slooowww computer I found myself staring out the window to my garden.

Garden…that’s it!  Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration!

By then my daughter was up (it was an early weekend morning).  She was dressed and ready to go – she loves to dress up so, you guessed it, she inspired this next selection.  I can’t resist her in a cute Lilly Pulitzer dress so I went to their website for inspiration (and this image).

The verdict on Chip It is two thumbs up!  This is a fantastic tool for those of you who are a little scared to pull the trigger on a color.  Needless to say, we don’t want cool tools like this to keep you from calling us!

xo Christi

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I wanted to follow up to my earlier post about the High Point City Project since we just completed an exterior “ReVision” for one of the City Core buildings.

Meet the High Point Fine Art Guild.

“The HPFAG is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, which was formed in 1965.  The Guild is designed to bring together a network of artist and art lovers.  Their interest is the advancement of arts through art shows, art education, art workshops, art programs and collaboration with other cultural groups. Some of their focus areas will be to encourage the production of paintings, sculptures, photographer and other objects of art.”

We were approached to take a run down building on Centennial Street and turn it into a space that could host retail shops, offices, restaurant venues, showrooms and a coffee shop.

The building as it currently is from the North.

The building as it currently is from the South.

The entrance to the building - facing Centennial Street.

The design we developed:

The response we received when we presented the new design:

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!  I am SPEECHLESS!!!!!!

That my friends, is music to our ears.

xo Christi

I am always looking for new and interesting things to hang on the walls. Imagine my delight when one of my new favorite apps – Instagram, a fun & quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures – can now be turned into wall art!


Fine Art America is now making it easy for Instagram-phobes like me to take an image, add a filter to make it look like a pro shot, and then develop a piece of art.  Now we can all feel like (and create the look of) professional photographers!

It’s a simple process.

Step 1:  Go to itunes if you don’t already have the Instagram App.

Step 2:  Take photos with the Instagram App.  If you are a newbie find great tips here.

Step 3:  Go to Fine Art America

Step 4: Get Started with an import directly from Instagram or browse for images.  Here is a direct link.



Happy shooting everyone!!

xo Christi

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PS.  If you like this post, check out our WALLHOGS post for other ideas to use photos as wall art.