A Few Words With Anthony Baratta, CTC&G Innovator Award Recipient
To the iconic interior designer, color is everything.
You often say “color is everything.” What does that mean? In my head, color is romance, good energy and good taste. Without color, our lives would not be so interesting. I like my interiors to be experienced like I experience the world. It’s the language that I speak in.
Your fearless use of color and pattern is your trademark. What’s a favorite pattern or color combination that stands the test of time? Stars and stripes, floral and ginghams, pink and blue, blue and white with a splash of red.
In 2020, your first solo book, Decorate Happy: Bold Colorful Interiors, was released. What is “Decorate Happy”? How does one do that? “Decorate Happy” is the feeling you get when you walk into a room and it makes you smile. The formula is still a secret to me. But we like to say that color, comfort and collections make it all work.
How do you think the pandemic has influenced people’s design decisions? Total utilization of every space. Long gone are the days of having rooms that are only used once or twice a year. For people who are visual especially, it’s super important to create the right setting for conference calls that truly reflects you to a T.
What is your own home-office like? My home office is an eight-by-ten room lined with my most coveted collection of design books. I have a simple setup, but everything I need close by. I also feature a pastel portrait of a colonial soldier that I purchased during my residency at Colonial Williamsburg. He’s my favorite.
Where do you find design inspiration? A lot of the inspiration comes from art and from the great decorating masters of the past. Always has and always will.
If you were in a different industry, what would you do? Art teacher. I grew up painting and drawing, and still do sketches for my work all the time. It’s therapeutic and makes clear what is inside my head. I think it would be fun to share my love for art with others.
As you celebrate your 40th year in the business, can you offer a top tip for up-and-coming designers? Start a design library and don’t rely solely on internet finds. Some of the best design is nestled in beautiful decorating books. Also, don’t worry about what other people think. Do you.
What was your biggest/favorite memory from your year as Colonial Williamsburg’s Designer in Residence at Palmer House? The infamous Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum parade that occurred twice a day just outside my door. The color, the synchronization, the patriotism and the pageantry is unlike anything else in America.
Could you see being a designer in residence again? For my next adventure, I’d love a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. What a treat that would be.
What’s your personal credo? Color is Everything!