There are not too many words we can say about this AMAZING interview written by Anna White of Lona De Anna, except that it confirmed we are all now Barry fans- he is possibly one of the nicest, relatable and more positive people we have come across! His involvement in the industry is inspiring and exciting to watch unfold as he takes on each new project whether it be design led or charity based. Read on to smile and say ‘awww’ (hint: question 8 will do it to you!)
I was absolutely thrilled and honored when TV personality and master builder/designer Barry DuBois agreed to an interview.
Quietly I may have been stalking Barry on Instagram which as you all know is my favourite social media tool to date, and it has been wonderful to learn a little more about the master mind behind the master builder, where he shares heart melting moments of his two beautiful twins Bennet and Arrabella and also his latest projects. With an unpretentious persona and a warm, down to earth nature it’s not hard to see why so many Australians tune in to watch this lovable TV personality every Friday night.
1. Tell us a little about your background, when did your passion for building and architecture begin for you?
When I was 19 I bought my first block of land, I spent weekends building a house on it. I was incredibly proud of my creation but like everything in life I realised I could do better with the design, I built a career of designing and building beautiful homes.
A trip to Europe in the 80s and an encounter with an Italian Architect started my fascination and passion for architecture. I realised the more I perfected the connection between interior and exterior spaces the more the homes where welcomed in the market.
I love Design and building and like to think I combine the two as and artisan, Probably The only thing that I am more passionate about is family.
In 2004 I lost my mum and I realised I needed more time with loved ones, being a workaholic the only way to achieve that was to retire from work completely, my success in the industry meant I could do this and I spent the next 6 years sailing Europe and the pacific with my family.
My passion for design never left me and in 2011 I was asked to mentor and judge on the reality show
The Renovators! It was an amazing experience, which lead to my seat in The Livingroom Channel ten as the Home guy.
2. In your opinion what are the 3 key elements that are vital components in creating a space that is not only visually pleasing, but functional and long lasting?
It is a very simple Philosophy that I follow and the key components are relationship, relationship and relationship. First the relationship between the people that will habitat the space, secondly the experiences they will share in that space, and thirdly their relationship with the built and natural environment. If you understand those three components then the form and function will blend.
3. What pieces in your home have the most sentimental value?
Things that have been or are loved by the ones that I love most, material items have never meant that much to me. My wife has collected many little souvenirs along the way during our travels, that add a warm and homely feeling to our home, but it’s more about the experience of life for me as apposed to material things.
4. What does a typical day in the life of Barry DuBois involve?
Every day of my life bar only a couple, have been the best days anyone could ever have. I wake up to a beautiful family and I get to work hard at what I love, that may mean an early start on a site with the Livingroom.
Dylan and I do all the renovations and the show has given me total license to design and build what I believe in. Once a fortnight we are in Studio and record 2 shows which is a late night but I love it.
Catching up with Amanda, Chris and Miguel is a blast we are great friends, and are always keen to see what we have done and really enjoy ourselves. Sharing my design Philosophies and DIY tip to 100s of thousands of people is incredibly rewarding.
5. What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of your work?
I absolutely love working through a brief with a client and helping them understand what the relationship they what to have with the space, getting people to open up their personalities is one of the biggest challenges but if they do (which they always do) by far the biggest reward for me is at the end seeing them love that space and seeing it become and extension of themselves and a reflection of their personalities.
6. When in search of a bolt of creative inspiration for a new brief or project, where do you turn?
Interestingly enough it’s not photos or other designs, I feel photos of spaces are just a second in time of a space that someone else shares it may be a pretty picture but it’s not yours. My inspiration comes more from quotes by designers, architects, authors such as Mark Twain, a quote can unlock a question that may help to get me closer to the client.
7. You have traveled many roads in your successful career, one road in particular which is close to your heart is being an avid supporter of certain charities such as the ” Cancer Council ” not to mention other causes such as R U OK day, and the Salvation Army. How important has your charity work become to you?
The charity work I have been able to be a part of is very important to me and I see it as one of the rewards of being a celebrity. I have traveled many roads and a couple time those roads crossed with both cancer and Depression.
I believe that you can’t say I am going to help, I believe you just help.
If we had the same amount of people supporting and trying to make a difference as we do the amount of people sadly suffering or affected by these illnesses then we would be allot closer to finding the solutions or cures.
8. Being someone that truly breathes life in and lives it to its fullest…what’s big plans or projects are on the cards for Barry DuBois?
Without a doubt the most important legacy I hope to leave is the way I bring up and provide for my family, my wife and I had and extremely rough road to parent hood but now my beautiful twins Bennet and Arabella are the focus of my life. I hope to instill the same ethics and morals I believe in, honesty, integrity, generosity and self belief, add plenty of love and support to that and I believe you can have a go at just about anything.
Don’t forget to register now for Life Instyle Sydney 13 – 16 February 2014