Designer Spotlight: Sapphire Pear's Barrie Spang

Posted by Daniel Edelman on

When it comes to creating the perfect space for a client, interior designer Barrie Spang says everything is fair game. The Rocky River, OH, native doesn't shy away from bold colors or mixing finishes; in fact, Spang advocates, “There are no rules in design. The rules are made to be broken.”

Even as a young girl Spang knew she wanted to be an interior designer. "I told a relative I wanted to make people's houses prettier for a living," Spang said. "My dad then explained that this was actually a career I could pursue."

Spang grew up in Rocky River and spent her undergraduate degree at Lake Forest College in Chicago. About two weeks after graduation, Spang landed a job at a Cleveland-area interior design firm and has been back at home in her favorite city ever since. She now owns interior design firm, Sapphire Pear in Rocky River.

"I am one of Cleveland's biggest fans," said Spang. "I love living in Cleveland! I love living on Lake Erie. I love the fact that it’s easy to live because there's a low cost of living. I think we have some of the best restaurants in the world, and I love our sports teams, theaters, museums – I think we are a very underrated city."

Spang's relationship with Edelman has grown over the years, as she uses both East and Westside locations very often, depending on where her clients live.

"It’s such a first class plumbing resource, Spang said. "Edelman always has new trends or the new hottest things, and they really support designers."

"If my clients ever has any issues they work to resolve it efficiently. Not only is their showroom state-of-the-art, but they are a very nice family and company to work with," Spang said.

Taking a customer to a showroom where they can very quickly envision what their kitchen or bathroom may look like is extremely helpful, Spang continued.

"It's very hard to get someone excited about plumbing fixtures through catalogs and websites, because they are cold, intangible and look flat in pictures. But when you get them into a space like Edelman’s it’s much easier for people to visualize their new room or home."

Spang's Sapphire Pear storefront is a place where clients often say they like to hang out in for a while, which was exactly the vibe she was going for when designing the space. She has a colorful, bold style and wanted that to be reflected in the firm, along with her love for socializing. Psst. there's a bar and Spang is as shy about mixing cocktails as she is with mixing plumbing fixtures!

"I do neutral designs if that’s what my client wants, but I try to push people to be daring with their choices and to use more color," Spang said. "I'm comfortable working in all different genres of design from pretty modern to very, very traditional. Personally, I sort of fall in the middle, I would say."

In her own home, Spang has a lot of antique pieces that she inherited from her grandparents paired with different patterns and colors to make aesthetic more whimsical.

Just as her home is an exact reflection of her personal style, Spang works tirelessly with her clients to make their home be reflective of their styles.

"I love to cook, so I always look at the kitchen from the perspective of someone who will be cooking a lot," Spang said. "I think it’s important to have a triangle design, but we do play with that a little bit and potentially stretch it out."

Other than the triangle rule, Spang ditches convention for innovation, mixing countertop surfaces, paint colors, adding wood butcher-blocks when possible (she says they love using walnut!), and tile backslashes.

Now onto the bathroom. Spang champions that it’s very important to have good clean lighting in the bathroom and the ability to dim it, as the space should be both relaxing and equipped for ample light when needed. And she always recommends a comfort height toilet.

"I always try to have a spa-like feel, because most people I work with are using bathrooms as their retreat," Spang said. However, it is more important to determine how her client will use their bathroom before deciding what the main event will be.

When renovating a kitchen or living room, it's important to understand that it probably won’t change for 10-15 years.

Spang says there’s a misconception that people cannot afford an interior designer, but this isn't necessarily the case.

"You can hire an interior designer for an hour or two and it can make a huge difference," Spang advocates. "We can save people a lot of money by avoiding that one big mistake—like the scale being wrong—that will cost a fortune down the road.

The Sapphire Pear team makes the planning process as fun as possible for their clients. Spang says things can get really personal when dealing with homes and families and peoples budgets.

"I really enjoy getting to know my clients and working with them over many years to come."

To learn more about about working with Barrie Spang and Edelman on your next home renovation, give us a call to speak with an expert sales associate or visit one of our showrooms. In the meantime, browse our Pinterst boards for renovation inspiration.


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