Tiffany Barino shares her love of colorful, eclectic décor on her blog and Instagram and isn’t one to resist a good design challenge—she gets so much joy from seeing a vision of hers come to life. As part of our series, My Design Journey, we spoke with the New Jersey-based content creator about her lifelong interest in design, how she developed her style, and what she enjoys most about sharing her work on the internet.
On What Drew Her to Home Design
By day, Tiffany Barino’s life couldn’t look any different than it does on her Instagram feed: the certified paralegal recently pivoted into the world of finance. But, she assures, a love of design has always been in her blood.
“Both of my grandmothers as well as my mom loved creating beautiful living spaces,” Barino says. “Home design always plays a major role in my life—I believe it’s fundamentally important to have and create a home that you love and enjoy spending time in. Because of that, I’m always on a mini-mission to make certain that my home is a true representation of me and where I am in my life.”
Home design always plays a major role in my life—I believe it’s fundamentally important to have and create a home that you love and enjoy spending time in.
On Her Eclectic Style
Barino’s Instagram handle has the word “eclectic” in it for a reason. “I think growing up in New York City and seeing firsthand so many different and interesting people, styles of dressing, even different neighborhoods—those sites shaped my thoughts on fashion and by extension home décor,” she reflects.
And Barino has always had a penchant for bold hues. “My favorite color has always been yellow—and not pastel yellow—in your face, sunny and bright, yellows and mustards,” she comments. “In my bedroom as a teenager, I laid peel and stick black and white tiles, because I knew they’d the perfect background to my bright colors and patterns in my bedding, which was constantly changing.”
On Taking Design Risks
When it comes to others taking design risks, Barino believes that more people should experiment with color in their kitchen.
“A beautiful bright white kitchen is a forever classic, but I’d love to see risks with rich, bold cabinet colors or even fun flooring,” she says. “If I were single, my kitchen would without a doubt have beautiful mustard yellow cabinets with black soapstone counters and gorgeous black and white flooring.”
On Her Passion for Thrifting
Barino has a knack for scoring budget-friendly pieces and loves hunting for one-of-a-kind furnishings. Her favorite finds? The chairs in her dining room—“an amazing estate sale score; they pretty much gave them away”—and a Russell Woodard fiberglass patio set, which Barino refers to as one of her bucket list items.
“I also have two Milo Baughman-inspired Parsons chairs sitting in my garage just waiting to be reupholstered one day,” she adds. “They also were pretty much given to me because the price was that good!”
In particular, Barino has had excellent luck using Facebook Marketplace to source secondhand gems. “I loved that they were so well cared for, and I know that the quality is outstanding and I can also enjoy them for years to come,” she says of some of her favorite pieces from that platform.
On Participating in the One Room Challenge
Barino has participated in the popular mini-makeover series six different times.
“I love design challenges because it’s like a huge group project and we’re all working toward the same goal,” she says. “Also, I’m a professional procrastinator, so having deadlines keeps me on track.”
On Running a Design Instagram Account
Though Barino’s Instagram page isn’t part of her full-time job, she’s greatly enjoyed having the opportunity to connect with like-minded design fanatics.
“I love meeting so many people that are as obsessed with beautiful interiors as I am,” she shares. “I’m constantly inspired and just love getting to see how others style, design, and just overall love their homes.”
Reading other blogs sparks inspiration, too. “I really enjoy pictures and reading what the designer had in mind when they were working on their rooms and/ or space,” Barino adds. “I enjoy learning about the context in which the design came to be.”
Those curious about starting a design account of their own should go ahead and do it, Barino urges. “The amount of support and encouragement from people who also love home décor and design is priceless,” she says. “Even if this isn’t your full-time job, share it with others—you never know who you may inspire with your work.”