Anthony Baratta is a diamond among gems in the interior design industry. How rare it is to realize a passion so early in life, pursue it, and then cultivate it into a multifaceted company?
Baratta started working at the Metropolitan Museum while attending Fordham University, where he studied art history and architectural history. Fascinated by the archives, he felt a calling into the design world. After he met William Diamond, a New York designer popular for his colorful interiors, Diamond Baratta Design was born. Now Baratta has his own firm, and in the nearly 40 years of transforming ordinary spaces into the extraordinary, Anthony Baratta Design has expanded into rugs, bedding, furniture, and beyond.
Called a design icon by Traditional Homes and awarded a coveted “Hue Award” for lifetime achievement in design by Benjamin Moore, he works across Long Island, the New York metropolitan area, upstate New York, Connecticut, California, and even Utah.
How do you approach a new project?
I always go into a space and study the architecture first. Right away I know what direction the decorating should go in. I look at the volume and the light to determine if it’s a right fit.
After this, the client and I go over ideas, and we see if they will be receptive to the vision I have in mind.
How do you incorporate sustainable practices into your designs?
In many of our projects, we end up reusing existing furniture and reimagining it to look new and fresh. We always try to incorporate antiques in the work as well because they always give a space that extra “oomph” and it’s important to not let them disappear from the world.
The incredible craftspeople from across the U.S. that we use are an integral part of our design as well. We urge them to use natural materials and Made in the USA is totally us. We also do our best to make the houses energy efficient and as updated/modern as possible.
How does it feel to be called a “design icon?”
It feels like an honor! I feel like people respect what I have accomplished in my career and it makes the work fun.
I hope that young designers look up to me, just as I looked up to my predecessors.
What industry experts have you admired?
Kenneth DeAngelis — upholsterer — taught us a rare specialty that not many people are aware of and that made our work so unique and different; Thomas Newman — master cabinetmaker — how to use beautiful materials and make beautiful furniture and continues to do so; Alberto Pinto — designer — he was very influential to me because of his strong hand and grand sweeping gestures. I still look at his work for inspiration to this very day.
What’re some of the details of your new furniture collection?
I love our collection. It has clean lines, simple form, and they pack a punch with the scale and the detailing.
They’re so signature of our work. Slightly inspired by ’40s French furniture but in a super American way.
How did you collaborate with Wildcat Territory on your signature bedding collection?
We paired with Wildcat through Thomasville, actually.
During furniture market, we helped to decorate our showroom at Thomasville and a staff member thought that we would make a great team with Wildcat to dress our new beds from the collection.
What rooms are essential for a good rug design?
Definitely the living room and the bedroom. We usually start a project with the living room rug.
After that, everything else follows. Fabrics, paint colors, accessories, artwork.
With your hand in so many design fields, what’s your key to keeping the balance?
I never stop thinking about design. Everything I do or see inspires me for the next big thing.
Keeping busy and continuing to do good and fun work keeps me balanced.
Your designs are bursting with color. What’s your favorite color combination and what two colors clash the most?
I lean towards classic color combinations like red, white, and blue, greens and reds, blue and yellow. A variation on these classics makes it easy to expand upon, and I keep finding new and inventive ways to play off of them. Red and green means Christmas to a lot of people, but to me it means Gucci, which is chic.
What really clashes to me is when a hue is off. For example, if a yellow goes too green, it can throw the whole room off. Just like music, color must be pitch perfect. When something is off, everyone can hear/see it!
How does it feel to be in the industry for as long as you have?
For the past 38 years, I’ve been very lucky to work on these magnificent homes and we aim for happiness, comfort, and creativity for our clients and I still enjoy doing it, so that says a lot!
Visit www.anthonybaratta.com or on social media via Instagram @tonybaratta or Facebook @anthony.baratta.