A laid back lover of travel, design and mind-opening experiences, Rocky Barnes is a woman after our own heart. With her cool California style and love of design with a story, model, designer, and influencer Rocky Barnes lives our philosophy that home is a journey—and in some cases, more of an adventure. Having just built her first family home with her husband Matt in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, we had the chance to catch up with Rocky as we helped her design and furnish her new space—one filled with light, neutral hues, pops of color, and the must-have pieces they couldn’t resist.
We asked Rocky to share the evolution of her aesthetic, where she finds inspiration, the experience of designing her first home, and the wild new adventure that is starting a family. Read our conversation below to see what she had to say.
With your recent move into your first home in Los Angeles, how has your style as a couple changed?
I used to refer to my apartment style as mid century Moroccan. It was very bohemian with lots of gold accents and bright colors. Matt’s NYC apartment was very industrial, with lots of leather and wood. Working on our first home together has really fine tuned our aesthetics. We went for a neutral matte palette with pops of color and lots of light. It’s a space we both feel at home in.
With a young child, what compromises are you making (or not making!) in the way you’re styling your home?
We really didn’t make too many compromises when it comes to designing with baby in mind. I think most people would say our choice for a white couch was crazy, but our Saba italia pixel sofa is all slipcovers, so is easily washable (and we now have a new rule of no eating on the sofa haha) I grew up in a house full of antiques and cactus, so have faith that we can make our house chic AND baby friendly
When it comes to decorating your home, what are three “rules” you live by and three you love to break?
Matt and I had some debate at the beginning of our design process as to how true we wanted to stay to the mid century roots. We ended up going a bit less mid century but did stick to the rule of all matte finishes. We were also big on finding pieces for our home that were both design forward and functional. Lastly, we worked hard to keep our decorating minimal, to allow room for us to grow as a family.
Matt and I did all the interior design ourselves so I’m sure we unknowingly broke a lot of rules! We ultimately went with pieces that we both loved, and hope they tell our story.
What role does color play in your style, your home, and your life?
I am very colorful and Matt is the opposite. He loves a very neutral palette. We kept our canvas neutral and added pops of color in our rugs and accessories! I love the idea of being able to change and create new stories depending on the season and mood. I find that my fashion is always on the bright side so coming home to a neutral space is very calming.
Do you have any personal practices or rituals you do at home?
Cooking together as a family is a ritual we do everyday. Matt is such an amazing cook and cooking for me and Jones is definitely his love language. Now that Jones is eating solid foods it’s so fun to introduce him to new flavors and textures. We want him to be a foodie like us! Haha!
What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration?
I think so much of my inspiration comes from travel. The clean lines and plaster walls were inspired by Tulum. Textiles from India and Morocco are always my favorite. And our backyard brings back feelings of a desert oasis in Palm Springs!
How has abc helped you find inspiration?
I have been shopping at ABC for years and every time I walk in I am overwhelmed with inspiration. Walking in, you feel like you are entering the home of a friend who has been traveling all their life. Bringing back beautiful treasures from all their journeys to share. Every piece they carry is so thoughtfully curated and you know every product and company will share the same values and be ethically sound.
What philosophy or approach did you and Matt take when designing your home together?
When designing our house, Matt and I based our selections off of pieces we were drawn to and really loved. If you base selecting pieces off of what you love versus trying to create something perfect, it all comes together in the end. abc is so well curated, no matter what you pull, you can easily create your own cohesive design story.
Favorite movie: Amélie or When Harry Met Sally
Favorite NYC corner: 9th & 5th, this is where Matt and I had our engagement shoot
Favorite LA spot: The Hollywood sign hike! The first hike I took Matt on when he moved to LA
Favorite food: Either sushi or a good bowl of pasta
Favorite book: Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Favorite color: Seafoam green
Favorite vacation destination: Anywhere in Mexico with a beach
Cooking at home or takeout? At home, only when Matt cooks. Takeout when it’s my turn to cook 😂
Cats or dogs? Dogs
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate, dark chocolate
Sweet or savory? Savory
Digital or analog? Digital
Heels or flats? Pre-Jones, heels. Post-Jones, flats.