Barb Runyard – Runnier Design Studio
Crest Hill, Illinois
When you speak to Barb Runyard about her work you are struck by the immense passion that she has for her craft. Barb’s life and career were transformed when she left her job in medical management 15 years ago to open an interior decorating store in Joliet, Illinois with six other women. The women had decided to try their hand at painting some vignettes in the store. It was during this time Barb says that she was “bit by the bug.” After discovering her passion for faux finishing she set out to educate herself. She attended the Miller-Waggner School of Art in Chicago. Coincidentally, Barb and Kathy Carroll both attended the Miller-Waggner School of Art at the same time, however, they did not meet formally until last year’s SALI convention. When her initial studies were complete Barb began a part-time faux finishing career. As a single mother of two she needed to be sure that her business would be adequate to support her family. She is driven by her passion for her craft. Anytime that she has contemplated stepping away from her business, she has always been brought back by the fact that “it is so rare to be doing what you love.” As her clientele grew she was encouraged by her peers to take her business full time, and in 1996 she did just that. By 2001 she had built a very successful full time design business.
Barb’s favorite techniques include working with fine furniture finishes, cabinets, metallic plasters, and gold leafing. She says she “really loves to work with furniture pieces and transform them.” When asked about her all time favorite job she spoke of a house that she has been working on for five years. After receiving a call this week to work on a prayer room for the home she reflected on the evolution of the project. “When we first started working together we made a list of what we wanted to accomplish, and now we’re down to the last two items.” Barb’s philosophy is that “a home should evolve like the people who live there.” This gives a soul to the home as it lives and grows with its owners.
Some of Barb’s favorite products of Faux By Kathy’s offerings are Modern Masters Metallic Paints and Perfetto Glaze. She says of Perfetto Glaze that it is her “favorite glaze ever, the best in the market.” She reflected on a job that she had used it on, saying “it stayed wet for two days!” She also loves Modern Masters Metallic Paints and uses them frequently. You can see how beautifully she has been able to incorporate Modern Masters products into her work on the pictured foyer, fireplace, and table. Also visible in these pictures are her creativity and stunning artistic ability.
Barb continues to educate her self in the newest techniques in her field through seminars offered by Kathy Carroll. She is a member of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce as well as being the president of the Illinois chapter of IDAL (International Decorative Artisans League). With her post as chapter president she feels privileged to be able to work directly with Kathy and pass the knowledge that she obtains onto the other members of her chapter. She says of Kathy that she “is upbeat and professional. Kathy inspires people and is a great sharer. She’s your own personal cheerleader.”