Designer Crush: Private Image Inc


Slightly under the radar is how Barry Fox, founder and principal designer at Private Image Inc prefers to hover. Having worked with icons like David Netto, Fox has vast experience in curating thoughtful, art-filled interiors throughout Southern California. Here, he shares what drew him to the world of interiors and what keeps him captivated.

Firm founder, Barry Fox. Photo by Aaron Leitz.

What is the story behind your firm name? When I was a teenager in the 1980’s I really liked the band name Public Image Ltd. Private Image Inc. is a take on that. For better or worse, it’s also really vague and anonymous–and I like it like that! 

When did your passion for art begin? I was an art history minor in college but my first job was in New York at Sotheby’s. I worked at the catalogue desk and temped in different departments. It’s amazing exposure to a wide range to collecting categories from Chinese ceramics to contemporary art. I also still have great friends from that job over 30 years later.

Photo by Joseph Kramm

Why do you feel it is important to curate interiors around clients’ art collections? Architecture aside, I think fine art should be at the top of the hierarchy in determining an interior’s mood and inspiration.  This doesn’t mean the art needs to be expensive or “important”.

Which interior designers have inspired your work the most? David Hicks, Jacques Grange and David Netto. As a kid I loved David Hicks rooms from my parents Architectural Digest magazines. I loved his tablescapes and use of geometric prints. Overall very smart, tailored and clean aesthetics. His rooms made me love interiors from a young age. Jacques Grange is brilliant at mixing eras in furniture, art and decorative art. He is at the top of the industry and still doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s just gifted with French chicness. David Netto is an old friend and former business partner. I learned a great deal working with him. Besides having amazing taste his knowledge of architecture and design history along with the social commentary that goes with them is extensive and fascinating.

Photo by Joseph Kramm
Photo by Aaron Letiz

Do you advise clients to collect decorative arts in addition to their fine art works? Oh yes!  I especially love locating great values at auctions. There’s usually a category of decorative arts that’s fantastic but maybe unappreciated in the current market.

Who is your favorite decorative artist right now? David Wiseman always impresses me with his creativity and originality.  He’s also a friend and client. He works mainly in porcelain and bronze but is always introducing new materials to his work like crystals, enamel and terrazzo.  I own several of his pieces myself and adore them.

Photo by Spencer Lowell
Photo by Spencer Lowell


-Favorite L.A restaurant?  All Time on Hillhurst for breakfast. Love the granola and berries.  Petit Trois on Highland for lunch, and I go for the Boston salad and steak tartar. Matsuhisa on La Cienega for dinner. So much is amazing but yellowtail jalapeno, any “new-style” sashimi and dry miso salad are Nobu classics.

-One hotel in the world that is on your bucket list to visit? Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur.

-If you could design a home for anyone, who would it be? Georgia O’Keefe, Donald Judd or Cy Twombly.  None of them needed any design help.  They all have such great style and owned amazing objects.  It would have been cool to work with their collections and help them arrange their environments.

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