During a lifetime of travel and design, Barbara Drake has evolved a unique style that stresses movement, warmth, colour, balance, sustainability and what she calls “a universal sensuality." Born in Britain, she was taken to Kenya as a child, a move that fired her sensibility and strongly influenced her design ideas. She has also lived in the US, Hong Kong and New Zealand and travelled widely elsewhere.

Barbara made her design debut as a stylist for fashion and advertising photographers. She subsequently became a set decorator for films and TV commercials, later moving to Los Angeles to decorate films and design commercials as well as independent feature films. More recently she has worked in New Zealand as production designer for a TV series - for which she was interviewed by Radio NZ - and on TV commercials.

Barbara also works as an interior designer and a landscape designer, transforming properties in Los Angeles, London, New Zealand and France. Her work has been featured in magazines in the USA and New Zealand and on US television.

She is working with her partner on their native forest regeneration project and has designed an off-the-grid home for the conservation block they own in the Coromandel Peninsula. They currently live off the grid in a caravan with a sleep-out made of upcycled materials, using solar panels, recycled stainless steel water tanks and a dry waste system. When in Auckland they live in a former motel room that she has totally remodeled and which was featured in NZ House and Garden magazine.