Barbara Clark Collins

From early childhood I had an appreciation for beauty.  I think it was in my genes as my mother was always busy with creative projects – painting, sewing amazing outfits for me (and my dolls) and bringing her own sense of style to her home.

Barbara Collins, The Whistling Elk

Later, I formed an admiration for form and detail and though my route to Interior Design was circuitous, the urge to create beautiful spaces eventually became reality in 1990. (Prior years spent in the corporate world where I attained the level of Vice President was time well-loved and well-spent as I learned the importance of budgeting and planning, must-have business skills). When I founded The Whistling Elk in 1990 my imagination was running full steam ahead. 

I opened a shop with three rooms featuring a lace & satin ribbon-adorned ceiling, upholstered walls and an amazing coppery metallic ceiling that was probably my first formal foray into mixing paint colors to create the desired effect!  It wasn’t long before I found myself in the homes of my customers designing window treatments, moving furniture and giving paint consultations.  That was 32 years ago.  Wow! Formal design education actually came later – an afterthought which I thoroughly enjoyed.  My design philosophy is to create amazing spaces that surround you with all the things you love, embody fine details and style, and generally just make you happy to live in them! The Whistling Elk is always filled with beautiful, elegant furnishings!