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Home Work

Interior designer Hebner helps
client prepare for new year

Ivy Vine Florist owner
sees past projects as future

By Nichole Osinski
Contributing Writer

(January 2012) – Now that the Christmas season is over, it can be hard trying to clean up all those festive decorations. Only during this time of the year can wreaths, ornaments and old poinsettias be bothersome. However, finding the right way to make a house look put together isn’t daunting for everyone.
This is where Barry Hebner comes in.

Barry Hebner

Photo provided

Barry Hebner says
he enjoys the challenge
of decorating a home.

Hebner, 41, is an interior designer and owns Ivy Vine Florist in Hanover, Ind. He has been especially busy during the these past months putting up decorations and floral arrangements. Now it’s time for him to open up houses with a new look for the new year. This means preparing for another busy year with new ideas.
One special event that has helped Hebner showcase his work was when he helped decorate for the Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes in Madison, Ind. He decorated two of the five private homes that were featured on the Tour, organized annually by the local tourism office, VisitMadison Inc.
He has also teamed up with interior designer Mary Beth Boone to decorate various locations. One such place was the store Blush on Main St. in downtown Madison. Hebner used this as another opportunity to show his unique style. He placed bodices, peacock feathers and chicken wire along with his floral arrangements to give the store a festive look that stood out and was “ultra modern.”
“You can’t get anything as unique as what he does around here,” said store owner Angela Gore. “He’s just very creative.”
Hebner started out as a hairdresser by trade in Bloomington, Ind. When he decided it was time for a change, he enrolled at the Botanical Expression School of Floral Design, in New Albany, Ind. From here he began to put to use the art of placement, decorating and design into his work.
In 1994 Hebner opened Ivy Vine Florist, where he mainly focuses on floral arrangements. Though Hebner designs year-round, he is well known for his weddings. He takes different ideas, mixes them with his botanical prowess and creates a masterpiece to please the wedding party. Hebner explains that his clientele come from all over the country and that the majority of his brides are out of town. Talk about a good reputation.
While many businesses slow down after the holidays, Hebner says this is usually when things start to pick up for him.
One of the reasons for this is because of the Tour of Homes. This is when he can show off his work at its best. He also explains that the season gives him a chance to go over the top whether for a store, home or winter wedding.
Hebner’s experience with the annual Tour of Homes began when his own house was part of the tour five years ago. Since then he has been a popular choice for home owners also planning to partake in the tour.
Many clients have requested Hebner simply because of walking through the festively decorated houses. One client who has hired Hebner in the past is Michelle Barlow. She, along with her husand, Rob, were among the families that showcased their house on this past tour.
Hebner has previously done decorating for both of her children’s weddings and worked with Michelle to prepare the home for the tour.
“He’s easy to work with, a great guy and talented,” said Barlow. “He’ll listen to you and try to implement his creativity into what you want.”
When decorating homes this winter, Hebner wanted to highlight the entryways and staircases using accessories that go beyond the traditional norm. The materials he uses can come from anywhere; from suppliers to antique stores to thrift shops.
It takes about a month for the designing and decorating process. Hebner works with his clients to get a look they want then lays out a plan. He likes getting to know his customer base and being able to participate in different creative jobs with clientele.
All of the designing work is done in his shop which then comes to life in the homes where the designing is varying depending on the owners and their home.
One of Hebner’s favorite aspects of decorating is coming up with ideas that aren’t found in other homes. He even has professional experience from his past university classes with lighting and how it can best illuminate a room and give it a vividness.
This winter season Hebner used an approach of placing old frames on the tree of one house; a technique which gives it “texture.” When decorating a house Hebner aims to give depth and at times a “show room feel.”
When decorating the Barlow’s home he wanted to let the architecture stand out. This meant combining the traditional with a modern city chic twist. For other homes, he likes to keep a Victorian flare and let the older pieces stand out.
Hebner enjoys being able to work in Madison’s historic homes as much as he can. He himself has been collecting antiques for more than 20 years.
Along with Hebner’s custom design work, he also provides wreaths, candles and fruit baskets. And his advice for new decorators? Find one new piece every year and add to it each time. He also suggest using mixed greens, votive candles and magnolia leaves for an extra statement.
When people see a home Hebner has decorated, he hopes they leave with ideas to decorate their own homes and a sense that “we’ve done something different.”
In the past, Hebner has received calls from people all over the country letting him know how much they enjoyed touring the homes he has decorated.
However, it’s not just being able to decorate homes that makes this cold season special. It’s also the people.
“That’s always a pleasure to have people who don’t live here give a call saying how much they like our community,” said Hebner. “I have a great sense of accomplishment.”

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