Closer Up Interview With Architect and Interior Designer João Barkley

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am an entrepreneur Architect, Interior Designer, founder of ArcInterior and Joaobarkleydesigns. For more than 20 years I have developed my skills in the luxury residential space (specialising in remodelling), commercial office space, boutique hotel space – executing design work; selections of all finishes; project proposals and project management. 

I’ve been privileged to have worked with international clients which has provided me with the opportunity to develop a diverse flare.

More recently, I have been focussed on providing conceptual work and conducting Blog reviews in the architectural and design world, including related suppliers.

The Barkley Family

Where do you get your inspiration from when you design and write?

I source my inspiration by embracing architecture and art from various cultures and eras. Having lived and worked in and around numerous cultures, researching the local architecture, its art, its humanity in its surroundings has been my fascination and source of inspiration over the past 30 years.

My Office and Me

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?

My first job was with an architectural firm called JD MARESCH in Johannesburg, South Africa. They were busy with an exotic Sol Kerzner resort called Sun City at the time, I was personally involved with the design work for the Cascades and Cabanas Hotels. My attraction to the Hotel industry was aroused by the enormous amount of intricate detail required.

Cascades Hotel – ( photo of 

My area of expertise has subsequently expanded, having practiced several other types of architecture, including landscape architecture. Over the past several years my desire to engage with beautiful structures and pieces or art around the world has grown, as has the need, to share and talk about it through media so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of design in its every detail.

Schmitz House 

How do you usually plan your daily activities?

I usually start my day replying to all those who have contacted me in social my media. This is followed by my daily research on all the websites to which I subscribe especially relating to architecture, interior design, art and associated suppliers thereof. I then focus on what I would like to share that week with my audience, take photographs, obtain the required approvals etc.

I generally work on my design concepts after midnight so that I can take advantage of the peaceful night when I create best.

As I am also a devoted mother and wife I also attend to the daily home affairs.

Taking care of my mind and body is very important to me; I do daily exercises and usually reward myself with a Piccolo at Walsh Bay.

Conceptual design: GameSHINE Studio & Coworking Space – 3D modelling by Yelkrab Studios 

As an architect and designer, what is your biggest frustration?

I find it difficult and extremely frustrating creating to strict deadlines, time pressure at the best of times, is not my best friend.

Another enormous frustration, which I have experienced over the years, is the constant need to push certain suppliers and sub-contractors to fulfil their responsibilities.

Haupt House 

Tell us about how you prioritise your work?

Although I work with a prioritised, to do list, I generally end up starting with what I enjoy most. I am however quite well disciplined and do get to the less favoured responsibilities, just in time.

Cape Dream House -Cocktail Bar-internal design 

How do you connect with other artists, and your customers?

I often attend architectural forums and events as well as visit art exhibitions, galleries, museums etc.

I’m also part of a professional International group (Internations), which host several networking functions, each of which I attend. Naturally, I network through social media and my website.

Your advice to artist /architect who are just starting out?

Seek mentors, share your knowledge, capture the moment and network at every opportunity especially when out of your comfort zone. Don’t be shy to ask, develop your skills, grow your knowledge, believe in your talent, embrace failure as another step toward success and as Richard Branson says, “Just do it”.

Conceptual design: GameSHINE Studio Reception – 3D modelling by Yelkrab Studios 

How did ArtSHINE Business coaching help you and your architectural business?

ArtSHINE Business coaching has helped me to develop my business and entrepreneurial skills to a higher e-commerce level. It has assisted to communicate my offering and optimize my exposure on social media. It has helped me to direct my business more in tune with my passion, my desires and my dreams today.

What is your proudest moment so far?

Professionally, it was just after graduating and having been selected to be part of the Sun City Resort design team and as an entrepreneur it was upon completion of remodelling my first luxury home measuring 1,500m².

Cape Dream House 

Who do you most want to meet and why?

Jean Novel, I can relate to his philosophical way of connecting to shapes and elements. I fully relate to the way he connects the building, which he designs to its respective culture, its geographic location and its geological habitat.

Conceptual design: House Knysna

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?

Be patient, be persistent, follow your dreams and sooner or later they will materialise, providing that you don’t give up.

Conceptual design: GameSHINE Studio – 3D modelling by Yelkrab Studios

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?

At the moment I’m reading “From East to West” By Filomena & Paulo Cunha Alves. I would recommend “What’s wrong with redistribution?” by Wolfgang Tillmans and “Hag-seed” by Margaret Atwood.

Where do we find you and your products? 






Wiehahn House- Main bath 

About The Author

I am a Business LifeStyle coach who specialises in working with artists, designers, crafters and all creative professionals. Myself and my partner Stuart Horrex are here to help you to achieve your Life & business goal and dreams. We have had over 20 years experience in finance, retail,furniture,food,wine fashion,crafts and hospitality.

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