Delving into Design

A circuitous adventure led Chelsea Barry to the exact place she wants to call home: Atlanta

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles: Your path to design has been a journey across many endeavors and cities. Tell us a bit about that.

Chelsea Barry: I was born in New York and raised in Tampa, Florida, by a Cuban father and Puerto Rican mother, so my brothers and I are first-generation Americans. My parents owned a restaurant and I worked every position in the restaurant. That experience helped me learn the value of hard work, honesty and integrity. 

AH&L: You didn’t pursue design in college; rather, you took a shortcut into the business world in Miami. What was that like? 

CB: I got a job with the largest event promoter in South Florida. The job was fast-paced and I juggled a lot of responsibilities, but it’s where I learned about project management, budgeting and scheduling. 

AH&L: At what point did home and design become your interest? 

CB: I moved to New York where I worked for Paramount Antiques in their 100,000-square-foot warehouse. I sold antique reproductions to homeowners and hotels. By working in all facets, I learned how to furnish homes and place orders. 

AH&L: How did you land here in Atlanta?

CB: I was 25 and Atlanta is a great city for a Latina woman. I landed an incredible job with Ruth’s Chris Steak House running their sales department, and within a year, I had the highest sales worldwide with more than 140 restaurants. 

AH&L: What an accomplishment! What caused you to open Casa De CB?

CB: I met my husband and found my passion renovating residential properties. I truly love problem-solving and project management, and my approach is practical and sensible so clients don’t feel like they have to spend a ton of money. Now both my business and my personal life have expanded: We’re having our third child and I have a thriving business!

AH&L: What’s on the horizon? 

CB: As a bilingual Latina woman and having residential and commercial sales and design experience, I’m ready to take the next step. My goal is to get my general contractor’s license while exploring restaurant design. I truly feel like I can do it all: design, project management and construction, and I’m looking forward to doing this in Atlanta.