Know Your Neighbors: Barbara Bernick of Update Interiors

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Barbara Bernick. Photo Source: Jill Buckner Photography

River Forest resident Barbara Bernick started dreaming about opening her own business at a very young age. After working in non-profit fundraising, she found the inspiration for her business right at home. Barbara’s lifelong dream became a reality when she opened Update Interiors – a gorgeous shop in downtown Oak Park with everything you need to update your space – home décor, furnishings, lighting and unique gifts.

Read on to find out what Barbara shared with us about herself, the road to Update, the advice she would give others and how she stays inspired.

Around Oak Park
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What are you doing when not at work?

Barbara Bernick
I spend most of my free time with my 10-month-old son, my husband, our dog and cat. I love taking my son for stroller walks with our dog. Otherwise, I am often rearranging my home and finding creative ways to update our living space.

AOP
Do you live in the area? When did you move here? Why did you move here?

Barbara
Yes, we moved in May of 2013. We had the opportunity to buy the house my husband grew up in. We took a year to remodel and update the old Tudor to reflect our more contemporary taste.

AOP
What does a perfect day in Oak Park look like for you?

Barbara
Having lunch outside with good friends and then shopping for unique things of course!

AOP
Tell us a little about how your interest in interior design started. What were you doing before that?

Barbara
I had done fundraising in the non-for-profit field prior to my interest in interior design, which was sparked when we began remodeling our home.

AOP
What are your top sources of creative inspiration?

Barbara
I love Lonny Magazine for latest trends and fun articles about inspiring people and places. Architectural Digest is great for the more classic and upscale. And of course, Instagram is an amazing resource.

AOP
When did you open your own business? What went into that decision?

Barbara
I’ve wanted to own my own business since I can remember – probably 3rd grade. I fell in love with choosing decor, furnishings and lighting for our home remodel, and when that project ended, I realized that I really missed the process. The idea was sparked then. It allowed me to continue doing what I really enjoyed but try to make a business out of it.

AOP
Why did you choose Oak Park?

Barbara
It’s a wonderfully progressive town that I thought would appreciate something unique.

AOP
What has been the most surprising thing about being a business owner? The most fun? The hardest?

Barbara
• Most surprising: Being an employer is harder than being the employee.
• Most fun: Meeting lots of interesting people and working with my best friend (who is our GM).
• Hardest: Having to be “the boss”!

AOP
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when starting out? And what is the best advice you were given?

Barbara
• Advice I wish I was given- follow your intuition.
• Best advice I was given- budget for the future.

AOP
What does a typical day look like for you? If you were magically given three more hours a day, what would you do with them?

Barbara
First I check out the floor for new arrivals and esthetics, catch up on store “happenings” with my GM, chat with the staff, check and answer emails, return calls, pay bills, browse my favorite inspirational sources, post on social media, and of course, put out any “fires.”

AOP
What is the most common question people have when they come into the shop or contact you?

Barbara
Who does the buying for this place?!

AOP
Anything else you want to tell us?

Barbara
I feel so lucky to do what I love and give others the opportunity to update their world.


For more information and to stay ‘up to date’ with Barbara, visit:
Update Interiors
122 N Marion St,
Oak Park, IL 60301
Phone: (708) 358-0770
http://updateinteriors.com/
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