Val Verde Reimagined
Blending art, antiques and playful interests
Photos by Don Risi
Step inside this home in northwest Oklahoma City to a wondrous interior created by owners Dustin Hamby and Brian Barnes. In the den, a full-wall portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte gazes over the billiards table and all those who dare play under his vigilant eyes. “It is just fun,” Barnes says.
The couple, who have been together for more than two decades, were married in the metro in 2015. They have four dogs: Norah, a 12-year-old black pug who is the queen bee; Lola, a rescued bull dog; Walter, a fawn pug; and Willow, a white pug.
The homeowners also work together – in 2004, Barnes started Ghost OKC, a graphic design company of which he is principal. Hamby heads up account services. Their varied client list includes Cox Business Communications, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Positive Tomorrows.
In 2015, the couple bought their house in Oklahoma City’s Val Verde neighborhood and immediately began revamping it. “I called this house our ’80s country club,” Hamby says. “We’ve de-’80-fied it.”’
On the other hand, they blasted into a galaxy far, far away in Barnes’ office: It is filled with pristine condition Star Wars memorabilia. He has been an avid collector from the first of the George Lucas movies and has since added to the collection. “The Millennium Falcon from 1983, that’s my favorite,” says Barnes with a grin.
The office’s custom wainscoting replicates the Millennium Falcon interior, and the ceiling is filled with blinking LED fiber-optic lights. Several walls hold enlarged concept art from the portfolio of Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012), the conceptual designer and illustrator who designed the original Star Wars trilogy.
Hamby and Barnes adore contemporary art and antiques, which are found throughout their home. On the weekends, they can be found at antique stores, estates sales and art galleries. Their collection includes such renowned artists as Dee J. Lafon and Eugene Bavinger – the latter, an award-winning artist and professor at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Art, created more than 1,400 paintings and had shows from New York to California. The couple credits Joy Reed Belt for the find of a treasured Bavinger abstract, as his paintings are scarcely available. “We are always evolving,” Barnes says. “We buy things we love.”
An Underwood typewriter, a bronze statute and photos grace this table. “I have dedicated this area for family photos,” Barnes says. The painting above is “Andy” by Michele Mikesell, which was purchased through JRB Art at the Elms in the Paseo District.
►Take a closer look at the Barnes-Hamby home's exquisite decor by clicking the photos below.