You know Travis Barker? The drummer in Blink 182, the guy with all the tattoos, the boyfriend of Kourtney Kardashian? Well, he’s reinvented himself again, this time as a designer of an unsurprisingly rock n roll collection, launching at the end of the month, which – with its metallic hits and on-trend gothic notes – is surprisingly easy to fold into your home.
‘I’ve always been into lifestyle – tattoos, cars… my personality is loud,’ Travis says, on why he’s taken this unlikely foray into design. ‘I just take it as it comes, I can never predict what I’m going to do next. I’m a creative and being productive makes me happy.’
You probably also know Buster + Punch. We feature its products all the time in Livingetc, its smart, sleek and industrial handles and hardware and lights fit perfectly into our aesthetic for both bathroom and kitchen ideas. It’s this brand Travis has partnered with, having used it for the fit out of his home, to make his collection which includes a lamp, a bowl, a candlestick and some jewellery.
The entire range is made out of solid metal, hand sand casted or investment cast, meaning that each piece is one of a kind, with its own imperfections. It centers around the skull as a recurring theme.
‘Skulls have always meant something to me,’ Travis says. ‘From seeing them on Zero skateboards back in the day, they just scream rock and roll. They’re metal music, punk music, I love them.’
Skulls fit right into the interior design trends of the moment. They’ve been around since Alexander McQueen used them on scarves in the mid noughties, worn originally by Nicole Richie and then adopted by the LA set and the international fashion crowd.
Over the years, Robert and Cortney Novogratz, the interior designers whose many homes have featured in Livingetc have taken the spirit of skulls and twisted the gothic iconography into a style that turns them into something that has a place in modern decor. Thanks to them, using crosses, rosaries and, yes, skulls, now seems like something that fits into airy family homes.
From the other angle, we’ve seen a rise in gothic glassware, as detailed in our December issue. Brands like Waterford, Tom Dixon and Nkuku have taken smoked glass and used it to create dramatic goblets that would sit happily next to one of Travis’s designs.
And on the mushroom lamps, the skull is oddly subtle – a nod to Travis’s aesthetic on the pull chain only. It’s a little detail which helps to elevate and add humor to an otherwise classically good taste design.
‘Architecture is everything to me,’ Travis says. ‘The space you live or work in is everything. For me, it’s got to be about simplicity and minimalism – I don’t need a lot so what is there has to count.’
His sentiment neatly sums up the current approach to minimalism in interior design. It’s not about having nothing, it’s about having only pieces you need and love, and celebrating those things by not surrounding them with stuff.
‘I do believe that you don’t need more than is essential, and that is hard to define,’ says the designer and famed minimalist John Pawson, agreeing neatly with Travis. ‘We have a set of silver Georgian three-pronged forks that could be considered more than you actually need, but they’re very wonderful. It depends on how you live – you need a certain amount of things for life to go smoothly, though if you have more than you need it gets in the way.’
So, while you might argue you don’t need a skull candlestick, you definitely need a light source, and Travis’s skull pull chain is just the ticket for making that, as John says, wonderful.
See the full collection at Buster + Punch.