HIGH POINT — Hilary Farr didn't start out wanting to be an interior designer.
“That wasn’t an ambition of mine,” Farr admitted.
Instead, she wanted to be an actor.
“I was always in arts and theater,” she said.
But Farr ended up working in both worlds.
You might know her as a co-host on the HGTV show “Love It or List It.”
Now, Farr has taken her career as an interior designer a step further by creating a line of furniture and home accessories she will debut as the High Point Market begins today.
“It just evolved and became a passion of mine,” said Farr in her smooth British accent as she spoke by phone from Raleigh where “Love It or List It” is filmed.
In “Love It or List It,” Farr and real estate agent David Visentin work with homeowners who want to upgrade. Farr fulfills a wish list of remodeling ideas in their current home while Visentin finds them another one.
In the end, the homeowners must decide to love their remodeled home or list it.
The show is in its 15th season and has inspired several spinoffs.
Farr is a native of Toronto, but spent her formative years in London where she grew up in the changing times of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
She was an aspiring actress living downstairs from actor Tim Curry, who became a good friend. Farr was a bride in the opening scene of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” — Curry helped get her the role.
“I don’t know if I even got paid, but it was great fun,” Farr recalled.
She eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she developed scripts for the film and television industry, working with the likes of Ted Danson on “Cheers” and Oscar-winning film producer Arthur Cohn.
She brought with her a sense of interior design derived from her mother’s savvy style, who was a buyer for a London department store, and her father’s collection of African art, which Farr still has in her home.
“I’d never lived in a country where it is always sunny and that completely flipped my way of living and my way of designing,” Farr explained. “I still had my Oriental rugs mixed with what was then called shabby chic.”
Her distinctive approach got the attention of friends and acquaintances who started asking her to help with their homes.
She returned to Toronto, graduated from college and started her own design company. It became successful and eventually led her to audition for “Love It or List It.”
“When I look back on it, it seems completely natural and normal that I am where I am today,” Farr said.
At the High Point Market, Hilary Farr Designs will make their debut — a line of furniture at Braxton Culler, lighting at Grandview Gallery and rugs at Kaleen Rugs.
Farr's designs tend to focus on nature. Images of elephants, tigers and glaciers as seen from 30,000 feet are staples of her work.
“It incorporates animal motifs and insects that I love so much," she explained. "And it also brings in abstract florals and some wonderful abstracts ... inspired by photos I’ve taken over the years as I fly over this planet."
Farr is an advocate for environmental issues and partners with companies that share her concern.
Last month, she made her move into product design with a line of bed linens that debuted at the New York Textiles Market. Some of those can be seen at Braxton Culler.
“I love fabrics. It’s my favorite part of the design,” Farr said.
She's looking forward to her time at the market.
“High Point is always so invigorating," Farr said. "Everyone’s energy is so great there. I’m buoyed up by all the enthusiasm and creativity."
Farr will be busy. There's a cocktail reception at Braxton, a tea event at Kaleen and a meet-and-greet at Grandview. She'll participate in a panel discussion. And she'll also be one of the presenters for Monday night’s Pinnacle Awards, which recognize designers.
“If I can still stand, I’m going to be filming again the next day.”