At BANDD DESIGN, we believe that design should feel effortless, approachable, interesting and purposeful. Our distinctive style, matched with the fluid mix of high and low pieces has become our core design aesthetic.
Sara Malek Barney – Owner & Principal Designer
Sara spent the first 15 years of her professional career working in the fast-paced entertainment and sports industries, as an executive at companies such as SXSW, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Always sitting at the intersection of creativity and business, her true love for design emerged after years of helping friends and family turn their spaces into meaningful, accessibly beautiful areas. She believes the design process should be highly collaborative and feel uniquely authentic to each individual.
An Austin-native (a rare breed!), Sara spent nearly a decade in sunny Los Angeles, California, where she met her writer husband, Dana, while they were both chasing the Hollywood dream. Now back on home turf, Sara and Dana enjoy endless amounts of queso and college football with their two daughters, Blake and Decker.
Sara has a Degree in Corporate Communication, with a minor in Business from the University of Texas at Austin and a Degree in Interior Design from the Interior Design Institute. She is also an Allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers.
When not designing, you can find Sara drinking rosé, wearing sequins, dancing to boy bands, trying to solve a NYT crossword, watching Seinfeld (yes, still), cheering on the Texas Longhorns, squishing her kids’ cheeks, maximizing her Amazon Prime account, trying to be a cool mom, and daydreaming about Napa.
Hillary Cumberworth – Project Manager
The perfect way to describe Hillary is to say she is the youngest of four kids. Her life started off as the caboose to a circus train, so she can juggle anything that is thrown her way with focus, teamwork and always a little humor.
She earned her Bachelor of Studio Arts with a focus in sculpture and a minor in Art History from Southwestern University. After graduating, she worked with a large custom home builder, helping home buyers with design choices that turn a builder-grade house into something special and custom. She then chose to completely flip the script and become a middle school art teacher in inner-city Houston.
Hillary and her husband, Jon, met while both playing basketball at Southwestern….watch out, we hear Hillary has a mean baseline jumper. After school, they did a “Tour of Texas” before living abroad in Dubai for nearly five years. They have three children; Leighton, Corbin and Axel and a dog, Walter.
In her spare time, she wrestles her kids along with the laundry and chaos they create. But in those other few fleeting moments you can catch her eating an entire cheese board by herself, training for half marathons to burn the calories from those cheese boards and going down some amazing rabbit holes on Instagram, all while making the most of the 24 hours she has each day.
Dana Barney – Director of Operations
Dana is a perfect blend of imagination and control. He started his career in the entertainment industry with a focus on screenwriting and production development before he transitioned to a position running marketing operations for a Fortune 100 company. The role, which required him to hone his organizational skills, left him with a need for a new creative outlet. From there, Dana tapped into his deep love of writing and published his first novel, Flatline. His second novel, Half Life, is due out this fall.
After growing up in on the East Coast, Dana headed off to Los Angeles, where he and Sara first connected. He never thought he’d live in Texas, but now that he does, you can find him complaining about the heat and lack of snow.
Dana has a degree in Writing and Directing from Bennington College in Vermont and has worked in Operations for nearly a decade.
When he’s not pulling the strings behind the curtain, you can find Dana making gin martinis, hanging out in his gazebo, going to the movies, making lunches for school and writing his next thriller.