Barbara Westbrook fills an airy Buckhead town house rich in both charm and warmth with personal touches and timeless treasures.
Expertly edited interiors have the potential to read like a showroom floor, immaculate in design yet devoid of warmth. It’s a problem that designer Barbara Westbrook, however, has managed to conquer with great success, and this Buckhead town house–with an equal air of sophistication and approachability–is a testament to her talent.
Westbrook came on board to the floor-to-ceiling renovation of this townhome at the suggestion of architect Yong Pak, who felt his clients–a couple downsizing from a 2-acre property–would appreciate the designer’s timeless aesthetic. “The homeowners’ daughter lives in California, and they had been collecting photographs of light and bright homes that are so familiar to that region,” recalls Westbrook. Their desire for an airy abode, in fact, was what attracted the couple to this particular town house in Atlanta’s Mooregate Square community. The combination living/dining room features an expanse of arched iron doors that not only allow natural light to filter throughout the open-concept first floor but also lead to a lush and private backyard.
Taking a cue from the leafy surroundings, Westbrook and design associate Kim Winkler employed an earthy color palette of greens, warm grays, creams and persimmon throughout the home, where graceful and casual furnishings mix with ease. The house is also full of Westbrook’s signature dressmaker details. From the scalloped-edge drapery gracing the iron doors to the delicate pleating on the vanity chair in the master bathroom, there’s no shortage of thoughtful flourishes–and for good reason. “Details are what set interiors apart and tell you that someone put a lot of thought into the design,” she says. “Personalization is important so that it doesn’t look like you pulled vignettes directly off a showroom floor or ordered everything straight from a catalog.”
Westbrook’s knack for comfortably layering unique elements is most apparent in the master bedroom. Working around the client’s four-poster bed, she began by anchoring the space with a persimmon-colored Oushak rug. She then mixed in hand-printed linen drapery and throw pillows with whipstitch detailing for a sense of texture, while an antique caned bench and pine table display collections of vintage baskets and other rarities. Antiques are also a signature of Westbrook’s designs; the designer maintains that they add a hint of intrigue to any space. “With an antique, you can put your hand on the arm of a chair and think about who else did that before you 200 years ago,” she says. “The history or story behind it is so special, and you can’t get there by a chair produced in China a thousand times.”
It’s this mentality that has allowed the designer to cultivate a storied home rich in both detail and warmth–a genuine Westbrook hallmark.