Local interior designer Barbara Westbrook, owner of Westbrook Interiors, recently completed the interior design of a new model at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Westbrook Interiors, launched in 1992, specializes in high-end properties. Barbara recently completed her first book, “Gracious Rooms,” which explores her interior design principles. We recently spoke with Barbara about her inspiration for The Residences, her design process and her favorite stores in Atlanta.
What was your inspiration for the model home at The Residences?
Westbrook: The inspiration was appreciating the lifestyle of the person who would buy at The Residences — a style that’s well-traveled and modern but not hard-edged; stylish, but not fussy. The beautiful view from the windows certainly takes precedence, so it was important to design an interior that is both chic and comfortable, and only enhances those stunning views.
Can you describe your design process?
Westbrook: I start my process with reviewing the space and identifying the overall feeling; then I start working from there. I then distinguish the color palette, which evokes the overall feeling of each space and I knew that neutrals including creams, whites, ivories, grays and black with soft accents for each room would work best for such well-edited architecture [at The Residences]. After that, I prepare floor plans and furniture layouts, and determine signature pieces in each area, like the headboard for the master and guest bedrooms, the coffee table display, found objects and collections in the living room, etc. Then I build on those pieces with other upholstery, side tables, artwork and accessories.
What are your favorite interior design stores in Atlanta?
Westbrook: There are lots of wonderful, local trade shops as well as retail shops. Some of my favorite designer trade shops at ADAC include Jerry Pair, R Hughes, Ainsworth Noah, Jim Thompson, Pindler & Pindler, and Sullivan Fine Rugs, and some of my favorite local retail shops include Bungalow, Robuck & Co, BD Jeffries, The Signature Shop, and The Nicholson Gallery.
Your first book Gracious Rooms came out recently – what was your favorite part of the process?
Westbrook: My favorite part was getting to know the writer, Heather MacIsaac. We are from different backgrounds, but are close in age and have a lot in common. We met several times and communicated a lot during this process, so we got to know each other well and are now good friends. I am thankful to have met her and have worked with her on such an important part of the book.