Interior Designer Barbara Westbrook grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia, situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the heart of the Bible Belt. She remembers accompanying her mother to Mrs. Jackson’s Antiques Shop as much as attending services at church, “You could say I grew up shaped by Jesus and antiques.”
It was in both the house of Mrs. Jackson and the house of the Lord that Barbara Westbrook learned many truths about life, design, and a “fundamental lesson about presence.”
Presence transcends what you see and it stirs how you feel.
After learning under two design legends, Nancy Braithwaite and Gandy-Pearce, Barbara Westbrook opened her Atlanta-based interior design firm, Westbrook Interiors, in 1992. Her designs are effortless but elegant, tailored but comfortable, inviting but timeless.
The designer’s signature style rests in the balance created by mixing the new with the old, ““I tend to collect things and bring them in when I’m ready to build a room around them.” This balanced beauty can be found in her own home. She designed her upstairs bathroom around a white porcelain double-sink from the 1930’s. Beneath one side of the sink rests a stool her grandfather used in his doctor’s office.
Mrs. Westbrook says her design advice can be pared down to, “Make it interesting. Make it beautiful. Make it personal. Make it welcoming and warm. “ But, above any style, Mrs. Westbrook names light as the source of creating a room’s presence. Light can flood your room, rejuvenating your spirit. Light can be subtle and cozy, inviting you to relax and rest.
I find it no coincidence that Mrs. Westbrook names “light” as what steers the look and feel of a room most.
Afterall, faith is the Divine Light and the one that brings His life-saving presence into our darkness.
Wolfson Children’s Hospital serves as the light on the hill for our community’s children. Please join us in supporting such a worthy cause and hear Barbara Westbrook lecture on Gracious Rooms on Saturday, December 5th at 1:30 PM. Lecture tickets are $30 and include show admission. Please visit www.wchwomensboard.com to reserve your tickets.
Mollie Peterson lives in Jacksonville with her husband Matthew. She is a member of the Art and Antiques Show Public Relations and Vice Chair of the Blog Committee. Mollie is a teacher at James Weldon Johnson College Prep and a 2015 Gladys Prior Award Winner for Career Teaching Excellence. She is the creator of the blog HOSTandSERVE and is a grateful stroke survivor.