As part of my series on designers and their work spaces, I recently talked with Barbara Westbrook of Atlanta about her office, a charming cottage right in the center of Buckhead.

How would you describe your office?

My office is English cottage meets design studio.  It is a charming English cottage on the outside and crisp, white design studio on the inside.

What were the essential components/considerations for creating your ideal work space?

The flow of light through a space is so important when looking at color and even texture.  After all, beautiful sunlight can lift your mood.  In addition, I wanted to make sure that every designer had his/her own space and that there was open enough for us to come together to share ideas.  I like a very collaborative atmosphere.

What was your goal/vision? How was it achieved?

Since we spend so much of our waking hours at work, I wanted everyone to feel at home in the office.  Because we do work in a house with a charming little garden and a kitty or two, it feels much cozier and inviting than going into an office building.  (I cannot stand parking decks!)  To balance the crisp, white walls and sleek work spaces, there are wonderful antique pieces that would feel right at home in any clients’ house.

How is designing for yourself different than designing for clients?

When you design for yourself, you can take risks that you might not subject a client to!  Just like working with any client, I usually have an overall picture in my head of what I want to achieve in the space and I then start to move towards that picture.

What are the greatest challenges?

Sometimes editing becomes difficult!  Culling through all the possibilities and realizing that the vision you have in your mind’s eye can be fun, but challenging. In this particular little house, the ceilings are quite low.  I did not want a cramped feeling.  So I opened up the space and added windows to let in plenty of light.  I knew the ceiling was going to be a dominating surface so I add simple boards and then painted beams to cover the steel i-beam holding up the second floor.

In what way is the office a reflection of you?

In the Conference Room, the combination of modern photography with antiques is particularly appealing to me.  I love a mix.  I like when modern is crisp and well made and when the antiques are real, not faked.

What feature do you enjoy most?

I adore the over-scaled French window that looks from the Studio into the Conference Room.  It is such a beautiful and unexpected architectural feature.  Everyone who comes into the office likes to take a closer look.



2991 Hardman Court
Atlanta, GA 30305

404 355 9430

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