the interior designer and author Barbara Westbrook sits at a work table with open floor plans, in a white room with a large, wood-framed window behind her, exposing a dining room.
Photo: William Waldron
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Nature-Inspired Shades for Drama

The transformers. That's how Atlanta interior designer Barbara Westbrook of Westbrook Interiors refers to color and paint. "There's no easier or more affordable way to change a space or create a mood," she points out in her new tome, Gracious Rooms. The proof is in the pictures. Olive greens, café au lait taupes, bark-like brown-grays, dark chocolates—she wraps rooms in such nature-inspired shades for an effect both relaxing and elegant. And as often as not, the same color covers walls, casings, paneling, and built-ins. "Painting trimwork a contrasting color tends to chop up a room," she explains. "Covering it all in the same color lends a space some drama." Here, a few qualities that these velvety shades all share.
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