by Barbara Westbrook

Barbara Westbrook for Workbook

I have decided to call this "The Year of the Book."

For two years, I've been working on "Gracious Rooms," my book with Rizzoli that will finally be released on March 17th.  It has been both an honor and an education to work with exceptional writer, Heather MacIsaac, and graphic artist extraordinaire, Doug Turshen. In addition to The Book, I also look forward to creating five new WORKBOOKs with a talented team of writers, producers, graphic artists, and photographers. We will cover a variety of subjects from this issue’s vignettes to whole house projects.

So about Vignettes. When I am invited to a friend’s home, I must make a mental note. “I cannot start rearranging their accessories.” (Surely, others struggle with this compulsion. No?) I seriously have to resist the urge to create mini vignettes on whichever table I am standing nearest. To do this, I stop myself, shove my hands in my pockets, and try not to reach for accessories. In this issue, we explore the beauty of vignettes.


For this issue of WORKBOOK, I first wanted to share with you a slide show of vignetted moments from past projects. New Orleans writer, Sarah Baird has written a wonderful piece to accompany our images. It reads almost like poetry and very much like I feel when putting vignettes together. Thank you Sarah, for your beautiful words.

In WORKTABLE, I asked two very talented “vignetters” to join me. For years, I frequented the antique shop that Linda Horsley and her husband, Gil, owned. (She is now a partner in the duo of Horsley Kaufman.) Linda has such an unusual way of looking at objects. I am envious of her out of the box creativity. And do you know Ginny Branch? Ginny is a young talent who is at the forefront of her profession as a stylist. If you follow her on Instagram, she is all over the world sharing with others her own brand of beauty. I found out on our shoot that she is as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside.

The premise was that Linda, Ginny, and I would select from the same objects and table scape the same space separately. All the furniture was removed from my conference room and I borrowed a beautiful French buffet from Robuck and Co. Of course, most of the “rules” went out the window and we just had way too much fun laughing, chatting, eating, and pulling different vignettes together. A huge heartfelt thank you to Ginny and Linda for sharing their time. Also, to writer Sheyda Mehrara for putting it all together in our fun Q&A.

When I married my sweet husband, Kevinn (yes, Kevinn with two nn’s), I was determined to keep the wedding simple. I wanted only three things: our families around us, a beautiful dress, and fresh flowers from Pollen. As usual, Bonnie and Chris hit the perfect note with the charming bouquets for our mothers and me. In this issue's INSPIRED BY I am happy to introduce you all to the gorgeous florals of Pollen and the talented team that creates these witty beautiful arrangements. I cannot go in their shop without leaving with at least a little something in hand.

As in the previous addition of Workbook, most of the images are pinnable so please help yourself. Thank you to our exceptional photographers, Whitney Ott and Erica George Dines, for capturing it all.

~ Barbara


In This Edition

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