Private Quarters: Art, activity abound in Buckhead home

Artist Nancy B. Westfall has a home studio, but when she wants feedback on a new painting, she moves her abstracts to the room where it will get her family’s attention and feedback.

“I hang it in the dining room, and we sit and discuss it,” she said.

She props the canvas pieces on a side table, against walls that she painted in a chinoiserie-inspired floral pattern with the look of hand-painted wallpaper. The design started out as chalk, but after a couple of years — and people bumping into the walls and erasing it — she made it permanent.

Downstairs, people can bump into the padded walls in the playroom, which has a slide, zip line, ball pit and swings. It’s so popular that the neighborhood kids have nicknamed the room “The Thunderdome.”


Residents: Stephen and Nancy B. Westfall; children Zelle, 15, and George, 13; and cats Otto and Oscar. Stephen is a financial adviser, Nancy is an artist whose work is sold through Gregg Irby Gallery.

Location: Buckhead

Size: About 4,400 square feet, five bedrooms, 6 1/2 baths

Year built/bought: 1940/2008

Architectural style: A variation of Greek revival

Favorite architectural elements: High ceilings, crown molding, unique doors

Renovations: Frances Zook of Clark & Zook Architects designed Nancy’s home studio in the former garage, which the previous owners used as an office. “I especially love the catwalk she designed for my two cats,” Nancy B. said. “They love to climb up there and nap while I’m working.”

Design consultant: Interior designer Molly Feinour

Interior design style: Traditional

Favorite interior design elements: “She made me use restraint. I always think more color, more pattern, more everything will be better,” Nancy B. said. “Her best advice is to pull back and make it softer and calmer.”

Favorite outdoor elements: Sitting in the rocking chairs on the front porch, where they hang out in the evenings with a glass of wine. The Polywood chairs are made out of recycled milk cartons.

Favorite artwork: Paintings by Whitney Wolf, Erin McIntosh, Shannon Nyimicz, Dennis Campay, Kem Lee

Resources: Furniture, lighting and accessories from Scott Antique Market and Go Home at AmericasMart Atlanta, and flowers from New Growth Designs.

Decor tip: It’s OK to display canvas paintings, framed artwork underneath glass and beautiful photographs, all in the same room. “I feel like people get nervous and feel like a formal room should have a formal frame,” she said. “I think it’s great to have it mixed up.”

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