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In her first book, the South's most inviting designer explores her principles for creating a beautiful home rich with comfort and warmth. Barbara Westbrook has been designing classically inspired homes full of Southern charm and a European touch for more than twenty years. A native of Virginia, Westbrook grew up accompanying her mother to antique shops and was introduced by her to Virginia's rich architectural legacy. With a design vocabulary that ranges from casual American to formal English to French modern, Westbrook's homes share a welcoming elegance, whether it is a country cottage or a penthouse apartment. In Gracious Rooms, she sets out her principles for creating a house rich with both polish and patina. Walking the reader through a dozen stunning homes--light-filled lake retreats, contemporary houses, and historic mansions--Westbrook shares her accessible, appealing ideas. From the judicious use of symmetry to the importance of including natural elements in a room, utilizing colour to unify spaces within a house, and setting a mood with materials, Gracious Rooms is rich with advice and inspiration.