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Baseball Player Jon Lester’s Charming Atlanta Home

Baseball’s off-season means a retreat for Jon and Farrah Lester to their Atlanta “Forever Home”

Written by Jenny Bradley Pfeffer
  • Erica Dines

    For Jon and Farrah Lester, home always seemed to be wherever Jon’s career as a professional baseball player took him. As often occurs for any player—even one as celebrated as Jon, who has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated—changing ball clubs and cities became the norm. Every chance they got, however, the couple retreated to their beloved Atlanta, some 700 miles away from Jon’s current job as a starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.

    But with the arrival of their sons—Hudson is now 5, and Walker is 2—Jon and Farrah decided it was time to put down permanent roots for their growing family. “We only spend half the year in Atlanta right now, but it’s definitely home to us,” Farrah says. “We wanted something warm and cozy—a forever home that would be big enough for our extended families to enjoy.”

    When they found an almost-perfect Shingle-style house just outside the city, the Lesters called on designer Barbara Westbrook to transform the interiors with her fresh take on traditional.

    “We’re not overly fancy, formal people,” Farrah says. “We wanted a beautiful home filled with antiques, but we didn’t want it to be too formal. We wanted touches that were rustic and a warm, welcoming Southern feel.”

    Westbrook knew just where to begin. “Jon and Farrah love color and warmth,” she says, “so we started with a timeless palette of rich greens with accents of persimmon, and then we mixed in antiques.” 

    Photography: Erica Dines

    Interior designer: Barbara Westbrook, Westbrook Interiors, 2991 Hardman Court, Atlanta, GA 30305; 404/355-9430,

  • Erica Dines

    Woodsy Family Room

    For the most part, the house needed only cosmetic changes, but there were some design challenges too. To begin with, the soaring proportions of the family room with its 18-foot ceiling made the space seem a bit cavernous. To create cozier confines, Westbrook called on her woodsy palette. “This room is really all about the warmth factor,” she says. “We used a warm paint color on the walls that contrasts very subtly with the ceiling. Because there’s not an abrupt contrast between the two, the ceiling doesn’t seem quite as dominant.”

    A substantial antler chandelier installed high above tames the room’s height even more and offers a nod to Jon’s love of hunting and the outdoors. “Jon really wanted this chandelier,” Westbrook says. “It works well here with artwork that has a slightly more modern vibe and keeps the room from being too heavy.”

    One of Westbrook’s favorite purchases was the family room’s handwoven patterned rug in shades of blue and green that acts as the palette’s touchstone.

    Wall paint (“Winslow Gray” #11-26); ceiling paint (“Phantom” #11-31): Pratt & Lambert,
    Area rug (custom): Eve & Staron Studio, 404/233-8958.
    Chandelier (antler chandelier, 20th-century): Thomas Jolly Antiques,
    Drapery (“Smokebush”): Galbraith & Paul,
    Drapery hardware: R. Hopkins & Co., 404/351-6441.
    Chairs at window (“Mayfair Salon Chair” #850-03); sofa (“Mayfair Salon Sofa” #850-01): Ralph Lauren Home,
    Chair fabric (“Beaudelaire”/Hound #DEI2905); sofa leather (“Haven”/Red Hook #LE5171): Holland & Sherry,
    Table between chairs (antique oak stool): Bungalow Classic,
    Basket beside chair (antique, with leather handles); large pillows on sofa (antique); table lamps (vintage painted wire cylinder lamps): The Nicholson Gallery,
    Small pillows on sofa (antique grain sack pillows): Westbrook Interiors,
    Art behind sofa (by John Folsom): Pryor Fine Art,
    Table to right of sofa (antique Italian inlaid walnut table); table to left of sofa (antique painted pinewood work table, c.1700); pottery on side table (antique Portuguese): Robuck,
    Coffee table (“Alberto Recovered Wood Coffee Table”): Costantini Design,
    Pitchers on coffee table (antique); small bench at coffee table (rustic wood 3-leg stool): Foxglove Antiques,
    Bobbin chairs (“Stratford Chair” #F-CH22): Formations,
    Chair fabric (“Venlaw”/Beige #822500): Holland & Sherry,
    Pillows on bobbin chairs (antique tapestry): Westbrook Interiors,
    Table beside chairs (tall primitive stool): Bungalow Classic,
    Footstool (antique, walnut): Robuck,

  • Erica Dines

    Cozy Living Room

    With a wealth of furniture at hand for the living room, Westbrook decided on an arrangement that focuses on the fireplace. She replaced a nondescript white-painted mantel with a hand-stained and waxed version. “The fireplace is such a focal point here,” she says. “It needed weight and visual interest, so we found a piece that had these beautiful carvings. It anchors the room.”

    Next she paired sofas, chairs, artwork, and even lighting in a symmetrical design to create a room that almost seems a refined mirror image of itself. Antique armchairs upholstered in linen damask flank the fireplace, tempering the room’s more masculine furnishings—handsome wing chairs in a menswear-inspired plaid and a pair of shapely dark-green sofas that face off across a streamlined coffee table.

    Wall paint (“Gloucester Sage” #HC-100): Benjamin Moore,
    Ceiling paint (“Chalk Gray” #11-32): Pratt & Lambert,
    Mantel (antique, c. 1905): Architectural Accents,
    Fireplace surround: Petite Black Limestone.
    Mirror (“18th-Century Carved Pinewood Mirror”): Robuck,
    Sconces (“Italian One Arm Iron Sconce”): Gregorius/Pineo,
    Consoles (“Bastille Console” #F-CN09): Formations,
    Botanical prints (antique framed botanicals): Horsley Kaufman, 404/262-7150.
    Pottery on consoles; Formations,, and Foxglove Antiques,
    Chairs in front of mantel (antique walnut armchairs); floor lamps (antique, wrought-iron with leather shades): Robuck,
    Chair fabric: discontinued.
    Pillows on chairs (antique): Foxglove Antiques,
    Area rug (“Zira”/Luna Pearl): Eve & Staron Studio, 404/233-8958.
    Sofas (“Jacques” #513057): Bungalow Classic,
    Sofa fabric (“Cervo”/Alpine,  discontinued, replaced by “Vellino” #92213): Rogers & Goffigon,
    Pillow on left sofa (antique tapestry, by Horsley Kaufman): through Westbrook Interiors,
    Pillow on right sofa (antique tapestry): Westbrook Interiors,
    Coffee table (“Cernobbio” #15-0911): David Iatesta,
    Vases on coffee table: The Nicholson Gallery,
    Birds on coffee table: Formations,
    Pair of arm chairs (“Spanish Baroque Arm Chair” #UP-CS-02 by Coup d’Etat): through R. Hughes,
    Armchair fabric (“County Tweed”/Angus #DE10782): Holland & Sherry,
    Drapery (“Nivelles”/Natural #1651): Pindler & Pindler,
    Drapery hardware: R. Hopkins & Co., 404/351-6441.

  • Erica Dines

    Beautiful Dining Room

    A mix of new and antique, cottagey and family-friendly is important to Farrah. In the dining room, which exudes Southern charm, vintage pieces blend with curvaceous chairs designed for comfort—the stylish seating accommodates Jon’s 6-foot-4 frame as easily as those of his pint-size sons. A sage-green paint from Benjamin Moore sets off the antique Welsh cupboard. The cupboard houses a pewter collection that plays off a brass chandelier and an ethereal painting commissioned from Atlanta artist Michael Dines.

    Wall paint (“Gloucester Sage” #HC-100): Benjamin Moore,
    Ceiling paint (“Chalk Gray” #11-32): Pratt & Lambert,
    Table (custom, Spanish Oval Table): Dennis & Leen,
    Chandelier (custom, “Sienna Chandelier” #F-CD04); host chairs (“Torino Arm Chair” #F-CH15A): Formations,
    Leather upholstery on host chairs (“Hoof It”/Eucalyptus #4014, colorway discontinued, for similar, Lichen): Jerry Pair Leather,
    Side chairs (“Marlon” #568138): Bungalow Classic,
    Side-chair fabric (“Nervi I”/Plaster #92505-01): Rogers & Goffigon,
    Centerpiece containers (antique French planters): Erika Reade Ltd.,
    Candlesticks (19th-century wooden candlesticks): Robuck,
    Art: by Michael Dines,
    Dish cabinet (antique Welsh): Linda Horsley Antiques, 404/467-0001.
    Pewter (collection of antique pieces): Foxglove Antiques,  

  • Erica Dines

    Bar Area

    The sage-green walls of the living and dining rooms continues in the bar. Beautiful stained oak cabinets with a sopastone counter provide ample prep space.

    Wall and trim paint (“Gloucester Sage” #HC-100): Benjamin Moore,
    Cabinetry (custom antiqued and stained oak cabinetry): Westbrook Interiors,
    Countertop: Mariana Soapstone.
    Shade fabric (“Nivelles”/Natural #1651): Pindler & Pindler,
    Sink (“Seine Oval Bowl Sink” #4301); faucet (“Namur” #4203): Herbeau.
    Area rug  (antique Malayer): Sullivan Fine Rugs,
    Hanging light (Petite Glass Bell Jar Lantern” #F-LN16P): Formations,

  • Erica Dines

    Kitchen for Entertaining

    As avid entertainers and hosts to many out-of-town guests, Jon and Farrah need a kitchen that works hard and plays hard. The space functioned well, Westbrook says, “but needed a facelift.” Floors were darkened, cabinets painted, lighting updated, and new sinks and faucets installed. “Jon came up with the idea of adding the custom-made iron potrack,” the designer says. The kitchen—plus a breakfast nook that sports a joyful bird theme—is now a favorite family spot. “I come from a Southern home where cooking is a big part of life,” Farrah says. “When we’re home, we love to cook. And when we’re entertaining, this is where guests will spend most of the evening.”

    While the home’s original kitchen had a workable layout—complete with two islands and double ovens—a few cosmetic changes were made. Westbrook swapped in pendant lights from Hector Finch, added a custom iron potrack to accommodate copper cookware, and darkened the wood floors. Bar stools are from Dennis & Leen.

    Wall paint (“Winslow Gray” #11-26): Pratt & Lambert,
    Flooring; cabinetry; hardware; backsplash; countertop: existing.
    Range: Wolf,
    Pot-filler faucet (“Easton Classic Wall Mounted Extension Pot Filler” #EAPF21): Waterworks,
    Art above range (antique oil): Robuck,
    Wall ovens (Wolf); refrigerator (Sub-Zero): Sub-Zero/Wolf,
    Main sink (Shaws Original Apron Front Fireclay Kitchen Sink); island sink (Allia Undermount): Rohl,
    Main faucet (“Henry One-Hole Gooseneck Kitchen Faucet, Metal Lever Handle and Spray”); island faucet (“Calais One-Hole Gooseneck Kitchen Faucet, White Porcelain Lever Handles”): Waterworks,

    Potrack (custom, design by Barbara Westbrook): Calhoun Design and Metalworks,
    Lights at island (“Tiber Pendant” #PL145): Hector Finch,
    Bar stools (“Louis XIII Bar Chair” #DL-CH66): Dennis & Leen,
    Bar-stool fabric (“Mission Cloth”/Quail #92508-06): Rogers & Goffigon,
    Drapery (“Birds Silhouette”/Black on Natural Linen): Galbraith & Paul,

  • Erica Dines

    Breakfast Room

    The earthy palette continues in the bird-themed breakfast room, where high back chairs encircle the table for a more intimate dining experience.

    Wall paint (“Winslow Gray” #11-26): Pratt & Lambert,
    Ceiling paint (“Amazing Gray” #SW-7044): Sherwin-Williams,
    Area rug (“Zira”/Luna Pearl): Eve & Staron Studio, 404/233-8958.
    Drapery (“Birds Silhouette”/Black on Natural Linen): Galbraith & Paul,
    Chandelier (custom, Louis XIV #DL-CD08): Dennis & Leen,
    Table  (“Hayward Dining Table” Cambridge Collection by Fauld): Holland & Co.,
    Dining chairs (“Howard Chair” #568059): Bungalow Classic,
    Chair fabric (“Sauria Grid”/Desert #FRL 109/03): Ralph Lauren Home,
    Tray; dinnerware; glassware: owner’s collection.
    Placemats: B.D. Jeffries,
    Art (“Gallivana Bird Print,” discontinued): Bungalow Classic,

  • Erica Dines

    Powder Room

    Although small, the powder room doesn't skimp on style. A hand-painted mural adorns the walls, and sconces with vintage appeal frame the mirror. 

    Wall mural (custom): by Jill Biskin,
    Chandelier (#C13B); sconces (#S57): Laura Lee Design,
    Vanity cabinet: existing.
    Countertop: Black Limestone.
    Sink; faucet (“Julia High Profile Three Hole Wall Mounted Lavatory Faucet with Metal Cross Handles” #JULS39): Waterworks,
    Mirror (18th-Century Italian Mirror): Robuck,

  • Erica Dines

    Masculine Library

    Bursts of red—in the painting by artist Anke Schofield and plaid Holland & Sherry upholstery on the ottoman—add a playful vibe to this masculine space. 

    Drapery (“County Tweed”/Burnt Umber #DE12041): Holland & Sherry,
    Drapery hardware: R. Hopkins & Co., 404/351-6441.
    Chandelier (“Paul Revere Lantern” #DL-LN 05): Dennis & Leen,
    Area rug (antique): Sullivan Fine Rugs,
    Leather chairs (“Chatworth Leather Club Chair”/Tobacco #1190): Holland & Co.,
    Table between leather chairs; floor lamp: Foxglove Antiques,
    Stool to right of chairs (antique, Italian): Robuck,
    Coffee table/ottoman (“Nesbitt Coffee Table with Bobbin Leg” #320): Macrae,
    Fabric on coffee table/ottoman (“Mayfair” #DE13004): Holland & Sherry,
    Tray: Bungalow Classic,
    Sofa (custom): Westbrook Interiors,
    Sofa fabric (“Couture Chevron N.2”/Sable #964409): Glant,
    Pillow on sofa; table to right of sofa (“Iron Martini Table” #544220): Bungalow Classic,
    Mantel: existing.
    Andirons (“Normandie” #F-AC154): Formations,
    Art over mantel (by Anke Schofield): Pryor Fine Art,

  • Erica Dines

    Baseball Hallway

    The downstairs hall is filled with Jon Lester’s collection of baseball memorabilia, including two original chairs from Fenway Park.

    Paint (“Gray Squirrel,” Martha Stewart by Glidden, discontinued): Home Depot,
    Flooring  (“Canyon Crest, ” Tufted Wool Collection): Unique Carpets Ltd.,
    Hanging lights (“Malplaquet Pendant Lamp” #SG-1225): Urban Electric Co.,
    Pair of red chairs: original from Fenway Park. 

  • Erica Dines

    Master Bedroom

    But everyone needs a retreat, and the master bedroom, replete with relaxing hues and vintage finds, is just that. Emulating the living room’s warm, hearty sensibility, Westbrook mixed neutrals and gray-green with shots of persimmon and dashes of blue. “Persimmon is such a beautiful, warm color,” she says. “It’s one of my favorite accents. It’s an incredibly versatile color.”

  • Erica Dines

    Master Bedroom

    In this private space, large-scale pieces—an antique armoire and a four-poster with a fabric headboard—moderate the high ceilings, while woven accessories add textural leverage.

    “This is definitely our forever home,” Farrah says. “It’s so refreshing when I open the door and am greeted by these warm, inviting spaces. It’s a dream come true.” 

    Wall paint (“Rubidoux” #32-23): Pratt & Lambert,
    Ceiling paint (“Amazing Gray” #SW-7044): Sherwin-Williams,
    Chair (“Oscar” #513073): Bungalow Classic,
    Chair fabric (“Apache”/Grey): De Le Cuona,
    Drapery (custom, #300): Coleman Taylor,
    Drapery hardware: R. Hopkins & Co., 404/351-6441.
    Area rug (antique Oushak): Sullivan Fine Rugs,
    Bed (“Santiago Bed with Iron Canopy” #F-BD02); candleholders on bedside table (“Stone Candle Stands”/Small #F-AC43S, Medium #F-AC43M, Large #F-AC43L): Formations,
    Bed fabric (“Bastogne”/Natural #7726): Pindler & Pindler,
    Bed cover: Peacock Alley,
    Pillow (antique Suzani); table lamps (antique iron fragment lamps): TheNicholson Gallery,
    Throw at end of bed: Susan Chalom,
    Antique tobacco basket behind bed: Westbrook Interiors,
    Trunk (late 17th-century oak with straps); left bedside table (antique Italian); right bedside table (antique Sicilian); armoire (Antique Provincial Pinewood Armadio): Robuck,
    Baskets on armoire: Erika Reade Ltd.,

  • Erica Dines

    Master Bath

    The bathroom is crisp and classic with its honed marble countertops and black-and-white tile floor. A custom chair slips perfectly under the vanity. 

    Cabinetry (custom oak cabinetry with hand-rubbed finish); vanity chair (custom): designed by Westbrook Interiors,
    Chair fabric (“Woodrow”/Sandpiper #910080-04): Rogers & Goffigon,
    Countertop: honed statuary marble.
    Mirror above sink (“Arch Mirror with Bevel” #5017): Paul Ferrante,
    Small mirror on vanity (antique): Foxglove Antiques,

  • Erica Dines

    Master Bath

    A Waterworks clawfoot tub, however, becomes the center of attention in the bathroom atop a honed gray-and-white marble tile floor from Paris Ceramics.

    Wall and trim paint (“Sea Pearl” #OC-19); ceiling paint (“Glacier White” #AC-40): Benjamin Moore,
    Flooring (honed white and gray “Macheal Marble” tile): Paris Ceramics,
    Hanging light (“Cuadro Lantern” #F-LN20): Formations,
    Bathtub (“Beaumont,” discontinued; for similar, “Savoy”): Waterworks,
    Bath fixtures (by Lefroy Brooks): Renaissance Tile & Bath,
    Stool by tub (antique): The Nicholson Gallery,
    Table holding plant (“Iron Martini Table” #544220): Bungalow Classic,
    Art (by Christine Patterson): Pryor Fine Art,

  • Erica Dines

    Sweet Nursery

    Animals are everywhere in the nursery—from the rocking horse, to the papier maché animal heads above the crib, and the framed prints above the changing table.  

    Wall paint (“Winslow Gray” #11-26): Pratt & Lambert,
    Area rug (Sanibel”): Eve & Staron Studio, 404/233-8958.
    Crib; chest beside bed; photos of animals above chest; papier maché animal heads on wall: Restoration Hardware,
    Crib bedding: owner’s collection.
    Rocking horse (antique): The Nicholson Gallery,

  • Erica Dines

    Boy's Room

    Planes, trains, and automobiles fill Hudson's room. Vintage metal toys adhere to the wall map behind the bed; overhead, the Mustang ceiling fan from Tailwinds continues the theme.

    Paint (“Evening Dove” #2128-30): Benjamin Moore,
    Ceiling fan (“P-51 Mustang Plane Ceiling Fan”): Tailwinds,
    Rug (“Sanibel”): Eve & Staron Studio, 404/233-8958.
    Wall map: Pottery Barn,
    Drapery (“Esporles” #FW064, Aranjasa Weaves Collection, by Designers Guild): Osborne & Little,
    Bed; duvet: Restoration Hardware,
    Bed cover: Utility Canvas,
    Basket (antique French Baguette Basket); table lamps (lamps with vintage baby carriage wheels): The Nicholson Gallery,
    Table to left of bed (antique oak pedestal table): Bungalow Classic,
    Chest to right of bed: owner’s collection.
    Ladder: existing.
    Metal toys (vintage): Etsy,

  • Erica Dines

    Elegant Bedroom

    Designed with the homeowners’ niece in mind, the space is elegantly girly. The room was designed around the quilt from Stella Rubin.

    Walls (“Oil Cloth” #CSP 760): Benjamin Moore,
    Fan (“Bianca Directional”/Mahogany Blades): Matthews Fan Co.,
    Bed (“Moreau Queen Bed”): Bungalow Classic,
    Bed fabric (“Westley”/Spa #1672): Pindler & Pindler,
    Bed skirt fabric (“Brompton Check Blue” #1030/36): Chelsea Editions,
    Green pillow on bed (vintage): The Nicholson Gallery,
    Pillow with owl: Amity Home,
    Quilt (Maryland Antique Quilt c. 1830): Stella Rubin Antique Quilts and Decorative Arts,
    Bed drapery (“Antwerp” #2273/A668): Pindler & Pindler,
    Area rug (“Sanibel”): Eve & Staron Studio, 404/
    Chest to left of bed (“Landry Side Chest” #641053); table lamp; table to right of bed (antique painted nightstand): Bungalow Classic,
    Bench: owner’s collection. 

  • Erica Dines

    Elegant Sitting Area

    Colorful throw pillows and a circus tent on the side table inject a playful attitude into the guest room.

    Drapery (“Little Compton”/Cove #805001-05): Rogers & Goffigon,
    at window  (“Romero Chair”): The Nicholson Gallery,
    Pillows on chairs: Amity Home,
    Table between chairs (“Wine Tasting Table”): Bungalow Classic,
    Circus tent on table: Erika Reade Ltd.,

  • Erica Dines

    Guest Room

    With its rustic farmhouse charm, sweet dreams are sure to ensue in the guest room. Cheeky counting sheep artwork hangs above the headboard.

    Wall paint (“Phantom” #11-31): Pratt & Lambert,
    Bed (‘Amelie”): Bungalow Classic,
    Bed fabric (“Cyclades”/Ios #910042-09): Rogers & Goffigon,
    Center pillow (vintage Turkish): The Nicholson Gallery,
    Quilt (Pennsylvania Quilt, x. 1850): Stella Rubin Antique Quilts and Decorative Arts,
    (by Brian Hibbard): Pryor Fine Art,
    Rug (custom flatweave): Eve & Staron Studio, 404/233-8958.
    Trunk (antique red-painted curved-top trunk) The Nicholson Gallery,
    Baluster lamp: B.D. Jeffries,

  • Gordon Beall