AN­TI­QUAR­IAN’S DE­LIGHT

BARBARA EBER­LEIN TALKS ART FAIRS, AR­CHAE­OL­OGY, AND HER AWARD-WIN­NING WORK AT AR­DROSSAN.

Philadelphia Style - - Con­tents - BY MARY MAR­GARET EWENS

Barbara Eber­lein talks art fairs, ar­chae­ol­ogy, and her award­win­ning work at Ar­drossan.

“De­sign is much more than know­ing where to buy a sofa,” says noted Philadel­phia-based in­te­rior de­signer Barbara Eber­lein. “Dig deep, do your re­search, de­velop real ex­per­tise.” Eber­lein would know: The Rit­ten­house de­sign doyenne’s name­sake con­sult­ing firm, Eber­lein De­sign Con­sul­tants Ltd., is the cre­ative force be­hind some of the city’s posh­est res­i­dences and the mind­ful care­taker of count­less his­toric restora­tion projects. Among them is Vil­lanova’s Ar­drossan es­tate, which earned Eber­lein a Trum­bauer Award for Best Res­i­den­tial In­te­rior De­sign Project from the In­sti­tute of Clas­si­cal Ar­chi­tec­ture & Art, as well as a sec­ond nod for Best Com­mer­cial In­te­rior De­sign Project for a pri­vate women’s club.

A pas­sion for travel cou­pled with her arche­ol­ogy back­ground has in­formed her clas­sic, an­tiq­ue­filled aes­thetic. Se­lect­ing de­sign schemes that have sub­stance and the adapt­abil­ity to tran­scend cen­turies and con­ti­nents to cre­ate some­thing fresh is what sets her work apart. But Eber­lein knows all of her gilded suc­cess is thanks to her clients.

“You have to imag­ine how your clients look in a space,” Eber­lein says. “More im­por­tantly, how they feel is cru­cial: Clients don’t come to de­sign­ers to be dic­tated to; they come to be part of a con­ver­sa­tion, a re­la­tion­ship.”

What’s Eber­lein’s best ad­vice to clients? “At­tend art fairs and visit an­tique shops— they’ll give you an un­be­liev­able ed­u­ca­tion.” 1809 De­lancey Pl., 215-790-0300; eber­lein.com

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