Barbara Eberlein talks art fairs, archeology, and her award-winning work at Ardrossan.
Inside Ardrossan: Above the mantel, a 1926 portrait of Charlotte Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery by Sir John Lavery keeps watch over the living room, where furnishings and textiles were both restored and reproduced.
“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, antique-filled 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