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ADAC Announces 2021 Southeast Designers and Architect of the Year Award Winners

Three winners were chosen from 22 finalists.

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Architect: Paul Bates of Paul Bates Architects
Architect: Paul Bates of Paul Bates Architects

On Thursday, Sept. 23, the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center presented the 2021 Southeast Designers and Architect of the Year Awards to the region’s most creative and innovative minds in the categories of residential design, contract design and architecture. Judged by top industry professionals and narrowed down from 22 incredibly talented and influential finalists, the announcement of this year’s winners brings ADAC’s annual fall market, DISCOVER ADAC, to a celebratory close.  

The 2021 Southeast Designers and Architect of the Year Winners include the following: 

Architect: Paul Bates of Paul Bates Architects | Birmingham, AL  (pictured above)

Blackberry Farm Design

Contract Design: Blackberry Farm Design | Walland, TN  

Betsy Brown

Residential Design: Betsy Brown of Betsy Brown Inc. | Birmingham, AL 

“This year, we were honored to name 22 finalists from across the Southeast. Each finalist showcased an incredibly high caliber of artistry in their work, so it was no easy task for our judges to narrow this influential group down to our three winners,” said Katie Miner, general manager of ADAC. “The excellence of this work is inspiring, and we are so thrilled to be able to name Paul Bates of Paul Bates Architects, Blackberry Farm Design and Betsy Brown of Betsy Brown Inc. as this year’s winners.”  

Finalists and winners were selected by an esteemed panel of top industry professionals including VERANDA Executive Editor Ellen McGauley, Founding Partner of Peter Pennoyer Architects, Peter Pennoyer and A-list interior designer, Ashley Whittaker. Remarks from the judges on each winner’s work are included below:  

“The architects’ use of materials is masterful, weaving an enchanting lesson in the simple beauty of great stonework. I found a quiet harmony in its details and loved how both projects naturally opened up to and settled beautifully into their environments. And that arched colonnade! Transportive, yet utterly grounded,” said Ellen McGauley about Paul Bates of Paul Bates Architects. 

“The inn project is utterly charming, effectively building on the existing architecture to create a layered and comfortable setting. The mix of furnishings from traditional to more contemporary suggest a home-like environment. This designer brings a light and personal touch and an unexpectedly adventurous palette,” said Peter Pennoyer about Blackberry Farm Design. 

“It is obvious that this designer listens closely to their clients. You can see the client’s individual personality through both the decoration and curated furnishing throughout. The use of antiques and organic materials make each dwelling unique,” said Ashley Whittaker about Betsy Brown of Betsy Brown Inc. 

About Paul Bates  

Paul Bates is a registered architect inspired by the pastoral and agrarian sensibilities of his rural childhood landscape. He naturally gravitated toward architecture and earned a BA in architecture at Auburn University in Alabama. He continues to strive for honest and authentic results in all his work. With an eye towards simplicity and a love for the artful meshing of textures, he seeks to capture the romance of a house evolving over time. Whether it be a finely crafted home, or an elegant chair to rest, Paul’s work is grounded by tradition and celebrates life with a modern point of view. 

About Blackberry Farm Design 

Blackberry Farm Design is a full-service, world-class interior design firm focused on residential and hospitality design. The firm helps clients realize their personal style and create targeted designs that showcase their individual vision. Each Blackberry Farm Design project is a captivating mix of timeless influence, modern style, expressive art and cleverly paired textures, patterns and finishes. With a versatile team of design specialists, the firm is committed to distinguishing each project with unmistakable quality and originality. Uniquely built on renowned principles of hospitality, we form relationships with clients that make each project authentic and specific to the client’s own extraordinary story. 

About Betsy Brown 

Creating spaces that are calm, organic, and collected, Betsy Brown specializes in comfortable minimalism. She believes that a well-suited home is a portrait of those who live within. Modernist sensibilities form the foundation, while antiquities inform and balance, providing a delicate tension and subtle energy. The result is a home that genuinely reflects one’s true nature. A home that feels like home. The Alabama designer is dedicated to crafting serenely elegant spaces in which her clients can let down their hair. 

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