COTE DE TEXAS: Toby Patrick West

Toby Patrick West

A few days ago, I received a call from a new internet friend.  She told me that she had worked for interior designer Toby West and at that she started crying.   She had just learned that Toby had passed away and she wanted to share her good memories of him:  how nice Toby was and how much she admired him.
The news left me sad and wistful.  It seems like so many of the great designers whose work frequented the pages of Veranda and Southern Accents have passed away.  Toby West is definitely in that group of great ones whose work was inspiring to so many of us.  On hearing the news, my mind immediately went to two of West’s projects that landed on Veranda’s covers.
Today, I first want to share Toby’s obituary which I found to be so endearing.  And following that, I have compiled a collection of Toby’s work for you to enjoy one more time.

 Oct. 16, 2019 was a very sad day in the southern design community with the passing of Toby Patrick West, an internationally acclaimed interior designer and antiquarian for the past 32 years.

Toby was born on Nov. 15, 1960 in Atlanta, Ga. Most of his adult life was spent in Atlanta and Highlands.

He founded Toby West Limited, a successful design, antiques and furnishing business in Atlanta with his life and business partner, Tom Hayes. The business was in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center for 24 years. Later, he opened a shop in Highlands where he became known for his antiques and accessories in the Adirondack style. Most recently, Toby and Tom opened Toby West Antiques and Interior Design in Cashiers.

Over the years, he became a very respected and admired interior designer. His work was featured in numerous national publications such as Veranda, Southern Accents, House Beautiful and Mountain Living. He also participated in many design showhouses in the mountain community receiving great acclaim. His God-given talent made him an icon in his field of design.

He is survived by his life and business partner of 35 years, Thomas Mandeville Hayes, whom he married on Jan. 8, 2018. He is also survived by his mother, Lavone Cantrell; stepfather, Hugh Cantrell; two brothers; a stepsister; and his in-laws, Sylvia and Randy Allmon of Texas, and Bob and Dana Hayes of Ohio.

He requested a celebration of life be presented in the spring at their Joe Webb log cabin gardens in Highlands. Burial of his cremated remains will be at the Highlands Memorial Park Cemetery.

Toby West was Tom’s north, his south, his east and west.  May he rest in peace now and wait for Tom to join him in their next life together. Together forever.

A memorial donation may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105.

Condolences can be made to the family at 

It was a fabulous cover, showing a beach house in Seaside, Florida, done all in the then very newly popular color – aqua.  In fact, it was this cover story that helped incite the mass appeal of aqua.
Back then the name Toby West rang a bell and a quick look at the 2000 Veranda led me to another design by Toby – his own house in Atlanta that he shared with his life partner Tom Hayes. 
Remember this cover?


The 2000 cover showed the all white dining room in Toby’s dining room – with his gorgeous crystal chandelier.

(Unfortunately the scans of this Veranda are of a very poor quality.)

Toby’s family room had, at that time, my favorite toile.  Their house was all cream and white with black accents mixed with small print wallpapers.  It was filled with beautiful antiques and was a maximalist’s dream come true. 

And this vignette showed Toby at his best.  Black chinoiserie furniture and accents, an antique bullseye mirror, and symmetrically placed wall hangings.


The back foyer shows off T & T’s (Toby and Tom) collection of antique silhouettes, big and small.

And the beautiful dining room overlooks the front porch, below:

The front porch has arches that T & T decorated in black and white.   A hanging lantern brings attention to the façade.

Many scans from Hydrangea Hill, thanks!!! HERE.

And today, the house with its arched front porch, looks like this.  It appears to have been painted a yellowish green.


This aqua house in Seaside became a popular rental.  Included in the rental advertisement as a selling point was that the house had been designed by Toby West and was on the cover of Veranda. 

“Second Sandbar” was decorated with lots of wicker chairs and tables.  Fabric softened the house, with curtains at every window.  

There were aqua checks and more wicker, this time in white.  Antique maps hung on shiplap walls – and this was years before the Gaines made it popular!


Another well known beach house, Morning in May, that Toby decorated.


SORRY!!!   More terrible scans.   The living room in this second beach house was all taupe checks and sailboats.

The breakfast room had beautiful slipcovers, a trademark of Toby’s.

A small scan of the sitting room – this is one of my favorite rooms of Toby’s.  Blue and white stripes with floral chintz fabric, with globes and maps.  I remember when this house was published, I was obsessed with this room!!


And yet another Florida beach house by Toby and his partner Tom.  This was designed around a found cache of antique ship wheels.  The house itself was designed to look like the inside of a ship with its beams and shiplap walls.  It was featured in Coastal Living magazine.

And another view.  I really like these kind of chairs used by West:   rattan chairs with upholstered sides. And I don’t think I will ever tire of brown checked fabric!!! Besides the ship wheels, Toby used large model sailboats in his Florida beach houses.  

I’m sure there are more beach house projects that were never published – I wish we could see them all!!!


But, without a doubt the most well known Toby West house was designed for the Chrisley family of TV fame, “Chrisley Knows Best.”  That is before they were arrested on fraud charges, yet again.    Todd and Julie Chrisley have lived in a number of houses, but the one that was such a stunner was the one that Toby had designed for them.   And, it was featured in Veranda.

Artie from Color Outside The Lines wrote a great detective story about this house HERE.

The Chrisley dining room with blue and white and gold.

When the house was sold, real estate photos let us get another glimpse into the house.

The main hall is decorated with a set of gold framed prints mixed with antique furniture and blue & white porcelains.

Who knew Todd  had such great taste?

Sunroom in beautiful blue and white print and check fabrics.  

So Toby!

The beautiful bedroom – unfortunately the blue is off here.  Dang it!!!!

But look how gorgeous this is!   This is Toby West at his best and I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Fabulous.

It was hard to watch the TV show when the action took place in this room.  

Here, the real estate photo after the room had been stripped of a lot of its goodies.  Where is the table at the end of the bed and the side chairs? 

Another view of the bedroom.  GORGEOUS.  Just gorgeous!   You will notice that in the real estate photo above, the collection of antique capitals is missing, perhaps removed before the Chrisleys moved?  Or sold?

Oh, I just LOVE this room!!!!!!

In the master sitting room, another beautiful design by Toby – I love what he did on the mantel and above.

And here I just want to state this – it makes me sad and also angry that there are no clear, detailed photographs of Toby’s work available!   Veranda has none on its web site, except for one or two photos.  But there is no real compilation of his work available on Veranda, where he had at least two cover stories and more.

This year Architectural Digest opened its coffers to every story ever shown in its magazines.  It’s not free, you have to join and it’s not cheap, but at least it is done!  All those great and not so great projects are preserved and available to be seen until eternity.  If only Veranda would do the same and to be sure, the same should be done at Southern Accents. 

That said, there are two newer projects by Toby that I just love.

Both are his and Tom’s personal homes.   The couple lived in North Carolina and also in Georgia. 

For quite a few years, Toby and Tom lived in an old Georgian farmhouse, the Samuel Hanson House, built in 1816.  The farmhouse is located on 7.81 acres and it is now for sale. HERE.  Besides the house, there is a full horse barn!

That the farm is now for sale is exceedingly sad.  It’s probably too much for Tom to take on alone. 
Life is so unfair.  They seem to have had such a wonderful life and to be cut short is just so sad.
I think the farmhouse is so beautiful and is such a testament to the designs that Toby and Tom created, the house needs to be seen, especially since it wasn’t published that I know of.   Nothing shows off a designer’s abilities more than his own house and these two houses of Toby and Tom are a visual treat!


The white house with its green metal roof.

  The house is shaded by huge ancient trees.

The garage connects to the house by a series of brick paths lined with boxwoods.

A nighttime view of the house shows the stables lit up in the back right.

The farmhouse is filled with American and English antique furniture and a treasure chest of antique accessories and art work! 

The front parlor.  Again, just admire all the accessories and beautiful Americana and English furniture. 

To the right of this sofa is the front door and behind the sofa is a large opening to the dining room.

Through these door of the front parlor is the back sitting room.  It’s just a bit less dressy than the front room, but not by much. 

And past the back sitting room is the sunroom, which I think is where the couple spent most of their time.

Past the stairs is the sunroom.  On the left is a vignette of barware.

The sitting room.

The doors lead to the back yard.

Across from the front parlor is the dining room that sits in the front corner of the house.  Fabulous dining chairs!!!  And I love the shelf display above the fireplace.  To the left is a side door that leads outside.

The opposite view of the dining room.  notice the lovely corner cabinet filled with white ironstone.  The walls have a creamy yellow wallpaper in a very muted stripe.  I just love this room!!! 

Through the right door is the front parlor and through the other door is the kitchen.  Next to the refrigerator, you can just glimpse the walk in bar.  

Through the dining room is the kitchen and the breakfast room.  At the back, you can see the back door – shown before.

I LOVE this room!!!   I think I just love this house!!!

A view of the kitchen island – with its open shelves.  Through the French doors at the end of the cabinets is the screened in porch.

The screened in porch.  At the right is the green sunroom.  To the left of the sunroom, unseen here, is the master bedroom.

The view towards the other direction.  You can see the back sitting room through the door.  I love all the blue and white hanging on the wall.  And notice how Toby and Tom always add pedestals to their groupings for a bit more interest.

To the right of the refrigerator is the walk in bar with its collection of antique corkscrews.

The breakfast area.  How charming is this?   Notice the candle holder on the left wall.  And notice the highboy.    So pretty.  Never one to miss a spot to decorate – small vases were placed in the transom.

Through the transom door is the back door and the master bedroom.

 The back door and foyer off the kitchen.   To the right is the master bedroom which overlooks the backyard.

The master bedroom off the back foyer.  I love that bed!  Beautiful fabric and Americana furniture.  Love the wallpaper.

The bathroom has matching wallpaper.

Of course the laundry room is decorated!!!

Upstairs are two guest rooms that are decorated to the max!  Love this in red and notice the small foyer through the door with the trays on the wall. 

And the other guest room in a different red print.  Love this one too!!!

What’s not to love??

This last guest room has twin beds with oil portraits over each bed.

And one last charming vignette to bid goodbye to the farmhouse.  Sigh.  What a fabulous collection of blue and white.


The Georgian farmhouse is just a  2 1/2 hour drive to the Highlands of North Carolina.    And, think about this:   There are more Scots in North Carolina than in Scotland.   The Scots started to come after the massacre of the battle of Culloden in the 18th century, lured by a landscape that looked remarkably like home to the displaced aliens.   This gives you an idea of how beautiful and how verdant the hills of North Carolina truly are.
Today the Highlands are a popular place for a second home and a vintage log cabin is highly sought after. 

Toby and Tom bought their Joe Webb log cabin in the 1980s and then set about remodeling it and sensitively adding onto it.  Built of large, round, beautiful chestnut logs, T&T told Southern Home magazine that they doubled the size of the house.  While they kept the exterior’s  Appalachian design, inside the house is more reminiscent of upstate New York’s Adirondack style.  The couple were lucky to buy the Joe Webb log cabin – he is known for building the most authentic cabins which are the most prized in the area. 

It’s hard to tell where the old stops and the new additions begin, but isn’t this so charming?!!!   I love the lower level with the red trimmed windows.

Close up of moss growing on the roof and the red painted windows. 

Tom and Toby added the covered walkway and the twig bridge.

An original twig gate?   No.  It’s new!

Some of the changes that Tom and Toby made were done to correct restorations made by other owners.  Not that they were bad, they were just not T & T’s first choice.  There was a 1960 circa porch that was “awkward” and another owner had used cinder blocks to brace the log cabin.  But luckily, the interiors had been left alone. 

When the couple found the house, they were happy to see there was no sheetrock, no wine cellar and no media room.  What they found was an authentic log cabin.  But, they did add a large master suite, extra closets and guest space, and in a nod to the 21st century – a gym.

The Dutch door.  Too cute!!

The sunroom was once an enclosed porch.   Today it is filled with antique English furniture, including the English painting of the trout. 
Tom and Toby chose red in most rooms because they felt it looked best against the wood logs.  

The ceiling in the original living room is 20’ which is most unusual for a Webb log cabin – most are 8’ to 10’ tall.   Fabrics were repeated in rooms to create a unified design scheme.

A Toby West vignette!  The carved mirror is from the Black Forest.

The dining room has a large clock from Provence along with check and striped fabrics.  The chairs are Americana.

The kitchen with cabinets made of the same wood as the cabin.

The master bedroom was added on by the couple.

Another view of master bedroom.   Beautiful twisted wood bed.

A guest suite off the terrace level is done in green toiles with lamps made of Staffordshire.    Café curtains with trim. 

Close up of lamp and headboard with embroidered sheets. 

Two club chairs finish out the guest room.
And so, I hope you enjoyed seeing part of Toby West’s portfolio.  I only wish the quality of the photos were better.  As far as I know, Toby and Tom’s store remains open in Cashiers and I hope it does for a long while. 

Lissy Parker took photos of the shop.  It looks like another house of Tom and Toby’s!

And here, Tom with Toby on the right, surround one of their employees in their antique/design store.

Rest in Peace.


  1. Beautiful tribute, Joni. I think my favorite has to be the log cabin!

  2. Thank you for sharing! I adore the cozy symmetry and attention to detail in every home. What a talent. Wish we could see a resurrgence of this decor style! Thank you for continuing to bring the BEST design content to your readers, it is much appreciated from this long time reader!

  3. Thank you for yet another beautiful and informative post. Your faithful fans appreciate the time and effort you put in all your posts. Thank you for sharing Toby West’s design work with us.

  4. Their Georgia house has been for sale for while. I had stumbled upon it while I was Zillow browsing on day and saved every picture on Pinterest because I absolutely loved it. I didn't know at the time that it was their house, but I have loved Toby's work forever, so I should have realized it. I have a whole Toby West category on my Pinterest page, as he is one of my very favorite designers. I am so sad to hear the news of his passing. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos. I enjoy every one of your very well researched blog postings.

  5. I love seeing such a portfolio of work throughout the years. Some is too formal for my taste but thoughtfully done. The log cabin is the opposite of formal--and I'm not into rustic at all--but it's possibly my favorite of the bunch, just gorgeous.

  6. Oh, that cabin - heavenly!! Godspeed, Toby...

  7. Thank you for this sad but beautiful post. Visited their shop in Highlands and Cashiers many times. Wonderful, creative, inspiring designer. RIP Toby.

  8. A feast for the eyes or to borrow the tagline from my own website and beliefs. Where the eye is always entertained.

  9. Thank you for all your hard work on this post and all the others. I love the log cabin, I actually lived in one for a while when my children were still living at home, while I was finding a home in the area to purchase. I have many fond memories of that place and many of the interior pictures you posted remind me of that place, especially the fireplaces.

  10. I remember the first time I saw his work in a magazine, showing the Seaside community. I loved his style, I think that was the first time I saw a beautiful shell on the wall. His rooms just welcomed you in...sorry to hear of his passing. Thank you Joni for this lovely post.