Baton Rouge’s Best Kept Secret: Jeff Woosley of Interiors
The past few years have been quite busy for Baton Rouge based interior decorator, Jeff Woosley. Along with garnering a windfall of regional and national attention as the South’s newest media darling in the world of design, Woosley has been focused on setting up a studio space to cater to his impressive and growing list of clients. “This has always been my life’s calling and my passion. I just always knew this is what a I wanted to do,” recalls Woosley as he reflects back on his journey to become one of Baton Rouge’s best kept secrets in the world of interior decorating.
Within the past few years, Jeff Woosley has blossomed forth, to use a timely seasonal analogy, into one of the South’s most talented and gifted interior decorators. In 2001 Southern Living publicized the complete renovation of his once forgotten shotgun home in Beauregard Town, one of the nation’s oldest neighborhood developments located in downtown Baton Rouge, and catapulted Woosley into the local and national design scene. Currently, he is balancing projects in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Orange Beach, and Aspen.
“I like to keep the number of clients I work with at any one given time small. No more than four or five,” notes Woosley. “I prefer to operate as a one man team for the most part. Anytime I work with a client, I develop a very personal relationship with them,” continues Woosley, “and in limiting the number of projects I work on, I have the ability to spend lots of time with the client and give them as much personal attention as they need.”
In addition to the newfound success of his interior decorating business, Woosley partnered with long time friend and Baton Rouge developer, Donnie Jarreau, to open a studio space in the newly renovated and renamed Southdowns Village. Formerly known as the Southdowns Shopping Center, Jarreau purchased the property in 2006 and immediately began work to upgrade the facade and attract new tenants to the burgeoning mid city Perkins Road area. “I was really thrilled to hear about what Donnie was doing in this area of Baton Rouge, and it just made sense for me to set up shop here,” he explains. Other new tenants that have helped to revive the location and add eclectic appeal are Ann Connelly Fine Art, the Front Door Design Studio, and the Bulldog, a popular New Orleans’ brew haven.
Woosley’s Interior 2 studio is open by appointment only and is decorated with a unique mix of antiques, contemporary art, and one of a kind, handcrafted objects. Here clients can meet with Woosley to develop projects and plans in an environment that is completely his own. “Achieving the right balance of old and new objects and interjecting them with new ideas keeps the overall look modern and fresh. It is the future of decorating because it is truer to the way people actually live,” he explains.
Walking through the Interior 2 studio, the point is clearly made. The space exudes a crisp, sunny feel while simultaneously preserving the coziness that is often stripped from purely contemporary interiors. Uncluttered, clean lines are achieved throughout lending an air of modernity, but they are perfectly balanced by the different textures Woosley establishes in the area rugs, the upholstered chairs and sofas, and the warm tactile finishes of the anchoring tables and desks.
Add a variety of distinct accessories he purchases during trips to New York, Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago, and the completed look is unquestionably lovely. Those who are familiar with Woosley’s work often describe his style as flexible, versatile, and creative. Recently, another popular regional shelter and lifestyle magazine, Southern Accents, has taken notice, and though he will not disclose too many details, look for his name to appear on the newsstands in the very near future. It is just the beginning of what is sure to be a long and successful career for Jeff Woosley, and Baton Rouge, with its recently resurrected historic burrows is the perfect palette for this home grown artist to continue to make his mark.