In Her Words with Whitney Durham

In Her Words with Whitney Durham

Creative Living

by Jen Pinkston

Walking into Whitney Durham’s Buckhead home is like getting to know her over coffee. You’re met with Le Grand Tour wallpaper designed by Libertine’s Johnson Hartig for Schmucher and exquisite moldings painted in a high-gloss seafoam color at the same time that you glance bold leopard upholstery and purple walls as equally high-glossed as their seafoam counterparts. Centuries-old fine art oil paintings sit in rooms adjacent to those with saturated, abstract art on sprawling canvases. Her home, like her, is charming, warm, and endlessly creative.


With our current evening and weekend schedules controlled by our 12 and 13-year-old boys and their travel sports, we are not home as often as I would like. I realize that it is just the phase of life we are in, so I try to embrace it.

However, when we have family and friends over, my home is filled with fresh flowers, glowing candles, and a pretty tablescape or two to gather together and enjoy some glorified takeout. I wish I could say I love to cook, but those who know me well know that is not something neither my husband nor I enjoy.

Additionally, I always try to have a stocked bar with an abundance of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages to choose from, no matter the occasion! I want everyone to have a great time!

My hosting style has evolved over time into making use of finer things more often and taking joy in elevating the everyday! We typically use our nicer dishes, fine china, and fancy silverware, paired with a fun mix of new and vintage glassware. I have always made a point to display fresh flowers and greenery, even if we only host extended family. I want my guests to feel welcomed, comfortable, and inclined to stay for a while!



I am currently inspired by layers, timeless aesthetics, antiques, color, and originality in design. I try to incorporate these things into my own home and client projects for a curated end result that will last for a long time. Five years ago, I would have never pictured myself incorporating some of the trendy (but also classic) “granny-chic” style into my new home with a mix of florals and botanicals everywhere! However, I felt that my current 1938 classical Greek revival style home longed for it, and that style just worked for this particular home.

I have found myself falling back into my traditional roots and incorporating an abundance of antiques and vintage pieces into my own spaces. I do have a couple of antique oil paintings and mirrors with beautiful gilded wood frames that belonged to my maternal grandmother found in various rooms throughout our home. Those who have been to my home in person or seen pictures of it on social media or in magazines know my personal love and admiration for art and how much interest and personality it can add to a space! Antique oil paintings are classic and never go out of style; they only get better with time, and every time I look at those paintings, I think of my grandmother and great-grandmother. Antique mirrors are also timeless and add dimension and interest to a space. I believe every room should have a mirror, so there is ample opportunity for the perfect placement.


Time really does go by so quickly. I can’t believe my boys are 12 and 13 years old! Motherhood is honestly the busiest it has ever been right now. They both have so many extracurricular activities and play on multiple travel sports teams that my second job is literally being their taxi driver around town from school carpool pick-up to sometimes 10 PM when we finally get home from their team practice.

This is a hectic phase of life because they are so active outside the home, but they also need transportation to and from because they can’t drive themselves yet. There is also homework between practices and games, and most weeks, my husband travels for work, so I am flying solo! I have considered hiring someone to help me with this, but the boys said they prefer me to someone else. I do remind myself often that soon enough, my oldest will be driving himself and won’t need me anymore, and like every phase, this too will come to an end, and I will probably find myself missing these hectic days filled with dirty cleats, mounds of dirty laundry, and lots and lots of car conversation—whether their tween and teenage selves want to talk to me or not. ;)

During this hectic season of parenthood, I manage my work time more efficiently while they are at school and do what I can from the car while they are at their sports practices. I also have to allocate time to each project appropriately and be careful not to simultaneously take on too many client projects.

My kids are teaching me how quickly time goes by and how important it is to embrace the everyday and the small moments with them. Even if it’s driving them to and from school or soccer or baseball practice. A lot of life happens in these little moments that we often take for granted. It’s the accumulation of all these small moments that creates big, long-lasting memories that we will all look back on.


Those who know me well know that I am not the best travel planner. I am a last-minute and spur-of-the-moment type of travel planner! So, with that being said, I am always trying to think of a new and fun destination to expose our boys to. They are currently at good ages to travel with and seem to be growing bored of the beach, so this summer, we are going with a few other families to Jackson Hole! My husband loves to ski, so we try to take them once a year to Deer Valley and stay at the Montage—one of my favorite destinations! We are currently skiing on spring break right now! Looking into the near future, we would love to show the kids New York City, perhaps over the Christmas holidays, and take them to London and Paris! We did explore one of Ted Turner’s Dude Ranches a few summers ago, which was a fantastic experience. One of our favorite family vacations was a trip to Costa Rica with a few other families. It’s a beautiful destination, and the locals were all kind and welcoming.

We have stayed in a mix of homes and hotels on vacation, and they both have pros and cons! Seeing that my husband and I don’t love to cook, a resort atmosphere with ample restaurants that are easily accessible wins, or an in-home chef, ha!

I always try to bring back an accessory unique to the destination location. It could be a beautiful conch shell, a coffee table book, distinct vintage finds sourced from the city’s local flea market, or a piece of art made by local artisans.

Photography by Madison Hernandez