Hal Ainsworth, a leader in the interior design community, passed away suddenly on February 11th, 2021 after a brief illness.
Hal was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi on July 4, 1938. He epitomized all that is gracious in the South and became an arbiter of taste in interior and floral design, entertaining and gardening.
Hal began his design career in Round Top, Texas. It was here that he met his partner of fifty years, Winton Noah. Their love grew from a shared passion for antiques, travel, good food, wine and entertaining.
After having travelled extensively throughout Europe for two years collecting antiques, they returned to the United States and settled down in Atlanta. It was here that they began their initial venture in business together, opening two antique shops: The Horse of a Different Color and The Wicker Horse. Hal's extensive knowledge and love of antiques, interiors and hospitality ensured a loyal clientele following. It was the success of these businesses that encouraged them to look ahead to the future and move into the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, where Ainsworth-Noah began. Their partnership combined their love for fine furniture, fabrics, lighting, and interior design, growing Ainsworth-Noah from an idea to one of the pre-eminent design resources in the country.
Paris has always had a special place in Hal and Winton's hearts as Francophiles. It was here that they kept an apartment for many years which enabled them to develop long-lasting relationships with some of the finest antique dealers in the world. The knowledge they gleaned from these friendships, was used to build Ainsworth-Noah into the success it is today. Ainsworth-Noah was the place where Hal was able to share his warmth, hospitality, and his penchant for entertaining by hosting design luminaries from around the U.S.A, Europe, and the United Kingdom. The voluminous bouquets of exquisite floral arrangements that were featured throughout the showroom were all done personally by Hal. Clients were always welcomed by the warmth of his magnanimous smile and his hearty laugh.
Hal and Winton's second love were the mountains of North Carolina, in Highlands and Cashiers. They built beautiful homes together over the years and were actively involved in The Church of The Good Shepherd and many community groups. Hal's leadership in spearheading the Cashiers Decorators Showhouse was instrumental to its ongoing success. He also served as a board member of the Village Green and was an active member of the Chattooga Club where he had many friendships.
Hal is survived by his husband, Winton Noah and his sister, Linda Scott. He was predeceased by his parents, William and Lozelle Ainsworth and his brother Wilton Ainsworth.
A private burial will be held at The Church of The Good Shepherd in Cashiers, North Carolina. A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a remembrance may be made in his name to the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau and The Church of The Good Shepherd.