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Georgia Bates grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico, watching her parents design and build Santa Fe style homes. She traveled to Mexico with them as they searched for old doors, stonework, antique furniture and religious folk art. Surrounded by the beauty of colonial antiques, she fell in love with the style at an early age.

Bates has lived in Los Angeles, New York, and London. After living in Europe for eight years, she returned to the United States. Looking for a larger city offering growth and opportunity, she settled in Phoenix. Wanting to apply the talents and love of art and antiques taught by her father, Bates opened a gallery and established Bates Architectural Collection in downtown Scottsdale. The gallery was nationally recognized as one of the premier sources of Spanish colonial antiques and style. In addition to designing interiors and sourcing architectural elements, Bates consulted and guided buying trips in Mexico for select clients.

At the time, Royal Palms Resort and Spa was undergoing its multi-million dollar restoration by Arizona businessman, Fred Unger. He met with Bates who showed him a sampling of architectural and colonial items. These pieces meshed with his vision of a mansion in the grand Spanish colonial style. Weeks later Unger and the project architect bounced down muddy Mexican roads with Bates in search of authentic sources. Royal Palms Resort and Spa went on to become one of the premier luxury destinations in the United States, and the first Phoenix hotel chosen over the Arizona Biltmore by an American president since 1928.


During the gallery years, Bates’ clientele came to rely on her for interior space planning and design. In realizing this passion, Bates Interiors was born. Bates bought her studio property, a 1927 neighborhood grocery in the historic Coronado district, in 2006. She also purchased an adjoining 1920s bungalow. Both structures were decrepit. Her friends and family thought she had finally gone mad.

The properties are now a showplace for modern living, incorporating a separate design studio and workspace. The 1920s skylights uncovered during the renovation, and both buildings’ outside lines, highlight the studio’s historic origins. Exposed ductwork and scarred concrete floors bearing paint from the original grocery store evoke the space’s industrial nature. Contemporary finishes juxtaposed with Bates’ art and antiques are the last of the four influences which transcend their origins resulting in a vision only she could create.




Bates Interiors Studio space.

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