Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interior Design and Honey Boo Boo!

What in the world would Interior Design and Honey Boo Boo be doing in the same post?

Well read on and I will attempt to explain! Last month the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center opened to the public and held an event called, The Southern Vernacular and Southern
Interior Design.  This was a panel discussion on design in the South. They brought up some good points as to why we do not want southern design to go the way of Honey Boo Boo! The panel included the following:
James Lowell Strickland:  Who has a new book out called Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House. James Lowell Strickland is the president and senior partner of Historical Concepts. Established in Atlanta in 1982, the firm has designed plans and buildings for the South’s most respected communities. Their work has earned prestigious design awards and has been featured in numerous magazines

Kimberly Grigg: Is a vegetarian cross between Zsa Zsa Gabor and Goldie Hawn! 
Like those iconic blondes, this lady is smart, savvy and the epitome of style. She approaches life and work with a fierce focus and a heap of savior-faire. She is the
founder of Knotting Hills Interiors in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and author of the upcoming book, Livable Luxury.
Kimberly Grigg
Carolyn Hultman: Carolyn Hultman, founder of Carolyn Hultman Interior Design and featured in books such as Paula Deen’s Savannah Style. In this book  Carolyn offers tips on how to bring southern charm into all aspects of the home. Hultman collaborated with Deen to design and furnish two guest cottages on Deen’s riverside estate, which are prominently featured in the book.
Carolyn Hultman
Phoebe Howard: She is co-owner of retail stores Mrs. Howard and Max & Company,
and author of The Joy of Decorating. While Phoebe is recognized as one of the
foremost authorities on Southern style, she is well regarded for her business
acumen as well, catering to both clients and other members of the design
community who have embraced the Mrs. Howard aesthetic. Phoebe scours the globe
for new products for her stores and clients, and creates a custom line of pillows,
lamps, mirrors and case goods. She also has a furniture collection called Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture, which is available in her stores as well as retailers nationwide. She and her husband, Jim Howard, have stores in Jacksonville, Florida,  Atlanta, Georgia  and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lindsay Bierman: Editor-in-chief of Southern Living Magazine, led the panel in their discussion.
Lindsay Bierman
 Here are some highlights from their discussion on Southern Design.
Jim, Carolyn, Kimberly, Phoebe and Lindsay
 What is Southern Vernecular?
Jim: It can be anything from very grand homes to farm houses. Many have add ons, such as a porch. They are eclectic, approachable and comfortable.
Carolyn: Southern homes tend to have seasonal changes by using different slipcovers, pillows and rugs for summer and winter.
Jim: They also have great doors!
Phoebe: Agrees with Jim about great doors that have beautiful hardware, surrounded by planters with fresh plants and a nice doormat.
What is the most important room in the southern home?
Jim: The dining room. He sees this as evolving into a dining room/library or study
multi use room.
Kimberly: The kitchen. It is the heart of the home! Also the foyer, it sets the tone for
the personalities of the owners.
Carolyn: The kitchen/keeping room where family and friends gather.
Phoebe: The kitchen is a place of nurturing and caring with food.
What do you think of first that says southern?
Jim: A dog to create puppy patina! It is people and pets that make a house a home.
Kimberly: The feeling of livable luxury and gentle graciousness.
Phoebe: Grand staircases and fireplaces.
Carolyn: A veranda or porch (if you are a Yankee) Surrounded by creeping fig or Confederate jasmine.
Lindsay: Commented that Phoebe taught him every room needs one good piece of furniture. To compliment it, something that is not quite so perfect.
What city says southern style?
Phoebe: Charleston (1st) and Savannah (2nd)
Carolyn: Savannah. There is something new to see everyday! It is eclectic. Also any
of the low country area.
Kimberly: Anywhere there is a southern plantation home with beautiful oak trees.
Jim: Beaufort, South Carolina. It has all the elements.
Lindsay: Charlottesville, Virginia. He went to school there and loves Monticello.
Has the style of the younger southern generation changed?
Phoebe: Yes, they do not embrace antiques like their parents and grandparents.
Carolyn: They don't want silver (to high maintenance.) There is to much of the Pottery
Barn look.
Kimberly: It is necessary to educate the younger generation that you can mix older (antiques) pieces with new more modern pieces.
Jim: Liked the Southern Living Idea House in Senoia because it takes the basics and
makes them work. He said he looks to Ballard Design and Stanley Furniture for good
style and taste.
How do we teach the younger generation that they need to become more than a
disposable generation?
Phoebe: HGTV has encouraged the disposable age. All the reality TV shows from
Honey Boo Boo to the Housewives. They need to decorate for who they are and
look very honestly at their lifestyle.
Jim: They are the new market and it is up to us, as designers, to steer them in the
right direction.
Carolyn: They need to gain confidence in their decisions.
Lindsay: Feels like Southern Living Magazine needs to do a column geared to the
younger generation. They need to hire a designer to help educate them and to be
their editors.  From the mail the magazine receives, people want to be educated. 
The designers know the rules and have learned when to break them.
Sources and the websites for these design professionals:
*I apologize for the crazy spacing on this post. Sometimes it will not let me correct
these issues.

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