What do you think are the attributes that define Southern Style?
Southern style speaks of gracious living, hospitality, and restrained taste. Betty Lou Phillips
Gracious and eclectic with a strong architectural basis. John Chrestia
Are there elements in your own work that are uniquely Southern?
I would like to think that like most Southerners, my work exudes quality and consistency with style and grace. Charles Gandy
Painting the porch ceilings sky blue. Using fine things in a relaxed way, say silver julep cups for water every night at supper. Suzanne Rheinstein
Wood floors, especially heart pine. A "generational" feel to new design; incorporating the look and feel of grandma's back porch that was enclosed to enlarge the kitchen once electricity became available in the area or to incorporate a growing family. High ceilings. Great detail on the front door. Jim Strickland
A not-too-perfect mix of new, antique, primitive, and found objects with some traditional values to create a very personal and timeless space. Never be a slave to perfection and rules. You need a little attitude! J.R. Miller
How has Southern style changed in the past 25 years?
Southern style is much more relaxed and less formal but still embraces its traditional nature. Jackye Lanham
With a clientele that has exposure, travel, and communication with Europe, Southerners have reconnected with our past. We have allowed ourselves to borrow what we feel a connection with Europe and our homes are showing a diverse, eclectic look. Cindy Smith
Southern style has been "distilled" over the last quarter century, reduced to its purist, most individual form. But it has remained warm, witty, and personal. Barry Dixon
Sparser, more pared down, and eclectic. John Chrestia
Southern style is as unique as the area. I feel it can't be reproduced anywhere else. Our heritage brings something special to the our way of living, and it shows in our homes and gardens. Several words and themes were repeated over and over in these interviews; gracious, welcoming, hospitality, refined taste, and relaxed elegance. Southern designers are adept at interpreting these qualities; combining old and new, low and high, and rustic and refined. Researching this post made me proud all over again of Southern heritage and design!