This post was originally published on paprikasouthern.com on November 27, 2017.
Written by Stephanie Tallevast / Photographed by Siobhan Egan
The Southern Style Now Designer Showhouse presented by Traditional Home Magazine is alive with inspiration for chic interiors. This project is much like a well-styled, modern, Southern woman: beautifully striking and timeless, without being forced. If you have not had the occasion to take the showhouse in, it is open through December 8 and proceeds benefit The Historic Savannah Foundation (visit traditionalhome.com/SouthernStyleNowShowhouse for ticket information).
The collaborative efforts of top-notch designers, artisans, industry partners and artists yielded a sumptuous and indulgent sampling of what is a most timely reflection of Southern design sensibility and vernacular. With such a heart-skipping display of interior design by a trove of gifted creatives, one may leave their tour inspired, yet bewildered as to the translation of these concepts for their own spaces.
Follow along below for six concepts spotted at the showhouse that can easily be incorporated into any décor…
Notable wallcovering throughout the showhouse underscores the wave of wallpaper resurgence. From the unforgettable Gracie scenic panels in the parlor (try Mary McDonald's Chinois Palais for F. Schumacher Co. as an affordable way to get the look), to Sally King Benedict's custom- designed and printed grasscloth adorning the hallway and top floor landing (design and print your own through The Detroit Wallpaper Company), the pattern and texture of wallcovering zings throughout the house.
Art of all genres packs the showhouse, but abstract paintings are especially prevalent. Starting in one end of the spectrum is Savannah’s Jessica O’ Neill, who depicts moss-draped trees in her painting in the parlor-level kitchen, which exhibits bold brush strokes. Other paintings go to complete abstraction, such as the moody, color-drenched canvas by William McLure in the Parlor. Works throughout the showhouse exemplify the abstract art trend in contemporary décor. Discover artists you love on Instagram or on Etsy to incorporate powerful abstract art into your interiors.
Designers Meredith Ellis, Betsy Berry, Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Nicholas all incorporated painted floors into their Southern Style Now Showhouse room designs. From patterned grid to drip paint designs, these painted floors gave an extraordinary finish to each interior. To seek out how to DIY such a project, research on You Tube or Pinterest for step-by-step project details.
Three-Dimensional Wall Decor
If you want to capture the moxie of a showhouse designer, try hanging something three dimensional on your walls. Michelle Nussbaumer took her blue and white display one step further in the Entry Foyer by layering wall shelves of porcelain vases against her blue and white floral wall paper. Savannah designer Mary Jo Bochner hung antique wooden vessels and other artifacts on the walls of her bathroom design, giving a well-worn patina to the room. To get the look, shop for well-priced wall display shelves and spray them a bright color before hanging and styling or simply postion something like a ceramic platter on a wall for dramatic effect.
Not one, but two, outdoor spaces rounded out the living areas of the Southern Style Now Showhouse, and both were heavy on luxury. Featuring outdoor rugs, pillows and accessories, each space feels like a fully-designed interior room. Linda Eyles took on the Rooftop Garden and Summer Loftin designed the Courtyard. Each space had its own charm and character by the incorporation of unexpected furnishings and accessories for outdoor. One way to achieve a luxurious outdoor space is to collect items from different sources and never buy outdoor furniture all in one suite. Don’t forget to include something unexpected. Summer Loftin added dramatic mirrors to her Courtyard space.
Painted and Papered Ceilings
The fifth wall provided a great opportunity for designers to bring in one more pattern or color with wallpaper or paint. Denise McGaha’s Garden Level Living Room is no wallflower with its chic pink and green lily pad pattern wallpaper on the ceiling. Lisa Mende brings her pale blue cabinet color to the ceiling and finishes it off with a flourish of a painted star medallion at the base of the room’s contemporary light fixture. If you are not as bold as Denise as to use a huge pattern on your ceiling, start with a clue from Lisa and pick one element in a room and lift that color, or a form of it, up onto your ceiling.