Tell someone you've decorated your home in a Southern style and there's no telling what mental pictures they'll silently create. Unlike established designs, Southern interior design allows lots of room for various themes including the whimsical and historical. T ake it from a Southerner, incorporate these five Southern home design ideas into your space and you'll create a down-home comfort that you will love living in.
Dress up your bed with classic linens. We in the South take bedtime seriously. Who can sleep without clean, crisp linen sheets and ultra-plump pillows? Home decorators are so proud of their linen collections that they don't mind showing them off. I regularly shop local thrift stores in search of vintage sheets and pillowcases. My favorites are the old floral prints, often called flour-sack style. I cover beds with sets of mixed yet complementary sheets. Pull back the top sheet about 14 inches and tuck it for neat lines. In my guest room, I place a second stack of linens neatly on a guest chair. They're tied together with a satin ribbon reminding guests that I'll change the sheets for them. My ironed stacks make a nice decoration too.
I bring the beach indoors. Fortunately for me, I'm a Gulf Coast Southerner. I'm only a few miles from the beach and when I visit I love bringing it home with me. I search for shells and driftwood to use in my home decor. In one of my bedrooms, I've covered an antique table with a spindly, taupe lamp and wooden pot of beach grass and cattails. Arranged carefully around these functional pieces are my beach treasures, some large shells, sand dollars, and beach-scented candles. I hung a beach painting (by a local artist) over the bed and covered the bed with a seashell comforter.
I arrange container gardens indoors and outdoors. The tropical weather of the South allows homeowners like me to grow colorful flowers and plants a long time. Even if you live above the Mason-Dixon Line, you should have an arrangement of potted plants on your porch, up steps, and on into the indoors. This creates the illusion of an indoor/outdoor garden, a welcoming touch for your visitors. Here in Alabama we love potting hydrangeas, azaleas, and, in the fall, mums. Also, keep cut flowers in your home as a sweet Southern touch.
Touches of whimsy are a must for decorating Southern style. In my small home office, I used mirrors and metal butterflies to imitate a playful butterfly garden. Even when I can't go play outside I feel as if I'm in a garden.
Display proudly your family photos with a wall vignette. Families are important to Southerners. We know more about our great-great grandfathers than we probably should. Take old photos of your family patriarchs and hang them in block fashion on a living room wall. Arrange them at eye level and choose a selection of various shaped frames. If you lack details about great grandparents and beyond, cruise the hand me down stores for interesting old photographs. They make great conversation starters.