Be Inspired by Southern Living
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Southern_Hospitality1 of 16
Down Home2 of 16
According to Bierman, Southern interior design boils down to one simple definition: "relaxed elegance." The notion of southern hospitality embodies the personality of not only the people, but also the home decor. "There is a grace, gentility and a warmth that we associate with southerners in general," he says, pointing out the little touches, like fabric pulls on this antique dresser.
Country Chic3 of 16
"The homes have big personalities and so do the owners," says Bierman. "Bold moves in term of scale, size, pattern and color." This gutsy wallpaper, featuring a traditional damask print, contrasts surprisingly well with the warm, rural feel of the high-traffic sea grass rug and worn bench.
Penchant For The Past4 of 16
While holding on to their time-honored customs and aesthetic, southerners, says Bierman, are not afraid of change, as evidenced in this kitchen nook. "The bulk of our audience is really interested in how to give traditional interiors a twist," he insists, noting how the modern, gilded mirror is contrasted with the antique plates and bench-style seating.
Style Integration5 of 16
Infusing the grace and charm of Southern living into your own home doesn't require a complete overhaul. "Mix the inherited with the new, and it instantly makes the room feel less stuffy," he says. Here, a floral canopy bed is updated with modern chrome posters, and a desk is created from workroom leftovers.
What's Old Is New6 of 16
One of the biggest trends across the nation is the elimination of the dining room. Everywhere, that is, except the South. "Living rooms and dining rooms—proper seating areas that are good for entertaining—are always going to be popular here. You'll never see a decline in those in the South." Instead of creating man caves, homeowners, says Bierman, are hanging on to the formal living room and "just coming up with new ways to use it."
Color Me Happy7 of 16
In this Houston dining room, French chateau meets cozy charm with a daring mix of old and new. An antique French mirror looks right at home with a turquoise upholstered bench and the iconic Eames side chairs. "If you look at old southern houses, like Virginia homes in the 1800s, there's bright trim and bold color and pattern. Everyone is just so inspired and drawing from that rich history now."
In The Family8 of 16
The most accessible takeaway from down-home decor is the presentation of family heirlooms. In this Florida kids' room, the owners repurposed the past with bold color contrasts. Grandmother's quilts are the basis for the room's color palette, and an antique footstool was repainted to match. "Think about new ways to use old things," says Bierman. "Many times it's reinvented simply by being put in an entirely different context."
Bath Time9 of 16
Instead of confining antiques and heirlooms to the formal spaces, consider the unexpected delight of hanging them in the bathroom. In this master bath, art finds a home. Bierman says this is a reflection of southern decor being "still deeply rooted in tradition, but now it feels much more approachable and relatable."
Blast From The Past10 of 16
"The funny thing is that the old American timeless designs are being re-imagined here in the South," says Bierman of this use of chalkboard paint used to transform an otherwise bland door. Reminiscent of the one-room U.S. schoolhouses of the past, "it's about recycling and the best coming back."
A Fresh Coat11 of 16
An old pine chest was given new life in a high-gloss orange and was grounded with organic accessories. "It's important to take those inherited pieces and do something to them," says Bierman, "whether it's relining the drawers, adding detailing or changing the hardware to make it your own."
Do Dare12 of 16
Instead of the paisley-possessed decor of the midcentury South, Bierman says, modern homes in Dixie land are masters of mixing materials and styles. In this room, a shelving unit was transformed into a feminine workstation. "Gilded finishes always look good against something organic like linen, burlap or botanical prints," he says.
Easy Living13 of 16
In the same vein of blending styles, this country kitchen features state-of-the-art appliances and an overall glossy appearance. However, the owner "contrasted with something slip-covered, which makes it feel more relaxed and looser," says Bierman. "It's nice and functional. Something well-worn against something sleek."
Time Traveler14 of 16
A four-poster is injected with personality thanks to a blend of antiques with modern, bold geometric patterns. "The room starts with a really fine antique, but it is made very comfortable and pretty in a fresh modern way," says Bierman. The tones show an elegant restraint, and they allow the vintage bed to still be the focal point.
Got It Covered15 of 16
"There's a certain fearlessness with the younger generation of designers and homeowners, because they are exposed to so much more design through blogs and websites," says Bierman. This lackluster wood side table was given a facelift with grass cloth and new hardware. "They just have much more access to inspiration than they did in the past."
Common Ground16 of 16
"The key when you blend eras: make sure that you're unifying the color or material," advises Bierman. "If it's a modern chair with a walnut frame, then it'll unify with other pieces that are antique and made out of wood of the same finish or stain. That way, it creates a harmony even though you're mixing styles." Despite the wide variety of designs, the common element of this room is, most notably, the bright white color of every furnishing.