Southern Style Adapted from Southern Accents

What do you think are the attributes that define Southern style?

Gracious and eclectic with a strong architectural basis. — John Chrestia

True “Southern style” has a subliminal sense of theater and joie de vivre, complimented by a definite bend toward elegance. — Joseph Paul Davis

A sense of gracious invitation. Warm, personal colors. Respect and reverence of our past. Subtle intelligence. — Barry Dixon

Decoration in the traditional or classical sense with an emphasis on comfort, hospitality, and liveableness, sometimes with a historical reference point, but not necessarily interpreting “period” interiors. Many Southern homes are renovations of once-grand architecture or even auxiliary buildings on the plantation grounds. — Ann Dupuy

The attributes that define Southern style are a quiet assuredness…a confidence…a warmth that embodies the phenomenon of “Southern hospitality.” — Charles Gandy

Southern style, to me, is rather eccentric, embodying classic roots with a unique application. Comfort and relating to the outdoors is always a strong consideration for design in the South. Color is also very important, many times pulling in color schemes from nature. — Cathy Kincaid

Southern style is unpretentious and extremely comfortable with an air of informality and relaxed elegance. — Josie McCarthy

Southern style means friendly, comfortable, approachable interiors. In the South, it’s all about being welcome. — Celerie Kemble

A sense of one’s heritage and the importance of making a home welcome to family and friends. — J.R. Miller

Southern style speaks of gracious living, hospitality, and restrained taste. — Betty Lou Phillips

Our Southern roots compel us to make hospitality and good manners a priority in our daily living. There is an underlying quality of dignity in the way we decorate. — Cindy Smith

Casual elegance. An inviting style. The mix of both formal and informal rooms that are integral parts of life in the Southern home. — Jim Strickland

What elements do all great Southern houses have in common?

Houses of the Southern Tidewater, from Virginia to Louisiana, seem to epitomize Southern style. These unique structures were developed to cope with intense heat and humidity. While each geographic area has its own distinct architectural expression, all embody the same basic strategic elements; abundant porches for shade, high ceilings, exterior shutters, raised living levels, and careful geographic orientation to take advantage of prevailing breezes. — Norman Askins

Our warm climate influenced our architects to build our historic mansions and modest bungalows with 12 and 14-foot ceilings and rooms with many tall windows and French doors for cross ventilation. — Gerrie Bremermann

Easy charm; an enormous appreciation for the out of doors, which most often includes a wonderful garden; either formal or rambling. — Dan Carithers

The environments, whether modern or steeped in history, have a thoughtfully acquired sensibility — they are tactile and enveloping. — Darryl Carter

Wonderful porches. — John Chrestia

All great Southern homes have a traditional mindset of running a proper house, whether it is contemporary or traditional. — Joseph Paul Davis

A chameleonic quality to live happily among various periods and personalities. Innate hospitality. Openness. — Barry Dixon

Traditional or contemporary–formal or informal–there is usually something inherited reflecting the Southern sense of family. — Jimmy Graham

All great Southern houses have piazzas/porches, high ceilings, cross ventilation (a center hall) and wood floors. — Amelia Handegan

An open door to hospitality and a sense of gracious living. — Jackye Lanham

What piece of furniture or accessory should no Southern house be without?

Dining room furniture. Of all forms of American furniture particularly associated with the South, the majority seem to have been created for entertainment, and most especially for the dining room; hunt board or slab, sugar chest, Jackson press, and pie safe. — Norman Askins

Something wicker is a must. Originally, wicker furnishings were chosen as a response to Southern climate, now they serve an equally important role by keeping formal rooms a bit more casual, relaxed, and enjoyable. — José Solis Betancourt

I have a fetish for chairs — lots and lots of chairs. I love chandeliers, banquettes, daybeds and large, useful coffee tables. — Gerrie Bremermann

A comfortable chair. — Dan Carithers

A sumptuous wing chair strategically placed in a conversation area. This tends to be a magnet where inevitably the first guest will be seated. — Darryl Carter

A bar, a grand piano, and a well-used dining room table. — John Chrestia

A huge dining table where the entire family and friends can congregate and talk all day long and into the night. — Joseph Paul Davis

A silver service, a set of fine china, sterling flatware, and table linens because we do love to entertain at home. — Jimmy Graham

No Southern house should be without a bowl for camellias. — Amelia Handegan

Family pictures. — Cathy Kincaid

Vintage family silver. English 18th-century sideboards and secretary. — Cindy Smith

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