Simply Southern

Sun spills through the branches of the mighty oaks and dapples the ground on the path ahead. The great canopies have entwined and like outstretched arms they embrace each other offering protection to any soul that might pass this way. This way is southern and the south is known for it Live Oak lined roads from the Carolinas to mid-way down the Florida Peninsula. Southerners enjoy a home that embraces those who live within its walls with traditional treasures that provide comfort and invite people to linger. “Why don’t you stay and have a glass of ice tea and tell me about your day”, is what a room should say. In the world of decorating comfort comes with abundance and beautiful things. Let’s take a peek into the living room of a Gardenia model that invites those that pass through to stay a while, somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Furniture placementAfter of living room of a Gardenia model, Interior Design - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer.
Furniture placement is always the first step in designing a room. The Gardenia has a great living room that provides no less than eight seats if you set the room up in this way. I like to move the TV off the wall between the windows and move it to either one of the other walls in the space. If you want to see the TV from the kitchen then it will go on the smaller wall by the sliding glass door. If you don’t care about seeing the TV from the kitchen then the TV can be placed on the larger wall. Either of the outside walls will work great. When the TV is moved off the wall between the windows the room brightens because the light coming from the two windows makes everything on the wall between the windows appear darker. This is a natural function of the human eye so a black TV gets very dark. A regular 84 inch sofa will fit between the windows and it looks light because the fabric is light. We created a faux sectional by adding a loveseat along the wall opposing the TV and the homeowners use this seating the most. The loveseat reclines and we still had room to add a reclining chair angling inward toward the TV. Finally, I placed two swivel rocking club chairs in a grouping looking inward toward the seating area. The room feels great because everyone who lingers can have a great conversation with anyone in the space. The room is open and accessible rather than having to walk around a sofa. I like this layout because it shows that the room can be used for TV watching as well as entertaining.
This layout works with every single Gardenia and many more models.

• Art above the sofa
The art above the sofa was really the inspiration for the whole room. The picture is titled, “Southern Oaks”, by a celebrated artist from Charleston, Rick Reinert. He has a special talent for capturing light and I think this painting of an oak canopy is very reminiscent of a road I personally traveled in Charleston on the way to the Middleton plantation. The print is on canvas and mounted in a floating frame made of wood and trimmed in gold.
We decided to complement the “Southern Oaks” we needed some James Audubon bird prints. We hung two bird studies above the loveseat and they are different yet they work so well with the “Southern Oaks” and the southern traditional look of the space.

• Stationary side panels
A southern home will usually have the layering of textiles and we accomplished this by adding stationary side panels. I usually recommend white and in this case white worked best. The curtain rods are hung about ten inches outside each window so that they do not intrude into the window but just graze the edge of the window thereby creating the optical illusion that the window is wider. I use the color white so often in this situation because the light pouring in the windows darkens fabric in front of the window but white is as bright as the light coming in the window so it just adds brightness. When in doubt always use white because you cannot go wrong with white. The rods for the curtains were purchased in a gold tone that ties into the frame around the “Southern Oaks” picture.

• Rug
This rug is a stunner! I love the large floral blooms against the navy blue background. The colors in the rug can be found in the “Southern Oaks” picture. There are many shades of blue and greens with tans and soft mauve believe it or not. The rug is 8’ by 11’ and it is made of looped wool. The rug will stand the test of time in appearance and style.

• Lamps
In this space I like to match the lamps on each side of the couch and add a coordinating third lamp between the recliner and the loveseat. The lamps on each side of the sofa have an iridescent finish that changes depending on the light. When looking at the lamps as you move through the room, you can see teal, pink, and copper showing through depending on your position in the space. The third lamp is a crème crackle finish with undertones of green. The lamp has small birds that were cut out of the finish rather than applied to the lamp. The look and finish are quite unique and rich looking.

• Skirted table
A skirted table is very southern and I am not talking about the cheap tables that you used to get from K-Mart. These skirted tables have full and abundant skirts that are lined and have a great drape to the fabric. The fabric we chose for the table is burlap. Burlap adds neutral texture to the space by blending rather than standing out. The skirted table fills in all the negative space that can be seen behind the couch as you look toward the room. Also, the skirted table does a great job of completely hiding our nemesis in decorating… Cords!

• Pillows
The pillows absolutely pull the room together. They have all the colors in the space and a lovely looking palm print to boot. The pillows have an element that is not seen as much lately but never went away in southern spaces and that is tassels. Tassels and trim on pillows just adds that touch of custom that is a finely appreciated detail in a space. They work so well they look custom but they came from a local retailer.
Call Ruth your full service decorator at: 352-804-2056
or Contact Us

Before and After Pics Below