Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Southern Series

This series sort of begins at the end.  In March I visited a friend in South Carolina, and we toured houses and gardens in Savannah.  We had lots of fun for several days - not only touring houses - and I was charmed by the city and its architecture.  My pictures of the trip will follow a brief tour of Williamsburg.

I know, I know - where did Williamsburg come from?  It was my first most southern visit 30 years ago, and it inspired much of my design ethic.  Between my yesteryear Williamsburg visit and today's Savannah visit lie many southern homes and designers I have loved and will write about later, but my friends in South Carolina must wonder when am I getting around to this year's visit.  I will get around to it today.  In just a minute.

The sweet little book below, produced by Tricia Foley, demonstrates why so many people fall in love with Williamsburg.  Just looking at it today brings back my infatuation with its style.  If you don't own the book, I'd add it to your library.

See the paneling in the image below.  I have the exact same paneling in my living room only now mine is white after my "white epiphany" with Hugh Newell Jacobsen.

How charming and pretty is this!

And see the candle snuffer - it reminds me of one Darryl Carter has on his dining room table.  So Williamsburg style can be today too, not just yesteryear.

I still love toile.  Today it only occurs in two placemats - no where else in my house.

And stripes.  Again, I only have them in placemats.  Maybe, I live vicariously in Williamsburg through my table settings.

Again pretty paneling though I've never been a blue fan.

This color was more me (till the great white epiphany), and I still love checked fabric.

Susan Sully, whom I will talk more about in a future southern post, explains that the south was heavily influenced by its English forbears.  Very evident here.

Now from my yesteryear Williamsburg influence to my fun trip and influence of a few months ago.  Below a tiny Savannah home on the tour reminiscent of Williamsburg right down to the picket fence.  Sadly, we were not allowed to take any interior photos.

Note how long and narrow the house below is.  At the end of this post, we'll see a home similar in size and shape from House Beautiful.

Below is the one interior photo I did take before I found out we couldn't.  Loved those scrimshawed whale teeth.

One of the many Savannah squares.

Azaleas in full bloom and spanish moss hanging on the oaks and a confused tour-person.

The following image may seem a bit out of place, but one night we had the firemen at the home of my host and hostess.  In preparing a dinner that evening, a jam tart overflowed in the oven and caused a bit of smoke.  Their smoke detectors are wired directly to the firehouse, and there was a considerable amount of loud beeping and some shouting.  Alas, no one could contact the firehouse before the fire fighters, who were very understanding, arrived.  I thought the whole thing very funny, unlike my host and hostess, but then it wasn't my house or my neighborhood.  (Note the Spanish moss on their oaks.)

My friend and her fire fighter who so good-naturedly posed for me.

Our very delicious first course.  The whole meal was delish even the offending jam tart.

Next day we visited historic Beaufort.  Wish I could remember what our tour guide said about this church.

Great stone wall surrounded it.

Really great-looking antique store but closed on Sundays.

Enough of my sad photos.  I have many, many more but am sparing you the pain.  Someone advised me to take at least seven to ten shots of the same subject in order to find one good one.  I seem only to have taken seven to ten lousy pictures.  I apologize.  Let's go now to House Beautiful's coverage of a Savannah home taken from their web site.  Bet they only had to take one shot.

After having been to Savannah, this home seems very typical and beautiful.

Does it seem at all reminiscent of Williamsburg to you?

It is a long and narrow house like many of those in the Savannah squares.

And this home has a great kitchen.  (We saw one kitchen on our tour owned by a caterer, and remodeled beautifully to blend with the period of the house.  Had a refrigerator freezer combination I could live in,  a pantry to die for and beautiful still-life paintings.  Wish I could have photographed it for you and me.)  This kitchen is great also and reminds me a lot of "the one that got away".

A tiny courtyard for dining alfresco. 

House Beautiful's images are a vast improvement from mine.  So glad I could end with a kitchen I have loved.  Even though my pics were not professional quality my visit was.  Thanks again to my friends who made it all possible, even the friendly fire fighter.

Next time more Savannah.  We'll be lingering in the south for a while with houses and designers between Williamsburg and Charleston.  And I promise not to use my photos.


  1. Whatcha talking about? Your photos are great, Billie! You don't like blue? We might have to fight! Welcome to the South, my friend :) Hope you'll stay for a while ~
    x Loi

  2. I must investigate that book by Tricia Foley and get myself to Williamsburg one of these days. It looks like you had a marvelous trip to Savannah, Billie, nicely rounded out by the HB photos of that Savannah home. The circular courtyard is so charming...pinning this photo to my favorite gardens.


  3. Billie, I wished I coule have joined you at your trip! Oh dear it must have been a wonderful experience!
    All these inspirational pictures you posted again!! Thank you so much! Oh and I love that blue painted paneling!! Gorgeous!

  4. Love to see the kitchen set up done in a very perfect and brilliant manner, specially with the stainless equipments being installed looks real awesome. Cup & Saucer Dispensers