2016 Southern Living Idea House

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭11:33‬ ‭

Here in the South, Southern Living isn’t just a magazine, it’s a way of life.  And even if you’re not from the South like me, chances are, you still probably know what I am talking about!  Through my years as a decorator, I have toured many Southern Living Idea Homes and always enjoy seeing the Southern architecture, an array of talented designers, and the latest innovative products on the market. The way the elements orchestrate together truly create a house full of ideas!

In celebration of the magazine’s 50th anniversary, it’s editors chose The Town of Mt Laurel, on the edge of Birmingham, for the 2016 Southern Living Idea House…and you guessed it…I had to check it out!  On Friday, Katy and I had a fun girls day, complete with good food, shopping, and of course…we made the tour!  I hope your eyes are ready to take in all of the colors, textures, and ideas!  Let’s take a walk through “Celebration Cottage”!

The house was designed by Birmingham architect Bill Ingram.  It is a fresh take on traditional Southern style without sacrificing any of the charm.  The wide porch just gives you a big welcome and invites you to “sit a spell”!

“Southerners typically have done a lot of their living and entertaining at home. We’re all about our house and all the things in it that we like and bringing in the things we’ve gotten from other places or things that we’ve had, reusing them”
Bill Ingram, Architect 

The siding is HardiePlank in Iron Gray.  I particularly like the color of the louvered shutters.  Notice the ceiling is painted in a sky blue color.  A pair of teak benches are by Ballard Designs.

As we step inside, we will begin our tour in the dining room which is to the right of the foyer.  This beautifully appointed space was designed by Margaret Kirkland from Atlanta, Georgia.  She is known for giving fresh style to traditional design.

As soon as I saw the elegance of the window treatment design and the interesting contemporary art, I knew this house would be traditionally Southern, but not too serious!  The drapery fabric by Cowtan and Tout is almost identical to a Schumacher fabric in one of my guest rooms.

A warm mahogany dining table by Holland & Company…Terra Cotta wallpaper beneath the chair rail is by Cowtan & Tout.

Beautiful linens and place settings!

The side chairs, with stunning details, are by Ballard Designs!

“Southerners appreciate antiques and I think it’s also about the whole room isn’t filled with everything that’s new. There are layers of the past and I think that’s what makes the room so beautiful.”
Mark Sikes, Designer

An antique French bronze and crystal chandelier…large abstract face paintings hanging over banquettes…come together for a new traditional Southern style!

A pair of demi-lune consoles and gilded Queen Anne mirrors on opposing walls add to the elegance of the room.

The kitchen, family room, side hall, and powder room were designed by Bill Ingram.  All these spaces flow together with the Evergreen colored-walls by Sherwin Williams.  The effect is very dramatic!

The kitchen walls, ceiling, cabinets, and trim are all painted with the same color. State of the art appliances provide an ideal space for the home chef.

The perimeter counters are honed granite in Absolute Black.  Pin-striped fabric soften the cabinet.

Triple windows looking out onto a courtyard would make work at the double stainless sinks a little more enjoyable!

The island has a warm maple butcher block counter with a 48 inch Pro Grand Steam Range by Thermador.

Continuing the dramatic effect is a tented ceiling in the family room.

A large abstract painting hangs over a canvas slip-covered sofa.

Pillows provide comfort and pattern for the sofa.

The teak bamboo octagonal coffee table is by Mrs. Howard.  A pair of slip-covered chairs in natural canvas sit in front of  a wall of windows.

The white console is by Bill Ingram.  The television is flanked by pressed botanicals.

I love the Greek Key trim on the ceiling and window drapery fabric.

The side hall exits into the two car garage.  The antique sconces, pressed botanicals, and jute rugs complete this space.

Bold black and white stripe wallpaper covers the walls and ceiling in the powder room.  A garden stool by Ballard Designs holds extra guest towels.

Thank you for walking through this beautiful house with me!  Be sure to come back next Monday as we venture into the foyer, living room, master bedroom and bath!

Linking with Pieced PastimesSilver Pennies, Life on Lakeshore DriveThoughts From Alice, Coastal Charm, Dwellings-Heart of Your HomeSavvy Southern Style, French Country Cottage, Stone Gable, Confessions of a Plate Addict, Worthing CourtBetween Naps on the Porch, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, A Stroll Thru Life, The Charm of Home, Imparting GracePosed PerfectionKatherines Corner, Rooted In Thyme, Share Your Cup,  21 Rosemary LaneCozy Little House, Rattlebridge FarmRustic & Refined, Poofing The Pillows, What Meegan Makes, Celebrate & Decorate, McCall Manor


  1. Thank you Pam, wow! I’m not sure if I could live with all that drama! The first thought I had when I saw that fabric treatment on the ceiling was DUST! I have noticed that deep wall color seems to be trending, but it seems to make the rooms so dark. I’m sure it’s incredible in person, can’t wait to see more! Happy week!

    • Jenna, I was certainly surprised, but to be honest, it was refreshing to see color! I personally would not choose the evergreen color or a tented ceiling, but I guess that is what is fun, to see a few things over the top! The house was very traditional in style and fits beautifully in The Town Mt Laurel. I was impressed with the town and homes! I think you will love next week’s post! Happy Monday!

  2. Kim says:

    Well, that was somewhat of a surprise! The mixture of styles is interesting – and also the fact that they used wallpaper. I love wallpaper and am glad to see it used again. Thanks for the tour. What a great day you and Katy must have had! Monday blessings~

  3. Shenita says:

    Wow, Pamela, this has to be the most dramatic idea house that I can recall! After seeing so many white kitchens for the past few years, the dark green is a shocker! Definitely different! However, the overall use of color and pattern is somewhat refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautiful…love that the house is filled with color!….Not sure about the tented ceiling though….and my fav piece of furniture?…that gorgeous octagonal table by Phoebe Howard!…looking forward to the next post….We try to hit all of the Southern Living Homes as we can…Hope this one is open long enough to make it there!

    • Shirley, the Idea House lasts through December. If you could make it, I would love to meet you for lunch! I agree, the tented ceiling would not be something I would want (lots of dust), but I enjoyed the drama of it!

  5. I love home tours and this one seems very dramatic. I’m sure it was enjoyable in person. Lots of details to scroll back and take a second look. Appreciate you sharing with us. Glad you had a fun day with Katy.

  6. Connie says:

    Fabulous drams, color and wonderful refresh of the typically Southern. All gray leaves me cold but I will pass on the tented ceiling!!!

  7. Jann Olson says:

    Move over, I’m moving in! lol! You had me with the front porch. Love it all, but the tented ceiling. All I can think of is that it would collect dust. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  8. Stacey says:

    I would so love to go to one of the Southern Living home tours. I’m not in love with the color combo in this particular house but other than that, it’s beautiful! Love the setting.


  9. Lisa says:

    What a charming house! The exterior is so lovely. I love the gray paired with the bright shutters! The interior seems to be a bit of a departure from SL’s usual style but I know there were many ideas to glean from. Thanks for the tour. I’ll be back for the next installment.;-)

  10. Hi Pam, I usually like SL’s houses and this one has a lot of lovely elements but in my humble opinion I just didn’t like the abstract paintings in the traditional dining room. I also thought the kitchen was somewhat dark but then maybe that’s just my taste! Thanks for sharing the photos – I enjoyed the tour! Blessings, Janet

  11. Love the Babe Paley-style tent ceiling, but how would you keep it dust-free? Amazing looking though! Also love the striped bathroom. On a side note–the tablescape is right on trend with the aqua-ish and orange- coral-ish plates. I started an Aqua pinterest board last week because this combo seems to be everywhere. I ADORE Southern Living, so thank you for sharing this lush home!

We love your comments!