Beautiful Colors and Lavish Details Fill This Savannah Showhouse
See how more than two dozen designers restored an 1854 Greek Revival home for the 2017 Southern Style Now Showhouse.
Historic Greek Revival Home
Cloaked in opulent color and oozing timeless style, the second annual Southern Style Now Designer Showhouse in Savannah, Georgia, serves up a tasty helping of the region's rich flavor. Benefiting the Historic Savannah Foundation and held in conjunction with the Southern Style Now festival, the event drew more than two dozen designers to restore an 1854 Greek Revival home in the charming Historic Landmark District. Grab some bread pudding (or pecan pie) and tag along for a tour!
The classic Greek Revival rowhouse was restored to national preservation standards; a new Carrier air-conditioning system keeps the home cool to modern standards. Exterior lights are by Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights.
Beautiful Blue and White
Blue and white is always right, especially when done by designer Michelle Nussbaumer. York Wallcovering's "One Wish" wallpaper wraps the foyer walls in enduring style. Flanking the doorway, the designer's own "Palampore Parrot" fabric is accented with Samuel & Sons trim. Assorted Asian vases top the console and beautify hanging brackets. "I used various modern and vintage wall brackets and painted them all matte black to achieve uniformity," Nussbaumer says. The vintage papier-mâché chair is from Ceylon et Cie. Above a skirted ottoman, a navy lacquer pagoda mirror reflects the inviting entrance. Currey & Company's wrought-iron ceiling lantern with seeded-glass inserts caps the elegant space.
Bold and Happy Dining Room
Warm hues and bold pattern play happily in the dining room by Bill Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman. "It's formal but not intimidating," Coleman says. The duo took cues from the Greek Revival home when planning their design. "The 'Bamboo and Drapery' wallcovering (updated in a contemporary colorway) is actually a paper from slightly earlier in the 19th century, but it likely would have still been produced at the time the house was built," Coleman says.
Bright and Surprising
A period-appropriate chandelier crowns the Irish Regency table. Orange leather seats on white dining chairs inject an element of surprise. Victorian plant stands overflow with ferns below windows with yellow silk faille draperies. Motorized bamboo shades by Hunter Douglas let the host alter natural lighting without leaving the table.
Jared Hughes didn't skimp on details in the parlor, a space imbued with old soul. The designer customized the dynamic Gracie wallcovering, playing up the citrus trees to make it feel more like Savannah. "It's Italian fresco meets chinoiserie," Hughes says.
Benjamin Moore's complementary "Buttercup" paint covers the crown molding and window frames. "It's a vibrant India yellow that has just enough depth to make it sophisticated," Hughes says. Plush seating is layered with pillows and trimmed in fringe. Syrian inlay boxes and Chinese porcelain continue the global aura. An aptly named "Savannah" chandelier from Circa Lighting glistens overhead.
Veteran kitchen designer Lisa Mende curated a colorful space perfect for spending time with family and friends. Cabinetry, including the open shelves and the frameless cabinets, is from Cabico. Thermador's Pro Series range rests below a custom copper hood by Thompson Traders. Faux ferns and ivy from Natural Decorations Inc. fill small vessels. The range and sink wall hardware is by Emtek while the DXV apron-front sink pairs with a "Victorian Bridge" faucet. Crossville's polished "Calacatta Oro Venato" porcelain tile backsplash makes a lavish statement. Ballard Designs' Louis XVI chair, custom tablecloth, and sisal rug outfit a gathering spot for quick meals. Hunter Douglas provided the motorized window shades.
Thermador's refrigerator drawers and built-in coffeemaker, set inside a cabinet coated in Benjamin Moore's "Dragon's Breath," keep the cook smiling.
It's a fusion of color in the light-filled morning room by Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Nicholas. "We sought inspiration from the beatnik musings of the Bloomsbury Set, and with that eclectic group of creatives in mind, we shaped the ultimate artist's retreat—loungelike, a bit rumpled, far less than perfect," Nicholas says. The spatter-paint floor, trimmed draperies, and vintage chaise upholstered in a painterly fabric insinuate a bohemian attitude. A custom lime wash gives the walls earthy movement. The walnut console with cane doors serves as a cabinet of curiosities while oversize art prompts conversation.
Sparkling Powder Room
The small powder room by Betsy Berry exudes a jewel-box vibe. Caesarstone custom-fabricated the floating vanity, accented by DXV's brushed-nickel faucet with cross handles. Sheer shades let sun stream in. The brass sconce, antique Regency-style giltwood mirror, and high-gloss lacquer walls add sparkle. "A European nod keeps the room elegant for dinner party guests, but it's also highly functional," Berry says.
The lush rooftop garden by Linda Eyles overlooks the city's Historic Landmark District. "It needed to feel gracious in a way that only a home in the South, particularly in Savannah, can," Eyles says. Seating from Woodard (note the gray woven chairs and the love seat with black metal base and teal striped cushions) forms a cozy conversation area. Braided poufs, green antique shutters, and a weatherproof rug edged in black by Ballard Designs amplify the exterior room's decor. "Antique marble planters add a little history to what is otherwise a very new part of the house," Eyles says. AZEK Building Products provided the clean-lined gray wood decking. A custom bench, also by AZEK, along the long wall maximizes seating. Copper flush-mount fixtures and pool-house lanterns by Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights illuminate the rooftop after dark.
Moody Bedroom Colors
Melanie Turner's sophisticated master bedroom celebrates Southern style. Benjamin Moore's "Bonsai" paint drenches the walls in a moody moss hue. "The fall season and an Hermès scarf inspired the autumnal palette of aged green and deep golden yellow," Turner says. Sitting pretty in the far corner, a tufted armchair by Wesley Hall is covered in a Schumacher floral chintz fabric.
Classic details attract the eye (note the bed canopy and upholstered headboard, also by Wesley Hall) and balloon draperies supplemented by motorized shades from Hunter Douglas. The white lamps and gilt chandelier with glass petals are from Circa Lighting. Burlwood bedside tables from Modern History and an abaca rug complete the collected sanctuary.
Roses, peonies, and orchids from Natural Decorations Inc. fill Asian vases on an 18th-century carved giltwood console. The custom abstract is by Sally King Benedict.
Filled with Vivid Colors
"Set against a backdrop of exotic marshland, this room's elements stand in vivid color contrast to that scene," Benjamin Johnston says of the master dressing room. It's part Southern Gothic and part Old Hollywood," the designer says.
A wall mural and purple lacquer window screens with a laser-cut palm motif inject a tropical aura while CR Laine’s wing chair in smoke leather begs to be occupied. Circa Lighting's bronze sconce and brass floor lamp with plaster shades illuminate the private escape.
"It started with the idea of applying my fine-painting approach to a different type of surface within the home," artist Sally King Benedict says of the expressive hallway she designed. Incorporating her signature faces, the painter collaborated with Studio Four NYC to create a tone-on-tone grass-cloth wallcovering with tiled repeat. Framed works by Benedict climb the wall up the staircase.
Work Space in Red
Benjamin Moore's spicy "Merlot Red" turns up the drama in Lily Brown's petite salon. Adjacent to the master bedroom, the tailored work space also serves as the elevator vestibule. "Refined fabrics and a skirted desk give an air of luxury to the space and ensure it's not overlooked," Brown says. The cushioned cane-back chair affords a perfect perch to write a note. A swagged valance, carved urn lamp, and fresh-picked lilies in bubble vases finish the studious retreat.
Cheery and upbeat, this bedroom by Genifer Sohr greets guests in sunny style. Benjamin Moore's "Copacabana" paint coats the ceiling, trim, mantel, and window frame. The designer collaborated with two of her favorite artists to create custom pieces for the space. Ballard Designs crafted the headboard, shapely mirror, white desk, and bedside lamp.
Pattern on Pattern
An admitted wallpaper lover, Sohr couldn't help but wrap the walls in a subtle graphic print. "I love the combination of oversize florals with statement yellow—and lots of pattern on pattern," she says. "The bold floral is certainly a nod to tradition and the South."
Pretty Window Seat
The window with motorized shade from the Hunter Douglas Woven Wood collection reveals views of Monterey Square Park. Geometric fabric juxtaposes the traditional wood frame of the Ballard Designs sofa.
An old-fashioned shaving stand inspired Mary Jo Bochner's masculine bath design. "It's a soft wink to a time-honored Savannah bathroom," Bochner says. An antique petite vanity with a Carrara marble top served as the designer's jumping-off point. A scissor mirror suspended from the ceiling can be raised when not in use to clear the third-story view. The tufted leather stool and demilune table were discovered at a local antiques shop. A faux-fur rug softens tile flooring from Crossville's Yin + Yang Tea Garden Mosaic series. A trio of antique molds cleverly fills the space between pleated drapery panels in the calm retreat.
A blue, blush, and citron palette captivates in the bedroom by Kara Cox. "I wanted it to feel like a cocooning artist's retreat," Cox says. The long, narrow room afforded space for a cozy seating area. CR Laine's purple love seat pulls up to a sculptural lily pad side table by Currey & Company. Starburst sculptures glisten above the CR Laine headboard. Silk draperies, ruffled pillow shams, a vintage brass tree, and Circa Lighting's gilt pendant add feminine flair. The handmade Venetian glass lamps are by Louise Gaskill. A Tibetan rug from Nashville Rug Gallery ties the space together. A closer look at Emtek's crystal doorknob shows no detail was overlooked.
Black and White Bathroom
The bath by Chad James emits a breath of fresh air in black and white. "When I think of the South, I can't help but think of my childhood summers spent climbing magnolia trees," James says. "With the bath being located on the top floor of the house, I wanted it to feel as though you were on top of the trees." Phillip Jeffries' "Blossom" wallcovering accomplished just that. DXV's freestanding soaking tub with a platinum-nickel wall-mount faucet beckons for a dip.
Artwork from a Savannah College of Art and Design student adds interest and dimension. Currey & Company’s white table lamp rests atop a quartz vanity shelf by Caesarstone. Crossville provided the floor and wall tile.
Garden-Level Guest Kitchen
Opting against white, Gwyn Duggan selected Cabico's lighthearted "Green Tea" hue for cabinetry in the guest kitchen. Quartz countertops from Caesarstone join DXV's apron-front sink and bronze faucet to fashion an optimal wash station and food prep area.
Cabico manufactured all the cabinetry, including the open shelving and Shaker-style doors with mesh inserts. The brass knobs and cup pulls are by Emtek. Old pottery, wicker baskets, and antique cutting boards insert personality.
Built-In Kitchen Appliances
"The Thermador Freedom Collection made my concept of a hidden built-in refrigerator and freezer a snap," Duggan says of the slender units tucked in a tight corner. "Double ovens gave us lots of capacity, and the induction cooktop with downdraft provides great cooking in a space that doesn't have many ventilation options." Crossville's black herringbone marble floor follows the crisp palette.
The garden-level guest living room by Denise McGaha is a cool getaway from the bustle of life. A tiered cocktail table and a sofa with nailhead detailing by A.R.T. Furniture anchor the space. Benjamin Moore's "Steamed Spinach" paint pairs well with a lily pad-motif wallcovering from McGaha's collection for Design Legacy. "In this case, you were to imagine you were underwater—and with 7-foot ceilings, that is entirely possible," she says. Pillows, draperies, and large-scale artwork augment the blush scheme. Staghorn ferns by Natural Decorations Inc. dress the back wall while NDI magnolias add regional grace to the coffee table. The wooden drinks cabinet by A.R.T. displays libations and glassware. A sleek floor lamp from Currey & Company offers reading light. Underfoot, a rug by Nashville Rug Gallery serves as a "creamy palette cleanser."
Patrick J. Hamilton worked with Stroheim fabrics designed by SCAD students to sculpt his tone-on-tone study. "This whole room started three blocks away, two years earlier with a textile collection designed at SCAD's fiber program building," Hamilton says. The wallcovering, ottoman upholstery, and desk chair fabric are all from the nature-inspired capsule collection. "What a thrill to bring this collaboration full circle," he says. Hamilton hung the wallpaper at a 45-degree angle to achieve a garden-inspired trellis and trick guests into thinking the ceiling is higher. He custom-designed the screen behind the rattan bar cart. The picture light, curvaceous gilt lamp, and quartz desk light are by Circa Lighting. Crossville's stone tile covers the floor, teamed with a wool-and-silk rug. The flower arrangements are by Natural Decorations Inc.
Furnished with outdoor pieces from Woodard, new and old, the back courtyard by Summer Loftin is an ideal space to gather alfresco. "We incorporated classical garden elements, such as treillage and iron, with antiques and contemporary outdoor furnishings," Loftin says. The eastern brick wall boasts ivy and existing blind windows, which the designer highlighted with latticework frames and a 16-foot-wide pediment in tricolor pleating. The vintage 1960s rickshaw with original upholstery is also by Woodard through Summer Loftin Antiques. Modern art by SCAD graduates (see the iron floor lamp and illuminated glass agave sculpture) rounds out the exterior space. "It's a celebration of Savannah courtyard culture," Loftin says.
Gorgeous Garden Room
Originally the furnace room off the back courtyard, Susan Jamieson's garden room is now a verdant respite. "I designed the potting table from old pallet wood," Jamieson says. "It has hooks for tools, a towel bar, and a shelf to store pots." The cabinetry flaunts bright green paint and grass-cloth panel inserts from the designer's firm, Bridget Beari Designs. A galvanized washtub creates a portable planting area. Black Crossville floor tiles paired with white grout form graphic pattern. Overhead, a chicken coop from Indonesia is repurposed into a light fixture, providing a place to dry herbs. "It's every Southern gardener's dream," she says.
Symmetrical Guest Room
Symmetry is key in MA Allen's whimsical guest room. The designer went with a tented treatment to camouflage the lack of architectural features. "My solution to designing this small, one-window space with 87-inch ceilings was to envelop the room from top to bottom in Jane Churchill striped fabric from Cowtan & Tout," Allen says. An antique Chinese Chippendale-style mirror serves as the focal point on the center wall, crowning a vintage brass-and-burl console topped with custom green glass lamps. The unexpectedly fabulous oasis with matching twin beds brings instant excitement to sleepovers and family gatherings. A vintage rug by Nashville Rug Gallery grounds the pattern-rich haven.