Monday May 25, 2020
A traditional Southern home is easily recognized by its inviting, expansive front porch and large backyard with stone pathways and abundant flowers and plants. That special exterior charm can be brought inside any home by using these natural elements indoors. And nothing is more symbolic of the famous warm, welcoming hospitality of the South than the pineapple. The pineapple as an inviting symbol of hospitality began in early colonial America probably because of its rarity.
How the Pineapple Came to Be a Welcoming Symbol
One story of how the pineapple became a welcoming symbol dates back to 1493. On the second voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Caribbean Islands, he and his crew went ashore and discovered exotic fruits and vegetables. The ship returned to Europe with the pineapple, where it became a huge hit with the royals. But it wasn’t until 200 years later that farmers discovered a way to grow it successfully. As late as the 17th century, pineapples remained scarce. This made it a most welcome gift to offer to special people on special occasions, as the pineapple was a coveted and desired luxury.
Elements of Southern Charm Inside the Home
The ambiance of the Southern home is easy living and comfort. This means good, solid wood furniture with plenty of softness in the seat and back. The wood should be dark and carved and the upholstery floral with an easy, careworn look. Soft pillows with floral designs or monograms are also very much a part of the scene.
Southerners are proud of their ancestors and the heirlooms they left. Instead of that perfect hutch from Ethan Allen in the dining room with its dark wood dining table and well-upholstered chairs, they would place an antique pie safe passed on to them from their Baton Rouge, Louisiana, grandmother.
If you don’t happen to have Southern ancestors or heirlooms, recreate the look with antiques and thrift shop finds. An oil portrait of an elderly person can be elaborately framed and hung in any room, giving the look of an old Southern ancestor. If you are able to collect several, make a wall display of ancestors in any room. Be sure to frame them in highly decorative frames of sculptured metal or carved wood.
Natural elements such as silver urns, a variety of pottery in different sizes and designs, and flowers and plants in clay or metal pots are perfect accessories, as are paintings of flowers, people and animals in heavily carved wood frames.
Except for the accessories and upholstery, the pallet should be in neutral earth colors, such as olive, taupe, ivory, green or tan to set off the vibrant colors of the upholstery and accessories as well as the dark, heavy woods.
Southern charm decor features lighting with ornate chandeliers, wall sconces, candles in silver candelabras and candlesticks. Visualize if you can, the interior of the homes in the classic Southern epic “Gone with the Wind” and use this as a source of inspiration, minus the green velvet drapes that Scarlett O’Hara used to fashion her infamous homemade dress.
A good start to finding a home just begging for Southern charm is to take a look at Landmark 24 Homes in Georgia and South Carolina. Here you will find that easy-living, welcoming lifestyle for which the South is so famous. Come be a part of it.