Saturday, December 22, 2012

Red, White and Blue for a Holiday Tableau

There’s no denying it. I. Love. Plaid. My roommates at Auburn referred to my closet as the “Al Borland Collection.” You remember Al from Tim Allen’s Tool Time on Home Improvement… anyways. I do love plaid – especially blue plaid. And gingham, and Tattersall’s, and buffalo and cabin… ya’ll know this.


I love the geometry that plaids and checks create (geometry the only course of math in which I excelled) and I relish how the repletion of pattern creates order and style. For a tabletop in particular, I just cannot wait to blanket the board with a grid of gingham or plateau of plaid. Christmastime in particular is a plaid-tastic time of year – from the shirts to the pants to the socks and stockings and ribbons – plaid finds its way into our décor and into our wardrobes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Farmer's Dozen: A Christmas Wishlist from Onward Reserve

For this Farmer's Dozen, I wanted to share a dozen or so "must haves"  for Christmas from Onward Reserve. Whether Santa can manage all of this or just a part, I know I’ll be a happy Farmer on Christmas morn, as will be the man in your life. Whether you need an awesome gift for your brother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, boyfriend or boss, Onward Reserve will have just the right gift.  And for the ladies in your life, they've got Barbour apparel for her as well.

Ho, ho, ho, I want to go, go, go… shopping at Onward Reserve! 

  1. Pair of Ray Ban Aviators. Always cool, man. Always.
  2. Candles. Deck the halls with incredible scents! And once you're finished with these, they make fabulous bourbon or high ball glasses.
  3. Plaid shirts from MK, Barbour, Southern Point and Peter Millar. Because I could always use a little more plaid in my life.
  4. Exploded gingham button-down from Peter Millar. Exploded Gingham!!! Need I say more?
  5. Cashmere sweater from Peter Millar. Soft, warm and oh so chic. A classic!
  6. A Smathers and Branson needlepoint belt with fox and hounds. A statement piece that is simply amazing!
  7. A Peter Millar “game day” shirt. Of course I want the navy one with an orange AU!
  8. Barbour jackets for my sisters. What gal doesn't want to dress like Kate Middleton?
  9. Yeti cooler. A. Maze. Ing!!
  10. Filson luggage. In all shapes and sizes
  11. Martin Dingman Aligator belt. Every Southern gent needs one!
  12. Ties (neck and bow)
  13. Cummerbund and tie from SandB, Birddog Bay. What's more festive than a cumberbund?!
Don we now our FREAKING AWESOME apparel!

***And here's another very merry offering from Onward Reserve: Order $300 or more online and get FREE overnight shipping! 


I continue to be inspired by Pantone's Color of the Year for 2013. 
Go green!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Paula Deen Guest Blog: It's All About the Biscuits!

So excited to be a guest blogger over at Paula Deen's blog today! Now you can have biscuits for breakfast, lunch, dinner... even dessert! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Teach a Man to Fish… or Farm! Or Just, Give a Goat!

Growing up with a farm, we had farm animals. Cows, chickens, ducks, geese, a pig or two and Marvin, our buffalo, made up a part of our menagerie. A few guineas, a pair of peacocks and of course dogs and cats rounded out our zoo. Mrs. Mary referred to my middle sister Maggie as “Ellie May” because of her love of all creatures great and small! As ardently as I loved the flora of our farm, Maggie loved the fauna. Meredith, aka “The Baby,” too loved the critters and squealed when the baby cows licked the sweet corn from her hand.

To quote Gerald O’Hara, “…land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts.” I love this!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Akin to a baker's dozen, my Farmer's Dozen is a quantity of a dozen or so questions - a series of questions with fellow designers, authors, tastemakers, friends and Southerners alike.

These are top shelf guys, good ol' southern gents with classic values and tastes and a fine appetite for awesome Athen's restaurants. From two of my favorite Southern cities (Thomasville, Ga and Jackson, Miss respectively), TJ and Will bring you into their club of great clothes, amazing gentleman's accessories, and all the must-haves every Southern man needs. I can't get enough of their store but more so, these guys make you feel like you're a long lost fraternity brother, childhood friend or college pal. I am honored to present my friends for this Farmer's Dozen... they're purveyors of all things this Farmer loves and all around stellar guys... Welcome to the Farmer's Dozen, y'all!

FARMERS DOZEN: with TJ and Will, owners of  ONWARD RESERVE

1. Will, you're from Jackson, MS, and TJ, you're from Thomasville, GA--two of my favorite Southern towns, each with its own distinctive style. How do you feel like you two have blended your styles and incorporated that blend into the style of your store?

Will: We are from different regions with different styles but there are a lot of common themes and past-times so it is an easy collaboration. Onward Mississippi is where the name of our business comes from....Fivemile lake is on the property there where we love to hunt.  That has very much shaped our businesses.  TJ brought some upland quail hunting styles to the mix, but he will agree that the heart of the Delta is what brings us all together.   Imagine riding down the levy to what we call Cadillac Point and kicking back by a fire with a cold drink.  Then watch the massive barges go up and down the Mississippi River while listening to good music and telling stories with old friends in a place where you can see every star in the sky...that's just right to me and is the lifestyle we try to embody on

TJ and Will

2. If you were a color, what would you be and why?

TJ: Green.  Seems to be what I have the most of and is the most natural to me I guess.  

3. What are some of your favorite heirlooms? What do you love about them? How have you incorporated them into your style?

TJ: I have the personalized letter opener that my great grandfather used his whole life on my desk and I use it everyday.  He went by TJ Callaway as well so it works just fine.

Will: I have a pocket knife that my grandfather gave to me at a young age.  Our favorite past-time while sitting in a deer stand was carving and slicing apples.  I find it useful in our warehouse and in the outdoors and enjoy the memories it brings to mind of great times and hunts with my grandfather.


4. What's your favorite room in your home?

TJ: The kitchen.  If you host friends, family, co-workers or anyone else in your life at your home...they will all end up in the kitchen.  That's where the food is, that's where the drink is in our home and so that's where all the action is.

5. What's on your Christmas lists?

TJ &Will: Getting to go home and rest with family.  We both agree on that one and we are not just trying to earn brownie points with that answer...we have been working so hard to grow our business from the ground up the last 2 years that it is going to be nice to close down for a couple of days and enjoy the holiday.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


From the broth of corn chowder to oyster liquor – a fine neutral for any wall, home or my favorite look of painted brick.
Crepe Myrtle 
Bright pink but not baby or pale. The color a crepe in bloom…A strong color that pairs amazingly well with so much from greens to tangerines.
Picnic Red
This is a true red. This true red is suited to be checked for a picnic blanket, a plaid shirt or the first roses of summer. No burgundy here!
Oak Leaf 
A true green. Blue plus yellow makes green. Evokes grass, nature and the leaves on oaks in high summertime.
Longleaf Pine
A rich green bold enough to stand against brown, bring warmth to winter and ground the woods in accord.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


 For the chance to win a copy of A Time to Plant click on the link below and Pin it to win it!

Enter by first following James Farmer, then re-pin the picture. Re-pin now through Friday, December 14, and you could win a signed copy of James Farmer's book! What a great holiday treat! Pin away and good luck!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I'm going to try not to gush too much about this Farmer's Dozen interviewee. Maggie Coody Griffin as y'all know is a dear friend and designer- we have the pleasure of collaborating on showhouses, weddings and events all over The South. Yet, we started all this as children- not on the scale we do now but on a scale that many folks will recall as the truly old Southern way. We both were raised in the small agrarian town of Hawkinsville- raised by and influenced by mamas with taste and style and grandmothers (Baboo and Mimi) with poise, elegance and grace. Throw in a Mrs. Mary (me) and a Mrs. Suzy (her)and you've got a couple kids who love a small town life, good cooking, fine yet comfortable decor, a connection and love of the land, blue and white, Pink Fluff at The Steakhouse and taxidermy chic too! It doesn't hurt that Mrs. Mary and Mrs. Suzy are BFF's either- it just keeps it all intertwined!

Maggie Griffin  is one of my Maggies- I have sister Maggie and friend Maggie and have had so since childhood... How lucky am I? I relish any time I have with either Maggie and both of their husbands are as fine a gentleman as ever was.  I count both of these fellas as some of the best biddies I have! And since each one can wire chandeliers, hang pictures level and drive truckloads of furniture, well, what more could you ask for in a friend-in-law and brother- in- law?

I simply cannot thank Maggie Griffin enough for all she does; and our "work" is more like "play," for we love design, beautiful homes and the chance to create and combine the two.

You can take us out of Hawkinsville but you cannot take the Hawkinsville out of us! Tradition with a twist is our style; pine cones aplenty find their way into our decor; plundering our grandparents' attics and helping siblings with weddings are just a couple pastimes in which we delight. Ladies and gents, I am pleased as punch to welcome my friend and fellow designer Maggie Coody Griffin to this Farmer's Dozen!


1.     From Halloween parties at Baboo's to Longleaf Hunting Club to pink fluff at the Steak House, what are some of your favorite memories of us? Gosh, there are so many! I love that we share so many memories. As children, the Halloween parties were so fun! We’ve now gone from bobbing for apples as kids to picking up pine cones at Longleaf as adults! And, I still like pink fluff! Riding 4-wheelers at the Farmer’s farm is a funny memory too! We’ve always had fun together whether picking flowers on the side of the road, taunting buffalo and cattle, decorating beautiful rooms, planning fabulous events, or attending fun parties. But what I love most is our time chatting and sharing hilarious stories while in the car!

2. If you were a color, what would you be and why? It is so difficult to pick just one! But, it would probably be blue. For blue reminds me of summers spent by the ocean, the blue and white china hanging on the walls of my childhood, and the turquoise jewelry that I can’t get enough of! The girly girl in me love love loves my pink too… of my favorite berry – the raspberry, sunsets over the water, and the roses and camellias that were always in my grandmothers’ gardens.

3.     What are some of your favorite heirlooms? What do you love about them? How have you incorporated them into your decor? My family has had a lot of my grandmothers’ and great-grandmother’s things in storage that we grandkids get to plunder through at our leisure. A few months ago my husband and I loaded up a mid-century table (now a chic high-gloss black) of my Mema’s and a small secretary of my Baboo’s – the little secretary was in my mother’s childhood homes and even went with her to college, and now is a pale blue gray tucked into a corner of my bedroom. Over the years, I have received jewelry, silver and even vintage clothes that belonged to them all. I’ve got a pair of precious diamond studs from my Mama Doris and some of her gorgeous antique tableware. A few years ago, my mother had a watercolor rendering done of Baboo’s beautiful living room – it’s one of my favorite pieces of art and reminds me of so many happy times with family!

4. What's your favorite room in your home?
Most definitely the kitchen and keeping room. I love the ample natural light in this room and that so many can gather and graze and catch up with me without getting in my way! There’s no place I’d rather be in my home than behind the island while my loved ones are chatting from a barstool or the settee; it belonged to my Baboo as well, and has been in the family since I was a baby.


5. What's your favorite pattern? Oh goodness, there are so many! I love a graphic print such as a chevron or a Greek key. And I am equally happy with classics such as ticking stripes and toiles. But the global influence of Ikats and batiks never fail to inspire me! Fortunately, my clients have loved patterns like me! I gravitate toward a neutral base on large upholstery pieces and prefer to bring in pattern with pillows, small ottomans, and window treatments.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pantone of the Year: EMERALD

Y'all know this Farmer loves all things GREEN! So I couldn't be more excited to hear that 

Join me in painting this world green in 2013!

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Christmas House

We’ve decked the halls, y’all! Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles presents their Christmas House in the lovely Chastain Park neighborhood, and Team Farmer is so glad to have a wonderful space to decorate! This is the last weekend to tour the house, so scoot on over!

With the help of Sami my assistant extraordinaire, Jason my project manager and Martin and Aaron from McCorquedale Transfer providing lifting, logistics and smarts, and of course, the ever gracious, fun, talented and best pal a Farmer can have Maggie Griffin, we got our room together and the house opened to the public.


Taking inspiration from the traditions of Christmases past with an eye for the future and staring up at a stairwell just begging to be a gallery, our Mudroom and Back Stair Hall became a warm and classic space with a touch of Christmas chic and a nod to a few of this Farmer’s Favorite things – red cabin check, Oushak rugs, blue and white china, simple greenery, red bows, and a Farmer’s dozen fabulous works of art depicting bucolic cow scenes – all on loan from the wonderful folks at The Madison Gallery through Foxglove Antiques.

I wanted the space to feel as if I found painting after painting stowed away in my grandmother’s attic - or maybe a great aunt - and collected these treasures for my gallery-like arrangement on a stair wall.  This display creates a heavenly scene leading the way to the guest room with exquisite paintings of farm life and this Farmer’s favorite farm animal, cows. I guess this is the result from growing up on a cattle farm.

We had a blast decorating the space and I cannot wait for the next show house – they are always an amazing opportunity! Hope y’all can make it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


 Akin to a baker's dozen, my Farmer's Dozen is a quantity of a dozen or so questions - a series of questions with fellow designers, authors, tastemakers, friends and Southerners alike.


I am so pleased to have my dear friend and fellow Southern Living Editor At Large with us for the Farmer's Dozen this week! I'll never forget one of the first times we worked together, I in my boots and she in her Gucci heels! She is a fierce fashionista, y'all, with a heart to match. Kimberly is one of those people whose beauty is truly more than skin deep--she has beautiful heart, which is evident in her physical beauty & in her life. In addition to our shared connection with Southern Living, she is also a Gibbs-Smith author with me! Her latest book, Wedding Inspiration: Ideas & Advice for Your Perfect Wedding, is a gorgeous and useful guide to all things wedding--this Farmer even has some advice in there! 


1. How do you think growing up with your family in Dallas has influenced your style?
I love this question!  My mom is very fancy.  She loves to get dressed up and always preferred to be over dressed than underdressed.  I also have two sisters so we have such a great time playing with hair and makeup and fashion.  Dallas is full of so many chic women with great style as well and the home of great shopping: Neiman Marcus, Highland Park Village and Stanley Korshak!

2. If you were a color, what would you be and why?  
I adore blue and white!  Can I be two colors?  I do a weekly blog post about all things blue and white because I am a little bit obsessed!  I have some of my grandmother's blue and white china that means so much to me and I think that probably influenced me a bit.

3. What are some of your favorite heirlooms? What do you love about them? How have you incorporated them into your decor?
My mother in law has given Justin and I some wonderful treasures including the monogrammed silver she received when she was married to Justin's father.  It was her wedding gift to us and we really treasure it.  The W monogram is very pretty and unique so we use it on everything now, from linens to stationery.

4. What's your favorite room in your home?
This is a hard one.....I think it is the dining room but  the library comes in a close second.  The dining room is special because we have had some wonderful times around the table with family and friends.  We ended up making our dining room smaller when we did some renovations to our home because we really wanted a round dining table.  The library is great because it is filled with so many treasured books and mementos.


5. Favorite scent?
My husband wears Kheil's Musk Oil and I love it!

6. I have loved being an Editor-At-Large at Southern Living with you! Tell us about one of your favorite Southern Living moments.
Getting to know you is one of them!  Truly, the places we have gone and people we have met are the most wonderful rewards and ones that I didn't anticipate from this job.  The Southern Living Team is amazing.  Lindsay Beirman is a wonderful teacher without realizing it.  I learn something new from him every time we are together.

7. What's your favorite garden flavor? How do you incorporate it into one of your favorite dishes?
I am a rosemary fanatic so this is my time of year!  I love it with meat or a vegetable risotto or an Italian Dish!  I also love it as a garnish for a drink at a holiday party.

8. I know your mother has been a major influence on your style. How do you translate the style of our mothers' generation into our own?
You have great questions! I love my mother's style and she has been a huge influence on me.  She taught me that a smile is the best way to add style to any outfit.  She also taught me that keeping my home in order and keeping the family together are two of the greatest gifts we can give the people we love.

9. What's your favorite pattern?
Hands down - Tobacco Leaf!


10. You are a fierce fashionista! If there was a fire and you could only save one haute piece of couture, what would it be and why?
My wedding dress!


11. Weddings are such a major part of your life--your latest book Wedding Inspirations is so beautiful. Tell us: Do you still get teary-eyed at "I do"?
Absolutely!  I love weddings!  We went to a beautiful wedding a few weeks ago that took place at the Bride's family ranch and I got so emotional.  I always keep tissues in my handbag at a wedding.

12. What's the last meal you made at home? Who did you share it with?
I made Dean Fearings Tortilla Soup Cornbread Dressing for my in-laws over Thanksgiving.  It was a hit with lots of Southwestern Flavor!

13. I am always telling my clients that coffee tables are like mini representations of our lives. So what's on your coffee table?
A bowl full of duplicate photographs (for people to flip through and take home if they want!), a big blue pottery bowl filled with four orchids and some moss and lots and lots of beautiful books!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Good Day Atlanta

I was delighted to be a guest this morning on Good Day Atlanta talking about wreaths, of course!

Check it out here.

To purchase one of my wreaths click here.

And if you are still doing some Christmas shopping click here to check out my latest book, 
Wreaths for all Seasons.
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