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!
FARMERS DOZEN: MAGGIE GRIFFIN
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.
6. You and your husband David, who's also a good buddy of mine, just bought a wonderful new home, and I'm loving the transformation. What is the best piece of design advice you could offer to a new homeowner? Thank you for your compliments! Home renovation has been a hobby since our college days…David helped me in renovating my college condo, and since then, 10 years ago, we’ve been having a ball. Our first home, which began as David’s post-college bachelor pad, required more structural renovations – he moved walls, refinished floors, added cabinetry and gutted bathrooms! Our new home really needed more cosmetic adjustments – paint, floor stain, and lighting. My biggest advice for new homeowners about to take on a renovation is “take your time!” I spent months planning our current home’s renovations. David and I pored over magazines, photos, samples and paint charts before making our decisions. Also, find a contractor who you both trust and who “gets you.” I know this is easier said than done, but word of mouth is your greatest assurance in choosing someone to renovate your home.
7. What's growing in your garden?
Our previous home had mounds of gardenia and hydrangea for me to enjoy, but this house has gorgeous, established winter-blooming camellias which remind me of my grandparents’ home on the family farm in Hawkinsville. There are also huge holly bushes that I’ve been picking from daily while decorating the house for the holidays.
8. What was the last meal you made in your home? Who did you share it with? It was actually a Christmas party. We invited co-workers, family, and friends all to drop by for a bit of holiday cheer! I served Poinsettia Punch, BLT pasta salad, fresh vegetables, Tomato Basil Soup Shooters, Pigs in a Blanket, cheeses, and brownie bites.
9. What's your favorite garden flavor? How do you incorporate it into your favorite dishes?
My absolute favorite garden flavor is basil. Perhaps it reminds me of my special time in Italy studying abroad. I use it for caprese salad in the summer, in my tomato pies in the fall, and in simple pastas in the winter. Mint and rosemary are other favorites of mine – I love using them coarsely chopped mixed with greens for salads all year round.
10. Uncle James is excited about Baby G's arrival. Where are you drawing inspiration for the nursery? And I can’t wait for Baby G to meet Uncle James! As a designer, over the years I have of course thought about this little room at length – long before I was to really become a mommy. I want to use things that will grow with our little one…things that will move to a more sophisticated room. Right now, I am thinking of a neutral palette of greige and cream with accents of either pink or blue. I am dying over a baby bedding line that constructs all of their pieces out of Belgian linen!
11. Share a story about Baboo. What do you feel you inherited from her and how does that translate into your style? Every single day I am reminded of something I learned from Baboo. As the oldest grandchild, she and I certainly had an unbreakable bond. She loved you too, James! Many times I find myself thinking “what would Baboo do?” When I am planning a menu or wrapping a gift or pulling ideas for a client, she’s always influencing me. My mother inherited all of Baboo’s best qualities, so I have her to reassure me too! I always love to hear a story about her from my grandfather, Gongaman, or my mom and aunt, and from Baboo’s friends. It reminds me that she’s right here with us all the time! Some of my favorite stories involve my grandfather telling me how she looked at a party or social event. She was the most gracious lady, and absolutely stunning! He’ll tell me how she would really make an entrance. Without trying, she turned heads and was always dressed perfectly.
12. Favorite scent? To wear, it’s Gardenia. I absolutely love how feminine it makes me feel. I have been wearing Trish McEvoy’s Gardenia Musk for years. But, my favorite emotional smell would have to be my mother and grandmothers’ kitchens. On any given day there would be the smells of a fresh pound cake, home made biscuits, or fresh cooked peas wafting through the house – you know, the foods that smell and taste like love.
13. What's on your coffee table right now? There are always books on interiors on my coffee tables. In my living room, I have a few boxes that hide matches, remotes, etc., a mercury glass bowl with a few years’ worth of Christmas cards, and several design books. A Time to Plant was there too, but it rotates between the coffee table and my cookbook stand…David and I love Mimi’s spoonbread, and I fix it often in the fall. And your Wreaths ForAll Seasons is on our coffee table in the basement. While David watched TV at night, I would sit on the floor surrounded by wreath forms, three different kinds of moss, and not one but two hot glue guns while Wreaths was in front of me!
Maggie is an interior designer and blogger in Georgia. Maggie, a graduate of The University of Georgia’s Furnishings and Interiors program, stays busy working in retail, creating custom artwork, planning events, and serving her fun clients across Georgia. Maggie is the author of Bellissimo and Bella, a blog on beautiful interiors, gorgeous inspiration and lifestyles, and musings on home design.