Garden & Gun magazine is one of our go-to sources for the latest wave of Southern decor inspiration. Think sprawling gardens and vintage farmhouse kitchens, but also a new generation of Southern design: fresh takes on mid-century modern, lacquered pieces and more. As Garden & Gun celebrates their 10-year anniversary, we sat down with the magazine’s Style Director, Haskell Harris. Along with a curation of her favorite Chairish finds, Haskell shares a few of her favorite rooms from the magazine over the years that shine a light on the title’s approach when it comes to interior design.
“The rooms below speak to the melting pot of cultures across the South and the fact that there isn’t one static style that defines the region,” says Haskell. “There are so many interpretations of what makes a house soulful and beautiful and Southern, namely personality, a sense of place, and a great story. It matters very little to us if a house is grand or humble, modern or traditional. A healthy mix of all of those ideas is when the kismet happens for us editorially.”
1. SPORTSMAN’S KITCHEN
“New Orleans interior designer Melissa Rufty worked on the construction of this wonderful entertaining barn near the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife refuge in Louisiana. From the custom salvaged wood cabinetry to the wood-burning grill and collection of copper cookware and vintage hog pans, it’s a nod to the landscape around it.”
2. DRAMATIC DINING
“This dining room stuck with me because the idea that an entire design business was born around this table is an inspiring one. It is inside the personal home of Nashville designer Louisa Pierce of Pierce & Ward, a firm that now counts everyone from supermodel Karen Elson to actor Leonardo DiCaprio as clients. Her modern take on the traditional Southern idea of hanging portraiture in the dining room is so chic.”
3. HISTORICAL HOMESTEAD
“There is something incredibly charming about the way Polo Ralph Lauren alum and Grayers designer Kenny Long Thomas and his wife Leeta Harding welcomed guests at their Murfreesboro, North Carolina, home. The way the couple used white to set off their collections brought a youthful freshness to the old Victorian house.”
4. PRINTS PERFECT
“The moonshine ties to Nascar are among the more colorful stories in Southern culture and it was such a treat to give readers a glimpse into the North Carolina home of champion driver Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra Johnson, the owner of Charlotte’s SOCO Gallery. Interior designer Barrie Benson is a genius when it comes to her Southern sense of color, her ability to reinvent old-school decorating ideas, and her encyclopedic knowledge of art and furniture history and she really delivered on a house that expresses all of the things the Johnson’s are passionate about.”
5. LOVELY LAVENDER
“It isn’t easy to complete a renovation in a historic city like Charleston, South Carolina (where G&G is based) and produce a house that feels like a home, not a museum. But designer Jennifer Langston brought both history and more contemporary ideas together beautifully in her row house on Elliot Street downtown. It’s simple, comfortable, and full of unexpected details, like the lavender living room.”
6. SOUTHERN STYLE TODAY
“The photos above are great examples of two very different houses we’ve published in G&G. The one on the left is the home of legendary New Orleans antiques dealer Patrick Dunne in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. The one on the right is the home of Kings of Leon’s Nathan Followill and his wife Jessie Baylin in Nashville. One is Antebellum, one a pedigree midcentury home reinvented for a modern family. And both are important examples of G&G’s lens on Southern Style.”
7. THE NEW TRADITIONALIST
“I’m also constantly in awe of Southern interior designers we’ve featured, like DC A-lister Darryl Carter (above) who manage to fuse both traditional and modern in a singular way, just as we try to do with our homes coverage.”
GET TO KNOW HASKELL HARRIS!
Personal home decor aesthetic:
“It’s a little bit Old Dominion (I grew up in the land of chintz with anglophile house romantics for parents) and a little bit magpie. I have been inspired by so many beautiful interiors as an editor that I like bringing home bits of different periods and styles to see what sorts of beautiful contrasts bubble up. Above all else, my personal aesthetic is not fancy or formal. I am most drawn to spaces that are friendly AND stylish.”
Favorite design mantra:
“This isn’t a mantra but I have always felt that truly beautiful rooms tell the story of the people who inhabit them.They tell you what that person might be reading or thinking of cooking, if they like to entertain or if they are introspective home bodies, what music and art speaks to them, where they’ve been and where they might be going. They don’t look like stiff showrooms. They have soul.”
Favorite Southern destinations for design inspiration:
“These are in no particular order.”
- The Greenbrier. My older brother got married there in the snow at Christmas almost a decade ago and I still can’t shake seeing that place in person (the weather made Dorothy Draper’s decor even more melodramatic). I see new and inspiring elements each time I look at photos from that weekend.
- Louisiana. End of story. Too much design goodness and amazing quirk in that whole damn state to put into words. Right now I’m making my way through a book about Acadian antiques and can’t put it down.
- Charleston. Living in this city is like living in a history book and a five minute walk downtown is usually all I need to get myself out of a creative rut.
- My Mom’s basement in Virginia. She has been an interior designer for over forty years and has amassed a stash of the most wonderful things. Lucky for me, she’s not a hoarder and likes to share.
Southern decor tradition poised for a comeback:
“I love the idea of the traditional Southern portrait made modern and I’m a big fan of Nashville artist Emily Leonard‘s take on the sentiment.”
Dream weekend getaway:
“I am dying to visit Marfa, Texas.”
Most underrated Southern city for good design:
“Beaufort, North Carolina. The 18th-century cottage architecture in that town is breathtaking and I’ve been going there since I was little in the summertime so I’m partial to it.”
Most important room in the house:
“If I wasn’t a design editor I would be a food editor. I will always, always vote kitchen.”
Decor trend you’re currently coveting:
“Lacquered linen pieces in bright colors.”
Current design goals:
“My husband Marshall is the garden guru at our house. He drew plans for it when we got married and implements new layers each year. This summer might be operation lap pool and shade garden, which I’m very excited about! And I love bringing in anything I can get my hands on from the garden, from tropical palm leaves to cut blooms like the Noisette roses Marshall planted last year that smell incredible.”
Featured photo by Brie Williams. The living room of Nascar champion Jimmie Johnson and Chandra Johnson, owner of Charlotte, North Carolina’s SOCO Gallery from Garden & Gun’s 10th Anniversary Issue. Architecture by Perry Poole. Interior Design by Barrie Benson. Wingbacks by Gio Ponti for Rome’s Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel.