Southern Living has built and renovated houses all over the South, but this year for its 50th anniversary, its Idea House was built in Mt. Laurel, right outside of Birmingham, Alabama – the magazine’s own hometown and they chose a hometown architect/designer, Bill Ingram, to be the brains behind it. Rather than have one designer do all the interiors of this house though, they chose five different designers. Before they even began work on their rooms, the group was shown photos from old Southern Living articles and homes to use for inspiration in designing their spaces.
We toured the house early one morning the second weekend it was open. I loved the floors throughout the house (Barlow Road by Shaw Floors in case you are interested. 🙂 ) When I go to one of these Idea Houses, I have to keep reminding myself Look for individual ideas – not the entire room. For someone who leans toward a more minimalist but traditional design at times, these spaces can be quite overwhelming with soooo much going on in them. They are indeed over-the-top, but they are supposed to be…that is why they are called Idea Houses. Okay I am going to hush my preaching now and let you just peruse the rooms. 🙂
You enter the house into a large foyer designed by Ashley Gilbreath, a local designer from Montgomery, Alabama.
Beautiful antique French artwork from Parish, Ashley’s shop
To the left of the foyer is the living room designed by Mark D. Sikes.
I like the framed bird prints in this room.
Going back across the foyer, you enter the very pattern rich dining room by Margaret Kirkland.
A door at the back of the dining room leads to the Bill Ingram designed kitchen.
I liked the green when we were there, but I think I would tire of the darkness after awhile.
The paint color is Evergreens, and it is by Sherwin Williams if you need a dark green. 🙂
Bill also designed the family room space with its fabric draped ceiling…
and the hallway….
and the boldly striped powder room.
I am guessing he also did the dark green laundry room, but the info on it was left out of the resource guide.
Now go back through the family room, through the kitchen, through the foyer, and back into the living room. On the other side of the fireplace are doors that lead to the master bedroom, designed by Lauren Liess.
She also did the master bathroom with its beautiful collection of antique pressed botanicals.
The wallpaper is a hemp burlap by Twenty2.That completes the downstairs spaces, so let’s head up the stairs.
There is a landing at the top with a table and seating…
and a gorgeous antique cupboard.
This is another Ashley Gilbreath space.
Turn left and you enter a bedroom wallpapered in a Meg Braff design.
Each of the upstairs bedrooms has its own bathroom.
Adjacent to bedroom #2 is bedroom #3, designed by Ashley Gilbreath.
The walls in it are also wallpapered (Watermill Linen by Kravet.)
Here is a peek at its private bath.
Hard to photograph a mirror without getting yourself in it.
(and your husband who is standing behind you!)
Go back across the hall and you find the Amy Berry designed 4th bedroom. Back in the 90’s, I had a sofa (or 2!) covered in a print that looked very much like that floral.
This little corner was my favorite spot in the house. (Of course it would be…the fabric is called Country Check in Light Red on Tint by Quadrille. 🙂 )
The bathroom that belongs to bedroom #4:
In the floor plan, this next space was called a playroom, but in the Idea House it is called the “pajama lounge.”
Whatever name it goes by, Amy Berry designed the space. I would think teenage girls would love this area.
And that finishes the tour of the interior of the house.
Here are a couple of shots outside in the patio area.
This space is right at the street, so I do not think it would be very private.The Idea House also has a detached garage, and there was an unfinished room/office above it.
(We did walk up the stairs and look in. 🙂 )
If you get a chance to visit Mt. Laurel and the Southern Living Idea House, it is open for tours until December 18.
While we were there, we rode through the beautiful community, and I have a number of photos to show you from it, but that post will have to wait until after Halloween. I have a few things from around the house here that I want to share with you this week. So stay tuned! 🙂
Until next time…