9.14.2016

Southern Living 2016 Idea House

I had the immense pleasure of accompanying ADAC Atlanta for a private tour of the 2016 Southern Living Idea House last month.  I love a showhouse and this one was well worth the two hour trip to see every single moment of it.  As you will see in a moment with the many photos I took I loved so many things about the home.  Truly it is one I could see myself purchasing to enjoy as our forever home. (she says in a whisper to not upset her current forever home!)


The home located in Mt. Laurel, Alabama was special to the magazine since it is part of the 50th year celebration.  Each of the five young designers was hand selected for the project and given inspiration photos from the last fifty years of the magazine.  They chose one photo for the inspiration for their room and then the photo was shown along with their completed spaces in the magazine.  I loved perusing the showhouse in the special issue and seeing the original inspiration photos and the elements each designer used in their current design.  I am pretty sure I read each page of the issue three times taking it all in.  If you don't have access to the issue you can read it online here.

I have not added in the original inspiration photos but they are included in the article referenced above and are a must see. 

The dream team for home included Architect Bill Ingram and designers Mark D. SikesMargaret Kirkland, Lauren Liess, Amy Berry and Ashley Gilbreath. These young designers were chosen for their different takes on design and style.  I love how they came together to create an incredible southern home. I so wish I could have taken each of you on the tour of the home.  It was an absolute treat I can promise you and the best way to spend a sunny Tuesday.  You must take the video tour of the home here and hear all of the designers share their take on their spaces. My favorite part is Bill Ingram talking about how southerners feel about their homes.  He hit it on the head ... we do everything here; entertain, live and collect from everywhere to create a true home.

Architect Bill Ingram shared his thoughts with me about choosing the perfect location for the home ...

"When we met at Mt. Laurel for the first time to look at the right location for the house we went over a full survey of the town and looked at about three possibilities for a house site. Then we all agreed on one lot to look at first and decided immediately upon walking it that we had found the perfect spot; an elevated corner lot facing a nature preserve and walking trail. I knew that a house there would stand a bit on its own among the other houses as this house would be unique in Mt. Laurel. Also the corner site would allow us a wraparound front porch and lots of light! All the magic ingredients were coming into play there along with a close street presence and side alley tucked away for a driveway, enhancing the town's walk able nature.

After that I conjured up the plan we have with light filled rooms overlooking the preserve and the street as well as a more private courtyard to the side. We made very few changes after that. The plan is a familiar center hall plan, but with a few twists in that the living room on the left runs the full depth of the main part and serves also as the entry point for the master suite. The dining room, kitchen & family room side on the right flows beautifully front to back as well as opening across the wide center hall to the living room. Distinct rooms all flowing together enabled each designer to control the vision for their own spaces and connect to all the others. Proportion is everything here with 11' ceilings and tall windows & doorways and appropriately scaled moldings.

I think that while the house was designed specifically for this unique place it would fit wonderfully in a wide open pastoral setting, along a lake or even on a mountain ridge as the porch naturally draws you to the outside."

Without any more chat from me, I give you the incredible showhouse!

Foyer designed by Ashley Gilbreath ... 




Living Room by Mark D. Sikes ... 







Clearly I loved the living room by the number of photos I took and I whittled them down for you today.  The room was so welcoming and warm and truly just gorgeous.  I was surprised I connected with such a neutral room and it got my brain thinking about how amazing this room would be in my one day beach house.

Mark chose a living room photo from 1986 ...

His Inspiration: “The 1986 living room was gorgeously neutral,” says Sikes. “There were stacks of books, layered rugs, striped sofas, even a bit of rattan. That mix of finishes and textures gave it an elegance that’s still relevant.”

His New Take: “I wanted to maintain that room’s timelessness and maximize the space to seat as many people as possible,” he says, “and also include an organic nature.” The room’s many finishes—raffia, rush, wicker, and linen— give the right casual and elemental touch.

Master Bedroom designed by Lauren Liess ... 




Dining Room designed by Margaret Kirkland ...



The dining room was nothing short of spectacular and I have saved most of my photos from a separate post on the darling Margaret Kirkland.  I love how feminine it was yet so stunning.  She did not leave one detail untouched.

Margaret chose a dining room photo from the March 1989 issue ...

Her Inspiration: “I fell for the dramatic drapery and the deep orange color on the walls in the dining room from March 1989. Looking through more old issues, I saw that this color and wallpaper were used a lot,” she says.

Her New Take: The red orange from 1989 was reimagined as deep coral that’s more suitable for 2016. “I went all out with two wallcoverings and great, chinoiserie curved pelmets and draperies, which feel so fresh now amid the more familiar curtain and rod treatments,” she says.

Kitchen, Family Room and Powder Room designed by Bill Ingram ...



Bill's kitchen was stunning!!  The green drew me in and made me want to stay forever.  the walls are glorious and the details in the kitchen were everything.  Two sinks, an incredible island and all the Thermador appliances made it a kitchen to lust after.

Bill chose a kitchen from June 1975 and made it his own for 2016 ...

It’s clear that Ingram took some green inspiration from the June 1975 kitchen with its wallpapered ceiling and stenciled cabinets. He just magnified it, selecting the same shade for the Wellborn cabinetry, walls, and ceiling. “The dark green adds a cozy warmth,” says Ingram. A butcher-block-topped island is another thing that Ingram likes from the 1970s kitchen. “I typically use two different materials for countertops,” he says.






Heading up the stairs ... 


There were three bedrooms upstairs along with a playroom ~

Bedroom Number 1 designed by Southern Living ... 



Bedroom 3 designed by Ashley Gilbreath ... 




All of Ashley's spaces were amazing.  The entry, the halls and then this bedroom all made me feel so welcome and relaxed.  I absolutely loved her use of the incredible elements in the foyer ... that standing basket against the wall was brilliant!  

Ashley chose a January 1976 photo to inspire her spaces ... 

Her Inspiraiton: The references between Gilbreath’s foyer, bedroom, and upstairs landing and the January 1976 bedroom are clear. “We took a lot of the built-in cabinetry and mustard yellow hues into account,” she says.

Her Take: “We made it accessible for today, using mustard just as an accent,” she says. “The bed coverlet speaks to that era’s style. Rather than having elaborate millwork for built-ins, we got creative with curtains.”


Bedroom 4 designed by Amy Berry ... 



And the playroom or the Pajama Lounge as designer Amy Berry refers to it ... 





I adored this space.  I love how inviting it was and how I could just picture slumber parties and girly soirees in the space.  I love the walls and ceiling wrapped in fabric, they were divine.  All of the blue and white accents made it feel less neutral to me since I am not a neutral girl.  However, this the second neutral room I fell in love with at the house. 

Amy chose an amazing inspiration photo from October 1974 ...

Her Inspiration: “There’s something so cozy and warm about the bedroom from the October 1974 issue,” says Berry. “Like in the photo, I covered all of our walls and ceilings with fabric—especially the pitch of the roof. That’s what instantly finishes a room.”

Her Take: She used only one tonal, animal-print pattern (a fabric actually), rather than multiple prints throughout her pajama lounge. “This makes the banquettes seem to disappear into the wall and the room appear bigger,” says Berry.


Since I was a guest of ADAC for the day I was very interested to chat with the designers in attendance as to what ADAC means to them.  Since I am not a designer I don't use the amazing designer center amenities ADAC provides.  I am lucky to attend many a function in the incredible building and I am always inspired when I leave after walking past so many incredible showrooms. Bill Ingram shared with me his how having two offices has helped grow his business.  

"I use my small office in ADAC when I'm in Atlanta serving my clients there or when I just need to get away, easy for me as I have an Atlanta residence as well. Being in ADAC is a tremendous help for me with resources as they are all right there in the building! I continue, as I always have, to concentrate on my residential architecture clients and follow them along through interiors and gardens whether personally or with their favorite decorators. Having an office in Mountain Brook village in Birmingham and the ADAC Atlanta office gives me two great locations to work from and the Atlanta office is also especially useful as an access point for my out of state clients when I need to fly around the country."

I also shared my tour with many designers including Eric Ross and his wife Ruthann.  On the way home Eric and I were chatting via phone about ADAC and what an asset it is to the Atlanta design community. He was so eloquent when sharing his thoughts ... 

"ADAC is an amazing resource for designers. Being from Nashville, it’s a real effort to get to Atlanta to source for jobs. But, since I started regularly attending ADAC functions and coupling that time with the opportunity to shop the many fabric and wall covering showrooms, I have increased the profitability of my business. Before making time for sourcing my projects at ADAC, I would just use the typical fabrics available to me in my standard fabric library, which is abundant. But, there is no way to personally house all the products shown and available at ADAC. These items cost more, which increase my margins, which in the end adds to my bottom line. Seriously, my business has change for the better because of ADAC."

The house is truly magical and perfect in every single way.  You must take the tours online and read the articles I have referenced if you were not able to see the home in person.  I truly count it as one of my favorite showhouses I have toured to date.  It is amazing!

Thank you ADAC for letting me join in on the adventure.  It is one I will not soon forget!  
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