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What Southern Style Homes Can Teach Us About Design

February 6, 2020

Southern-style homes make you think of lazy summer days spent on a front porch swing while sipping sweet tea. The architecture of buildings below the Mason-Dixon line has a timelessness quality that helps them seem as current today as they were 100 years ago. At the heart of southern design is a love for classic styles and time-honored elements, such as grandma’s favorite china.

The southern part of the United States operates at a slower pace, plus it’s filled with all of your favorite comforts. You can learn a lot about adding that homey feel to your decorating by merely studying what homeowners in the south do.

1. A Front Porch Is a Must

When you think of southern style homes, you probably picture a big porch with a swing or rocking chairs. No matter what design your home is, a beautifully decorated and inviting front porch shows visitors you want them to stop by. Your entry adds warmth to your home before people even set foot inside. Homeowners can add welcome signs, seating, potted plants and other decorative elements.

In the south, deep porches help people get outside and enjoy the heat of an August day. Some other elements you can add that make the space more southern are ceiling fans and blinds.

2. The More Light the Better

Traditional southern style homes often have big double wide front doors, huge windows and a ton of light. All of the natural sunlight is what gives a southern house a breezy feeling. If your building seems a little dim, there are a few things you can do to bring in the brightness.

  • Add sidelights to your front door
  • Replace solid wood with glass or half glass
  • Take down some of your window coverings and let the light shine in
  • Add skylights throughout your home

If you’re on a budget, add lighting to brighten things up and paint the walls a light color to make it seem brighter.

3. Clean Lines Work Best

Most American South housing styles trend toward clean, classic lines. The pitch of the roof is symmetrical, and you might find square columns in front. You’ll notice repeating patterns on the porch railings and shutters on the windows. Even though the designs vary from state to state, simple, clean lines rule the day.

Repeating this element inside a home helps give the entire look a southern flair. Furnishings with simple designs offer a classic look that withstands trends and looks current. If you want to add some patterns to your design, stick with window coverings and throw pillows, which you can swap out easily as styles change.

4. Keep Pieces of History

People in the south are proud of their heritage and likely have mementos from their families. Think about ways to feature those special pieces. While no one needs hundreds of knick-knacks to dust, that little piece that belonged to your great grandmother offers something unique to your decorating efforts.

Hang beautiful plates on the wall. Feature photos of generations past. Utilize furniture pieces that come along with fond memories.

5. Maintain the Design’s Flow

Southern architecture often features the ability to bring the outside in. Wide French doors opening to a back patio add something special to a dinner party. You can also decorate the outside as though it’s part of your interior. Picture a kitchen that opens out onto a patio decorated with rugs, planters and elements that match the colors and feel as the inside.

Essentially, you extend your living space. Imagine your front porch and back patio as another room in your home and decorate accordingly. You can add weather-resistant rugs and other decorative items.

6. Place Beautiful Plants Everywhere

One thing you’ve probably noticed about southern style homes is how there are big, lush plants everywhere. On the outside of your property, landscape with flowering bushes. Add pops of color amidst the green for that true southern feel. On the inside, huge potted ferns and small trees add to the charm.


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Find the Charm in Southern Style Homes

In the south, the pace is slower, and the days seem longer. The region also has its own unique style.

Picture yourself on a hot summer day and imagine what designs would help you stay cool and comfortable. Southern style is simply a matter of surrounding yourself with tradition and the things you love.

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