Every Heart Beats True for the Red, White and Blue! Especially in Cashiers!


If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Cashiers is my happy place. I am relaxed, at home and COOL there. Let me try to differentiate – I am temperature wise “cool” there. I will always be at the wrong table in the lunchroom of life I feel. Oh well – at least there is Cashiers to make me feel cool and refreshed from a Southern summer’s brutal heat. Ain’t no one cute in Dixieland dripping sweat. 


You know how folks suffer from seasonal depression during the wintertime? I DO NOT. I love a Southern winter for its mildness, architectural pecan trees, and crisp color scheme. I love Southern summertime too, but not for five months. That’s why God gave Southerners Cashiers and the Great Smoky Mountains! There we can breath, not sweat in church and take respite from the heat.

I think blue and white and the varying shades of each are an amazing color scheme in any locale. Whether you find yourself at the beach, in the mountains, on a farm, a river or lake, blue and white makes for a lusciously crisp and neutral aesthetic. Add a splash of red, and this Farmer is ready to salute! And salut too with a festive glass!


For the 2012 Cashiers Designer Showhouse, I had the privilege of working side by side some of the South’s top designers. With my buddy Charles Faudree right upstairs, Mrs. Howard on the porch above, my friend Mary Holland and Mrs. Kreis Beall, Mrs. Kathryn Greeley right inside, and my fellow Georgian and sweet friend Francie Hargrove in the next room, I was surrounded by good folks!


My space for this Showhouse was the lower porch. Nonchalantly I type that and then recall that this lower porch wrapped the width of the giant house and square footage wise, it rivaled my first house. Needless to say, I had a challenge but fun project ahead of me! Calling in the big guns, BFF Maggie came on board to help and we brought our porch together – chocked full of blue and white with touches of red and some chartreuse accents too!

Whenever a client is overwhelmed by a project, I ask them, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That was my motto for this porch. Just the scale and square footage alone was daunting, but I allowed my mantra to bode true and tackled the porch one “bite” at a time.”


If you’re on a porch, you’re probably there to relax, casually dine, and maybe sip and savor a bit too! I sectioned off the porch into relaxing and dining areas and, in turn, filled in the gaps with either a spot for two folks to lazily lagniappe, peruse across the mountaintops or simply enjoy temperatures outdoors below 90 degrees in August! The latter a true Southern luxury!


Deep seating options in wicker and bamboo gave guests the opportunity to rest and relax. Take in a book, prop their feet up or simply sit still for a moment. A main seating area was anchored with a pair of wicker settees that were bonded in unison with their fabrics, throw pillows and a French hand truck turned coffee table.


The main seating area was anchored with a bleached pine harvest table that measured over eight feet long and comfortably seats a crowd. Folding bamboo chairs added some sepia-toned warmth to the bleached tabletop, which was then set with dinnerware, potted sedums, patriotic hued linens, antler candelabra and red bubble glass tumblers. Both of these spaces were lit by the most fabulous antique English copper lanterns found at the fantastic Foxglove Antiques and Galleries. As soon as the table was set, I was ready for a porch party!

My prized Louis Philippe buffet a duex corps got into the mountain spirit with poles of propped up birch casually gathered from the woodlands. Kimberly Queen ferns and ‘Key Lime’ huechera billowed from blue and white and zinc planters and even an old baptistery held lime green cornstalk plant and ferns as an axial focal point at the porch’s end. A touch of green always brings a room together, so whether it was the apples, the sedums, the plants of the cut flowers, green and its varying shades always finds its way into my projects.


Blue and white is a truly a heavenly color combo –  especially for lamps! Blue and white export vases I had turned into lamps gave this porch’s visitors a spot to soak up some more time there once the sun set over the mountains. If it sits still, I promise I’ll put a lamp on it! Old red seed canisters from LA (Lower Alabama, ya’ll) and navy vases too were turned into lamps for reading and accent lighting too. I am a firm believer that no good lamp started life as a lamp proper – they were something else and evolved into the lamp they are today!

Pine, bamboo, blue and white fabrics and china, mountain scenery and lovely company abounding – this porch project was a blast! Keeping cool during the summertime is a must. Whether you relish the heat and humidity and long for it all winter long or scurry up to the mountains to escape it, summertime is a happy time. This Farmer just happens to be even that much happier in a place like Cashiers – and I’m counting down the days (and drops of sweat) until I’m there again soon!

photography by Emily Jenkins Followell