Author Mark Mayfield and the editors of Southern Accents magazine have a firm grasp of the essence of Southern style and provide guidance on working the style into your own home; gorgeous full-color photographs provide the visual inspiration. The authors point out that one of the most obvious influences on the South's interiors has been the area's weather and environment. A sleeping-porch bedroom with mosquito netting over the bed, a large verandah stretching the length of the house, a living room filled with floral prints echoing the lush gardens outside are all hallmarks of Southern style. Historical changes have also helped defined the South's present decorating style. While some Southern traditions and trends have fallen by the wayside--for example, the trend of having a formal living room--others, such as formal dining rooms, have abided for decades because of their practical nature or cultural importance.
After a look at the interiors of Southern homes, including living, dining, and bedrooms, the book moves outside to take a look at Southern architecture and gardens. There's also a chapter regarding the South's efforts to preserve old architecture and interiors, as well as a listing of historic Southern homes and museums. A resource guide at the end of the book lists Southern interiors shops by state. The authors of Southern Style have done an impressive job of defining the elegant, warm design style of the South, one that all homeowners, not just Southerners, may want to integrate into their homes. --Kris Law