Southern Living October 2020

SOUTHERN LIVING celebrates the legendary food, gracious homes, lush gardens, and distinct places that make the South unique. In every edition you’ll find dozens of recipes prepared in our famous test kitchens, guides to the best travel experiences, decorating ideas and inspiration, and gardening tips tailored specifically to your climate.

United States
Meredith Operations Corporation
13 Issues

in this issue

2 min
pleasant surprises

THE MOST EXCITING conference call of the year (and there have been a lot) happened in late May, when we were getting a virtual tour of the Southern Living Idea House, which was nearing completion in a community called The Ramble Biltmore Forest in Asheville, North Carolina. I was at home in Birmingham, sitting at my dining room table, and the front door was open to catch a spring breeze. My two dogs were curled up at my feet, as usual. On my computer screen were operations manager Jason Norton, who was sharing a live video of the house using his phone; designer Lauren Liess, who was walking us through her decorating choices; as well as several members of the Southern Living team. Seeing one of our Idea Houses come…

4 min
reclaimed charm

THERE’S SOMETHING magical about beautiful light,” says architect Madison Spencer, who fell for the luminous lure of this Virginia foothills property. Call it a job hazard. A Charlottesville-based specialist in classical architecture, Spencer had been working on an assemblage of buildings on his client’s 18th-century horse farm in Keswick, which included this nonhistorical, nondescript 1990s spec house. “It was a fun rescue, a wreck with zero character that we gutted and gave lots of personality,” says Spencer, who collaborated with London-based designer Serena Williams-Ellis on the project, which was envisioned as a guesthouse for the larger farmhouse estate. But, he says, “I loved it so much that I moved in.” In addition to the way the golden afternoon light douses the countryside, Spencer appreciates the simplicity of the barely 2,000-square-foot cottage,…

4 min
“i knew i wanted an old home…”

“WE THOUGHT THERE was no way we would ever move back to Birmingham,” says interior designer Ellen Godfrey, who’d been living in Los Angeles for more than eight years with her husband, Matt. Instead of returning to their hometown, they were looking for bigger Southern cities to put down roots with their daughter, Irene. A Birmingham friend convinced the Godfreys to tour a 1928 Craftsman-style house in his Crestwood neighborhood, and the couple was sold on the welcoming, close-knit community. Ellen wanted to be hands-on with her first home. “We had lived in rentals in LA, and being an interior designer, I had wished I could rip out a kitchen or make an update but couldn’t,” she says. “I knew I wanted an old home, definitely a fixer-upper. I was…

3 min
the grumpy gardener

GOING BANANAS › I live in Northern Virginia. This summer, a neighbor gave me a banana tree. It has done fine, but I am concerned about its survival this winter. The neighbor told me to chop it down and bring the roots inside for winter. Our lawn guy says it will be okay in the ground. What is the right thing to do? —Sherry » There is one species of cold-hardy banana, Musa basjoo, that will overwinter in your area, though you can’t eat its fruit. Edible kinds will need winter protection. You could cut it down, leave the roots in the ground, mulch heavily over them, and cross your fingers. I’d play it safe by digging up the plant, cutting off the top, and storing the roots indoors in a plastic…

2 min
lessons in southern decorating

GET ORGANIZED The Dream of an Efficient Laundry Room Small-space guru Laura Fenton, author of The Little Book of Living Small, shares tips for maximizing function 1. STREAMLINE SUPPLIES Use precious cabinet space well by paring down to the necessities. Commit to one detergent that does it all, and limit extra items (such as stain removers or scent boosters) to those you frequently use. 2. CONSIDER BUILT-INS Create permanent homes for tools that you need often. Install a closet rod for air-drying clothes, and don’t discount the wall-mounted ironing board—a retro feature well overdue for a revival. 3. USE EVERY INCH Tight spaces demand utilizing each square foot. Max out overhead space with cabinets that extend to the ceiling. Give your washer and dryer a lift by setting them on pedestals with drawers for extra storage. 4. LIGHTEN IT…

1 min
season’s greetings

MAKE a memorable first impression by choosing a live wreath packed with beautiful flowers, fresh foliage, and vibrant autumn colors. Start by buying a form and liner that you can use every season. (We like the Large 24" Living Wreath Form with Jute Liner, $26; At the end of winter, replant with spring annuals. Put It Together To assemble, place the jute liner (plastic side up) in the wreath form. Fill partially with potting soil, leaving enough room for adding plants. Cover with the second jute piece, and clip wire frame into place. Snip holes in the liner for plants. Handpicked Bounty Add the flowering kale, ‘Prostrate’ rosemary, ‘Miz America’ mustard, Delta Premium ‘Persian Medley’ pansies, yellow and orange violas, and mums. Make It Last Smaller flowers and foliage are easier to plant. They’ll grow…