Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Southern Accents Magazine to Return?

This just in:
A little birdie told me yesterday that Southern Accents Magazine is being "courted" by another magazine publishing company.

I would be thrilled to see it back in print.

Casual Dining
(Antoine Bootz)

I'll admit though, I would have high expectations for it's revival. I certainly understand that change is all part of growing and progress, but some things just need to stay the same. Do you agree?

Heart of the Home
(Pieter Estersohn, one of my favorites; Joe Minton design)

The "suitor" will remain nameless (I don't want to complicate anything) but,
could a corporation that is based in the north really understand The South?
Would a mixed marriage work?
One stipulation that I would have is that the editorial staff be based in The South.
(If you don't know the humidity, haven't smelled the magnolias and experienced the renowned hospitality, how can you write about it?)

Southerners know The South.
(How many times have we watched a movie and rolled our eyes at a horrible fake accent?)

Publishing company, prove me wrong. Show me that you "get it".
We want OUR Southern Accents back!

Views, Airy, Open
(Rob Brinson)

I'm excited by the possibility of Southern Accents returning, but also very concerned that it would not be produced to the same standard.

Southern Accents 2009 Riverhills Showhouse, Tudor-Style Oak Paneling
(Emily Minton Redfield)


I want to make sure that I have not stepped on our northern friend's toes by stating that they may not "get it". I relish in our differences. That is what makes our country so unique. I adore regionality--the accents, the food, the culture.

For anyone not familiar with Southern style, please read the following excerpt from a great article that was featured in our beloved Southern Accents magazine years ago:

"Gracious and eclectic with a strong architectural basis. -- John Chrestia

True "Southern style" has a subliminal sense of theater and joie de vivre, complimented by a definite bend toward elegance. -- Joseph Paul Davis

A sense of gracious invitation. Warm, personal colors. Respect and reverence of our past. Subtle intelligence. -- Barry Dixon

Decoration in the traditional or classical sense with an emphasis on comfort, hospitality, and liveableness, sometimes with a historical reference point, but not necessarily interpreting "period" interiors. Many Southern homes are renovations of once-grand architecture or even auxiliary buildings on the plantation grounds. -- Ann Dupuy

The attributes that define Southern style are a quiet assuredness...a confidence...a warmth that embodies the phenomenon of "Southern hospitality." -- Charles Gandy

Southern style, to me, is rather eccentric, embodying classic roots with a unique application. Comfort and relating to the outdoors is always a strong consideration for design in the South. Color is also very important, many times pulling in color schemes from nature. -- Cathy Kincaid

Southern style is unpretentious and extremely comfortable with an air of informality and relaxed elegance. --Josie McCarthy

Southern style means friendly, comfortable, approachable interiors. In the South, it's all about being welcome. -- Celerie Kemble

A sense of one's heritage and the importance of making a home welcome to family and friends. -- J.R. Miller

Southern style speaks of gracious living, hospitality, and restrained taste. -- Betty Lou Phillips

Our Southern roots compel us to make hospitality and good manners a priority in our daily living. There is an underlying quality of dignity in the way we decorate. -- Cindy Smith

Casual elegance. An inviting style. The mix of both formal and informal rooms that are integral parts of life in the Southern home. -- Jim Strickland

What elements do all great Southern houses have in common?

Houses of the Southern Tidewater, from Virginia to Louisiana, seem to epitomize Southern style. These unique structures were developed to cope with intense heat and humidity. While each geographic area has its own distinct architectural expression, all embody the same basic strategic elements; abundant porches for shade, high ceilings, exterior shutters, raised living levels, and careful geographic orientation to take advantage of prevailing breezes. -- Norman Askins

Our warm climate influenced our architects to build our historic mansions and modest bungalows with 12 and 14-foot ceilings and rooms with many tall windows and French doors for cross ventilation. -- Gerrie Bremermann

Easy charm; an enormous appreciation for the out of doors, which most often includes a wonderful garden; either formal or rambling. -- Dan Carithers

The environments, whether modern or steeped in history, have a thoughtfully acquired sensibility -- they are tactile and enveloping. -- Darryl Carter

Wonderful porches. -- John Chrestia

All great Southern homes have a traditional mindset of running a proper house, whether it is contemporary or traditional. -- Joseph Paul Davis

A chameleonic quality to live happily among various periods and personalities. Innate hospitality. Openness. --Barry Dixon

Traditional or contemporary--formal or informal--there is usually something inherited reflecting the Southern sense of family. -- Jimmy Graham

All great Southern houses have piazzas/porches, high ceilings, cross ventilation (a center hall) and wood floors. -- Amelia Handegan

An open door to hospitality and a sense of gracious living. -- Jackye Lanham

What piece of furniture or accessory should no Southern house be without?

Dining room furniture. Of all forms of American furniture particularly associated with the South, the majority seem to have been created for entertainment, and most especially for the dining room; hunt board or slab, sugar chest, Jackson press, and pie safe. -- Norman Askins

Something wicker is a must. Originally, wicker furnishings were chosen as a response to Southern climate, now they serve an equally important role by keeping formal rooms a bit more casual, relaxed, and enjoyable. --José Solis Betancourt

I have a fetish for chairs -- lots and lots of chairs. I love chandeliers, banquettes, daybeds and large, useful coffee tables. -- Gerrie Bremermann

A comfortable chair. -- Dan Carithers

A sumptuous wing chair strategically placed in a conversation area. This tends to be a magnet where inevitably the first guest will be seated. -- Darryl Carter

A bar, a grand piano, and a well-used dining room table. -- John Chrestia

A huge dining table where the entire family and friends can congregate and talk all day long and into the night. -- Joseph Paul Davis

A silver service, a set of fine china, sterling flatware, and table linens because we do love to entertain at home. -- Jimmy Graham

No Southern house should be without a bowl for camellias. -- Amelia Handegan

Family pictures. -- Cathy Kincaid

Vintage family silver. English 18th-century sideboards and secretary. -- Cindy Smith

Are there elements in your own work that are uniquely Southern?

Like most traditional Southern houses, I want the houses we design to be closely related to exterior spaces, celebrate morning and midday sunlight, and, at the same time, shield themselves from the cruel afternoon sun. -- Norman Askins

Our work incorporates a honed quality into even our most contemporary of projects. This ever-so-slightly worn quality suggests history and timelessness. This appreciation for aged beauty is inherent to Southern style. Southerners have long frowned upon the nouveau while showing an appreciation for their rich and proud history. -- Jose Solis Betancourt

Yes, I love old portraits for their funny faces and outfits. I also love antiques that are a bit wacky mixed with very comfortable overstuffed upholstery, which is clearly more casual. The North, until recently, was always very stiff and uncompromising; it is that whole Puritan thing. -- Joseph Paul Davis

I would like to think that like most Southerners, my work exudes quality and consistency with style and grace. -- Charles Gandy

A not-too-perfect mix of new, antique, primitive, and found objects with some traditional values to create a very personal and timeless space. Never be a slave to perfection and rules. You need a little attitude! -- J.R. Miller

Painting the porch ceilings sky blue. Using fine things in a relaxed way, say silver julep cups for water every night at supper. -- Suzanne Rheinstein

Wood floors, especially old heart pine. A "generational" feel to new design; incorporating the look and feel of grandma's back porch that was enclosed to enlarge the kitchen once electricity became available in the area or to accommodate a growing family. High ceilings. Great detail on the front door. -- Jim Strickland

For whatever reason--heredity, the water, or just plain stubbornness--when I design something, while automatically keeping in mind universal laws and objective ideals, I'm afraid that "Southern thing" seems to always emerge. Call it quirky, eccentric, charming, witty, whatever it is, it seems to always be hiding in the camellia bushes. I'm not ashamed of this but rather think it gives character and depth to my work--but I will leave that final opinion to my critics. -- Ken Tate"

Here's our chance folks, let's tell the publisher what we want to see in our Southern Accents magazine. Leave your comment below:

Chime in Y'ALL--I want to hear all about it!


  1. This would be such great news! I totally agree that there needs to be authentic southern-ess about it. I will certainly keep my fingers crossed. SA has been sorely missed.

  2. Oh my God, that's the best news I've heard in ages! I would be thrilled to see Southern Accents back again! But, as you said, it would have to remain the same as it was. I live in Canada and I absolutely adored everything about Southern Accents. It was just so gorgeous.

  3. The thought of SA coming back just thrills me...BUT...only if it stays the exact same. I live in the south and do not want what Northerners "think" is southern. It needs to be authentic!

  4. Hooray! As a native New Yorker, I'm not quite sure I understand the last comment...I don't have any image in my head that connects with "southern". When Joni wrote about seagrass rugs and slipcovers being quintessential Houston or Dallas, I didn't get it. I thought the point of Southern Accents was to show southern homes, not some stereotype of what southern style was thought to be by anyone.

  5. Dancing here!!! Best of all possible news to me -- a die-hard decor book and magazine junkie! Hope it comes back with Southern grace, style and class -- with a dash of Southern sass to boot!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  6. I should have clarified..I grew up outside of NYC, but live in Virginia. I travel for business for a good part of the year and while the gardens are clearly different from region to region, decor has traveled quite well over the years.

    Some of the examples given as southern make me wonder if people are well traveled (wood floors, family pictures, silver, porches, and high ceilings). My list of things that are distinctly southern skews towards food and gardens: magnolia trees, kudzu, biscuits & gravy, grits, country ham...okay, now I'm getting hungry!

  7. GSG
    I wanted to thhnk you for the comment you left on my last post. I love that verse but never knew about the captivity part. This is why blogging is so special. Beautiful sister's in Christ lifting each other up. That verse has been so helpful.
    Much love

  8. I am not southern and my taste is more classic and European, however I adore all decor/decorating/architectural publications and it saddens me to see the good ones fold. I'll be a subscriber to this one for sure! Great post, btw!

  9. I found you through Bevy. Your comment on her post toady made me pop right over here and see you. We are definitely kindred Southern spirits! Loved your comment and love this post too!

    Hope to get to know you.


  10. I sure do miss Southern Accents. I have several years of back issues in my office. I hope it all happens:)

  11. love it... want it back!
    i will have my "answers" for you soon... xx

  12. "The suitor" what a fabulous post!
    I'm in Scotland but I used to but this from Borders and dream of a better life. ;)

  13. Yeah, I didn't "but" it, although headbutting is a national sport here!

  14. Great news & I couldn't agree more with your feeling about the editorial staff actually 'live' in the South. Being a northerner myself, (& of course speak only from my perspective) we are like worlds apart; and to think I've only made it as far as Houston to live. Look forward to experiencing more of LA, & GA.
    Thanks for the good news ~

  15. I would agree it's missed, but the revival of Victoria, IMO is such a sad and pale imitation of what it once was that I would hate for the same thing to happen to Southern Accents.

  16. There is definitely something about southern elegance. I love to look at decor from the different regions of our seems though, unfortuantely, that many of the regions are wanting to be the same....slip covers and seagrass, all neutrals, not that I don't like it, just an observation!

  17. Oh, wouldn't that be just the best?!!
    fingers crossed!!


  18. Holy moley I almost died when I read your tagline in Dashboard & yessssssssss!!! It must return.
    I miss it so & curse those horrid New Yorkers (myself one by birth so I can call them such)that purchased a gem of Southern culture only to throw it by the wayside & keep crap like Instyle (like I give a rats rear what soap JLo uses) afloat. And yes, I emailed them to that matter.
    Southern life, style & design is a market & if some wise company wishes to reopen that market they better go with those that know.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  19. it is definitely fair to say that the north doesn't really get the south.
    this has been my experience as well.

    i was born in houston and moved to miami beach at about 9 years of age (which is essentially n.y.),
    i had a heavy southern accent which i have completely lost.
    my mother still has her accent and has a southern rebel mentality to this day.
    that being said, her home is lovely and is welcoming.
    she will never lose that 'southern belle thing' she's got going.
    i find southern woman fascinating...
    and always will.
    ladies.....southern woman are completely different than the rest of us. my humble opinion



  20. Even though Connecticut isn’t considered the south, I certainly have enjoyed many an issue of Southern Accents.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

    Have a great weekend ~

  21. Give me my hunt boards, long leaf pine floors, camelias, & cross ventilation for sure. Use your good manners Southern Accents and keep it gracious. We can tell the difference, oh yes we can.
    Happy 4th of July!
    xo lisa

  22. Do you know how many ideas I have clipped out from Southern Accents? My brown paint was selected from there and I just love every issues (favorite is the Christmas issue of course). Hope it makes a comeback.

  23. Well, Renee, Yes I am living in Maine with that (Southern Mentality.) Your Grand Mother raised me and she was from NYC.
    I have always bought that Southern Accents magazine, Remember???. I loved it.

  24. I am hoping for the return of Southern Accents! Wouldn't that be lovely!

  25. You know what else I miss? Vogue Living.

  26. God, I hope so. ok, where are your twilight pictures - i put mine on my blog!!

  27. What a lovely blog you have, thank you so much for popping by Housewifebliss and following....I had a good 'ol nose around here and just love it. Looking forward to getting to know you more in the future.

    Vogue Living, now there is one dearly missed publication! I hope you get your Southern Accents back in print, the images you shared a stunning.

    All the best, Coryanne

  28. Even though I wasn't a subscriber, I'd love to see Southern Accents come back. I'm Southern to the bone and love to read about our region, so would love to see another Southern magazine out there. I'm enjoying Southern Living again & agree that there are definitely differences in each of our regions & I'm happy to be a Southerner!

  29. We love and miss Southern Accents! Hope you're right and that it does come back!

    Eddie + Jaithan

  30. wouldn't it be great to have them back again! There's so few in print that inspire today--hope your little birdie is right!

  31. I loved that magazine! I hope they revive it...soooon!!

  32. The BEST magazine regardless of where one lives. I saved all my old copies.

  33. Please, please bring back Southern Accents! It is my favorite magazine!

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  40. My favorite magazine of all time has been Southern accents. I have been so sad it disappeared from the bookshelves. Please bring it back just the way it was before.