showhouses | Jul 12, 2022 |
Flower magazine to launch its first designer showhouse

Flower, the bimonthly lifestyle magazine devoted to all things floral, will unveil its first multi-designer showhouse this September in Atlanta, featuring a lineup of design heavy hitters that includes Bunny Williams, Alexa Hampton, Corey Damen Jenkins, Michelle Nussbaumer, Suzanne Kasler and more.

Founded in 2007 by editor in chief Margot Shaw, the Birmingham, Alabama–based magazine has carved out a niche among shelter titles by focusing on interiors, gardens and tablescapes that spotlight lush florals. “Having expanded from only featuring flowers and gardens to a lifestyle magazine with a botanical point of view in the last 10 years, Flower is enjoying our forays into houses and parties, people and travel,” says Shaw. “This showhouse is the culmination of those years of editorial growth.”

As it has shifted direction over the years and expanded its interiors coverage, Flower has developed a loyal following among designers. “I think it’s a part of the human condition that we want the beauty of the great outdoors to be something we live with inside,” says designer Barry Dixon, who is creating the showhouse’s library. “The things that grow beyond our windows are a never-ending font of inspiration for designers and for homeowners everywhere. I bring fresh flowers into all the main rooms of my home every week. Certainly Flower celebrates that idea—and the joy in living with not just the flowers, but the patterns, the colors, the shapes, the silhouettes that they inspire.”

Nestled on two acres in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, the 10,000-square-foot Regency-style home was completed by builders Young & Meathe and designed by the local architecture firm Peter Block & Associates with landscape architecture by John Howard. In addition to the aforementioned designers, other participating design firms include Ashley Whittaker Design, Cathy Kincaid Interiors, Mathews Design Group, Elaine Griffin at Home, Fran Keenan Design, Jared Hughes Design, Dodson Interiors, Lisa Mende Design, Mallory Mathison Inc., The Design Atelier, Mrs. Howard, McAlpine, Tammy Connor Interior Design, Tish Mills Interiors and Beth Webb Interiors. Designer Charlotte Moss will serve as the showhouse’s honorary chair while Kasler is serving as the design chair.

Because the project was ground-up construction, the designers were given more flexibility in their concepts than showhouses typically allow. “The team at Young & Meathe have been so collaborative and have run with whatever crazy idea we’ve had,” says Nina Long of Mathews Design Group, who is working on a gentleman’s dressing room for the house with her partner, Don Easterling. “We were able to design custom cabinetry and have their carpenters bring it to life instead of referring us to a cabinet company. They were even game for doing the cabinets in a brown lacquer. We had been worried they might try and dissuade us, since there’s no going back once you do that, but they’ve been up for anything.”

The showhouse’s finishing touches will feature an extra flourish, with the featured interior designers teaming up to create arrangements with top floral designers, including Canaan Marshall, Faith Flowers, Ginny Early, Helen Izlar, Holly Bryan, Keith Robinson, Kirk Whitfield, Michal Evans, Cindy Brock of Miss Milly, Kathy Rainer and Tricky Wolfes of Atlanta’s Parties to Die For, Lush Life Home & Garden, Suzanne Graves and Sybil Sylvester. “I invited a real mixed bag of floral designers to participate and collaborate with the interior designers,” says Shaw. “Some are more formal in their aesthetic, others more casual and garden-inspired, and many are very sustainability-centered. Each floral designer is being paired with the interior designer we think they will play well with to add [another] layer to the showhouse.”

While the house will open on September 15, the idea has been percolating for a while. Damen Jenkins, who is designing a wine cellar that he describes as Jackie Kennedy–inspired, recalls first being approached by the Flower team about participating in the fall of 2020. Even Long and Easterling, who were among the later additions to the roster, were brought on in January 2022, giving them a generous nine months of lead time—almost unheard of in the showhouse world.

“We’re very excited for folks to finally know what we’ve been working on so diligently behind the scenes for so many months,” says Damen Jenkins. “I love Flower, and I always say, ‘Long live print.’ We don’t have as many print publications as we once did, so we really need to champion and celebrate the ones we have left. My firm doesn’t do a lot of showhouses these days, so when we come out for one, it’s going to be for something that’s a big deal. This felt like a great opportunity to celebrate a publication that we love, with a community of designers we really respect.”

Homepage photo: A rendering of the showhouse | Courtesy of Flower

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