Monday, September 23, 2013

Antebellum Interiors With Southern Charm ,Ya'll

Who hasn't fallen under the spell of the Southern Antebellum home? This elegant style is actually named for a time period, not a design. The word Antebellum comes from the Latin "before war" and this architecture is named for the thirty to forty years before the American civil war from 1820 to 1860.

The actual architecture falls into Greek Revival, Classical Revival, or Federal with grand, symmetrical, and boxy homes with center entrances in the front and rear, balconies, and columns or pillars.The style is an eclectic mix of French, Spanish, African, Native American, West Indian, Creole, tropical, romantic, rustic, classical..... the list goes on.

Antebellum architecture was most heavily influenced by the Neoclassical style that had been gaining popularity in contemporary Europe. Neoclassicism aimed to replicate the style of the ancient Greeks and Romans and, as such, featured classical-style columns that surrounded the main structure. It's important to remember that the Antebellum style was developed to create the impression that the Old South was as cultured and dignified as the Old World, and co-opting European building trends was an integral part of this attempt.

Plantations can be found throughout the South, including Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. 

The very picture of southern hospitality, The Plantation House welcomes visitors with soaring columned porches and galleries that may extend across the front or wrap around all four sides of the  home.

When initially stepping through the front door, a visitor would already have been struck by the glittering crystal chandeliers suspended from soaring ceilings, the towering, massive doors, and the exquisitely detailed frieze molding flowing throughout every space.

The inviting, carefree, and unpretentious charm of an old plantation home is a setting that is highly sought after by many decorators.

Large or small the Southern home always exudes charm!

Windows were large and well appointed. Green velvet window treatments are reminiscent of Scarlet O'Hara's "curtain dress" from Gone With The Wind.


The soaring canopy bed was draped in rich imported fabric which had been carefully coordinated with the expensive carpet, curtains and furniture. Mosquito netting, another sign of prosperity, hung nightly from the canopy, while the bed’s extra height from the floor allowed storage space for a small bed underneath.

The facade of the homes of the Antebellum era are representative of the lifestyle of the Deep South during those years. The front porch extends the length of the facade and in some homes along the sides,

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The interior of the Antebellum era home included grand entrances with high ceilings and broad staircases. Ballrooms and music rooms were common to plantation homes, as were libraries and formal dining rooms

Madewood Plantation

Foyers with beautiful Corinthian columns and elegant archways welcomed guests.

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The pukah, coming to Natchez by way of the West Indies, is a large fan, often of wood, hanging over the dining room table of the Antebellum home for shooing away insects and for cooling purposes.

Globed chandeliers were very stylish in the Antebellum home.

From a Federalist influence in Virginia to French flair in Louisiana, the decor of the Southern Plantation House is very diverse.

In these rooms a planter could display his wealth with European furnishings and imported artwork.

Coming in from the front porch, a wide entrance hall might lead into a dining room, a parlor, a library, and one or more sitting rooms.

Stained glass was often times used in the Antebellum home.

Southern Plantation-style homes exude charm and grace. Key features might include columns and wide porches.

The Nathaniel Russell Home

Oak Alley Plantation

Stratford Hall

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Though replete in luxury, many central halls were designed to provide cross ventilation and shade from the heat of summer.

The ever present marble topped dresser.

Furnish the living room with antiques or mid-nineteenth century reproduction pieces if possible. Or choose a small sofa, settee and love seat with velvet,damask, or floral upholstery trimmed in dark wood.

The porch was a place that encouraged socializing in the 1800s, so create conversation areas with the addition of chairs, tables and small sofas.

Sturdivant Hall 

Persian rugs were very much a part of the interior decor as well as the globed chandelier and columns.

Italian marble mantle pieces adorn each fireplace and beautiful plasterworkk exquisitely detailed plaster frieze moldings,abounds in these old houses.

On the upper floors, bedrooms for family members and guests were maintained with the most comfortable and luxurious decor available. Choose four posters or beds with a heavy oak headboard and foot board. Headboards can also feature ornate wood carvings. Large armoires in the bedrooms will provide extra storage in Antebellum homes that have no closets.

Stanton Hall

 Immense floor-to-ceiling windows were often used as a door to access the balcony. From here, the family was able to enjoy a spectacular view of the Mississippi River and its bustling activity, as well as the many acres of lush grounds in front of the mansion.

Large parlours usually had soaring 15½-foot ceilings, 11-foot doors The rooms featured exquisitely detailed frieze work and elaborately embellished archways.

Elegantly designed ceiling medallions enhance the chandeliers hung throughout the house.

Aiken-Rhett home

Windows are large and handsomely proportioned, just as the doors are gracefully crafted. Inside, the rooms are generous in size


As the father of seven daughters, Randolph was reported to have instructed that he wanted the room to be pure white in order to highlight the beauty of his ladies. Nottoway’s most stunning and famous room, this radiant all-white ballroom was the site of countless Randolph events, including their daughters’ debuts to society, five of their weddings, and countless parties and events.

Large floral arrangements and lots of silver!!

Carnton Plantation

Ahhh, these rocking chairs remind that the South is a bit more relaxed.

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Lisa Farmer

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