Trends and Southern Style

Bill Schaffer AIFD, AAF, PFCI & Kristine Kratt AIFD, PFCI

“Hey y’all!” Southern nights. Southern Hospitality. Southern charm. America’s Southern culture has always been a tapestry comprised of culinary delights, enchanting accents and a charming disposition.

  Inspired by some of our favorite floral Southern Belles, we wanted to see what they have to say about their fresh take on classic floral design.

“Modern Southern style is much like a modern Southern woman; robust, genteel, gracious & opulent, …without toil or neglect. Southern style is marked by poise, beauty and an ease of elegance.”

          ~ Jodi Duncan AIFD, Jodi Duncan Designs, Norris City, IL

 Distinctive, and steeped in tradition, Southern design has always been a style-influencer in America. The heritage of the South is a diverse blend of cultures, identities and aesthetics that creates a unique Southern distinctiveness.

“Staying true to Southern roots, traditional and classic always come to mind. It is simply when you bring a twist, introduce a bit of modern flair that gives you a modern, Southern Style. Dark, rich woods, natural greenery paired with an all white hue in floral is most common in the Birmingham area. As a designer, I encourage welcoming a metallic such as gold accents or a sophisticated pattern such as chinoiserie to bring a modern touch”

          ~ Mandy Majerik AIFD,  PFCI, Hothouse Design Studio, Birmingham AL

  Historically, the American South relied heavily on agriculture, and was highly rural until after 1945. The history and backdrop of Southern culture was born of the appreciation of nature. In fact, the first garden club in North America was founded in 1891 by the Ladies Garden Club of Athens, Georgia. Always influenced by nature and its principles, Southern gardens grew into a graceful and elegant expression of classic American design.

“Concepts that I keep in mind are always the right choice of blooms (mass garden type flowers, branches and vines) and the optimal container. Something with casual elegance or even a quirky historic feel to it.”

          ~ Carolyn Shepard AIFD, Carolyn Shepard Wedding & Event Design, Charlotte NC

“Southern design combines warmth and hospitality with formality. Southern floral design has a definite casual garden style. The style is more formal, yet, has the softness of unstructured botanical elements such as smilax and magnolia.”

          ~ Beth Hohensee, AIFD, Studio Floral Diva, Asheville, NC

  The American South is now among the fastest growing areas in the United States. As more people flock to new urban hotspots like Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia, modern begins to mingle with classic design, creating a new level of trend-worthy style.  This includes modern southern events and weddings.

I find it is a delicate dance to bring the traditional, classic bride around to welcoming modern or trending floral concepts. My signature style includes introducing one luscious floral display, even an unexpected one, that guests will be talking about. Whether it incorporates the ever-traditional monogram or highlights the wedding cake, making it memorable it what is important. Remembering that people in the South love to entertain is important, but bringing that fresh, modern twist is what sets the present event apart from the last!”

       ~ Mandy Majerik

  Southern design, even while picking up on national trends, still has its own aesthetic.  Design in the South has always honored tradition and still nurtures a place in history. Social media does have its effect on modern design. Styles that once took five years to filter down from the East and West coasts are now influencing the Southern aesthetic faster than ever before. This combination of modern influence with classic know-how makes for a wonderful blend and has come to characterize new trends in Southern floral design.

“Southern style is a polished, cultivated look without overthinking or being over designed, yet pleasantly abundant. It is not crude or neglected,  neither over thought or overwrought,  but groomed and always lovely.”

          ~ Jodi Duncan

“To me, Modern Southern style is sumptuous and lush design, be it large or small, but with clean and mindful details.”

          ~ Carolyn Shepard

  Southern floral style leans toward abundance and is plentiful—from flower choices (textural with a high petal count … such as; peonies, garden roses and hydrangea) as well as the ample composition of the design … a profusion of lovely foliages, ferns and flowers with every single detail in perfect balance and harmony.

  Lush and gardeny textures. Dramatic greenery. Perfect flawless blossoms. Airy, botanical shapes. Glorious texture, texture, texture. A love of floral monograms. Classic wreaths with modern twists. Styles that are loose and natural combined with modern containers that blend classic with the new. The juxtaposition of time-honored elements with a modern dash of exciting color and form. Today’s Southern designers embrace a passion for nature, fondness for history, and a flair for modern trends and combine it all into a recipe for success. And the sweet tea and BBQ isn’t bad either.

Originally published in the October 2017 Issue of Florists Review

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