The Elements of Classic Southern Home Design

Written by  //  September 15, 2022  //  Home Design  //  Comments Off on The Elements of Classic Southern Home Design

The Elements of Classic Southern Home Design

The world is full of home designs and architectural styles that you can use to gain inspiration for building your home. Few designs and styles have captured the American imagination as much as the classic Southern home, though. These beautiful homes feature stunning front porches, unique colors, and shady yards that make anyone feel welcome. Keep reading to learn more about the elements of classic Southern home design that you can channel as you build your home.

Front Porches

There’s nothing more obviously Southern than a large front porch. In the days before air conditioning, the American South was a hot, humid place that swelted people inside and out. Sitting on a front porch gave families the opportunity to catch a breeze during the hot day and cool down as the day faded into night. Some families even invested in sleeping porches, where porches attached to the back of the home acted like a bedroom. This way, people could sleep outside during the hottest parts of the year.

Even though most homes have central air conditioning now, porches are an architectural feature that remains a popular element of Southern homes. If you want to build the quintessential Southern home, you need to add a porch.

Unique Colors

There are two colors you’ll probably only find in the South: haint blue and Charleston green. Haint blue is a popular paint color for the ceilings of the porches and is a distinctive shade of blue that mimics water or the sky. Originally, people painted their ceilings and other parts of their homes with this blue color to ward off ghosts, which the Gullah Geechee referred to as haints.

While many people don’t believe in this spiritual practice anymore, painting porch ceilings blue remains a popular design choice because they ward off something else: wasps. Wasps confuse the blue color with the sky and don’t build their nests in blue porch ceilings. If you’re planning to add a porch to your home, buy some haint blue paint to go with it.

Charleston green is a newer color, but it’s still existed for hundreds of years. The popular legend behind this color is that the North sent buckets of black paint down to Charleston as they rebuilt following the Civil War. The people of Charleston wanted something brighter than black and mixed green and yellow paint in to create a better, brighter color that adorns homes to this day. If you want your home to stand out for its Southern charm, consider painting an interior room or exterior trim in this color.

Shady Yards

The American South was a hot, humid place before air conditioning, so people had to get creative when it came to cooling their homes. While porches offered great respite from the heat inside, you couldn’t stay on the porch all day and all night. Strategically adding large shade trees, like magnolias, to their yards became a way for Southerners to keep their homes cool. Even though your home won’t need these shady elements for cooling, they’re still a great way to flesh out the atmosphere of your classic Southern home. Plant and care for a magnolia tree and other shade trees as soon as you can so that you can have a shady yard within the next few years.

The elements of classic Southern home design are front porches, unique colors, and shady yards. Adding these elements to your home will give you all the architectural and stylistic beauty of the American South.

Image Credit: Adobe Stock royalty-free image #497345843

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