Home Decor ‘Sweet Magnolias’ – Secrets of Sweet Magnolia Set Designer

If you watched an episode of sweet magnolias on Netflix and found yourself staring dreamily at Maddie’s kitchen tiles instead of Coach Cal’s smile, well you’ve come to the right place obsessed with design. Because we’ve already figured out where you can buy the show’s outfits, we’re now directing our Nancy Drew-esque sleuth to the show’s warm and welcoming set design. You might already know that most of the shows are filmed in Covington, Georgia, but did you know that many interiors (including Sullivan’s, The Corner Spa, and Maddie and Dana Sue’s homes) are constructed sets? from scratch on a stage? Production designer Aimee Holmberg and set designer Nik Morgan, who both have a background in the horror genre, who would have guessed, spoke with country life why the southern setting inspires his show’s aesthetic, how they organize the spaces around each character, and where they found all that lovely decor. (Good news: a lot of it comes from budget sources, including Home Goods, Rooms to Go, Etsy, and Spoonflower!)

sweet magnolias is very much a character driven story and we approached [the design] with the intention of developing the characters’ spaces in a way that advances their personal stories in the eyes of the viewer,” says Aimee. food, books and works of art. If you look closely, Aimee notes that you can spot clues about each character in the design details. Aimee. That’s the bottom line on all this pretty.

Let’s finish the toast so we can talk about paint colors, shall we?

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MADDIE’S WOMEN’S FARM

The location used for exterior shots of Maddie’s home is an 1890s farmhouse, “one of the oldest in Covington,” Aimee notes. To bring the interior to life, the team adopted a “palette of soft, warm neutrals and floral patterns, with pops of more vibrant teals, corals and blues to keep it fresh,” says Aimee, as well as ‘an “elegant yet effortless mix of newer furniture, antique finds and heirlooms.” Set designer Nik Morgan also notes that there’s a lot to be learned from these layers: “In Maddie’s case, the most important story to tell was about her family, especially their past and what their lives were like. until we find them now. All the photos and trinkets, the different styles of furniture gathered over time to suit his tastes and needs, the messes that come with children and teenagers, the kitchen that certainly saw great meals and action, all of those things were there to show off the foundation and the house she built grew bigger – only to serve as a reminder that they will never be the same again .

Adopt Maddie’s look

Kitchen tiles: Palazzo 12″x12″ in Antique Cotto Bloom from Bedrosians (you can find it in a slightly different colorway at Lowe’s!)
Green paint color for kitchen island/cabinet: Sherwin-Williams 6191 satisfied
Kitchen stools: At home, find similar items here
Cook:
Lacanche Chagny Classic
Living Room/Family Room Curtains:
Catamarca Curtain (family room, find similar here and here) and Gleaming Elora Curtain (alive, find similar here and here), both from Anthropologie
Console TV:
American Heritage Furniture, find similar here and here
Blue sectional:
Rooms to take away
Tufted Queen Anne living room sofa:
Old; recovered in rose gold shantung, find similar ones here and here
Original artwork (throughout the house):
Paintings by Cansu Porsuk (the brilliant artist behind Paula’s magnolia painting), photography by Stephanie Shamban and Semi Sweet Studio (kitchen and living room), botanical watercolors by Torey Wahlstrom (Maddie’s bedroom), embroidery by Meaghan Pauley Nespeca (family room , Maddie’s bedroom and changing room) and folk art style bird paintings by Silly Goose Studio (changing room).

dana sue and her daughter at home in sweet magnolias scene on netflix

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a scene featuring dana sue in her restaurant with floral wallpaper on soft magnolias
We’re going to have a coffee with a side of floral wallpaper, thank you.

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DANA SUE’S ECLECTIC AND AUDACIOUS FARM (AND RESTAURANT!)

“We gave Dana Sue’s turn-of-the-century farmhouse darker, darker colors, earthy greens and purples with pops of cobalt blues, fuchsias, and rich golden yellows. Her home is more cluttered, with art and found objects that express her personality and an open chef’s kitchen filled with tools for culinary creativity,” says Aimee. (Since Dana Sue’s style is also reflected in her restaurant, we also includes Sullivans sources.)

Adopt the look of Dana Sue

Bird pattern wallpaper: helenpdesigns on Spoonflower
Charcuterie block:
A combination of two different antique pieces purchased separately, find similar here
Sullivans Citrus Print Wallpaper:
Vintage William Morris block print custom colored for us by peacoquettedesigns on Spoonflower
Sullivans Bar Pimp:
Cle’s Zellige Tile in Baked Opal; find similar here
Sullivans Entrance Tile:
Maharaja of New Ravenna

a scene in helen's kitchen on sweet magnolias

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HELEN’S POLISHED AND MODERN RENOVATED CRAFTSMAN

Helen is more about the new and the modern, hence its contemporary renovation on the bones of an old cottage-style bungalow. “Helen’s World is the most put-together of the three, with luxe furnishings in a palette of deep, almost black blues and grays, and bold patterns,” Aimee says. “Pink and yellow florals, natural blonde woods, and woven textures keep her contemporary look from feeling cold.”

Adopt Helen’s look

Hanging bed: Came up with location (Try this for similar)
Hanging bed cushions:
Anthropology
Grasscloth wallpaper:
Came up with location; try Serena and Lily for similar
Woven wall hanging:
Anthropology
Figurative works:
Tracy Murrell (Atlanta local)
Summaries:
VictoriaAterlier and Duealberi, both on Etsy

THE CALM & SOOTHING SPA CORNER

Filled with “silky and soothing” paint colors, Aimee notes that The Corner Spa was an intricate design challenge, as the team had to recreate the elaborate historic details of a Greek Revival home on a stage. (The Covington, Georgia property is actually a law office.) “Our construction team, led by John Hair, did an incredible job installing the many layers of molding and replicating the graceful curves chosen for the construction. Silky, soothing neutral paint colors were used throughout, with modern wallpaper details to bring in subtle patterns. The tiles played a big role in the spa feel, the overall feeling of freshness and light. Plants were also a big factor, both large floor plants and hanging planters, to keep what could be a stuffy architectural style feeling alive.”

Get the spa look

Paint color (fireplace): Sherwin-Williams 6204 Sea Salt
Paint Color (Coffee):
Benjamin Moore OC-20 Pale Oak (with Jacobs Tree wallpaper detail)
Paint color (exercise room): Sherwin-Williams 7571 Casa Blanca
Paint color (trim throughout):
Sherwin-Williams 8971 White Shell
Paint color (French doors): Sherwin-Williams 0032 Needlepoint Navy (to complement entryway tile mosaic)
Wallpaper (Yoga Studio): Yukutori wallpaper from Farrow and Ball
Light fixtures:
Mainly Rejuvenation and Anthropology
Entrance tile: New Design of Carrara Marble Ravenna Giverny Mosaic
Magnolia Artwork:
“The artwork was commissioned from Cansu Porsuk, an amazing artist from Turkey whom we met on Etsy. We were so inspired by her work that we ended up including 12 of her pieces on Maddie’s set and 3 on Maddie’s set. by Dana Sue.” (Paula’s abstract canvases shown in her studio were also painted by Cansu.)
Caustic works:
Catherine Martinico
Watercolors: Elizabeth Becker
Art Deco prints: George Barbier
Jade sofa: West Elm, find similar here
Rattan chairs (flanking the entrance):
Anthropology, find similar ones here and here

DESIGN A FAST FIRE

We asked Aimee (during an imaginary round of margaritas, of course!): sweet magnolias the character is most likely to…
…A brake on Antiquities?

“Dana Sue and Maddie would make antiques a regular weekend outing. Dana Sue could never pass up outdoor art, anything with an owl theme and perfectly smooth vintage cast iron pans. Maddie has a thing for vintage birds and botanical lithographs, and vintage furniture that needs redesigning and refurbishing”
…Shop at home?

“Maddie has found stuff at Home Goods, like the pinstriped linen armchair in her living room. She has a keen eye for design but also for bargains. She’s got all the dance lessons, acting classes and travel baseball to think about.”
…Decorate with heirlooms?

“Maddie clings to that strong sense of family, in her children and the family she comes from. She has classic pieces throughout the house, including the piano which definitely has a story. She also cherishes her children, with heirlooms created by children such as the three framed handprint paintings (one of each child) that hang in the kitchen above the living room door.”
…renovate every three years?

Helen’s sense of fashion and modern femininity is an important element in the expression of her personality. She embraces the small-town vibe of Serenity but doesn’t want to be defined by it.
…Planting a garden?

All three! The southern aesthetic has so much to do with the outdoors. Maddie would prefer petunias, begonias and sunflowers for their cheerful pops of color, Dana Sue would opt for easy-care but high-impact herbs in the kitchen (and cocktails) like Genovese basil, marjoram, chervil and unusual mints, and Helen would opt for something both exotic and classic, like brightly colored dahlias.
…Kissing Chintz?

Dana Sue loves a bit of sparkle, flash and fun in her eclectic decor.
…take tapestry?
Maddie could think about it, with a feeling of soothing nostalgia. But we know that with her three kids and busy schedule, completing a project would be next to impossible.
…Binge-Watch HGTV?

Maddie, she loves DIY ideas. Although Helen probably peeks in from time to time to make sure she’s solidly in style.
…Read country life

Maddie! Her dynamic and effortless style looks like a perfect match. (Maddie, your subscription is in the mail..)

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