With a rich architectural history and some thoughtful elements to escape the heat, the America South has a wealth of design elements worth exploring. From breezy rooms and sophisticated furniture, to the region’s classical sensibilities, we’ve put together some of our favorite design choices for a little inspiration from our Southern neighbors. Check them out below!

ceiling fan

Easy Breezy: Easily the hottest region of the US, the South has always dealt with its fair share of the heat. Before the days of widespread air conditioning, the best recourse was always open windows and ceiling fans. For any stuffy space, a ceiling fan is still the better option for natural air circulation. Sites like Lumens have a wide selection of large ceiling fans from which to choose, ranging from classic designs to sleeker, more contemporary styles. Over the years, the ceiling fan has gotten increasingly more sophisticated in its technology and design, and these days, it’s not a problem to find a style that fits perfectly with your home’s aesthetic.

Blending the Old and the New: While many of us think of Southern style as all Corinthian columns and wicker furniture, the set design of Gone with the Wind isn’t necessarily representative of the region’s rich design culture. From the halls of SCAD to Atlanta’s Buckhead boutiques, there’s no shortage of modern designers creating updated pieces that take inspiration from classic design but employ a thoroughly contemporary eye.

southern houndstooth design

Southern Living suggests taking a classic pattern like houndstooth check and giving it a modern update by playing with more vibrant colors. They also recommend adding a touch of juxtaposition to your décor, pairing your more traditional and heirloom pieces with contemporary art and modern furniture. The effect is a creative look that blends together the old and the new that would look good in any home, regardless of region.

Courtyard Cool: One of the elements of Southern architecture and design we love most is the preponderance of chic courtyards with ivy-covered walls and secluded privacy. Popular in older Southern cities like Savannah, New Orleans, and Charleston, these courtyards are often hidden gems, unseen by the street outside. House Beautiful highlighted Baton Rouge designer, Ty Larkins, who was inspired the classic courtyards of the French Quarter in New Orleans when he created his outdoor space with a fireplace and wrought-iron hanging chandelier, perfect for entertaining on a warm evening.

The lush landscaping and brick-lined courtyards are a wonderful outdoor additional to the home, and we’re certainly jealous of the Southerners who have them. These urban oases are probably better suited to those living in warm climates, but their charm isn’t necessarily limited by a little chill.

Incorporate a few of these Southern design ideas into your home for a sophisticated look that works no matter which region you’re living in!