Feature Friday: Southern Living Idea House in Senoia, GA

You all are in for a FUN treat today!  Wait til you see this house.  I got an invitation to preview the Southern Living Idea House down in Senoia, GA (south of the airport) last week and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw that it is a restored farmhouse.  It did not disappoint at all.  My friends, Debbie and Jen and I ooohed and ahhhhed over all the beautiful furnishings and the architectural details in this house.

We found out from talking to the Southern Living folks that the house was in a state of ruin when it was bought and moved next door to a new foundation.  The farmhouse was restored and added on to and now it’s ready for the 21st century.

The party was to celebrate the partnership of Southern Living and Ballard Designs new tabletop collection, which was highlighted at the event. Beautiful collection of tableware! And Ballard Designs furnished the house, so you know that’s a good thing.

Are you ready?  You know I always take a ton of pics and as usual, I’ll have to split this up in 2 parts.


A large sign listing sponsors is outside on the corner.   The little town of Senoia, GA is where the house is located. This was my first time visiting Senoia.

Interior Design: Tracery Interiors of Mtn Brook, AL/Rosemary Beach, FL

We found out that Senoia is a full-fledged movie town and lots of movies and TV shows are filmed here.  We met the producer of The Walking Dead, and he lives across from the house in a brownstone (just over there) and shoots the show full time in Senoia.  He loves living there away from the traffic in Atlanta.

Very cool bit of trivia to learn! I’m not a huge fan of zombies, but apparently teenage boys think this show is the bomb.

Southern Living Idea House Senoia

The house sits on a pretty corner all picturesque and stately.  Very Southern, don’t you think?


Think old farmhouse updated for modern life.  That’s what this house is all about.


Southern Living and Ballard Designs, two of my favorite brands.


They greeted us on the porch with drinks and pretty tables.


And what a front porch this is.


With a swing and sitting area on one end, wow is the word to describe this. Love old fashioned porches like this.  My grandma in Florida had a porch very similar with a swing sitting in this same spot at her house.  I have fond memories of swinging in that swing as a youngster.


So I couldn’t resist trying out that swing for a bit.


Love the pair of planters flanking the front door.


Inside the the foyer, this wall grouping was beautiful.

Southern Living Idea house living room

Turn to the right and there’s the living room, dining room and kitchen.


This pretty console table was behind the sofa with all sorts of pretties grouped together.


The living room was very neutral, but definitely not boring.


The sofa in the living room looking back towards the foyer.


A vignette on the floor in the corner. Love old things, don’t you?


The coffee table looked artfully arranged, but almost as if someone could sit right down and be at home.


Check out the dining room nook, a wall of windows. And do you see that ginormous lantern? Yep, that’s the one I just bought for my dining room, the Calisse! I gasped when I saw it hanging there.


And here’s the kitchen and it’s a beauty. Guess where these cabinets are from? Can you believe this is an Ikea kitchen? I haven’t spilled this yet, but I’m leaning heavily towards getting these cabinets myself in my new house. The door style is Adel and they are beautiful.


Seeing this kitchen just further pushes me towards Ikea. It’s a stunning kitchen and I would happily love it.


On one side of the kitchen, these stacking open shelves display the new tabletop collection of Southern Living/Ballard Designs. Pretty, aren’t they?!


Another look at those beautiful cabinets, I’m really diggin’ that chevron rug too.


Displays on the countertop.


Close up of the cabinets.




The dishwasher even had a paneled door to match, I thought that was very clever.


One more shot, I can’t get enough of this beautiful kitchen.


This was some clever storage on a nearby wall. Hanging baskets from Ballards.


Right next to the kitchen, this beautiful little sitting area was prettily adorned.


Check out that paint treatment, I really really like it.


The console is decorated with some vintage finds.


A back mudroom with hooks and brick floors.


Staircase going up to the 2nd floor.


We loved these café curtains. So cute! And that long row of hooks could come in handy too.


Cows and antlers and schoolhouse lights. A nice combo in a farmhouse.


The laundryroom is off this area too.


With chalkboard paint and a pretty sink.


Upstairs is a guestroom.


Sitting area.

sliding barn doors

Sliding barn doors


This hardware seems to be easy to find now and I’d love to find an old door and do this on my closet door instead of the bifolds. One day!


Headboard and striped shams.


Pretty bathroom with vintage style tile. Love this! Maybe I’ll do some vintage tile in my bathrooms eventually.


Cute little sink.


A Southern sign. In Jawjah…did you get that one? Smile

So, Micah from Old Try, the Southern team behind these cute vintage typography signs, stopped by to tell me the meaning of this one. I’m usually pretty good at this Southern stuff, but this one stumped me a bit. It means ATL, GA. Say each letter out loud, with a Southern drawl. Cool! I’m really liking their signs. Check out their site, I love their story.


From upstairs looking down.

So, that’s Part 1 of the house and I’ll show the other 1/2 next week! It’s beautiful, inside and out! What did you think? Do you love this house as much as we did?
shabby creek cottage

- Rhoda


  1. The porch, kitchen cabinets, sink and the chest are definitely gorgeous! I can’t wait to see the next set of pictures.

  2. What an awesome day that must have been Rhoda hanging out in this ridiculously gorgeous house! Oh my oh my. I got my ballard magazine the other day and it had all their tabletop stuff and I love it. This post gave me some great ideas for our kitchen with the dark shelves and white cabinets as well as the hanging magazine/book racks. Do you think maybe they would let me move in for just a bit? hehe. Can’t wait to see ya soon!

  3. LOVE this house. Love Ballard and Southern Living. Can’t wait for part 2. I need to go visit this house the next time I’m over in Atlanta to visit our families. 🙂

  4. Spectacular home. I would be happy just living on front porch! I love how they rescued this beauty. It speaks to my heart.

  5. I love Southern Living and Ballards, also. I miss living in the south and the beautiful homes there. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Linda Bumgardner says:

    Really loving that IKEA kitchen! I had no idea their cabinets were so pretty. Does anyone know the price point?

    • Linda, it just depends on how big your kitchen is. I went to Ikea & got an estimate for my kitchen for around $3300. Not bad compared to the others I’ve gotten.

      • Beautiful kitchen! Thank you for the post!
        What colour white were the walls painted to match the particular white of the ikea cabinets?

  7. I love how they rescued this house and brought it into modern times. Thanks for showing this as I got many ideas for our little house. I have been drooling over those Southern Living items since I saw them in the Ballards catalog.And you should definitely go with those cabinets, Rhoda. They are gorgeous!

  8. Doris Self says:

    I think this is my favorite house you have ever posted. I really like the cabinets and the different pictures especially the grouping on the fireplace. My taste!!

  9. Love the exterior of the house and that porch is great. Love the hydrangeas in the planters! I’ll be honest though, I was disappointed in the furnishings. I just thought there was too much stuff in most places. I’m not a less is more type person, but some of those groupings are almost cluttered looking.

    Will be interesting to see the bedrooms.


  10. Amanda in NC says:

    Oh to have a porch that big and grand! Definitely my favorite part!

  11. I love it so much! all of it! thanks for sharing!

  12. I do like this house, Rhoda. Lots of ideas, I love. Shared your post on FB.

  13. Somedays it is easy to be jealous of you Rhoda!!:) What a beautiful home. I did see the Southern Living products in my latest Ballard catalog. Everything is beautiful.

  14. carolyn smith says:

    That front porch was my favorite. Thank you for always having the best photos to share. Definitely will have to take a Sat and friends over there to see this house since I am only an hour away.
    Rhoda I happen to find you one evening a few months ago during one of my searches for a decorating item and have been hooked ever since. I love your blog, your sweet sweet parents and the renovations that are happening on your soon to be home, love it all.
    Wondered if you could email me your location in Atlanta since I just live west of there and definitely want to attempt to come help paint the next time you have a gathering to do so. Thanks a bunch.

    • Hey, Carolyn, thank you so much for the offer. I am not sure that we will have another painting party. We are starting the walls on Monday & have a painter friend coming in to help us, so once those are done we will almost be finished with painting projects for now. Thank you though!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Darn, I want to see more, hate to wait! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this beautiful home.

    (I have several 30-something year old friends who love The Walking Dead… I watched a couple of episodes and was surprised it was enjoyable as it was, but I haven’t watched more because I actually do enjoy sleeping at night and it’s not the most settling show to watch before bed. *grin*)

  16. Elizabeth H says:

    Love this house and so glad it was “saved”. Wish I had an Ikea store near me. Those cabinets are beautiful.

  17. Great pics, Rhoda! I pinned a few for inspiration. 🙂
    Can’t wait to see part 2!

  18. Kathy B. says:

    Really enjoyed the tour…..looking forward to seeing more! I’m sure there are times you get tired of schlepping your camera and taking all these pictures for us, but be assured, we appreciate ya!

    I have a nice, large home, but boy, is it ever stuck in the early 90’s decorating style. I tell people, “my house is stuck in the 90’s, and my hairdo is stuck in the 70’s.” HA! Both are so true. I’m not much for change. But this farmhouse is so much more my style now rather then these oriental rugs, mahagony furniture, and endless brass fixtures I have everywhere. Oh well, maybe one day change will come…even to me.

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Tardevil says:

    Thanks for sharing the tour. Loved the kitchen and the planters on the front porch, and I love that Ballard’s and Southern Living have teamed up. This house is a nice farmhouse, but it didn’t ‘wow’ me like some of the former SL houses did. I like a little more color.

  20. OH MY WORD! love it! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. When I read the title I thought it was the old one in Senoia but was quickly thrilled to see if was this one. I loved the lights in the kitchen. The island reminds me of Ina’s. I ADORE that gingham paint treatment…hmm where can I use it? I see they jumped on the barndoor bandwagon, but it does fit with a FARMhouse. Can’t wait for part 2.
    happy friday!

  21. Color me a SOUTHERN LIVING ADDICT!!!

    I love everything they do – thanks for giving us a heads up.
    Can’t wait to see this in the September issue with resource leads.


  22. Oh I just love this house! And I’m a huge, huge Walking Dead fan & so is my hubby! Love that show & I’d have swooned upon meeting one of the producers. Was it Glen Mazzara? He’s the one who took over as showrunner when Frank Darabont left. Anyhow, very lovely home. Thank you very much for showcasing it!

    • Oh, I didn’t get his card, so I don’t remember the name. He lives in a brownstone across the street from the house.

  23. Linda@Coastal Charm says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this charming home with me…I always love seeing there homes and this one is so my style. I have never heard of this area of Atlanta, so maybe I should check it out.


  24. I do love this, Rhoda. The house looks gorgeous, and I enjoy seeing all the design ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Delores LeBoeuf says:

    WOW, what a treat! Thnx for the tour. Loved it all, I’m one of those city transplants, and true to the ‘ol cliche, “can take the girl out of the country but never the country oughta the girl”, so I completely identified with everything farm…….Love & Blessings, Lady Delores.

  26. Love love love the porch (I do wish they had done a round column instead of the square, but it is still very pretty), but I am a bit disappointed in the interior. The space is great, but most of it seems too modern for a “southern” house. To me, the vinettes and “vintage” items come across as kitschy and instead of traditional. But I think that would change if a family moved in and warmed it up a bit with their personal items. Granted, this is an “idea” house, so on that note, the did well. I am on the hunt for an old barn door, and I am in Oklahoma, so if I find one, and you are willing to travel, I will let you know.


  27. What a wonderful treat! Thank you for sharing the tour, I have been eyeing some other those items in the catalog!

    As for The walking dead….LOVE it! I never thought I would be interested in anything zombie ish..but I heard so many raves about it, my husband and I gave it a shot and we are hooked! It is soooo addicting. Another show we love is The Vampire Diaries!

  28. Not to be confused with the other Lori from Oklahoma (above…how crazy is that!!!!!???), I loved the entire house. I could move in and be happy. AND I was glad to see the cafe curtains. I put some of those in my own laundry room. I really want to try the paint treatment. I love the color and the look! Lori Lucas/Oklahoma

  29. Another great post! I, too, love the kitchen lights over the island. Do you know where those came from?

    • I think most of the lighting is from Ballards. I’ll have to go back & look at those again in the pics, but I bet they are from BD.

  30. LOVE this house! SO many ideas for my house… thanks for sharing! NOW, I wonder if I could talk my husband into taking a short drive down 85?? Hmmmm….

    By the way, I LOVE how your house is coming along. I cannot wait to see it all done. I know that you are getting very excited about moving in. 🙂

  31. Do it, Rhoda! Go for the Ikea cabinets! My husband and I installed them in our laundry room and we are *so*happy*with*them! We’ve always said if we ever re-do a kitchen, then Ikea is the way to go! If i makes you feel any better, Sarah Richardson almost always uses Ikea cabinetry on her shows. And you can really glam it up with countertops from other stores, beautiful backsplashes, etc, etc. Do it, do it!! You won’t regret it 🙂


    • Lindsay, lovely laundry room!! Ikea does have some great looking cabinets. I’m pretty sure that is the way I’ll go too.

  32. Liz VanKirk says:

    Loved the color palette in this updated farmhouse. If only I could turn my boring colonial 2 story into a comfy cottage urban farmhouse! I can’t wait to see the photos next week as well as your new place. I know – its a work in progress! Thanks for sharing.

  33. OK, that was fun!

    NOW…I get the Jawjah (Georgia) but what the heck does Hay Tea Ale mean???

    • Well, I get Hay and Tea as being Southern, but the Ale part suprised me too. Drinking an ale, I guess?!

      • I think “Hay Tea Ale” is how we say “ATL.” So it says “Atlanta, Georgia” in our Southern accents. 🙂

        • Catherine Cook says:

          Ohhhh, now I get it! LOL I just couldn’t figure it out. Cute! The house is just wonderful and, Rhoda, I so enjoy your blog and your progress on your own new house.

  34. OMG….this house is amazing…..I love that couch….and can’t wait to see the rest. Loved it. I think you can’t go wrong with an IKEA kitchen…..I go nuts evertime I see their kitchens and think they are really beautiful…….

  35. Rhoda, thank you so, so much for sharing these. I love everything about this house and since there’s no way this Kansas girl will get to see it, I loved your photo tour.

    That plaid painted wall is wonderful! Any idea what the countertops in the kitchen are?

  36. I LOVE the house and your photographs! The exterior looks so much like the photos of houses that I’ve collected for my dream home. I noticed the dining room rug is the jute rug that’s in their catalog. Can anyone give me their opinion on having that rug under a mahogany dining table? (I’m getting rid of my oriental)

    • Penny, I had a seagrass under my very traditional table in my old house & will have one in my new dining room too. I love the mix of traditional furniture and natural fiber rugs. Go for it!

  37. So beautiful & so many ideas to get here for my own house.

    You will have to explain the southern jawl to me in your next post on this house. I am in the south but I guess I’m not far enough south to have heard this before. Is there more to it than the obvious definitions of hay, tea & ale?

    • Hi, Jen, I am not sure I can explain that one either. I guess it is just Southern terms. The ale was not an obvious one to me either.

  38. Kathy :) says:

    Oh Rhoda what a beauty….I adore that paint treatment in the little sitting area !!!

    I NEED one of those sliding doors…..too 🙂

    All the best,
    Kathy 🙂

    ps your Casa is coming along nicely, and your Mum and Dad, bless their hearts are SUPER !!!!

  39. Kathy :) says:

    Rhoda….that sign HAY TEA and ALE does that mean “hey to y’all ??”

  40. It is certainly beautiful….will have to plan a trip to visit . Of course, they may have to pry my hands off that kitchen to get me out! I love Ikea kitchens….I was pleasantly surprised to see they do have traditional styles as well as modern.

    I watched the “time-lapsed” photography of the renovation, and I must say “renovation” is an understatement. What a transformation!

    Thanks for sharing…your pics are grand!

  41. Rhoda, this house is lovely!! I look forward to the design house every year but I’m so excited to see your photos because it so much more thorough then the magazine coverage will be!! Hard to pick a favorite here… there are just so many good ideas. Thank you so much for sharing. And, I’m super excited to meet you at Haven in a couple of weeks!! ~ Jennifer

  42. Paula B. says:

    Loved it, thanks for the tour. I bet you came home with a few ideas of your own!

  43. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my mouth. Oh heavens. I didn’t think it could get any better than Ballard but paired with SL – well, I guess it can. That home is a dream. I love every single detail about it. I would love to visit it and see it in person. I bet you were in photography Heaven. I bet you were flashing away like a mad woman cause I know I would have been. Can;t wait to see the rest! If my flittering heart can even stand it.

  44. That’s pretty much my dream house! Makes me want to move to the South, because here in California, that would easily cost a couple mil. ~sigh~

  45. Yes this is a very adorable house so far. I am liking the purse hook thingy. Great idea! where was the t located in family room? or was there one. Love the sitting area gingham paint walls!

  46. That is a beautiful house! I love me a big ol’ porch and a swing. 🙂 Looks like I need to make a trip to see and drool in person.

  47. I’m amazed at how livable the house seems even though it’s so beautiful! I think you’re right on track with the Ikea cabinets and I love their farmhouse sink, too. Can’t wait to see the rest of the house!!

  48. Thanks for such a fabulous tour Rhoda! I noticed that there was a skirted sink (yes?) in the kitchen by the doorway. I’m thinking that would be terrific for all kinds of tasks. Lots of clever ideas. A fun day for you and the girls!

  49. I tried to see it last weekend but it was closed! Hoping to see this weekend. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to see those Ikea cabinets. Senoia is a great little town and chock full of cute shops. Check out Beyond the Door if you get a chance, great stuff and local artist wares. Also, have you seen the net zero house by Bosch and furnished by Jill Sharp Brinson/Ballard in Serenebe? Loved it too!

  50. Thanks so much for sharing – it is so pretty! Take care, Laura

  51. Wow! That’s a heck of a lot of awesomeness in one post! You are soooo lucky to get to do all these fun things! I’m with you about the ikea cabinets. Go for it! I would do the same if I was in the market for kitchen cabinets. And you look adorable on the swing…love the way your top coordinated with the rest of the pic. Yeah, I notice stuff like that. 😉

  52. Oh my, I just found my dream home!!! Can’t wait to see part II! 🙂

  53. WOW! WOW! WOW! I need to take a road trip to GA! I have not been able to get to an idea house since they had one in Oxford, MS. I can’t wait to sit a spend some time studying these pictures. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to see it in the magazine, but they never have enough pictures for me!

  54. Oh wow! I’m so glad that you took pictures and are sharing them. I feel like I’m getting to go on the tour with you. I can’t wait to see part 2!

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

  55. It is beautifully done, but personally I need more color. I love the vignette of old wooden boxes and the 3 baskets hanging vertically on the wall.

    Thanks for sharing since I can’t get there myself.

  56. Cindy Crews says:

    Thank you for sharing Rhoda!

    An interesting tidbit regarding The Walking Dead. A child star in the show, who plays Carl, the son of the main character is Chandler Riggs. Chandler lives in my neighborhood in Towne Lake, and his mom and I taught together at Bascomb Elementary School. I don’t normally watch shows in this genre, but knowing Chandler and watching him grow up got me to watch it and I am hooked now! Should you decide to watch, be sure to look for Chandler!

  57. Victoria says:

    Love that porch! So inviting with the colorful pillows. And that lantern above the front door and the lantern in the dining room! And the paint treatment. Everything was just perfect! Thanks for sharing it with us! So many great ideas to glean!

  58. Rhoda…thanks for all they great pictures!!! I really want to get there in person so see it. What a great house.

  59. I live in Senoia and wanted to go to the idea house with some of my teacher friends this summer! Now I can’t wait! Just curious, did you go on to Main Street? There are some awesome decor shops there and Founders restuarant is great for lunch with the ladies!

  60. It’s so pretty, I love that it looks like you already live there! Awesome mix of old and new!

  61. Hi Rhoda – Thanks for the sneak peek! Can’t wait to see it in the mag soon. I thought you might want to add that the interiors were designed by Tracery Interiors of Mtn Brook, AL/Rosemary Beach, FL. They did a fantastic job and deserve a shout-out!

  62. I love this house!

  63. I guess Rhoda should get a swing for her house too :). Love the Jawjah sign sends my daddy was born and raised there. Great pics.

  64. Elizabeth says:

    Do you know if the kitchen appliances were also IKEA? Love that kitchen! Also, thanks for explaining the ATL, GA sign. I got the Georgia part with the drawl, but couldn’t figure out the top part. How fun!

  65. beautiful, rhoda! would love to share this with our readers. looking forward to you stopping by and participating in our linky party http://www.finecraftguild.com/party/
    love to see more of your work over time.

  66. Absolutely gorgeous, Rhoda! I’m so glad you thought of us when you visited that house. 🙂 I love the flow…the colors….the textures….It’s just perfection!

    xoxo laurie

  67. Stuff like this makes me love being Southern even more. Thank you for sharing – it is all awesome!!!

  68. Love your blog, following your home renovation – amazing. Adore your parents and have just one complaint! Now when I open your blog (and other blogher blogs) I am reminded of the old days of popup ads. Suddenly this popup on the screen slows everything down as it downloads and then it is just some sort of annoying ad that I have to close. Kind of a pain. Any suggestions on how to stop? I use an iPad or Mac Pro.

  69. stewcarol says:

    Love it Rhoda! This is a small world but I just moved from Chicago to Knoxville, so I am now doing Southern Living for real life. Moved this weekend, unpacking boxes, and treated myself to this magazine this morning and even copied the sofa table vignette in my family room (magazine version less crowded, still fab). Then browsing blogs tonight and see you’ve got LOTS more pics of this gorgeous home. I’ve got lots of new spaces to decorate so will be following your inspiration (as usual). Thanks for the good ideas.

  70. Screendoorgirl 3 says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love it– Neutrals done right .. Thanks!

  71. Shannon Tate says:

    Does anyone know where that gray settee in the sitting area is from? Ballard Designs? Couldn’t find it on their site.

  72. Brenda Dodd Smith Swindall says:

    Lovely, so many beautiful features. Love Ballard and Southern Living teaming up.
    Love the mud room and kitchen.

  73. Peg Palen says:

    What a dream! There is only one thing I didn’t like- it’s not mine!!!

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