Southern Living Idea House 2009

The Southern Living Idea House will be open through Sunday, December 20. Hours are 11 AM – 5 PM Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 PM -5 PM on Sunday. Click here for more information on the Southern Living Idea House.

Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains sits a beautiful community called Achasta. Although only an hour north of Atlanta, you enter a different world where the air is filled with the freshness of the mountains that surround it, where quaint villages and wineries abound.

We certainly understand why Southern Living Magazine chose this beautiful mountain retreat to build their Southern Living Idea House. The views are breathtaking. From the moment you first view the house, you can feel a sense of well-thought-out design. Just the way the house sets on the land and its wide porch greeting you, you know you are in a special place.

The concept of a Southern Living Idea House is to give people “ideas” to translate into their own living environment. The Achasta Southern Living Idea House is a virtual encyclopedia of new and inventive ways of making a house, a home. From the moment you walk through the front door, you are greeted with an open living space that extends directly out to the back veranda overlooking an incredible vista of valleys and mountains. Although the space is very comfortable, it is not overwhelming in size. It includes wonderful built-ins on either side of the fireplace and additional built-ins entering the dining room. The ceiling although vaulted has exposed rafters that keep it intimate and inviting.

Southern Living Idea House

The house although elegant, has a sense of practicality throughout. The fabrics used range from bold prints to subtle neutrals all done with a sense of balance that works. Ballard Designs provided certain furnishings for the Southern Living Idea House. We were thrilled at the chance to work with the magazine.

When people say “it is all in the details” Southern Living took it to the nth degree. For instance, the sofa in the great room is our Manchester sofa, it has great lines and works well with traditional or contemporary settings. The addition of the fretwork trim around the apron of the sofa made it pop with personality. Just a small detail, but what a difference – and with the addition of multiple pillows in varied textures, it made you want to sit down and throw your feet up on the coffee table. It really gave the room and inviting and relaxed look.

Southern Living Idea House

The details were repeated throughout the house, giving it a sense of continuity and panache. One of my favorite rooms was the laundry room, not because I love doing laundry, but it was a multi-purpose room with ample space for a home office as well as an artist studio – so much for laundry! Again, that small decorative trim detail on our Parsons chair – customized it to go with the fabulous built-ins which were the color of the Georgia sky right before sunset.

This is definitely a house that makes you want to find a corner to relax. The activity room is an upstairs hideaway. It is filled with wonderful books and games for a leisurely evening at home. Our Dunstan Wing Chairs were the perfect pair for reading that new novel or a relaxed conversation with friends and family. Who wouldn’t love their own tree house?

Southern Living Idea House

Another surprise was the children’s bedroom. The fresh, bright colors made it feel magical. It was done without being overdone (if you know what I mean). The fabric choices were fresh and colorful without being too childish. Our Louis Daybed was outfitted with bright pillows and crisp linens, highlighting the canopy draped above the bed making it a special place for any child.

All in all, this house was filled with wonderful nooks of inspiration. It is a well thought out, ease of living kind of world tucked into the Georgia Mountains. It is well worth the ride from Atlanta to explore this mountain retreat. You will come away with a lot of ideas for color, storage, and defined spaces to get away from it all. Great job Southern Living!

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Glenn Sturm

    November 11, 2013

    i saw a porch on a mountain house at one of your idea houses. I can’t find the picture again. the porch had a covered fire place on it. Any ideas about where i can find the picture?


    • Reply

      Evden Eve Nakliyat

      February 10, 2016

      Thank You 🙂