When it comes to emulating a style, many of us want an easy-to-follow formula: shiplap + matte black accents + an oversized wall clock = modern farmhouse, for example. But there’s a difference between emulating and embodying a design philosophy, and the latter is what Alyssa Rosenheck embraces in her upcoming book, The New Southern Style. It’s less about getting the look; more about how people use the items they’ve collected to tell the stories of who they are and who they want to become.
“We don’t pretend the South has reconciled itself,” she writes in the book’s introduction. “We are committed to having the uncomfortable discussions, telling the truth and letting our curiosity fuel questions, in the name of moving civil liberties, gender equality and race relations forward. I am merely a photographer and storyteller, but my goal is to shine light on the idea that art and creativity reveal that we are far more alike than different. I am committed to helping change the narrative.”
The New Southern Style features the homes of entrepreneurs, artists and activists throughout the South, eschewing design formulas for uncovering the “palpable humanity within the four walls of a home” that we can all connect with. Here are some of the key takeaways she found.