The 10 Commandments of Southern Living by Editor Lindsay Bierman

Have you seen the latest issue of Southern Living magazine yet?  It features the Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel here in Nashville, where I got to meet with Southern Living editor, Lindsay Bierman, just a few weeks ago when I got a sneak-peek tour of the home:

lindsay bierman and The Decorologist

Lindsay Bierman and me at Fontanel 2013 Idea House


In the August edition of Southern Living, Lindsay lays out the “10 Commandments of Southern Living.”   My favorites include:  


1.  Thou Shalt Build Smaller.  

“. . . scaling down from what you think you need forces you to edit your possessions to what you love most and will actually use . . . you’re better off focusing on the quality – not the quantity – of space.”  I’ve always been a big fan of Sarah Susanka’s The Not So Big House book series and the concept of smaller, better spaces.


Sarah Susanka 


2.  Thou Shalt Restrain Thy Palette.

” Don’t fall under a spec builder’s spell of showy fourishes to make a property stand out.”  I couldn’t agree more!  Just because you CAN stone, brick, granite, wood, masonry, etc. in one space, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.


fontanel-idea-house-front-door-l lovely but restrained entry to 2013 Southern Living Idea House 


9.  Thou Shalt Hinge Thy Shutters.

“Shutters should shut, or at the very least look like they can.  Each panel should measure half the width of your window opening.”  This is one of Mr. Man‘s pet peeves.  Nothing worse on an exterior than skimpy, undersized shutters.




You can read the rest of Lindsay’s 10 Commandments in this month’s Southern Living.  Later this week I’ll take you through some of my favorite spaces in the Southern Living Fontanel Idea House and share the exact paint colors chosen by designer, Phoebe Howard.  The Idea House at Fontanel in Nashville is open through December on Wednesdays – Sundays from 9:00 to 3:00.

Can you think of a Commandment of Southern Living that you’d like to add?


  1. ceil tarwater

    Being an avid reader of Southern Living magazine, I had already read the ten commandments article and the advise is spot on!…Just like your lovely picture with Lindsey Bierman!! Kudos!!

  2. Connie Nikiforoff Designs

    I totally agree! Here up north, we rarely see ‘real’ shutters …usually just the decorative type. But they do look wonderful. I especially love #1 and #2 above. Restraint is a good thing 😉 Just cuz you have a lot of colors to use, doesn’t mean ya outta do them…inside or out 😉 (OK…I confess: I love neutrals.) Thanks so much this post!

  3. Paula Van Hoogen

    I have been reading Mr. Bierman’s editorials lately and have remarked to Neil how insightful and articulate this guy is! He “cuts through the crap”, if you will. Every one of his articles is good!
    With this kind of leadership at the helm, Southern Living is bound to get a renewed shot in the arm!
    Thanks for posting this…I am forwarding it to a gal who will soon build in OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!!
    Also will be recommending that she subscribe to your blog, as well!

    • Paula Van Hoogen

      And…I notice that I need to restrain my use of exclamation points. 🙂

  4. Laila Poole

    My all time favorite magazine! I haven’t had a chance to read my copy yet, but we’re going on a road trip this weekend and I’ll be able to read it then. So impressed you got to meet Lindsey Bierman! 🙂

  5. Ellen

    Draperies, referred to as the verb, drapes, and consisting of a flat panel of fabric hung by clip-on rings. Ugh.

  6. Kelly

    Great picture Kristie! I think Sarah Susanka’s book is a great lesson in down sizing. I think that is the way we are headed. Less is more. Simple and beautiful!

  7. Lisa

    Thank you for introducing me to Sarah’s book. I’ve got it on my Amazon wish list.

  8. Michelle at Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust

    This was fun & I can’t wait to see the rest of the commandments. I’ve been on vacation & it’s fun being here again & catching up on your awesome blog!

    Warmly, Michelle

  9. Denise

    Not at ALL a fan of Bierman as the SL editor. I completely disagreed with almost all of the “commandments.” SL is becoming an unrecognizable version of its former self, and will lose many loyal subscribers in the process (myself included).


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