The Southern Art of Comfort-First Hospitality

From oh-so-soft rugs to the fluffiest towels, these ideas will inspire rest and relaxation

Each time I drive to Virginia to visit my hometown and see my parents, my mom never fails to do three very Southern things to make my stay more comfortable: She cuts fresh flowers from the yard and places them beside my bed; she irons my bed linens; and she fills a carafe of water and a little basket of snacks for my room—all welcome sights after a long trip. And while she is incredibly thoughtful in general (love you, Mom!), I think a lot of other Southerners will identify with her actions. 

A few years ago, I posted a photo of Mom’s bedside flowers on my Instagram account and the deluge of “My Mom does that too!” comments just kept coming. Call it empathy, call it understanding the needs of other humans and making them feel welcome, call it hospitality, but Southerners are very, very good at understanding the importance of creature comforts. And it doesn’t just apply to the way we treat guests: During this strange time at staying at home more than usual, a new set of soft bath towels or a cozy throw can offer a bit of solace. Below are a few ideas for fluffing your own home to consider—including something for those bedside blooms.

The inspiration for this Jayson Home vessel is decidedly sylvan, but it’s also reminiscent of classic tulipieres, too. I love that it gives support to single stems that might otherwise droop. $68; jaysonhome.com

Bath Towels
Fluffy, marshmallow-y towels are a balm for the soul (especially if you put them in the dryer before using…or the freezer in summer—trust me), and I love the turquoise stripe on this particular set by Pine Cone Hill. $24–98; annieselke.com

Charcuterie Board
When things get tough, get out the good cheese and the cured meat and pile it high on this huge pine grazing board from Atlanta’s etúHOME. $130; ethuhome.com

Cozy up in a crafted-in-the-Carolinas Covered in Cotton blanket, the overall winner of last year’s Made in the South Awards. $90; ggfieldshop.com

If you want to give a room more soul, skip the overhead lights and show lamps some love. Here’s a good place to start: Invest in this handmade wicker design by Palm Beach native Celerie Kemble. It’s quintessentially Southern and gives rooms a summertime vibe by day and throws dappled light by night. $695; furbishstudio.com

New sheets are a life-changing experience, and the new collaboration between Schumacher (a storied fabric house) and Matouk is beautiful. I’m partial to the Burnett print in berry. $88–$374; matouk.com

Consider this Serena & Lily rug like sweatpants for your feet. It’s made from super-soft, patchworked white cowhide, which sounds high maintenance but isn’t: The organic material can easily be scrubbed clean. $1,298–$3,298; serenaandlily.com

Savannah’s Weezie Towels recently debuted a line of short, printed robes that are perfect for summer. $145; weezietowels.com

The terrazzo-tile-inspired print on these clever Pine Cone Hill pajamas also looks as fun as confetti. $132; annieselke.com

You can wear these J.Crew mules as bedroom slippers, or real shoes, or both. $88; jcrew.com

A fresh, printed cotton table-topper like this one from Atlanta’s Dear Keaton is a mood shifter for sure. $80–$90; dearkeaton.com

This dressed down, hand-painted dinnerware by Molly Hatch channels something you might see in an old-school beach house. $40 each; mollyhatch.com

Get organized beautifully with these glass canisters by Atlanta’s etúHOME. They’re perfect for showing off coffee and snacks in the kitchen or equally pretty as display vessels for soaps (or as a way to elevate everyday items like a roll of toilet paper). $44–$66; etuhome.com

Leave it to the island expert and Bahamas interior designer Amanda Lindroth to create perfectly proportioned seagrass placemats that are bright spots for the table. $35 each; amandalindroth.com

One of the easiest ways to usher in a new season in a Southern house? New napkins like these bright creations by Utopia Goods. $59 for a set of two; ggfieldshop.com

Keeping cold water by a guest bed or half-and-half sweet tea on the kitchen counter are small ways to take care of yourself and your guests, and this double-handled La Riccia pitcher is the perfect container for either. $195; ilbuco.com

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