The Exceptional Interior Designer You’ve Never Heard Of

 

Well, some of you may have. Show of hands please.

How many of you have ever heard of interior designer Furlow Gatewood?

Don’t worry if you haven’t. He should be a household name, because he is just that fabulous.

He’s not.

In fact, nobody except for a very precious few had ever heard of him until he was about 90.

Yes, that’s right, until he was 90.

And that was just about four years ago.

So, who is Furlow Gatewood and why all the mystery?

Alright. I did research this post. Extensively, however what I do is read many, many articles and then write what I remember, for the most part. I figure that the parts that stand out, are the ones worth telling y’all about.

Furlow has been an interior designer all of his life, but he is also an antiques dealer and has as his best buds the likes of decorating power duo, John Rosselli and Bunny Williams.

As an aside. Bunny Williams is going to be at the blogger’s conference at the end of next month in Atlanta. And I’m going again. And you better by golly be sure that I’m going to make it my mission to meet her and probably make a total ass out of myself. That’s how much I LOVE her!

Back to Furlow. He inherited a gorgeous 11 acre piece of property in Americas, Georgia.

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Then, at the tender age of 82 decided to put several homes on it. No architect necessary. Some of the dwellings were picked up and moved and some evolved or were transformed. Still others were built around gorgeous antique doors and mouldings.

In addition to the homes, live the most exquisite gardens God ever created and enough adorable animals to fill an ark; most notably an exquisite assortment of Peacocks both blue and white. As you can see, potted blue hydrangeas line the driveway.

Driveway?

That my friends is the road to paradise.

photo-rod-collins-interior-designer-furlow-gatewoodThis is the main home named Cuthbert. This gothic revival cottage also has elements of neo-classical, Chinoiserie and antiques from all over the world. It’s a lifetime of collecting. I’m getting chills as I write that.

Interesting fact: Furlow had this home picked up in two pieces and added a kitchen!

Before I go on, I’m going to try and steer clear of the images that were published in Veranda and House Beautiful. There may be a couple images from his book, but most I found online and were taken by the wonderful photographer Rod Collins. Unless otherwise specified, they are his photos. Some, I cropped so that you could see the incredible detailing better.

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Furlow has a passion for blue and white Chinoiserie porcelain. It is sprinkled liberally throughout all of his homes.

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The architectural detailing is not to be believed. The impossibly high ceilings with windows that reach to the heavens are my fantasy.

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The styling is relaxed and “cluttered.” I hate the word clutter. His homes are filled with the things he loves. That is not clutter.

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Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better. He pushed me over the edge with this room. All of it.

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That painted floor! Folks, this is an “old man” who did this! haha! Maybe in chronological years, but that’s it!

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I know. Everyone plotzes over these French doors.

The hurricane sconce is one that I’ve long admired and available through John Rosselli and Assoc.

Mr. Gatewood’s bedroom. Love the switch of palette.

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Old world art. Simple linen. Gingham and marble. It all just goes.

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Lucky doggie is right!

photo-rod-collins-interior-designer-furlow-gatewoodMr. Gatewood looking dapper in his lovely garden. I hear that he refers to the 11 acres as his yard. Enchanting!

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No, no one is paying me to plug his book. I don’t have it but I hear that it’s absolutely unreal and a must have. Published by Rizzoli and available on Amazon

 

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  • Ellen Hodges - June 29, 2017 - 8:25 AM

    Furlow Gatewood’s ‘One Man’s Folly’ is defintely my favorite interior design book. I truly wish he had revealed the gray paint colors (wall and trim) he used so often. Laurel, what is your guess?ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Neustel - June 18, 2017 - 2:47 AM

    I was looking through some of your older posts and found this one. These rooms made my mouth water – all those lamps, mirrors, books, pictures…they were too much. I had to go to bed so I could dream! Well, it is 2:46 a.m. lolReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 18, 2017 - 10:35 AM

      Furlow Gatewood is amazing and he is well into his 90s! Glad that you enjoyed. You should get his book!

      Here’s a link to get it if you’d like to look into it.ReplyCancel

  • maureen graham - March 26, 2017 - 2:14 PM

    Furlow Gatewood is indeed a genius and I urge all design obssesives to buy

    his book, One Man’s Folly.

    Another favorite designer of mine: Dan Caruthers..unfortunately, I do believe he has or had Alzheimer’s Disease. Such a great loss…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 26, 2017 - 6:24 PM

      Hi Maureen,

      I couldn’t agree more about Furlow Gatewoood’s book. It’s my all-time fave. Gorgeous beyond all explanation.

      And for anyone reading this and wanting it, please look in the menu in the books category and you’ll find it for sale in the first bunch of books. “One Man’s Folly.”

      Oh, that’s horrible to hear about Dan Caruthers. I did not know that.ReplyCancel

  • Cam - September 16, 2016 - 11:47 PM

    What a lovely plug…..
    I have followed Bunny for years. Nice to see wonderful stories on incredible designers. Thank you for the information! You may want to look at my pins on Designers and friends. I worked with Barry Dixon many years ago. He is incredible and has a wonderful sense of style!ReplyCancel

  • Ebanista - September 13, 2016 - 12:50 PM

    Such a wonderful post. Mr. Gateswood’s home is magical and inspiring. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara - August 14, 2016 - 10:13 AM

    So lovely the blue and white and gray!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 14, 2016 - 12:28 PM

      Hi Barbara,

      My heart starts beating out of my chest when I think of his rooms!ReplyCancel

  • Betty - August 8, 2016 - 9:01 AM

    These rooms leave me absolutely breathless. His home is quietly peaceful, I can imagine walking through the “garden” watching peacocks stroll and flowers bloom. What a wonderful man to give us the opportunity to enter his world.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Jane - August 2, 2016 - 4:19 PM

    I can’t stop looking at his book! I think my family thinks I’ve lost it. His design is absolute perfection.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - May 8, 2016 - 7:40 AM

    We bought his book when it first was released and it is truly my favourite. Every time I look at it I see something new. He is an amazing and talented man with a passion for living well. Thank you for giving him the recognition he deservesReplyCancel

  • Nancy Hammes - October 31, 2015 - 11:52 PM

    Would like to view some of your design work. Love the shutters too!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Boyd - September 20, 2015 - 2:54 PM

    Gorgeousness! I’m smitten with this post. Thank you, Laurel, for sharing with us this wonderful man’s talent.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 20, 2015 - 3:22 PM

      Haha! Thank you Susan, the haha is because I just blogged and most comments are from that post. I forgot that sometimes I get comments from old posts during that time. The post was about a total jerk who got screwed in an online furniture deal gone horribly wrong. I suppose one could say that being an a-hole is a kind of talent? lol

      Furlow is the real deal, however. ReplyCancel

  • anne davis - July 26, 2015 - 9:01 PM

    Honestly, I’d kill for that desk in his bedroom!ReplyCancel

  • Karin - July 22, 2015 - 8:43 PM

    Is he (single)available?ReplyCancel

  • Lorraine - July 8, 2015 - 6:43 PM

    Absolutely beautiful! That’s all I can sayReplyCancel

  • Dolores - March 11, 2015 - 7:44 PM

    Your article is the perfect tribute to this great designer’s book.I just love it..ReplyCancel

  • Janet Barclay - February 2, 2015 - 7:45 AM

    Wow, this is beautiful! I also have a weakness for all things blue. It’s so inspiring to read about someone who achieved so much so late in life. How often have we said “I’d like to XXX but I’m too old to start now.” At least I have.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - January 26, 2015 - 11:11 PM

    I loved the Veranda spread on his gorgeous home, and the grounds are to die for, but have you ever heard a peacock scream? Bloodcurdling. (But at 90-plus, maybe he can’t hear them).ReplyCancel

  • Veronica - January 26, 2015 - 1:53 PM

    Whoa! Why haven’t I heard of this gentleman! I love his style and the use of color is amazing! I will be snagging that book! Thanks for sharingReplyCancel

  • Lin Moen - January 26, 2015 - 11:34 AM

    I have a mad crush on Furlow! I have the book & it is a joyous treat! Thanks for sharing photos I haven’t seen — can’t seem to get enough of his style mix!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - January 26, 2015 - 9:06 AM

    Amazing style. Thanks for sharing. Have ordered the book. Love your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Powell {at} Powell Brower Interiors - January 26, 2015 - 8:45 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I absolutely love his style and amazing eye. His estate is gorgeous beyond belief! Ive got to get that book! xo NancyReplyCancel

  • Brenda - January 26, 2015 - 12:04 AM

    Mr. Gateswood’s home is breathtaking!ReplyCancel

  • EFR - January 25, 2015 - 10:45 PM

    Bravo, a fabulous post to end the weekend on. Total crush on the driveway.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 25, 2015 - 11:19 PM

      I know… Hydrangeas are my favorite flower. The whole thing is mind-blowing!ReplyCancel