The Exceptional Interior Designer You’ve Never Heard Of

 

 

Post updated November 2, 2022

 

Please note: This post was written nearly seven years ago. Furlow Gatewood, one of the greatest creative geniuses of the 20th and 21st century, died this past weekend at the age of 101. Please enjoy this tribute.  Also, if you missed the post dated November 2, 2022, please check it out here. It’s not to be missed. ~ Laurel 

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

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

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 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 antique dealer and has as his best buds the likes of decorating power duo John Rosselli and Bunny Williams.

 

Some History.

 

Furlow Gatewood inherited a gorgeous 11-acre piece of property in Americus, Georgia.

 

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Then, at the tender age of 82, he decided to put several homes on it. No architect is 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.

 

Alongside are enough adorable animals to fill an ark, most notably an exquisite assortment of blue and white Peacocks. As you can see, potted blue hydrangeas line the driveway.

Driveway?

That, my friends, is the road to paradise.

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This is the main home named Cuthbert House. 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 will try and steer clear of the images published in Veranda and House Beautiful. There may be a couple of pictures from his book, but most I found online and were taken by the fantastic 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 the heavens are my fantasy.

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The styling is relaxed and “cluttered.” I’m not too fond of 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 is available through John Rosselli and Assoc.

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

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

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Lucky doggie is right!

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Mr. Gatewood looking dapper in his lovely garden. I hear that he refers to the 11 acres as his yard. Enchanting!

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The book is incredible. Published by Rizzoli and available on Amazon

Julia Reed(Author) Paul Costello(Photographer),

Rodney Collins(Photographer),  Bunny Williams (Foreword)

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Oh man, the colors! Jaw-dropping!

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I love how nothing “matches.”

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Cuthbert House is magical in the snow.

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A paradise like none other. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a man who might very well be the finest interior designer of our time.

38 Responses

  1. 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?

  2. 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. lol

  3. 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…

    1. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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 deserves

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

    1. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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 sharing

  13. 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!

Comments are closed.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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