Most of you probably know by now that late last October, we lost our Furlow Gatewood, one of the most fabulous interior designers ever.
Okay, to be clear, the Furlow Gatewood homes I speak of in the headline were not owned by Furlow. And, perhaps a handful of you know of one of the homes, Iris Court. The owner was Furlow’s Georgian BFF. That’s Georgian, as in the US state of Georgia, not England’s neo-classical Georgian style of the late 18th century.
The primary focus will be this one home, Iris Court, in Moultrie, GA.
Moultrie is about a 90-minute car ride southeast of Americus.
Iris Court, also known as 1964 Tallokas Road is an extraordinary Antebellum, Greek Key Revival classic nearly destroyed in the mid-20th c. Soon, you will learn much more about Iris Court’s history.
So, how does Laurel, a former New Yorker, now Bostonian, know about Iris Court and its connection to Furlow Gatewood?
Last November, shortly after Furlow Gatewood passed away, I got a lovely email from Rod Collins, one of two photographers who took the incredibly gorgeous images in Furlow’s book – One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.
You can purchase this book on Amazon. I highly recommend it.
Rod wrote to thank me for the tribute to Furlow.
Thank you for remembering Furlow…
If there’s anything I can do to help you. Please let me know.
What? He follows my blog? How cool is that!
I thought about it for a few weeks and sent Rod an email, telling him I could use his help and would love to chat.
Soon after, I was on the phone with Rod, who shared many personal details with his delightful southern accent and gave me new insights. Do I remember them? Only small bits, However, I do remember sharing that I’ve only been to Atlanta, GA.
Rod said, “Oh, those folks? They are Yankees,” with an audible wink and a chuckle.
It’s funny, but I feel such an affinity for Furlow Gatewood’s decorating; it makes me wonder if I was born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line. But then, I realized that’s ridiculous. Furlow’s style knows no American regional boundary. It’s as classic as can be, and he could just as well be in southern England.
In fact, when visiting the esteemed architect Quinlan Terry’s home on my trip in 2017, his center hall was like visiting Furlow’s center hall’s first cousin across the pond.
As I gathered, Rod was a close friend of Furlow Gatewood and enjoyed visiting Furlow at his home in Americus every Friday. Yes, he saw Furlow every Friday and frequently took these exquisite images.
Now, more than ever, I’m so appreciative of that.
And not only that, he’s made them available for us to see on SmugMug.
On other days, Rod makes a living as an in-demand real estate photographer.
A few days later, going through Rod’s extensive portfolio on Smugmug, I discovered some beautiful homes, particularly 1964 Tallokas Rd. It’s a jaw-dropper.
I know. It instantly conjures up both Gone With the Wind and Forrest Gump.
But hang on there! Stop scrolling! ;]
What struck me immediately is that some of the decorating had to have been done by Furlow Gatewood.
I asked Rod about the home and asked if Furlow did the decorating.
“Furlow left his mark on everything and everyone he came in contact with.”
However, for more in-depth information, he told me to contact Mark Minick, a native of Americus, Georgia. He’s another dear friend of Furlow Gatewood.
And, Mark is also an interior designer with a gorgeous shop in downtown Americus, Minick Interiors.
I’m not the best when it comes to interviewing or taking notes. I asked Mark when the home was built. He said, “I know it was pre-war.”
I said, “You mean the Civil War, right?”
Mark said, “Well, around here, that’s the only war there is.”
Iris Court was built around 1853 for Judge Stovall Jackson and his wife, Adelaide. However, the house was built in Albany, Georgia, about 70 miles away.
In the mid-20th century, the home was nearly torn down with the view of selling the fine architectural salvaged elements.
Fortunately, a young, talented classical architect, Edward Vason Jones, had known this home as a child and couldn’t bear the thought of it being torn down.
Subsequently, Edward found a buyer for Iris Court, Charles O. Smith. The home was dismantled and transported to Moultrie. Once there, Edward had the house rebuilt pretty much as it was, except he widened the central hall.
For the last 20 years or so, the most recent owner was Furlow’s dear friend Charlie Crisp. Sadly, Charlie passed away in February 2022.
Yes, Furlow lost his best buddy less than a year before he passed away.
A college has purchased Iris Court, I believe. Sorry, I didn’t write it down. But, it will be used as offices and entertaining space.
Let’s look at Iris Court as the house was in 2015.
I know. It’s an extraordinary beauty and one of the finest examples of the Greek Revival style I’ve ever seen.
Somehow I managed to find an image of the home when it was still in Albany. I do not know the photographer. However, the image is part of the public domain.
Above, you can see the windows are indeed closer to the front door. The upstairs looks to be the same.
Rod takes a lot of photos, and all of them are gorgeous. So, it’s a struggle to decide which ones to share.
I am so excited to share these with you for so many reasons. The lessons in this home are perfect– from the elegant perfectly proportioned architecture to the timeless furnishings.
Let’s go inside Iris Court to see Furlow Gatewood’s influence on this classic home in southern Georgia.
I can see why the hall was widened.
The front parlor.
I asked Mark about the window treatments. Apparently, they were already there when Charlie purchased the home. I would’ve preferred something more simple, but these are well done.
But, here’s something important.
THESE are the real-deal, classic traditional furnishings. It’s symmetrical but not always identical. No throw pillows, either.
And, there are Furlow’s wonderful slipcovers throughout the home and the “tell” that Furlow was here.
You will also find other neoclassical elements, such as classical busts, another Furlow hallmark.
And, remember Gerald Bland and his slip-covered Chippendale sofa? Yes, please.
Above is another parlor. There are many more images of these rooms on Rod Collin’s Smugmug.
Above is a fireplace vignette from the adjacent dining room. Of course, there is a sprinkling of beautiful blue and white porcelains.
One of my favorite spaces in Iris Court is the charming breakfast room.
Above, you can see a glorious built-in china cabinet.
Above is the elegant bedroom.
Okay, we will leave the main house because there’s another home, on the property, we need to see.
It is known as the pool house.
Okay, that makes sense. However, when I think of a poolhouse, I think of a place to change out of my wet things and maybe pee.
Well, I’m sure one could do that here, as well. However, this is a HOUSE that happens to be adjacent to the pool. It’s more like a glorious guest house for a family of eight.
But, HERE is where you will see the work of Furlow Gatewood even more so.
The home appears to be built since Charlie acquired the property in the early 21st century.
Above, Furlow in 2015 outside the “poolhouse.” I think this might’ve been Furlow’s home away from home.
I think you are going to be quite surprised. But, then, another hallmark of Furlow Gatewood home decorating is that it is full of surprises. Wonderful ones! Let’s go inside.
Yes, stained wood trim! And, lots of it.
It looks fantastic here. And of course, I’m plotzing over those key corners on the window casings.
Why does the stained wood look fantastic here but not in the room below?
Well, aside from this being a pretty dingy space, below are the reasons.
It’s the balance. Always the balance. The white slipcovers balance the white walls, and the robust Oriental rug balances the wood.
The over-scale neo-classical busts are also fantastic.
I’m kind of partial to this one. He looks so familiar. ;]
Haha! My very own first-born adonis, Cale. Poor guy. He was supposed to come here today but is stuck in western Mass as they got at least 30″ of snow! Oh my! I don’t know if he can make it tomorrow, either. Well, today, now.
I haven’t seen him since shortly after our trip to Crown Point on Dec. 1st!
I adore this library. I love the mail strewn all over the room. Mail sucks. I can see that Charlie and I would’ve gotten along famously.
Yep. We’re birds of a feather. I love everything here. See that white slipcover? That is precisely what I’m talking about when I say, “Add a white slipcover with a little box-pleated skirt to your traditional – a little too formal dining chair.”
And, one more incredible image, after we leave the poolhouse.
Charlie had built an exquisite limestone neo-classical monument for his mother on the grounds.
Here he is, 8 years ago, with BFF Furlow Gatewood– two fine southern gentlemen.
And, that is the end of our tour of the fantastic Iris Court in Moultrie, GA.
When you’re visiting Rod’s Smugmug, please be sure also to check out “Gray Moss.” Gray Moss was another property owned by Charlie Crisp. You will see Furlow’s influence here, as well.
Laurel, did you discover what happened with Furlow’s homes in Americus?
Yes, that is a good question. I do know a few things. First of all, every item was photographed, tagged, and cataloged. Then, it was wrapped and boxed if small enough for shipping. As far as I know, everything will be auctioned off at Stair Galleries in Hudson, NY.
I’m not sure when. Maybe next month. I will let y’all know more as soon as I find out.
In what looks to be Cuthbert House, Rod Collins is above in a mirror selfie. Here you can also see some of the tags.
As for the houses themselves, as I understand it, all of them except for Peacock House will be sold.
However, I do not know who’s living there.
Below are some photos of Peacock House taken by Rod Collins.
If someone were to say, “Laurel, you can have either Cuthbert or Peacock, I would be hard-pressed to say which one. They are all so magnificent.
Were there any surprises?
Well, I already knew when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, Furlow’s incredible style was there in how they were accessorized. However, the appliances, countertops, etc., were relatively essential.
Another thing I have always wondered about is air conditioning. Indeed, in southern Georgia, there was more than a ceiling fan to keep folks cool; yet, I never saw any evidence of it until now when Cuthbert House was empty.
Indeed, now that the furniture is gone, one can see the forced air vents. We had this style in my childhood home in southern Indiana. I used to love to stand over the vents to heat up or cool off.
In this short video, we can see the vents in the Cuthbert House dining room.
What I’m surprised about is that they, too, are the basic registers from any hardware store. But, then again, Furlow’s fans were the basic fans, as well. Some things he cared deeply about, but anything needed for modern comfort, not so much.
I hope you guys enjoyed visiting these classic 19th c. southern Georgia homes.
Many thanks to Mark Minick, of Minick Interiors (please follow in Instagram) for sharing some of the history of Iris Court. And, of course, to Rod Collins for capturing in photos the exquisite art created by Furlow Gatewood.
Furlow’s remains are buried on the grounds of his estate near other family members. His tombstone says:
Timothy Furlow Gatewood
1921 – ?
I decided to stay home.
Please visit Rod Collin’s fantastic Smugmug for thousands of images of Furlow and much more!
Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!
Thank you for sharing the treasure of an undiscovered Furlow-influenced house. I only discovered Furlow Gatewood thanks to you, and his designs felt both the most exciting, ambitious style I’ve ever seen and also like coming home. When I learned of his passing, I had really hoped/fantasised that his entire estate would be bought by a preservation society and kept as a museum that I could visit one day…but this was always an unrealistic wish.
In a long-term project of decorating my own home (an ancient Welsh farmhouse) my mantra is What Would Furlow Do? Despite his stature as a Design Genius, what really comes across in his book and from snippets from people fortunate to know him, was a warm, welcoming, down to earth person – these values, as much as his design are worth emulating.
Thank you for bringing his beauty into my life!
I have had interest in Furlow Gatewood’s homes and property since becoming familiar with his book from your recommendation. As a college student I would drive through Americus on the way from Florida to Auburn University, and remember the beautiful pecan groves. A couple of years ago I attended the annual antique show in Thomasville, Georgia, and had the privilege of hearing James Farmer speak. Such treasures from South Georgia! I selfishly was hoping Furlow’s property would become some kind of destination that would be open for touring. I will be anxious to follow the auction so please keep us informed. Love your blog and have utilized your great info.
I spent waaaaaaaay too much time looking over this post. What a wonderfully talented designer. RIP.
IMO, I can’t think of a better way to spend time!
I too have great admiration for Furlow Gatewood. I asked for the book for Christmas and got it. I am a also a great admirer of Julia Reed who was a wonderful, irreverent writer. Thanks for sharing!
Laurel, I’m slow getting to this blog but when I opened it up to finally read it and scrolled down to that hallway, my sudden and immediate reaction was: This is why I really detest open floorplan houses. I DON’T WANT to see the whole house (or most of it) at one time. One loses all elements of curiosity and then delight to discover what’s through each door or around each corner. I spot at least four area or doors in this pic and I’d love to investigate further.
Now I’ll get to seriously reading what I know is going to be another of your always thoroughly delightful posts while I enjoy the sun on a late winter afternoon and sip a cup of hibiscus tea. Thanks for that surprise treat.
I can’t say how much I enjoyed this post. Inspiring & beautiful. I feel privileged to have been given such a private intimate view. Thank you!
I’m sure I smell bourbon. Your tribute is so lovely and evocative. The rooms move me, more so because the elegant formality and wrinkled slipcovers are part of the same intriguing sensibility. You’re welcome to stay and let your hair down, but you better bring something interesting to the conversation. I imagine Julia Reed and Furlow Gatewood lounging in one of his beautiful spaces and discussing everything under the sun, laughing, arguing, eating well, and having a grand time. I wish there were more people like them and their circles of friends.
As soon as I saw the bust I thought, “That looks like Cale.” lol
This is a beautiful tribute post to Furlow Gatewood Laurel. I love how lived in and comfy his homes are even though they are so beautifully decorated.
For some reason, Iris Court is very evocative for me. I grew up in a Civil War era center hall colonial in upstate NY farm country. It wasn’t nearly as gorgeous, but I instantly felt like I used to, sitting on the porch on hot summer afternoons and listening to red-winged blackbirds sing.
Loved this post so much. I have the Folly book – I think I learned of it from one of your prior posts. I laughed out loud at the tacky white plastic bin where all the mail was being (not?) dealt with and the plastic bag hanging from the knob on the kitchen cabinet. It makes Mr. Gatewood’s talent seem more human!!
Hi Laurel. Stair Galleries is in Hudson, New York. Furlow and John Rosselli were great friends and John got a lot of his antiques from Furlow. Stair did the John Rosselli auction, so it would stand to reason that they would also do Furlow’s auction. A lot of things from famous people are in my house now because of Stair Galleries. I lived in Hudson, so tried to pick up items from Colin Stair’s auctions that have an interesting provenance. I’ve got some of Brooke Astor’s china and C Z Guest’s crystal, to name a few things. It’s nice when things have a back story. Thanks for this post.
Thanks for clarifying that, Cynthia. I heard New York and assumed it was the city. I’ll make the correction.
It saddens me to see not only the passing of Mr. Gatewood but the end of his unique and unforgettable interiors. It also gives me a pang to realize that Julia Reed, the author of the book about Furlow Gatewood, has already been gone for a while now, much too early in her life. The long friendship of Mr. Gatewood and Bunny Williams and her husband is truly heartwarming. Thanks so much, Laurel, for this post.
Thanks for sharing, Laurel, and helping us to learn more about the mastery of Furlow Gatewood! And his friend and photographer clearly has good taste – that’s why he follows you! P.S., if you want to sound more like a native, we say “south” Georgia, not “southern” Georgia.
Oh, that’s funny! I truly did grow up saying “y’all” however, because I am from southern Indiana. lol
I love the many regional, cultural, and linguistic differences of states and areas of our country.
Thank you for such a gorgeous post, Laurel. And thanks for telling us about Smugmug. You are always an inspiration.
I too have the book. We actually have a peacock in my condo complex. They don’t make guys like Furlow anymore. Seems like the guy was top-knotch and not needing to be the center of attention on the internet or TV. Now that’s class.
Amazing post Laurel! I agree about the bust/Cale! Thank you for all the links and new pics. I have Furlow’s book also, and can look at the same pages over and over, always seeing something new. Completely fascinating. Sad to see the empty room video at the end.
Laurel, thank you for this beautiful post. I have already spent too much time reading and reading your post. And Smug Mug! Love this—thanks again.
Loved this post! Thank you for sharing all the new information. Mr Gatewoods style is one of the best.
Can’t wait for the auction. Best of luck if you plan on bidding. Before scrolling down I too thought that bust looked like your son! When I first saw the beautiful room with stained wood trim my thought was it’s the size of the woodwork that makes it work. But that also goes for painted woodwork too. I made that mistake, but blessed to have a husband that just added to it to balance the size. Anything that small would be better left off the walls. I always look forward to your emails/post. Thanks again for all you do to help us make a more beautiful home for family and friends to enjoy ❤️
Thank you Laurel, My brother Rod Collins and Furlough’s friendship was the perfect example of what a friend should be. There was tremendous respect, appreciation and love between the two of them. Everyone who knew Furlough feels they have been touched by greatness. I consider it an honor to have known him and of course my brother Rod. Glennis Beacham
That is a beautiful comment. Thank you so much!
This was fun to read. I had to go back several times to study the pictures. Fascinating!
I hope Cale makes it out of his snowstorm to come visit you. And yes, a remarkable resemblance to the bust.
Yes, he’s here, with big curly hair and a beard! Too funny! Although his beard is far shorter.
Love this post and Furlow’s interiors. A thank you for introducing us to him. I’d like to add a comment about stained wood, in particular, pine. There is an antique home a few blocks away from my house with a library paneled in carved pine. The pine resins in the wood seem to have crystallized over the many decades. The wood has has a depth and sheen from how it refracts light to it that is divine. It almost glows in lamplight.
Love, love, love Furlow Gatewood’s style. The juxtaposition of the beautiful formal furniture with white slipcovers is just genius.
I got a real laugh out of your comparison of the marble bust with your adorable son, Cale!
Thank you for highlighting these spaces today.
Loved the above laurel. I adore furrow gatewood more than I can say. His beautiful book is atop others on my coffee table always, even the cover brings me joy when my eyes fall upon it. Thank you for your wonderful output, I always learn from your generous offerings. You have enriched my decorating style and in a way given me more confidence about what I love and I believe my home is more me than ever and I notice friends and family seem more relaxed and at home here as I’ve evolved. Never finished but the process lively and enriches me. Thank you.