The 2021 Flower Showhouse, which is situated 40 minutes from Birmingham, Alabama, on 700 acres of rolling fields, is a 2,200-square-foot farmhouse designed by Birmingham-based architect Pete Pritchard and interior designer Mary Evelyn McKee. The home sits on a hilly knoll surrounded by majestic hardwoods, stately evergreens, and lush meadows, the property known as Brierfield Farm. The scenic Cahaba River, home of the famed Cahaba lilies, runs along one edge of the acreage.
Brierfield Farm in Focus
The house was built as a private residence for Flower magazine’s Founder and Editor-In-Chief Margot Shaw and her husband Gates. The landscape architect, who shaped the closest surroundings of the home, was Ben Page. Margot calls Larry Gemmill their contractor/magician, as he was able to procure material during the very challenging COVID pandemic supply chain disruptions. We are thrilled to be among the companies whose furnishings compose the backdrop in which the Shaws will now live.
In the video above, Margot gives viewers a sneak peek at the publication’s 2021 showhouse, which will be the main feature in the September/October issue of the magazine. “This house has a special place in my heart,” she says, “because it’s my family home and it is built on property that has been in my husband’s family for generations here in Bibb County, Alabama.”
She explains that the inspiration for the house comes from her side of the family: “My great grandparents built the first house in a place called Shook Hill, right outside Birmingham and it was just a very simple, elegant fieldstone farmhouse. This is our interpretation of that.” Margot mentions one particular aspect of the home that she believes makes it special: “The wood all through the house—the floors, the doors, and the beams—were reclaimed from two mills in Valley, Alabama, that were going to be torn down.”
She says of the overall style: “It’s a very understated southern farmhouse tucked into the woods. It’s a place where my husband and I feel like we can retreat and be away, far from the madding crowd. Especially now, I feel like so many people are wanting to leave the cities to spend a day, a weekend, or forever in nature, so we are really blessed to have this place.” The surroundings are as important to the relaxing experiences as the home itself. “We have extensive grounds and outdoor seating—places you can go and sit and soak in the beauty, and be still,” she explains, “and you might see deer or bunnies. We stumbled upon a turkey the other day when we were out for a walk.”
About the interiors, she says, “I think one of my favorite things is that the palette reflects the exterior. It’s very natural, very understated—greens and creams and browns, and a little bit of blue. There’s a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. I guess I just love everything about this house, from the sunsets to waking up and having coffee, seeing all kinds of wildlife, and just knowing that when we want we can have anyone and everyone here to share the beauty and joy of this spot.”
After thanking the team that included interior designer Mary Evelyn McKee, landscape architect Ben Page, architect Pete Prichard, and builder Larry Gemmill, she ended the video with a special thanks to those who helped make the house a home. Along with our company, she saluted Benjamin Moore; Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights; Century Furniture; Crossville Tile; Hickory Chair; Kravet; Replacements, Ltd.; Signature Kitchen Suite; and Summer Classics Home. We are happy to be in such esteemed company!
Anyone who knows Margot and/or her Flower magazine likely follows her with great interest, as we do, in order to experience the luscious events and beautiful settings she shares in her publication. Having a seat at the table the evening she unveiled Brierfield was like seeing one of her magazine features come to life! In the Foreword to her coffee table book Living Floral: Entertaining and Decorating with Flowers, which we featured in this post, Charlotte Moss says of Margot, “Like Nancy Lancaster, Margot has been ‘always searching for beauty,’ and for her, it is, in a word, the flower.”
If you haven’t bought the sumptuous book, it’s filled with lush photography that illustrates how savvy tastemakers use floral arrangements when they entertain. The beautiful vignettes in it were captured during photoshoots for Flower. Shaw says of the effort it takes to produce the magazine, “I’ve learned to appreciate beauty so much more.” And the world is a better place for her aesthetic esteem.
A Flower Showhouse Tour of Our Products
Today’s post includes half the products included in the interiors; we will complete the tour in next week’s post. A number of our products that are installed in the Flower Showhouse are on sale. If you haven’t stopped by to see the offerings in The Main Event, it’s worth a look. The showhouse products below that are on sale are the Pharrell Pendant, Branwen Table Lamp, and Kingali Wall Sconce.
Included in the Flower Showhouse is our Nottaway Bronze Large Chandelier with its long arms that stretch gracefully from a small cog and a ring that ornaments its bottom-most point. The profile of the fixture has a lovely fluidity to it, and the Pyrite bronze finish adds textural interest to the bronze chandelier. We offer the Nottaway in a several sizes and finishes.
The Pharrell Pendant is made of wrought iron wrapped in Abacá rope, a painstaking skill that our artisans know well. This treatment makes the bell-shaped shade read as if it is made of a woven material. The golden finish on the interior of the rope pendant brings a warm glow to a space when the lights are on. The Pharrell is included in our Main Event sale going on now.
The Guinevere Table Lamp is a gorgeous example of hand-thrown terracotta. The blue-gray glaze with a light crackle finish and the subtle brown antiquing is distinctive on each blue lamp. The ripples circling the ginger jar-shaped body near its base complement the antique brass metal and beige coarse-linen shade.
Stacked panels of natural rock decrease in size as they rise toward the shade of the Branwen Table Lamp. The metal hardware in a satin nickel finish and a rock-like metal finial secure the rectangular off-white linen shade in place. The Branwen is included in our Main Event sale going on now.
The Avalon Bronze Wall Sconce in a bronze gold finish is one of our fixtures that has roots in the early American era. The utilitarian feel of its tight profile is contrasted by the luminosity of the frosted glass shade. The bronze sconce is certified for damp locations.
A nod to one of the world’s seafaring port cities, our Lisbon Floor Lamp, which is made of wrought iron in new brass and satin black finishes, has a stem covered in rattan to bring a nautical feel to its character. Several design notes worth mentioning on this rattan floor lamp are the curvature of the stem that has several sections wrapped horizontally in black, the shape of and details on the off-white linen shade, and the black finish at the top of the base.
Our Kingali Wall Sconce has interlocking sections of natural Rattan fastened by wrought iron ties in a new brass finish. The rattan sconce, designed by Clarence Mallari, is cleverly fitted with an off-white shantung shade. The Kingali also comes in a lantern and two sizes of chandeliers. The Kingali wall sconce is included in our Main Event sale going on now.
The dome-shaped Carling Pendant flaunts a mid-century modern aesthetic. The cage of its body is made of softly curved vertical slats in a gleaming polished fruitwood finish. The wood pendant envelopes a rustic but stylish putty burlap diffuser that softens the fixture’s glow.
Stop Back by Next Week
There will be more beauty next week as we finish the tour of the Flower Showhouse at Brierfield Farm. If you are as smitten by Margot’s ability to create beauty as we are, be sure to subscribe to Flowermagazine and have aesthetic inspiration slid into your mailbox for continual inspiration!