Strickland and his firm are known for their contributions to the architectural landscape of the South, including thirty years of residential projects and history-rich developments, such as The Ford Plantation in Georgia and Palmetto Bluff and Spring Island in South Carolina—all of which are documented in his 2012 book Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House.
(cover photo by Richard Leo Johnson/Atlantic Archives, Inc.)
But the first time I was exposed to Strickland's work and the work of the talented members of his architecture firm was back in 2005, when I worked with them on the house below in Bridgehampton, New York, for Cottage Living magazine (below).
The house went up in six months, and yet it looked as if it were built over time, added onto as a family needed more room, with countless details on the interior and exterior that paid tribute to the history of architecture in and around that particular sliver coastline on Long Island. It was the antithesis of drywall box building that happened all over America during the building boom.
That experience still echoes in my mind today. Strickland taught me the importance of a sense of place in architecture, a truly invaluable lesson that I remember when I work with new architects and an idea I use as a designer with my interiors clients.
So it's no surprise that I'm excited to see Strickland later today when he gives his lecture ("Architecture's Unsung Heroes: The Caretakers and Craftsmen of the Building Arts") here in Charleston in conjunction with the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Festival of Houses and Gardens and the Charleston Antiques Show. It begins at 6:00 in the Charleston Museum auditorium.
I'm also thrilled that Strickland graciously shared some of the things in his Georgia house (photo below) that mean the most to him today on the House Romantics series. In honor of his Charleston visit, the tour follows below. Enjoy.
—His wife, Linda, and their dogs. "My house would not feel like a home without my beautiful wife, Linda, and our loving dogs—they’re the icing on the cake for me."
—An oversized, gold mirror. "I love the way the gold mirror (from Scott’s Antiques) draws your eye right through the house as you come in the front door."
—A collection of spoons. "The collection was gathered by Linda’s grandparents on their world tour in the early 1900's and added to by Linda’s mother. There are over 100 spoons and while some remain in the old display table, I really like the way they look in frames."
—A marble-topped chest. "We didn’t have fine antiques when I was growing up, but I remember going down to the basement and watching my parents work hard to lovingly restore this marble-topped chest they found—it was a special piece to them then and to me now."
—The living room in general. "It's a comfortable place, where we like to curl up with the dogs and surround ourselves with treasured books and family photos. I’m particularly proud of the antique pilasters (seen in the reflection of the mirrored wall and also in the photo with the gold mirror). When I found them I knew they were made for this room, and I put in a lot of sweat equity to restore them and work them into the space."
—A family harp. "This delicate old harp belonged to Linda’s mother, who played it in her youth, and it has always had a place of pride in our homes. Our children and grandchildren played with it like a toy and it is worse for wear, but no less treasured by us all."
—His climbing vines. "I think every southern home needs some climbing vines (preferably varieties of each of the ‘big three’: jessamine, clematis, and climbing rose) and I spend more time than I ever would have imagined tending the ones I have planted on three sides of the house."
—The guest room over the garage. "The guest room over the garage is a cozy space that includes heirloom pieces and new treasures, like a halter from my granddaughter's beloved pony and antique light fixtures repurposed and handcrafted by Eloise Pickard."