by Stephanie Ciecierski August 25, 2022 8 min read

Southern Charm Style Guide

Imagine Southern Charm like a freshly baked Apple Pie. It’s warm with an elegant crust and made to be shared with guests. Caring for people is second nature to Southern Charmers. For a neighbor in need, doors open on cheerful spaces and comfort foods are proffered on guests graciously. After a day of hard work, Southerners want nothing more than to kick up their feet and drink some sweet tea on the front porch. Do you radiate warmth and dream of living on a farm in the countryside? Then continue reading to see how ya’ll can create a sophisticated Southern Charm Styled space!


i. What is Southern Charm?

i. How to Southern Charm Your Home

i. Start With Design Elements

1. What Colors to Use

2. What Textures to Use

3. What Patterns to Use

ii. Assessing The Room

1. Floors

2. Walls

3. Ceilings

4. Windows

iii. Furnishing The Room

1. Furniture

2. Decorations

3. Lighting

c. Get a Southern Charm Rug for Your Room

What is Southern Charm?

Just as comfort and soul foods of the south fill guests up with warmth, so too does the Southern Charm Style. It is the shrimp and grits, smoky barbeque, and chicken and biscuits of design. Homeowners’ and guests’ are “full as a tick” with food, friends, and all the wholesome feelings of home in a Southern Charm home.

Opening the doors to a Southern Charm home means walking into a space of kindness, comfort, and elegance. It is cheerful in color scheme and smells of apples, cinnamon, and warm baked goods. Southern Charm living rooms beg to be filled with guests laughing together while sipping a sweet peach iced tea. They are hospitable homes, never asking for anything in return other than a smile and that you “don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!”

How to Southern Charm Your Home

Southern Charm styled homes are the ultimate hosting spaces. They are welcoming in an elegant, yet unpretentious way. They want guests to enter and make themselves at home, and also have a sophistication to them that makes them feel a bit like royalty. It’s a delicate, but easy to achieve balance and one that can be used in any home, north, south, east, or west!

Start with Design Elements  

What colors to use

Neutral colors with splashes of bright colors are the name of the game with Southern Charm. Cream colors are neutral while also being on the warmer side. Golden yellows can be added in a variety of ways – maybe it’s sunflowers on the table, a yellow accent wall, some yellow throw pillows, or what have you! Yellow is a great color for the kitchen. 

Maybe a bright blue is more the style to go for. It’s a great living room color. Find a piece of blue furniture or DIY a curio cabinet by painting it a bright blue and making it a room centerpiece. Find a bright blue rug to put under the coffee table and then pair throw pillows or couch blankets with it. 

Feeling a little more zesty? Try a lime green. For something this bright, think a little more accent color. Consider getting a lime green and white wallpaper or add some smaller knick knacks in lime green to catch the eye. Painting an entire room lime green is probably too much color for one space, but by adding brief snatches of it the space will become a little more cheerful.

What textures to use

Southern Charm style encourages the use of warm and welcoming textures into its space. Cloth and leather/faux leather furniture are a great way of inviting people to have a seat. Adding some soft blankets and pillows to furniture also encourages people to stay a while. Suede is also an option with its smooth and snug feel to it. Remember, Southern Charm wants guests to feel at home!

To add a little elegance to the space, try some lace. Southern styled lace adds not only beautiful patterning, but unique texture. The breezy mesh of the background with floral patterns in the foreground provides a delicate touch to the room. It can be used in various ways - curtains, table coverings, or doilies. Southern lace can vary in style: some are layered with polka dots, others are ruffled on the end, and still more are thicker and heavier.

To balance the cozy and comfortable, add the smooth and cool textures of fine china to the open spaces. Blue China makes for a beautiful splash of color, or pick some brightly colored plates to put on the walls. The cool, smooth texture of ceramics will enhance the sophistication of the space and make for interesting items to look at. To personalize it, try collecting plates from places you’ve traveled to and create a unique travel wall.

What patterns to use

There is plenty of vintage floral to be used in Southern Charm styles. Imagine a wingback chair with roses on them, similar to that of a grandparent’s favorite chair. Maybe it’s on the walls in brightly colored wallpaper as an accent wall.

Don’t like the idea of a bold floral pattern? Try instead a neutral color with ornate patterns imprinted on it. An old-fashioned couch with raised velvet-y patterns in a dull gold provides not only an elegant touch, but also a lovely texture.

Don’t be afraid to combine various patterns in the Southern Style. A floral wallpaper and a striped carpet just adds to the exciting energy of the space. It will infuse homeowners and guests with the kind of positive energy that everyone is craving. When combining patterns, consider matching the colors to connect them together.


Assessing the Room

In all Southern Charm homes, consider what would make guests feel the most welcome. Hard chairs, harsh lights, and dark colors might intimidate guests, while cushioned seating, warm lighting, and cheerful colors will encourage guests to stay “til the cows come home.” The space at hand can be made easily welcoming with just a little color or a big transformation depending on the budget

How to Southern Charm Your Home

The ideal flooring for a Southern Charm home is some well-worn hardwood, but a plush carpet is just as comforting and welcoming. A warm hardwood or laminate flooring gives off a rustic barn like feeling while also being a refined choice. With hardwood, adding a brightly colored rug with a unique pattern is a fun choice. Hardwood with a rug adds the differences in texture that draw people to the comforting parts of the home.

Tile is a great option for Southern Charm. Go with a stone style that looks a little rustic and neutral to provide some raw material and a cool, rough texture. For a distinct look, try doing a colorful patterned tile in a kitchen area for a unique spin on the rustic farmhouse kitchen. Since the kitchen is such an important gathering space, the cheerful colors will draw guests in and keep them there.


Accent walls with bright colors - orange, yellow, bright blue, sage green - bring a jovial feeling to any space and in the Southern Charm style they fit right in. With just a single wall, the entire room becomes brighter and other accents around the room can be matched to it. For more color, paint the whole room a bold color and then add white shiplap and molding to the bottom half of the wall. This will give the room the chipper look intended without being overwhelming.

Southern Charm takes a lot of older decorating ideas and makes them modern. Wallpapering is a perfect example in that it doesn’t mean complete commitment. Easily removable wallpapers are available now, so if design ideas change they can be taken down without the hassle of traditional wallpaper. Floral wallpapers are in for Southern Charm to achieve the garden rustic look.


Making Southern Charm sophisticated and elegant, chandeliers are the perfect lighting piece. Getting an antique, brass chandelier keeps the style classic, but will require occasional polishing. A DIY option would be to find a well-loved chandelier and paint it white. Additionally, try a bright and fun color to draw the eyes upward. 

Adding tin ceiling tiles will add an antique-chic flavor to a Southern Charm space. They come in many colors, so matching colors with the rest of the room is simple. Creamy white tiles are subtle and beautiful and will reflect light into the room. For a little more pizzazz, give a copper tile washed white a try. The accents of copper shining through white paint make the room feel even more like a classy antique.


Since Southern Charm rooms are bright and inviting, natural lighting is always welcome! Tall rectangular paneled windows let in plenty of light while also providing a home-y aesthetic. Placing them close together gives a farmhouse look to them. In the kitchen, having a large window over the sink will make one of the most popular rooms in the house even more inviting.

On those windows, lace curtains are a great addition. Current lace patterns make it feel more like a modern home rather than Meemaw’s house. Not using a valance will also make it feel more modern and let more light shine through the lace. If lace really isn’t doing it for the space or it needs more light blockage, try a satin fabric curtain. With white washed copper ceiling tiles, a copper satin curtain would pull the room together in a dressed up way.


Furnishing the Room


Since Southern Charm loves using dressed up old items, the furniture of the space can vary a little. If antique-chic is the way to go, try finding old wingback chairs. The floral pattern of the space can be used here, or a bright color. Reupholster worn wingback chairs with new colors and fabric to give it a modern twist. Get some more ornate furniture from an antique store to make the room feel a little more ritzy.

Current furniture can be transformed with a little work and won’t require shelling out a lot of money. Head to a thrift store or yard sale, buy old furniture, and do some DIY! Painting something with chalk paint, like an end table, and then sanding the edges is how to get an artificial and convincing rustic style. Get some hardware that matches the rest of the room, like the brass chandelier hanging from the ceiling.


In a Southern Charm kitchen, there’s a bounty of vintage serving dishes, ceramic milk jugs, or brightly colored plates to adorn the room with. Fill shelves or a hutch with antique pieces or thrift store hauls. Hang up plates that match the kitchen’s color scheme for a farmhouse feeling.

Since the South is filled with farms, try vases filled with fresh flowers and animal themed decor. Around the room, a few little knick knacks that look like roosters or ducks or other farm animals wraps up the Southern Farmhouse in a nice little bow. On the walls, add some paintings or photographs of farm life or flowers.



Warm whites and plenty of natural light is what Southern Charm thrives on. Keep that natural light streaming in by making sure the windows are sparkling clean. Use curtains and window treatments that encourage natural light in gathering spaces. Candles that smell like apple pie or vanilla will create wonderful mood lighting while also reminding guests of home. 

In a Southern Charm bedroom, be sure to keep the light low and warm. The relaxing light will make it easier to fall asleep. In the living room, use lamps and accent lighting in warm white to keep the party going. In the kitchen use dimmer lights so they can be toned down and cranked up as needed. The bulbs should remain a warm white so as to keep the space welcoming. 

Get a Southern Charm Rug for Your Home

Well, bless your heart! You made it all the way through the style guide. The Rug Truck’s Southern Charm Rug Collection will provide the perfect brightly colored or sophisticated rug for your Southern Charm home. Dig into peppy colors with fun patterns to brighten up the room. If antique-chic is the style, find an ornate rug that looks elegant and fancy. If you need more help, be sure ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

 All Southern Charm Rugs