‘Sweet Magnolias’ Home Decor – Secrets from Sweet Magnolia Set Designer

If you’ve seen an episode of Sweet magnolias on Netflix and get dreamy eyes over Maddie’s kitchen tiles instead of Coach Cal’s smile then you’ve come to the right place for design-obsessed people. Now that we’ve figured out where to buy the outfits from the show, we’re directing our Nancy Drew-style detective work towards the show’s warm and welcoming set design. You may already know that the majority of the series is filmed in and around Covington, Georgia, but did you know that many of the interiors (including Sullivan’s, The Corner Spa, and Maddie and Dana Sue’s homes) are sets built from scratch were built on a stage? Production designer Aimee Holmberg and set designer Nik Morgan, both of whom – who would have thought? – have a background in the horror genre spoke to us Country Life about why the southern setting inspires the show’s aesthetic, how they design the spaces around each character, and where they sourced all the cute decor. (Good news: much of this comes from budget-friendly sources like HomeGoods, Rooms to Go, Etsy, and Spoonflower!)

Sweet magnolias is a very character driven story and we approached it [the design] with the intention of developing the characters’ spaces in a way that furthers their personal stories in the eyes of the viewer,” says Aimee of groceries, books, and artwork.” every character can recognize. “Clues to Dana Sue’s feral past are found on her mantel and the wall-mounted shelf above it,” says Aimee Aimee Here’s the gist of all the pretty.

Get the toast over so we can talk colors, okay?



The location for the exterior of Maddie’s house was an 1890s farmhouse – “one of the oldest in Covington,” notes Aimee. To bring the interior to life, the team chose a “palette of soft, warm neutrals and florals, with bolder tones of teal, coral and blue to keep it fresh,” says Aimee, as well as a “stylish yet effortless Mixture of newer furniture, antique finds and family heirlooms.” Set designer Nik Morgan also notes that there is a lot to learn from those layers: “In Maddie’s case, the most important story to tell was that of her family, particularly her past and her life so far where we find them now.All the photos and trinkets, the different styles of furniture collected over time to suit their tastes and needs, the clutter that comes with children and teenagers, the kitchen, the definitely saw some huge meals and action, all those things were there to show her The foundation and the home she had built on was expanding – just by to remember that things will never be the same again.”

Get Maddie’s look

kitchen tile: Palazzo 12″x12″ in Antique Cotto Bloom by Bedrosians (You can find it in a slightly different colorway at Lowe’s!)
Green kitchen island/cabinet colour: Sherwin-Williams 6191 Satisfied
Bar stools for the kitchen: At Home you can find similar ones here
kitchen stove:
Lacanche Chagny Classique
Living Room/Family Room Curtains:
Catamarca Curtain (Family Room, see similar here and here) and Gleaming Elora Curtain (Living Room, see similar here and here), both originally from Anthropologie
TV console:
American Heritage Furniture, similar ones can be found here and here
Blue Cut:
Room to go
Tufted Queen Anne Sofa in Living Room:
Vintage; restored in rose gold shantung, see similar ones here and here
Original artwork (throughout the house):
Paintings by Cansu Porsuk (the brilliant artist behind Paula’s magnolia painting), photography by Stephanie Shamban and Semi Sweet Studio (kitchen and living room), botanical watercolors by Torey Wahlstrom (Maddie’s bedroom), embroidery by Meaghan Pauley Nespeca (family room, Maddie’s bedroom and mudroom) and folk art style bird paintings by Silly Goose Studio (Mudroom).

dana sue and her daughter at home in a sweet magnolia scene on netflix


a scene with Dana Sue in her restaurant with floral wallpaper on sweet magnolias

We’ll have a coffee with a page of floral wallpaper, thanks.



“We gave Dana Sue’s turn-of-the-century farmhouse darker, more moody colors, earthy greens and purples with accents of cobalt blue, fuchsia and rich golden yellow. Her house is messier, with art and finds that express her personality, and an open chef’s kitchen packed with tools for culinary creativity,” says Aimee. (Since Dana Sue’s style is also reflected in her restaurant, we also included sources from Sullivans. )

Get Dana Sue’s look

Bird Theme Wallpaper: Helenpdesigns on Spoonflower
Butcher Block:
A combination of two different antique pieces purchased separately, see similar ones here
Citrus Print Wallpaper by Sullivans:
Vintage William Morris block print custom colored for us by Peacoquettedesigns on Spoonflower
Sullivans Bar Supporters:
Cle’s Zellige tile in burnt opal; you can find something similar here
Sullivan Entry Tiles:
Maharaja of New Ravenna

a scene in helen's kitchen on sweet magnolias



Helen is more about the new and modern – hence her contemporary renovation on the bones of an older craftsman style bungalow. “Helen’s world is the best composed of the three, with luxurious furniture in a palette of deep, almost black, blues and grays and bold patterns,” says Aimee. “Frills of pink and yellow along with natural blonde woods and woven textures keep her contemporary look from feeling cold.”

Get Helen’s look

hanging bed: Came with the location (try this for similar ones)
Hanging bed throw pillow:
grass fabric wallpaper:
Came with the location; try Serena and Lily for similar
Woven Tapestry:
Figurative artworks:
Tracy Murrell (local from Atlanta)
VictoriAterlier and Duealberi, both on Etsy


Filled with “silky and soothing” colors, Aimee notes, The Corner Spa was a complex design challenge as the team needed to recreate the ornate historical details of a Greek Revival home on a stage. (The Covington, Georgia property is actually a law firm.) “Our construction team, led by John Hair, did an incredible job installing the many layers of molding and recreating the graceful curves chosen for construction. Silky and soothing neutral colors were used throughout, with modern wallpaper details to bring in some subtle patterns. Tiles played a big part in giving the spa feel, the overall feeling of freshness and lightness. Plants were also an important factor, both large ground plants and also hanging planters which could be a stuffy architectural style that feels alive.”

Get the spa look

Paint color (foyer): Sherwin-Williams 6204 Sea Salt
Paint color (cafe):
Benjamin Moore OC-20 Pale Oak (with Jacobs Tree wallpaper detail)
Paint color (exercise room): Sherwin-Williams 7571 Casa Blanca
Paint Color (Trim Continuous):
Sherwin-Williams 8971 Seashell White
Paint color (French doors): Sherwin-Williams 0032 Needlepoint Navy (to complement the entry’s tile mosaic)
Background image (yoga studio): Yukutori wallpaper from Farrow and Ball
To shine:
Mainly rejuvenation and anthropology
Entry Tiles: New Giverny Mosaic Design by Ravenna in Carrara Marble
Magnolia Artwork:
“The artwork was commissioned by Cansu Porsuk, an incredible artist from Turkey that we met on Etsy. We were so inspired by her work that we ended up including 12 of her pieces in Maddie’s set and 3 in Dana Sue’s set.” (Paula’s abstract canvases in her studio were also painted by Cansu.)
Corrosive works:
Catherine Martinico
watercolors: Elizabeth Becker
Art Deco Prints: George Barbier
Jade sofa: West Elm, see similar ones here
Cane chairs (flanking the entrance):
Anthropologie, similar ones can be found here and here


We asked Aimee (over an imaginary round of margaritas, of course!): Which ones Sweet magnolias Character is most likely…
…brakes for antiques?

“Dana Sue and Maddie made antique collecting a regular weekend getaway. Dana Sue could never leave out outsider art, anything owl themed, and perfectly smooth vintage cast iron pans. Maddie has a thing for vintage bird and botanical lithographs and vintage furniture that needs to be reimagined and revisited”
…shopping at HomeGoods?

“Maddie found some bargains at HomeGoods, like the pinstriped canvas chair in her living room. She has a keen eye for design, but also for bargains.
…decorate with family heirlooms?

“Maddie holds onto this strong sense of family, in her children and in the family she comes from. She has classical pieces throughout the house including the piano which definitely has a story. She also cherishes her children, with child-made heirlooms such as the three framed hand prints (one for each child) hanging in the kitchen above the living room door.”
…renovate every three years?

Helen’s sense of fashion and feminine modernity is an important element in expressing her personality. She embraces the small-town vibe of Serenity, but doesn’t want to be defined by it.
…plant a garden?

All three! The southern aesthetic has so much to do with nature. Maddie would go for petunias, begonias and sunflowers for their cheerful pops of color, Dana Sue would go for some low-maintenance but high-impact herbs in the kitchen (and in cocktails) like Genovese basil, marjoram, chervil and unusual mints, and Helen for something exotic and classic at the same time , like dahlias in bright colors.
… hug chintz?

Dana Sue loves a little sparkle, flash and fun in her eclectic decor.
… pick up a needle tip?
Maddie could think about it with a feeling of reassuring nostalgia. But we know that with her three children and busy schedule, completing a project would be nearly impossible.
…binge watch HGTV?

Maddie, she loves the DIY ideas. Though Helen probably catches a glimpse every now and then to make sure she’s bang on trend.
…Read Country Life

Maddie! Their vibrant and effortless style feels like a perfect match. (Maddie, your subscription is in the mail.)

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