Betsy Berry & Southern Style Now
We've asked your favorite Southern Designers how they define Southern Style now...
Q: What does Southern Style Now mean to you?
Betsy Berry: I think the South has come into its own. We are now more predominantly on the national stage and have every right to be. In a world full of ever-changing trends, we stick to our classic roots and innovate with a sense of humor and a playful touch. I love the use of traditional patterns on modern upholstered forms as well any form of gingham held against a sleek lacquered interior. The juxtaposition is really the innovation that our most respected Southern designers deliver best.
"In a world full of ever-changing trends, we stick to our classic roots and innovate with a sense of humor and a playful touch"
Q: How do you reinterpret Southern traditions in your work?
Betsy Berry: I think we are in a constant state of updating– making a home feel inviting yet clean while respecting the bones and history of the architecture and space. I tend to look to present day French interiors in that the architecture and bones of the Parisian apartments are maintained and respected while the furnishings are more playful and modern to update the space in today’s world. This balance is key for an updated Southern home and always my ultimate goal.
"...making a home feel inviting yet clean while respecting the bones and history of the architecture and space"
Q: Can you see a thread of Southern influence woven into your interiors? If so, how does it display itself?
Betsy Berry: I grew up in Hilton Head Island, so my appreciation for Southern culture is inherent. Being from the South, there's a gentility and warmth that blends into most everything we do, and I truly think a house needs personality, warmth and soul to become a home. I’ve worked on projects in my NYC days that were absolute perfection, yet had no soul. To really feel that sense of home, there needs to be the collected sense of travel and time, as well as personal photographs and a punch of unexpected elements and quirkiness. The warmth of the home is felt through the layers created by love and time - this can always be created and maintained.
"...I truly think a house needs personality, warmth and soul to become a home"
Q: Finally, do you have a favorite Southern Style Now (Festival or Showhouse) anecdote that you can share with us?
Betsy Berry: I was 8 months pregnant during the festival last year in Savannah, so installing the powder room in the Showhouse was a bit tricky. I have such a great team, though, and we pulled it together beautifully. Plus, my belly made for a great conversation starter when meeting everyone!
After studying fashion design in Italy, Betsy moved to New York City to pursue her career in design. She attended The New York School of Interior Design, and spent eight years working alongside world-renowned designers like David Easton and AD100’s Sills Huniford. While in New York, Betsy completed luxury commercial projects like The Connaught Hotelin London and The St. Regis Washington DC, as well as large-scale residential projects throughout the United States. During this time, she learned the importance of detail-driven design in a world of mass production; focusing on hand-selected pieces, partnering with artisans for custom finishes, and finding newfound beauty in antique materials. In 2013, she returned to her Lowcountry roots and launched B. Berry Interiors in Charleston, SC. With a diverse portfolio spanning both commercial, residential and hospitality projects, Betsy’s work has been featured in Domino, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Architectural Digestand more.Betsy lives in downtown Charleston with her husband, Robert, their three-year old daughter, Barker, and dog, Suge.
“It’s my goal to create interiors that inspire. Whether it’s a commercial project or a home, I love collaborating with my clients to create a clean, beautiful space that feels sophisticated yet relaxed -innovative yet inviting. Interiors that create harmony through variation, curation and comfort.”—Betsy Berry