Classic Southern Refinement

Culture & Leisure Magazine Spring 2005

Written by Varina Buntin

Photographed by John Hall

Press Photo

George Bernard Shaw shared a number of intelligent, witty insights, including my personal favorite: If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. But I have to surmise from his statement: Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days? that he obviously did not live in the likes of these designer bedrooms. Stunning upon first impression and equally so in everyday reality, these bedrooms prove the fact that true beauty never becomes dismissive.
The English Manor

A master of fabric, William Eubanks has created a truly royal chamber for Dr. Henry Herrod, who serves as the Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and his wife. Consistent with the rest of the house, which has a strong Italian influence, Eubanks wanted to create a European, notably an English style, reminiscent of the 18th century. Drawing on Mrs. Herrod’s love of gardening and the warm, vibrant personality of the couple in general, the color palette of the room uniquely balances acid greens with terra cottas, melons, and warm sable.

Further reflecting the owner’s love of flowers, Eubanks custom designed the headboard, which is tufted and upholstered in Bailey rose chintz by Cowtan & Tout. The coverlet and exterior bed hangings in Museum Damask are complimented by the striped silk interior bed hanging, ottoman, and club chairs, all of which Eubanks also custom designed and made. Detailings include bullion trimming on the chairs and ottoman and gold fringe on the moiré taffeta draperies.

Bed lighting was of the utmost importance to the Herrods, both of whom are avid readers, so Eubanks included swing-arm lamps inside the bed and used a pair of Chinese ochre vases on gilt wood bases as lamps. Other Far-Eastern touches include a bronze Japanese dancer and a Chinese lacquered garden bench placed under a 19th century English satinwood-writing table at the window. Also 19th century English, serpentine-front japanned commodes act as bedside tables. Flanking the bed is a framed series of hand-colored bird engravings and centered in the bed’s lavish interior is an oil painting by a 19th century French artist, Cunot. Down to the last detail, Eubanks masterfully delivers the master bedroom he envisioned: a vibrant chamber reminiscent of an 18th century manor house.