When designer Bunny Williams approached me about writing the text of a book on Furlow Gatewood and the compound of remarkable dwellings he’s assembled in his hometown of Americus, Georgia, I had no idea of what an enormous gift she was giving me. Bunny’s great friend Furlow, a partner in the antiques business of her husband John Rosselli, has long been known to design world insiders and a handful of lucky visitors to Americus. But I was not prepared for this man’s extraordinary eye, the scope of his remarkable collections, his uncanny sense of proportion and skill as a “hip-pocket draftsman.” Nor was I prepared to fall utterly in love. Furlow is, above all, a great gentleman, funny and charming and possessed of a mean cheese straw recipe as well as a menagerie of seductive creatures. As I said in the book, visiting Furlow is not unlike being set down on another planet, but “one where only things of the utmost beauty or interest or soul are allowed.” Tour the magical compound for yourself in One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.

Insert from One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.: The main room in The Peacock House boasts a mantel Furlow found years ago in New Jersey. 

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Below, I shopped Taigan for things inspired by Furlow’s many treasures. 

Furlow is very big on pagodas. This lamp from Found makes good use of a lovely porcelain version.

Bunny Williams jokes that fabric houses will never get rich off of Furlow. He much prefers Indian tablecloths and vintage textiles like this stunning suzani from Iris & Co.

Furlow’s kitchen alone has more blue-and-white china than most people can amass in a lifetime. Start your own instant collection with these great 19th century ginger jars from Found.

Furlow is famous for his yummy cheese straws. This silver basket from Corzine & Co. is perfect for serving them.

In Furlow’s gardens, all the sheds are decidedly chic. For your own inspiration, grab a copy of Shed Chic, Outdoor Buildings for Work, Rest, or Play from Absolution.

Furlow has some of the finest Chinese Export porcelain pieces I’ve ever seen. This plate from Corzine & Co. is worthy of his collection.

When I last visited Furlow, I brought yummy pork chops from Donald Link’s Butcher in New Orleans, and we did a lot of cooking out of my first food book, Ham Biscuits.

Before moving to New York and joining John Rosselli in his antiques business, Furlow had a flower shop in Americus, GA. I think he’d like this pair of turn-of-the-century French florist displays from Found.

Furlow first spotted two of his dogs in a book of French dog paintings given to him by Bunny Williams and John Rosselli. No telling what he might discover in The English Dog at Home from Nick Harvill. 

In three of his houses, the predominate paint palette is gray and white. This painted French armoire from And George would fit right in.

This pair of Swedish chairs (with the original paint) from Maison & Co. would be particularly at home in one of the two houses Furlow moved onto his property.

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Tour the magical compound for yourself in One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewoodwhich I’ll be signing tomorrow (Wednesday, April 30th)  from 4PM until 7PM at the Taigan’s Pop-Up Shop. Hope to see you there!

About Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a columnist at Garden & Gun magazine and a contributing editor at Elle Décor. She also contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times, and makes frequent appearances on MSNBC. She is the author of five books, including But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria, Adventures in Eating, Drinking and Making Merry and One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.

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