Sweet Sixteen: Antiques at The Gardens Never Goes Out of Style

By Donna Cornelius

From furniture built long ago to designers whose aesthetic shapes modern sensibilities, Antiques at the Gardens is a showcase of timeless beauty.

The 16th annual event, hosted by the Friends of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, begins on September 29th and runs through October 2nd. It includes 12 speakers, 22 vendors and about 150 volunteers, all working together to support the gardens and educate and entertain those in attendance.

First Horizon Bank is the presenting sponsor of this year’s show, which, in addition to textile sponsor Sister Parish Design, will also feature talks and book signings from nationally and internationally recognized interior designers, floral designers, architects, landscape architects and furniture designers.

The merchants offer a range of enticing items: furniture, art, vintage and fine jewellery, silver, carpets and textiles, home decor and garden accessories.

This year’s lineup includes Antique Cupboard, Beth Poindexter Luxe, Black Sheep Antiques, Blackwell Botanicals, Brocante French Antiques, Dana Kelly Oriental Rugs, DR Grissom Collection Estate & Fine Jewelry, Edwin C. Skinner, Gum Tree Farm Designs, Hedgerow Antiques, Justin Westbrook , Madison James, Maison de France, McDonough Fine Art, Pennoyer Newman, Piggy Kitchen, Recreo Jewelry, Roger D. Winter, Ltd., Thomas M. Fortner Antiques, Very Vintage Villa, Well + Wonder Artist Collective and Whitehall Antiques.

Antiques at the Gardens draws visitors from across Alabama and the Southeast. Proceeds benefit ongoing management and improvement of the gardens, educational programs and outreach.

Antiques at the Gardens gets off to a festive start on September 29th with the Gala in the Gardens, a glamorous party honoring longtime BBG supporters Maggie and Will Brooke. Guests are entered through a special garden entrance created by Millhouse Howell as they prepare to dance, sip cocktails and engage in conversation under the stars.

Speakers at the fair

Here is the schedule for the rest of the event:

Friday 30 Sept. Hours: 10am-5pm

Shop the Show with Show Ambassador Richard Keith Langham, 9:30am

Born in Alabama and based in Manhattan, Langham has been a fixture in the decorating world for more than 30 years. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and studying at the Study Center for the History of Fine and Decorative Arts in London, he then apprenticed with design legend Mark Hampton. Langham spent 10 years at Irvine & Fleming before founding his own firm in 1990. Its signature rooms speak to the past in a fresh way with rich colors, patterns and couture details. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once claimed that he had “a magician’s eye”.

Red Diamond Lecture Series: Ken Fulk, 11 a.m. (followed by book signing)

For more than 30 years, interior designer Ken Fulk (below) has designed enchanting spaces around the world. He has been included in the Architectural Digest AD100 and the Elle Decor A-List and has been twice nominated for a James Beard Award for his hospitality projects. He is known for his blend of cinematic flair and multi-layered spaces that pay homage to the traditional influences of his Virginia upbringing. His book The Movie in My Mind takes the reader behind the scenes of some of his most extravagant ventures. Fulk has gained international recognition with widespread residential and hospitality projects. In 2018 he founded the Saint Joseph’s Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local artists at revived historic landmarks in San Francisco and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Red Diamond Lecture Series: Lewis Miller, 2 p.m. (followed by book signing)

Lewis Miller, above, was born and raised in farm country California, where he developed a respect for nature from an early age. Miller, above, is the founder of LMD New York, Lewis Miller Design, one of New York City’s premier floral design houses, with a new second office in West Palm Beach, Florida. Miller’s clients include leading industry experts in fashion, design, photography, art direction and architecture. He is the author of Styling Nature: A Masterful Approach to Floral Arrangement and Flower Flash. Miller is known for his Flower Flashes, street art flower installations that have been repurposed from events to create pop-up street installations. Focused on flowers and imagination, he transforms key moments in his clients’ lives into magical, everlasting memories. His goal is to continue this work and bring joy and surprise to neighborhoods and city dwellers.

Saturday October 1st

Show times 10am-5pm

Porch panel: Brandon Ingram, Janice Parker, Stephen Sills and Summer Thornton; Editor-in-Chief Brandon Ingram, 11 a.m. (followed by book signing)

Brandon Ingram

Georgia native C. Brandon Ingram Design is an Atlanta-based residential design company primarily focused on custom homes, historic renovations, and architectural interiors. A Georgia Tech graduate and four-time winner of the prestigious Philip Trammell Shutze Award for Excellence in Classical Design from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, Ingram has designed classic, traditional homes across the country.

Janice Parker

Born and raised in New York City, Janice Parker studied at the Parsons School of Design and then with John Brookes at the Clock House School of Garden Design in England. During this time she also worked in the florist shop and designed for events and spaces. Her firm, Janice Parker Landscape Architects, has designed and managed innovative landscape architecture for private and public clients worldwide. The company has received multiple awards including the Veranda Best in Outdoor Living Awards in 2020 and 2022; his work has been featured in Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Veranda, and other publications.

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Stephen Sils

Stephen Sills, below, is known for his ability not only to design innovative and beautiful spaces, but also to create a luxurious and tranquil atmosphere. With a fresh approach to classicism, Sills brings together furnishings from four centuries and an innovative choice of finishes, textures and colours. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Town and Country, Vogue, Veranda, W, New York Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar. He is a member of Architectural Digest’s AD100 and one of the 30 Deans of American Design. Sills’ third monograph, Stephen Sills – A Vision for Design, will be available this fall.

Summer Thornton

Summer Thornton, above, is known for decorating with the wildest passion to create bold and colorful interiors that breathe life into homes. Her first book, Wonderland: Adventures in Decorating, came out in March. Her work has been featured in AD, Veranda, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other publications. She regularly features in exclusive lists including Sotheby’s list of the Top 20 Designers to Watch. Her style inspires more than 100,000 followers on Instagram.

Moderator: Steele Marcoux

Marcoux is Editor-in-Chief of Veranda magazine. She leads editorial initiatives and reports on design trends, architecture and travel.

Alex Papachristidis, presented by Flower Magazine, 2 p.m. (followed by book signing)

Papachristidis’ work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, House and Garden, Southern Accents, InStyle, and The New York Times, and he was included in the 2016 AD 100 List, Elle Décor’s A-List of 25 Interior Designers and repeatedly included in the Top 50 Designer List of New York Spaces.

The designer is the author of The Age of Elegance: Interiors by Alex Papachristidis and the new book The Elegant Life: Rooms That Welcome and Inspire. He also has a table shop called Everyday Elegance on Instagram. (See story on page 18.)

Sunday 2 Oct. Hours: 11am-4pm

Moderated by James Farmer

Returning is James Farmer, a Southern author, interior designer and speaker known for his ability to create wonderfully intimate and welcoming homes. Farmer, above, is the author of numerous bestsellers. His most recent release, Arriving Home, features design projects from the fields of Georgia to the rural areas of Connecticut. His work has also been featured in Southern Living, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Southern Home, Flower and other magazines.

Sunday with Kreis Beall, 11:30 a.m. (followed by book signing)

County Beall, below, is co-founder of Blackberry Farm, an award-winning, 70-room resort in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee and one of the nation’s premier travel destinations. This Tennessee native combines diverse experiences—hotel owner, chef, photographer, interior designer, traveler—that all share a common thread: Beall’s passion for the art of living, her love of beauty, and her talent for turning big dreams into genuine, unaffected elegance . She is a fixture in the travel and entertainment worlds and frequently appears in popular home and design magazines.

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House Beautiful Panel: Betsy Brown, Jeffrey Dungan and Grant Trick; Presenter: Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful magazine’s director of special projects editorial. 2:00 p.m. (followed by book signing)

Betsy Brown

Betsy Brown, below, was raised in Birmingham by a wildly creative Southern mother – an antique dealer who was obsessed with design. Her eponymous company, Betsy Brown Inc., specializes in comfortable, collected spaces where a modernist sensibility is the foundation and antiques create exquisite tension and balance. Her work has been featured in publications worldwide and she has won awards including Southeastern Designer of the Year from Veranda Magazine and the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, and Top 125 Designers from House Beautiful Magazine.

Jeffrey Dungan

Jeffrey Dungan is the director of Jeffrey Dungan Architects in Alabama. His creative work can be seen in his native South and throughout North and Central America. Dungan has been recognized as the 2017 Southeast Architect of the Year by Veranda Magazine and the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, as well as numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects. In 2018 and 2019 he received the prestigious Palladio Award, the only national award for classical architecture. Dungan, above, is the author of The Nature of Home: Creating Timeless Houses.

Grant trick

Furniture maker and craftsman Grant Trick (below) is the founder of his eponymous furniture upholstery workshop in Birmingham. Trick began his career as a sportswear designer in New York. Creative stints as a showroom designer and prop maker for various fashion brands enabled him to master the art of making custom upholstery and home furnishings. He has since returned to his southern roots in Alabama, where he hand-tailors, hand-tufts, and hand-sews bespoke pieces for the design industry.

Moderator: Carisha Swanson

Panel presenter Carisha Swanson is the Editor-in-Chief of House Beautiful magazine’s Special Projects. She works with brands and partners to develop innovative editorial initiatives across digital, video and print.

Books can be purchased from the Leaf & Petal store in The Gardens.

Some events have limited seating and require additional tickets. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.bbgardens.org/antiques. Follow the show on Facebook and Instagram @antiquesgardensbham.

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