There are certain people you meet with whom you immediately connect, and such was the case with Marsha Mason. We were introduced through Instagram via Laurie Byrne (aka The Preppy Paper Girl), whose Instagram account is one of my daily reads. Located in Columbus, Georgia, Marsha’s home is traditional and formal, yet warm, cozy, and inviting all at once. Southern charm at its best! We share a love for collecting blue and white porcelain, antique Staffordshire, sterling silver, and Herend. Marsha also has an impressive collection of fine art. After getting a sneak peek Marsha’s “tiny cottage in the south” on Instagram, I was dying to see more and I was delighted when she agreed to a home tour and Q&A!
Before we begin our tour, congratulations to Blair, the winner of the fabulous Herend bunny giveaway! You will surely be inspired by Marsha’s impressive collection! Thank you to everyone who entered the contest, and for more chances to win, please visit the Herend USA Facebook page… Each day this week on the Herend USA Facebook page will be a chance to win one of Herend’s brand new fishnet figurines just introduced last week at the New York Tabletop show. The five pieces selected range in price from $175 to $350 and, of course, are all hand painted and have 24kt gold accents. All you must do to enter is “like” and “share” the post to you own timeline, and the following day a winner will be selected at random. Five days, five chances to win! The first post and chance to enter will appear this afternoon (EST).
Now let’s begin our tour… Images are courtesy of Marsha’s daughter, Eliza Morrill Photography.
Q: Please tell me about your design background. Are you a professional decorator? And how did you develop your sense of style?
A: I have absolutely no formal training in design, it simply turned out to be happy accident that I love decorating. I am drawn to color, pattern, and texture and I am definitely not a minimalist. I can certainly appreciate a calm, monochromatic room, but as hard as I try, I cannot live in one. I loved everything Charles Faudree did and I’m crazy for Timothy Corrigan.
Q: Please tell me more about your impressive art collection.
A: Several portraits are family portraits. My former husband’ s father was a great collector of art and we were fortunate to inherit some of his pieces. We in turn began our collection when our budget allowed and continued to collect for years. Some pieces are very fine and others are simply pieces that spoke to us. I remember once purchasing a piece thinking I needed to push my boundaries and buy something different. It’s only a small piece but each time I walk by it I think “Big mistake!” My best advice is to buy only what you love.
Q: We clearly share a passion for Herend and Staffordshire figurines and blue and white porcelain. Please tell me more about your collections, and what other treasures to you enjoy collecting?
A: I collect Herend figures in blue, green, and pink. I have a friend who has collected for years and she literally has a house full of them. I so admired her collection that about 10 years ago my daughter started my collection for me and I’ve never looked back. I’ve also collected blue and white transferware and Staffordshire figures for about 30 years. I find that at this point I’m teetering on the edge of “Wow what a great collection!” and “Wow she’s a hoarder!”
Q: Where do you find inspiration? And who are your favorite decorators?
A: I find inspiration just where I’m sure everyone else does… Instagram, Pintrest, these books that are being published that are full of gorgeously beautiful rooms, and constantly scouring antique shows and shops. I’m amazed at how many incredibly creative people there are out there. And every time I go into yet one more uniquely beautiful home it makes me think I want to throw everything out and start all over again!
Q: The hand-painted murals in your home are divine. Please tell me more about them!
A: A fabulous local artist, Jo Farris, painted the murals in the entry hall. When we bought the house it was an absolute dog. It was in terrible shape and was ugly beyond belief. It was Jo’s idea to paint the Gothic windows to mimic the windows in the room, and then we filled them with birds. I never tire of this room!
Q: How did your beautiful silver collections begin?
A: I collect silver dresser jars, perfume bottles, brushes, mirrors, frames, trays etc. I really can’t remember when I started but always loved the beauty of the workmanship of the chasing. I’ve had to slow the collecting to a trickle because there is no room left on the trays, and no room left for another tray. For some reason I have an affectation for putting everything in my home on a silver tray, feeling it makes it look that much more inviting.
Q: What is your favorite/most cherished item or collection in your home?
A: Without a doubt, my most cherished item is my five grandchildren. I know it sounds hokey, but let me tell you as the Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” There are a lot of pretty things in the world and you can always get more. But the babies in this picture are priceless.