One Man’s Folly

I saw a friend Saturday, a handsome devil, and we reminisced about our first meeting.  It was at a lovely dinner for a dreary out-of-towner and he pulled up a piano bench by my chair and we were, instantly, friends.  A few months later I put him to my left at a dinner party at my house.  Late in the evening someone mentioned his birthday and I realized our age gap was greater than I had expected.
“I don’t know if I can be friends with someone ten years younger,” I told him.
“It’s too late,” came his quick reply.
Some connections are like that.  Love at first sight, even when the love is platonic.  Such was the case as I met Furlow Gatewood through the pages of his book. Mr. Gatewood lives as I aspire to live: sure of his taste, comfortable in his skin and with a steady flow of creativity.  
This connection is strengthened by Mr. Gatewood’s love of old things, worn rugs, quilts, Chinese porcelain and dogs. And, at home, he sits sideways in chairs, legs thrown over the arm as I do.  

The images in the book offer delight and inspiration, but it’s Mr. Gatewood’s devotion to his Americus, Georgia home, the tale of the moving of buildings and their restoration and decoration that is the real appeal.  That the story is told by Julia Reed is a wonderful bonus.
If you like anything here, if you ever feel we would be friends if circumstances allowed, you will surely like One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.  I know I’m hoping to someday have the opportunity to drag a piano bench closer to his chair and lean in.

All images from One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood, courtesy of Rizzoli.  Photography by Rodney Collins and Paul Costello.
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11 thoughts on “One Man’s Folly

  1. Patricia, excellent thoughts as I also felt I grew to know Mr. Gatewood through this fine book of his homes, his follies. A man whose age seems as timeless as his breathtaking surroundings.

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Great post! I became aware of Mr. Gatewood in the pages of Traditional Home a while back, that wonderful cottage and the famous alley of potted hydrangeas along his driveway… I can't wait for this book and to read it with Julia's drawl in my head will be icing on the cake.

  3. This one is winging its way to me. I love Julia Reed's writing and as someone who grew up south of the Mason-Dixon, I have a fine appreciation for eccentrics. Especially eccentrics who love houses.

  4. Now, Mrs, Blandings!!

    Just to remind you! Age has nothing to do with any of our sharing!! (does it?) Age ???? What????

    I hope that is now over.

    I met Furlow many years ago…..when he was still at John Rosselli's store……(the four story one on the River where I met Miles Redd who was 17 or something!!) This is true!!

    Furlow has the most beautiful Southern accent I have ever heard in my life!
    A Southern accent is "music to my ears" ; my mother was born in Birmingham!!!

    This will be the book ! (If I am stranded on a desert island…..and I am allowed one book; this is IT!!!'')
    Bunny came to visit our house in Santa Barbara when she was here a few years ago! I was so happy to show her all these things that came from Treillage; and John Rosselli!

    She stopped in the middle….and said……."ISN'T IT SO FUN!??!!"






  5. OK, back to say the book arrived around 2 and I finished it around 5. Did not leave my chair. So fun. Then I picked up Spaces and there was your article about not liking outdoors but having an empty space. And then WHAM! You need to build a folly. Something to enjoy looking at from inside and something you don't have to water!

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