Hip & Classic:
Meet South + English
With a counter-intuitive mix of provenance and personality, South + English is a new home décor collection where opposites attract, and styles converge. Beautifully. S+E is the brainchild of longtime partners and creative collaborators Palmer Linwood Smith and David Ebbetts – the former an irrepressible live-large Southerner and the latter, a dialed-back, buttoned-up Brit. Honestly, they couldn’t be more different. Therein lies the magic.
South + English is fresh and entirely new. But this is not Palmer and David’s first-time foray into the world of design. Both are seasoned design and furniture execs. They know how to design and develop product, source craftsmen, wrangle supply chains and work a special brand magic in showroom display. Palmer and David understand the stylish ground of boutique retail, and some of their best friends (and customers) are interior designers. They are brand builders. But today, rather than quietly leading other companies to success, Palmer and David are hanging their very own shingle: South + English.
charismatic and creative
Georgia born, Palmer Linwood Smith is a man of the New South – wide open, well-travelled and a masterful maker of biscuits. Creatively ambidextrous, Palmer began his career in the world of fashion, simultaneously exploring his destiny as painter under the brush name Linwood. Next, antiques beckoned. As an Atlanta antique dealer, Palmer’s shop was known for thoughtfully curated finds and restorations. Soon, home décor product design and visual merchandising tugged his fashionable sleeve. Prior to putting the SOUTH in South + English with David Ebbetts, Palmer served in senior product and showroom development roles for major U.S. and international brands, most recently, Julian Chichester and Mr Brown London.
For South, “beauty is born of chaos.” As such, Palmer brings wonderful topsy-turvy balance to the South + English equation. How does Palmer do it? Is it his unerring eye for melding fashion and furniture trends? His intuitive understanding of what’s next? His eye for color, pattern and texture? His ability to make a showroom sing? In short, yes, yes, yes and yes.
wry, dry and creative
Born just outside of London, David Ebbetts has a penchant for grey vintage cars, Andy Warhol silk screens, architectural artifacts, pattern, color, texture and change. Always change. One is apt to find David upending apple carts – but purposefully so. David innately trusts change. Thus, after completing firsts in engineering, David sought to cultivate his creative side. Ultimately, he found equilibrium – that elusive right/left brain balance – in the world of interiors. David headed Julian Chichester U.S. operations for a smidge under twenty years and co-founded Mr Brown London in 2010.
“Change is always good. It’s what I trust. I get anxious when things remain the same,” David confesses. This attitude is salient to the formation of South + English with partner and fellow innovator Palmer Smith. David likes to design and build interesting things. Painstakingly working out a new finish, the pitch of a chair, the slope of an arm or the proportions of a cabinet are labors of love. As is the big reveal: fully realized South + English designs in a showroom, designer project or home. David is a renegade thinker and amazingly disciplined.
s+e behind-the-scenes players
Top dog for nearly ten years, coco lab Eden is the elder stateswoman of South + English. Often called to action for “sit tests,” Eden has an uncanny ability to sniff out and languorously occupy the best seats in the house.
Lest anyone forget, teenager (and English Spaniel) Luna is first to put a paw up and demand time out for play. Work, she suggests, is overrated, especially when chew toys and shoes beckon. Luna is a South + English joie de vivre inspiration.
Kitty lied about her age. With the soul of a lioness, Kitty adopted Messieurs Smith and Ebbetts in the autumn of her life and ruled the realm with a penchant for Greenies and a begrudging affection for canines. RIP, old girl.