A few years ago, Southern Accents asked regional tastemakers to share their thoughts on Southern style. Charleston-based designer Amelia Handegan said, "No Southern house should be without a bowl for camellias."
I loved her reply because the idea is so timeless and accessible. Sure, the bowl might be sterling or 18th-century porcelain, but it could also be contemporary glass from Crate and Barrel.
If you are fortunate to have camellias growing in your yard, or in a pot on your patio, think about bringing some blooms inside -- even if you float just one on your bedside table.
The flower is in season right now, and it continues to feel fresh as we transition from the holidays to winter. Planting camellias for next year is another great option if you live in a warmer climate. (I think I mentioned the other day that the January issue of Southern Accents includes a camellia story with helpful sources.)
The paintings above are by American artist John La Farge: Second from the top, White Camellia in a Red and Black Lacquer Bowl, is circa 1880 and belongs to the MFA. Camellia in Old Chinese Vase on Black Lacquer Table, 1879, is shown first (image via artyzm.com.)
Erica George Dines photographed the pink camellias in the Yeoward crystal bowl for Southern Accents.