Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


A Little Decorating Trivia

Above, the most photographed home in Atlanta, the 1920s Swan House, designed by architect Philip Trammell Shutze. All images courtesy of the Atlanta History Center; Swan House Dining Room also courtesy of Jonathan Hollada.

Alumnae of a certain Southern women's college have probably heard Ruby Ross Wood's name linked with journalism (she was the ghostwriter for Elsie de Wolfe and wrote for Vogue and House & Garden.) And I suppose serious design history buffs know Georgia-born Wood as the decorator who mentored Billy Baldwin. But I'm not sure if Ruby Ross Wood is a household name. Archival photos of her work don't often pop-up in shelter mags. Did you know she collaborated with architect Philip Trammell Shutze on the interiors of Swan House?

I've read that Wood's touch is especially seen in the Swan House dining room, with its pale Aubusson rug, chinoiserie wallpaper and bright plaid silk curtains. If you want to see for yourself, public visiting hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. House tours are included with general admission.

Related reading, Atlanta at Home.


Suzy said...

How interesting! The Swan house is just amazing! Does anyone live there now, or is it open to the public?

Style Court said...

Hi Suzy,

It functions as a museum now on the grounds of the History Center.

Anonymous said...

Isn't she a Pope? My family is orginally from Virginia, I think hers is too! Very interesting and unique house. :)

Laura said...

Great information! The Swan House is certainly known among Atlanta brides as the place to have a luncheon. You can't get married without having one of those swan desserts! It is such an elegant setting.

Style Court said...

robyn, yes, her full name was Ruby Ross Pope Goodnow Wood, and I read her family originated in VA.

Brilliant Asylum said...

So interesting. I will need to plan another visit to the Swan House and see it with this fresh perspective. It has been years since I have last been.

The Peak of Chic said...

Wood is one of my favorite 20th c. decorators. Occasionally you can find photos of her work in old magazines (like from the 1930s). Acanthus Press was supposed to publish a book on her, but it looks like it's been pulled from the upcoming publication list. Too bad.

Style Court said...


I was really disappointed about the book not being released. I'm sure you have some great images of her work!