The Difference Between a House and a Home: This Book Tells All You Need to Know

Like a gracious southern host, interior designer James Farmer welcomes readers to A Place Called Home, where the designs are based on sentiment rather than trend.


Photography by Emily Followill

Text by Margaret Zainey Roux

Although they are often used synonymously, the words house and home evoke very different emotions, says interior designer, lifestyle expert, and best-selling author James Farmer. “The difference between a home and a house is the tug of heartstrings and the longing to dwell there,” says Farmer. “Our homes are where we live and love, so we fill them with our collections—both the physical and emotional ones.”A Place To Call Home cover

A Place To Call Home, published by Gibbs-Smith, is Farmer’s seventh book but only his first on interior design. “I’ve written several books on cooking and entertaining, but I’m not a professional chef or an event planner,” says the Auburn University graduate. “I’m a country boy who loves to cook and throw a party, but I’m an interior designer by profession. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to publish my work and share my great passion for Southern style and design.”


A Place To Call Home - Bedroom
Photography by Emily Followill

In 200-plus pages of enchanting stories and charming photos by Emily Followill, Farmer explores 11 distinct residences, from a 19th-century Victorian to a newly constructed Georgian to a chic coastal retreat. Each home resonates the indigenous colors, materials, and textures of its surroundings and reflects the lifestyles of those who live there. Rounding out the mix is Farmdale Cottage, the designer’s own home, built on family land and adorned with treasures from generations past.

A Place To Call Home - Dining Room
Photography by Emily Followill

At the start of each chapter, Farmer and his clients open their doors to readers just as they would to invited guests. Inside, layers of heart pine, shiplap, or pecky cypress provide a strong Southern foundation for a variety of decorative elements ranging from seagrass to sterling silver. But the most captivating appointments are the antiques and one-of-a-kind finds accompanied by humorous and touching anecdotes about their origins.

“In a world where authenticity is rare, our homes are like calling cards for our individual style,” says Farmer. “You may have fabrics, furniture, and artwork that are similar to your neighbor’s, but no two homes have the same family photos or heirlooms or even the same wear and tear on the furniture or floor. A true home contains memories that only you have made.”

For inspiration on turning your home into a dream stay for guests, shop the issue below!


Nov/Dec 2017 cover

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