Southern Home (SH): Who or what first inspired your pursuit of design and beauty?
James Farmer (JF): When I was growing up in Perry, Georgia, my parents had some house plans drawn by Frank McCall, a well-known architect from Moultrie, Georgia. Even as a child, I knew architects drew squares on a piece of paper that would become a room, but McCall and his team taught me that it was about so much more. They talked about window treatments, silver patterns, where to line the drive with oak trees, and they wanted to know how we entertained, whether it was a Ducks Unlimited banquet or a bridge club. He interpreted a lifestyle through his designs and shaped the way the family lived. I always go back to that as inspiration. But the biggest influence was my grandmother, Mimi. She taught me how to set a table, how to cook, that we eat with our eyes first, and to feed people body and soul when they’re at our table.