Designer Q&A: James Farmer

SH: What do you collect?
We spot a lot of blue-and-white porcelain throughout your rooms.
JF: Well that doesn’t make me special, does it? A lot of people love it, but did they save their allowance to buy a blue-and-white plate at an antique mall in Byron, Georgia, when they were six like I did? Some Southern men get up early in the morning, put on camo, and want to shoot a duck or deer. I get up at the crack of dawn to go to Scott Antique Markets in Atlanta. I love finding things that immediately tell a story—particularly odds-and-ends silver, such as ice cream forks and tomato spoons; things to add to my family’s heirlooms. My assistant, Margaret, gave me a sterling potato-chip server for Christmas. I mean, that thrills my soul right there. Even though we don’t set our tables these days like the Victorians, I always go back to this: I’m a family-oriented guy who lost both my mother and grandmother at an early age. When I can hold my grandmother’s silver while I’m eating soup or spreading butter, that’s a tactile reminder of her.


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