The Oscar winner talks Draper James, Southern hospitality, and family heirlooms

By Mackenzie Schmidt
September 23, 2016 03:05 PM
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How Reese Witherspoon manages to be a glamorous movie star and a completely down-to-earth Southern girl at the same time is some kind of magic we’ll never totally understand. (Seriously, one minute she’s accepting an Oscar and the next she’s snapchatting herself jamming out in the car…alone…with a hamster face filter.) At least her line of fashion and home goods, Draper James, gives us a foolproof way to nab a bit of her sweet-meets-classic style for ourselves.

Reese recently chatted with Architectural Digest about Southern style and her second boutique opening in Dallas, which is inspired by the design of her own house.

“I was born in New Orleans and raised in Nashville so I was greatly influenced by Southern women,” Reese tells AD. “The way they dress for every occasion, their love of family heirlooms, and their passion for pattern and color . . . Southern women love bright colors and floral prints—anything that celebrates a joy for life.” Those qualities are definitely present in the pieces she creates for Draper James, from the gingham snack bowls in her latest Tailgating Collection to cute stationery and a very sassy letter tray.

The pieces she’s selling aren’t the only place Reese’s dreamy style is on display. If you can’t pop by her house for a little interior design inspiration, you can get a taste of it in her new Dallas store. “I wanted the store to embody the graciousness of Southern culture with traditional elements like wallpaper and moldings, but also have a contemporary feel with light fixtures and art,” Reese says. “It was important that the store felt like people were walking into my own home.”

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She worked with designer and blogger extraordinaire Mark D. Sikes to create a space that feels like visitors are going through the rooms of a house. “The store is set up with an open floor plan, but there are distinct spaces within,” she explains. “First you find yourself in an entryway, then at a long marble island with stools (it’s our cash wrap, but it resembles a kitchen), then finally in a living room.”

The shop’s pièce de résistance, in true Reese fashion, is decorated with a friendly Southern phrase: “I asked renowned artist Gray Malin to create one of his famous balloon photographs for our store so that it says ‘Howdy.’ I plan on buying the first print for my office. It perfectly captures the friendliness of the South and the feeling that everyone is welcome.”