Wood, metal, and marble create classic style that's rich in character.

Originality in design and materials distinguishes The Southern Living Collection by Lexington Home Brands. Southern Living Homes Editors worked closely with furniture designers from Lexington to ensure that every piece of wooden and upholstered furniture is stylish and serviceable. By traveling to Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, and other Southern states, we were able to find distinctive English and French antiques to inspire the core pieces in the collection.

We also invited the designers to our editorial offices in Birmingham, where we reviewed sketches of chests, beds, and tables while discussing the collection's overall look and styling. We showed the group some of our favorite galleries and home-furnishing stores in a picturesque old neighborhood located near our office. There, the designers took particular notice of a pair of massive iron gates marking the entrance to an open-air shopping area. Those gates subsequently provided the inspiration for the Metal Bed With Wooden Posts, one of our most handsome pieces.

Our collection continues to grow and evolve as we increase the styles, finishes, and fabrics that are available through Lexington dealers nationwide. Readers of Southern Living, as well as buyers of the furniture, have told us about items they'd like to see added to the series.

Although alder will continue to be the primary wood used in construction of our pieces, two additional finishes soon will be available on some of the most popular items. Mocha, a warm burnished pecan, and Espresso, a dark, rich mahogany, will supplement the original Classic finish. Both looks have a hand-polished quality and are slightly aged and distressed to resemble authentic antiques. Either option is beautifully compatible with the collection's original finish. And special fabrics, such as hand-painted silk, offer exciting decorative possibilities to anyone planning an important furniture purchase.