31 Days of Idea House Giveaways: Day 27, Floor Lamp

August 27, 2015 | By and | Comments (41)

Love the 2015 Southern Living Idea House? Every day in August, we are giving away the items you need to make the look your own.  Check back daily to see the product and enter to win!

Courtesy of Ballard Designs

Courtesy of Ballard Designs

Ballard Design’s Julian Apothecary Floor Lamp ($99) is crafted of steel and has a weighted base to prevent tipping. The adjustable neck and pivoting shade allows you to focus light wherever you need it, making it the perfect reading lamp for your den.

How to Enter: What Southern author would you want to have dinner with most? Why? Comment your answer below, and we’ll pick our favorite.

The contest begins today at 12:01 a.m. CST and ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. CST. Official rules here.



  1. cychili

    So hard to pick just one, but I love anything and everything Mark Twain. I can only imagine he would have been a wonderful dinner companion – he seemed to have such insight into the human condition and human nature generally, while still managing not to take himself too seriously!

    August 28, 2015 at 4:09 pm
  2. Steven Talerico

    Harper Lee would be my choice. I remember first reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” in grade school and loved it. I have just started to read her new novel: Go Set a Watchman. Iwould love to pick her brain.

    August 28, 2015 at 9:24 am
  3. KaAnn

    John Grisham. He seems like a real intelligent person and I learn from his novels about new things.

    August 28, 2015 at 8:54 am
  4. Mary H

    In high school (in the Bronx) Carson McCuller’s Member of the Wedding was required reading and I loved it and devoured all of her other writings rereading her books many times over. The themes in all her books are timeless and there are so many character’s lines that have stuck a chord with me. I like to travel and dream about traveling so I love this quote “We are homesick most for places we have never known”

    August 28, 2015 at 6:14 am
  5. Dawn K

    ron rash

    August 28, 2015 at 4:40 am
  6. floridagld

    Most of my favorite novels are written about the south but most of them are not born in the south. And, the vast majority have become movies and it is no surprise as we have such a flair, interesting folks if not eccentric, real salt of the earth people..with joys, sorrow, controversy, life, death and birth. All my faves hit these notes and the only books I will re-read as the southern novelist will develop deep characters, thought provoking characters and tales that will have you thinking about the tale…the moral…the message long after reading the last line.

    It is a toss up for me either Pat Conroy not because of his we’ll know novels but for Conrack, what a great novel..and how little we have come with his ideals and concepts in what he was attempting. We still live with ignorant people and government. Surely, Mr. Conroy is sad we have evolved so little.

    So many great writers but I think I would choose Fannie Flagg,. To this day, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Wistle Stop Cafe has remained one of the best novels I have read. The way sh was able to weave in the past and the present in the story telling was superb. I would like to eat some fried green tomatoes along with other southern fare as we discuss he social issues of the time juxtaposed with the same social issues we have still to this day. And, I chose her because she seems to not hold back anything and a raunchy sense of humor that I appreciate. Southern novels always make me laugh and cry..bringing in humor because the stories are always so dramatic as Faanys novels are so she would be interesting, while being current. All these books have strong women characters as the center roll..as in real life. Steel Magnolias we are.

    August 27, 2015 at 11:09 pm
  7. Julie

    I’d be honored to prepare my finest cajan meal for Kate Chopin, a prominent female Louisiana author of post-civil war literature. Her words flow effortlessly and provide both historical and sociological insight to important parts of Louisiana culture. But more importantly, I learned that she wrote for the pure joy of writing and because it served as a therapeutic means of combatting depression. I feel she could inspire many people in today’s society to follow their passions and do what they love!

    August 27, 2015 at 11:08 pm
  8. Janice

    I would love to invite my sisters, nieces, and Melinda Rainey Thompson (author of SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully) over for dinner. She is a talented, honest and hilarious southern women with the gift to elegantly write what southern women think. I have no doubt we would all lose weight during the meal because we would be too busy laughing to eat! Laughing also counts as an ab workout!

    August 27, 2015 at 10:48 pm
  9. Brian C

    Southern Writers are often so deep in the details of the setting and environment — it really fits my likes. The south has produced some greats (Faulkner,Twain, Dickey immediately come to mind).

    But since it is 2015 and I want to have a meal with a LIVING author, I would probably pick Cormac McCarthy. I loved “The Road” and “No Country for Old Men” — and enjoy the Gothic style he employs. I would love to pick his brain on the writing process in general as well with the hopes of one day being a pale shadow of his greatness.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:36 pm
  10. gatormomx2

    I would love to share dinner and stories with Dave Barry. I think we actually have a lot in common and would have a lot to discuss. I think we would laugh a lot too. Not because he’s a funny guy but because we have grown up during the same years and lived in the same places and probably have some pretty wild adventure tales to swap.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:15 pm
  11. Rosario Sutton

    I’m not going to get very deep. Honestly, I would love to have dinner with Jeff Foxworthy. He wrote “You Might Be A Redneck If…”, and several Redneck dictionaries. He also put out a Redneck cookbook. I look forward to a night enjoying a good belly laugh.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:14 pm
  12. Amelia Pleasant

    Kathryn Stockett I cry everytime I watch The Help. My cousin is also a writer. She was at his wedding but I didn’t have the nerve to speak to her. I understand the book was partially based on her life. Being from the South I understand The Help but I was so inspired by the writer who assisted the ladies in telling their story. We all have a story. I’d like to write mine so the lamp would be handy for late nights when I am writing.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:01 pm
  13. AngelaS

    Harper Lee. I’m fascinated and would love to understand what happened between Go Set a Watchman the first manuscript she shopped around for publication and the final edit of To Kill A Mockingbird.

    August 27, 2015 at 9:54 pm
  14. Pam Mangum

    So many to choose from……Pat Conroy, John Grisham, Mary Kay Andrews, Lewis Grizzard and the wonderful Rick Bragg. Just for a evening of laughing until your face hurts it has to be Celia Rivenbark.

    August 27, 2015 at 9:47 pm
  15. Linda Haley

    I’m going to be unoriginal and say Harper Lee- sometime after TKAM became a hit while she was still living in New York. I’d like to see if her views of the South changed and would love to hear how she turned that first draft To Set a Watchman into the final draft of one of my top 5 favorite books.

    August 27, 2015 at 9:23 pm
  16. Heather De Luna

    I love Cormac McCarthy, Harper Lee, John Grisham. But my all-time favorite author is Mark Twain! The wit and wisdom, the insight and humor: for me he is not just a Southern writer, but the quintessential American author. He has really inspired me to give writing a go: at least as a hobby. Plus I imagine his dinner-time stories would be priceless.

    August 27, 2015 at 8:46 pm
  17. T bear

    Since I’m from North Carolina, it would have to be Nicholas Sparks. I love reading about familiar places in his books. I would ask him where we are going next!

    August 27, 2015 at 7:54 pm
  18. amylou61

    I’d like to have dinner with Dorothea Benton Frank because her books make me laugh 🙂

    August 27, 2015 at 6:22 pm
  19. Barbara Marta

    Decisions, Decisions -Harper Lee , Rick Bragg – A Living Treasure- No Birds With Grandma; Deceased Mr Faulkner. But, I Would Definitely Go With Mrs Julia Reid Of The Garden District Of New Orleans Nee Indianola Miss. She Has Great Southern Style.- Writes & Uses Her Grandmother Or Mother’s Silver Chafing Dish. Add Vodka To The Sangria – You Go Girl………. Thank You

    August 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm
  20. Nila Hughes

    Margaret Mitchell….I think Gone with the Wind is the second best fiction novel ever written (War and Peace beats it by a hair). I would love to hear how she researched the history for the book. Her accuracy and detail of the Civil War is amazing and I would suspect that she had earlier in life spent time with people who lived during the war and actually worked in the hospitals and fought in the battles. The details of the book indicate she researched it for years and gathered information from her younger years when there were still people alive from that era.

    August 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm
  21. Wanda Zorn

    I would love to meet and have dinner with Fern Michael or Nicolas Sparks. I think I have read every one of their books and keep looking for the net one to come out. I would like to know there they get all of their wonderful ideas for their wonderful books.

    August 27, 2015 at 4:17 pm
  22. Rebecca Hassen

    Most definitely Harper Lee! To Kill a Mockingbird has been my favorite novel since I first read it. She was so reluctant about her fame after the novel that we don’t know as much about her as we do other Southern authors. Her life is such a mystery that it would be fascinating to be the one to hear the details! Plus she’s the only one who could reconcile the Atticus in To Kill A Mockingbird with the one in Go Set A Watchman (or even determine if she truly wrote it, if it was truly a sequel, etc.).

    August 27, 2015 at 4:12 pm
  23. Vicki Hopper

    Hemingway would be the author that I would like to have dinner with but that would be really hard.

    August 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm
  24. Linda Adams

    I would like to have dinner with Pat Conroy. He can tell a really good story. I like the way he shares his family’s southern values and culture in his books. I think the dinner should include great southern food and drink too!

    August 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm
  25. June

    Tough choice. There are so many Southern authors from which to choose, their experiences rich and varied. However, I’d love to have dinner with Willie Morris to hear all about his dog Skip again. And Rick Bragg. He is laughing out loud funny, but can bring a tear to your eye in the same article. Marvelous writer. Then there’s. . .

    August 27, 2015 at 2:28 pm
  26. cunavymom

    Definitely Robert Whitlow! I love to read his novels! I especially like the fact that he writes from a Christian perspective! And being a Furman Alum (like myself!) it would be fun to share stories and experiences from our FU days. I have read every book that he has written!

    August 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm
  27. Holly F

    I really enjoyed The Help, so maybe Kathryn Stockett. I’d love to chat with her about the book and the differences between the book and the movie.

    August 27, 2015 at 1:10 pm
  28. Susan Edwards

    There are so many wonderful southern authors from which to choose, from the literary genius of Capote, to the SC low country with Dorothea Benton Frank, to the queen of the Southern author’s, Margret Mitchell. However, I think a truly fun meal would include author Jill Conner Browne of the Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love. Browne’s books, loaded with humor, promote the concept that sisterhood helps to develop self-esteem and foster positive attitudes in woman. Browne seems like a fun and feisty woman could bring a lot of joy to a shared meal.

    August 27, 2015 at 1:01 pm
  29. Lynda

    I think I would enjoy having dinner with John Grisham! This family has all of his legal thrillers, always anticipating the next one. It would be interesting to hear his input on the potential Presidential candidates.

    August 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm
  30. Kelly E.

    Living author: I would love to have dinner with Mr. Rick Bragg. Simply because if you’ve ever seen him in person, you know that he is not only a kind, gentle soul, he is also funny – tears-rolling-down -your-face funny. Everyone needs that kind of light in their lives, right?

    An author who has passed: Miss Eudora Welty. Her thick, Southern drawl is enough to charm the socks of you, but then when you dive in, you get the sense that she’s extremely complex and interesting. She is a master storyteller as well. I would have loved to sit in a rocker on a big ‘ol porch, drinking sweet tea, and listening to her talk.

    August 27, 2015 at 11:46 am
  31. Kathy

    I would like to meet Sharyn McCrumb. She lives in Roanoke Va. Her books are usually written with the setting in western Virginia. I lived about one hour from there for twenty years and it was neat to know the places she talked about. I moved away a year ago to be closer to family but I still look for her books.

    August 27, 2015 at 11:40 am
  32. LaLa

    Thanks to Southern Living I am a huge fan of Southern author Sarah Addison Allen. SL introduced me to her works and I have now read every book she has had published. I recently read her latest book First Frost and as always it kept me spellbound and did not disappoint.

    August 27, 2015 at 11:23 am
  33. Lynn Welch

    I would love to have dinner with the Nelle Harper Lee who could clarify the controversy surrounding the recent release of GO SET A WATCHMAN, allegedly written by Ms. Lee. I first read Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD when I was in junior high school. When I became an English teacher, I loved introducing that quintessential Southern novel to my students. It remains my favorite; I read it every year. I cannot reconcile the Atticus Finch in GO SET A WATCHMAN with MOCKINGBIRD’S Atticus Finch. And the Harper Lee who wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is the only person who could definitively settle the controversy.

    August 27, 2015 at 11:13 am
  34. Sharon K

    Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Penn Warren – his “All the King’s Men” had me reading the entire day, cover to cover. While it’s yet another take on Huey Long, (and his never-ending corruptness), Warren’s Southern drawl can be heard through the pages. “It’s (the law) like a single-bed blanket on a double bed and three folks in the bed and a cold night. There ain’t ever enough blanket to cover the case, no matter how much pulling and hauling, and somebody is always going to nigh catch pneumonia.” Warren is masterful on pointing out the short-comings of the South, yet in the next sentence enabling you to understand why it is so. Add to that his poetry, his work as an educator, and his work in Civil Rights? I doubt I’d eat much dinner being too busy asking questions and then enthralled by his answers. With his written word, his work in the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and so much more, Mr. Warren would serve to enlighten anyone on most things Southern.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:55 am
  35. Crystal Tatum

    *Our meal. Typo. Lol.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:39 am
  36. Leslie

    Lewis Grizzard is the 1st name that came to mind. He made everyday events so humorous.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:37 am
  37. Crystal Tatum

    Flannery O’Connor, of course. We meal would consist of fried shrimp, Coca-Cola spiked coffee, and peppermint chiffon pie. I’d ask her how on earth she ever taught that chicken to walk backwards and how long it took; was there really more than “practicality” in mind when she selected a mule as a Mother’s Day gift for her mother; and, even though the title suggests that “”a good MAN is hard to find” in the short story of the same name, I’ve always been curious to know who in O’Connor’s life may have inspired the grandmother’s character and what personal jabs she may have been taking about the person’s not-so-tighlty woven moral fiber. We would then end the evening with playing a game of Win, Lose, or Draw because she is a talented cartoonist at heart.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:36 am
  38. karen s

    If I could sit down and have dinner with any Southern writer, it would be Samuel Clemens. Aka Mark Twain. I imagine he would be a fascinating person and a fantastic storyteller. I grew up in New York, reading both his Adventures of Tom Sayer and Huckleberry Finn. He transported me away to the South, where I dreamed of one day visiting. Not only did I visit, and stayed. Thirty years and counting. I would have loved to prepare a huge Southern meal for him in gratitude.

    August 27, 2015 at 10:34 am
  39. Mona Thompson

    John Grisham; I love his novels and would love to hear where his inspiration comes from.

    August 27, 2015 at 9:40 am
  40. margaretc2014

    Walker Percy. I’ve been a fan of his work since I first encountered it in graduate school. If you’re limiting it to living authors, Lee Smith. Or Michael Lee West. Or Clyde Edgerton. Or… (yes, there’s more, lots and lots more….)

    August 27, 2015 at 9:38 am
  41. duchick

    I would like to share a dinner with Harper Lee who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird. To hear his thoughts of life, his inspirations for writing, his outlook for the world…it would be so interesting that I would just be mesmerized!

    August 27, 2015 at 9:12 am

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