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  • 1-universal-furniture-paula-deen-home-the-bag-lady's-cabinet-in-spanish-moss-copy_revised

    This piece, The Bag Lady's Cabinet, pays homage to the business that started it all for Paula. Photo: Universal Furniture

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    You don't have to live in the South to appreciate the simple elegence of Paula Deen's furniture line. Photo: Universal Furniture

  • 15a-universal-furniture-paula-deen-home-captain-mike's-bar-in-linen-open-copy_revised

    Paula designed her furniture line to be both utilitarian and beautiful. Photo: Universal Furniture

  • 16-universal-furniture-paula-deen-home-sweet-tea-side-table-in-tobacco-revised-copy

    You might have a coffee table, but do you have a sweet tea table? You can if you select this piece from Paula's line. Photo: Universal Furniture

  • 13-universal-furniture-paula-deen-home-pedestal-table-and-mike's-chair-in-linen-copy_revised

    Home means everything to Paula Deen. That's why she designed her own home furnishings line. Photo: Universal Furniture

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    Paula says she doesn't want furniture that is too precious and can't be lived in. Photo: Universal Furniture

  • Paula Deen Design

    Southern superstar Paula Deen shares her design memories and philosophies. Photo used with permission. © Paula Deen Enterprises, LLC.

Paula Deen Design
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Southern superstar Paula Deen shares her design memories and philosophies. Photo used with permission. © Paula Deen Enterprises, LLC.


Southern Style

While Paula Deen's style may have a universal appeal, you can create a signature Southern look by following our tips on the topic here.

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  • Home Is Where Paula Deen's Heart Is

    Southern superstar Paula Deen shares her design memories and philosophies.

    by Jennifer Sellers

    Paula Deen may be queen of her own empire, promoting a vast line of products that range from scented candles to cream cheese to writing desks, but there is a common thread that runs through all of her ventures: home. Whether she's sharing a recipe for the perfect shrimp salad or offering tips on achieving a gracious décor, her focus is always on making a space welcoming to all who enter its doors. So, it was only natural that she would help create a home furnishings line, one that reflected her core values of Southern hospitality and cozy, down-home comfort.

    "The home and the people who come in it have always been what is most important to me," Deen said when recently unveiling her updated line with Universal Furniture. "It was only fitting that my path would follow into home furnishings."




    Early Influences

    Deen has often discussed the trials of her early years—losing both her mother and father, getting married as a teenager and developing agoraphobia. But it was these difficulties that pushed her to raise homemaking to an art and, eventually, a business. "There was a time when I couldn't even leave my home," she said. "Because of this, my home meant everything to me. I put all of my energy into it."

    And when it came to decorating, Deen said she picked up a lot of style tips from her Aunt Peggy, who has a knack for uncovering fashion and furniture treasures in unlikely places. "I'll see her in a stunning outfit at a cocktail party and find out she bought it at Goodwill," joked Deen.

    These days Deen and her Aunt Peggy like to search yard sales and antiques shops for unique furnishings and accessories. Not only have some of these finds made their way into her own home, but they have also provided inspiration for the pieces in her Universal Furniture line, Paula Deen Home.


    Paula's Inspiration

    Here's Paula talking about her design inspiration at the High Point Furniture Market.


    The Comforts of Home

    Deen wasn't a household name 21 years ago when she started a catering business with her sons Bobby and Jamie, but her philosophy was the same as it is today. "When I first started The Bag Lady, I told Bobby and Jamie before our first run: 'I want us to serve the best food we're capable of preparing for the best price' ...  And that idea carries through to my furniture line," she said. "I believe that something can be beautiful, stylish and well-made, but still within reach of the pocketbook."



    In addition to value, Deen believes comfort is of great importance. "I don't want furniture that's too precious and can't be lived in," she said. "I'm someone who's very comfortable in my own skin, and I want my furniture to be a reflection of that. It has to be comfortable. I also want it to be utilitarian to an extent. I want every piece to be functional and useful."



    Savannah and Beyond

    In developing her décor sensibilities, Deen also took cues from her native Georgia. "In Savannah, a lot of buildings have metal-tile ceilings," she said. "I like to use those in other ways. They look great framed, as décor. I've even incorporated them in the headboard of one of the beds in my new line."

    Of course, being Southern is hardly a requirement for appreciating Deen's style or her furniture. "It doesn't matter if you live in Georgia or Oregon," she said. "This isn't a regional design; it's a casual, comfortable design. It's meant to be lived on and lived in."