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Farmhouse Chic Style

Customers are on the hunt for home decor to add to their farmhouse style! The hit show, “Fixer Upper” has truly resonated with a lot of viewers! It’s difficult to resist the Joanna Gaines’ coined style –the mix of rustic, modern, and a touch of industrial. The white on white is cozy, the neutrals and the layered shelf groupings make it so easy to add pieces and trade out pieces seasonally.
We’ve picked a few home decor items from our amazing vendors to showcase this style here and on Pinterest but their catalogs are filled with many more farmhouse style items for your customers. Take a look at the farmhouse style at Melrose, SplitP, Second Nature by Hand, and Park Designs! Looking for a particular item? Leave us a comment and we’ll hunt it down for you!
Farmhouse Style available from The Southern Link



Pantone Color of the Year: Greenery

PantoneColorGreenery, the Pantone color of the year, is fresh and vibrant and so easy to work into any home decor with plants, especially succulents  and air plants which are in stores everywhere. Incorporating the greenery color using actual greenery  is super easy even if you don’t have a green thumb because there’s so much really well done faux greenery available this year! Faux succulents available from The Southern Link


These faux succulents  (right) from Melrose look so real. They are easy to group on a table, mantle or windowsill (and they won’t die). I’m seeing these faux gems in various sizes, in stores everywhere. Even those who prefer live plants will find these faux succulents hard to resist because you can group them in low light areas in your house and they won’t die! No watering required!

Below are some other ways to incorporate the Pantone color of the year into decor with some items from our amazing vendors. A grouping of items of this color will make an eye-catching store display.



Add a cozy throw from Park Designs to living room or porch decor.

park green throw


Group decorative lanterns from Melrose. Aren’t these green lanterns awesome?

regal lanterns


It’s easy to add the Pantone color of the year to tablescapes with beautiful table linens from Split P.




Melamine tableware by Merritt. Lovin’ that green!



Throw pillows and other greenery-colored goodies  from Melrose.



Accent your outdoor decor with greenery-colored garden decor from Melrose and Regal.

`regal stooleregal frogs


Take a look below at the Pantone color of the year rooms! Visit Pantone for more information on Greenery and its color pairings. And visit our Pinterest board for more ideas! What do you think? Do you like this year’s color of the year? Leave a comment and let us know!


bathroom pantoneOriginal-BPF_Paint-Colors-By-Room_Overt-Green-Sherwin-Williams-Couch.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.1707living-room-green-accents-pantone-greenery


Is Your Store Holiday Ready?

shopdecorHo, ho hopefully by now all of your holiday shipments have arrived and you’re ready to enjoy all of the excitement that the season brings! Here are five important questions to ask yourself to be sure your store is ready for a successful holiday season. We’re so excited to share these great merchandising tips and holiday gift ideas with you!

1. Do you have the right product to create a cohesive theme display to grab customers’ attention? Nothing says it’s the holidays like holiday colors! Arrange red and green items with greenery and ornaments to draw shoppers to your display. Or, if your prefer, create your display with silver, gold, or white elements –or any combination that will lead customers to your gift displays. Once you have your theme, be sure you have plenty of holiday themed gifts to incorporate. Some products to consider include: festive outdoor holiday decor from Custom Decor, holiday-themed coasters and cheese servers from Counter Art, fun gift items from Brownlow, and seasonal scented candles from Virginia Gift Brands. Click on the links to see selections of holiday themed items for your store.


2. Do you have some new hot items in your store? There are always going to be those shoppers who are looking for the latest trends. So, be sure to stock up on a couple. Some fun items this year are Feisty Pets –the best selling plush on Amazon right now, Pure Drinkware –keeps drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12, and the Deco Boom Bowl that you set a music device in and it amplifies the sound +15 decibels with great acoustics. Really clever! Click on the links to take a look at these sure-to-sell items.
collage23. Do you have some unique items that differentiate your store from your competition? Of course,
you want to be different! Seek out product lines that your competitors don’t carry. Consider the popular wall art line (below) from Second Nature by Hand –made in the USA from reclaimed materials. Chala is another truly unique line. Chala’s handbags are on trend this year with brightly colored appliques and graphics. And Hearthwick candles from Virginia Gift Brands are housed in beautifully designed vessels.


4. Does your store put shoppers in the holiday mood? Play festive music, nestle pinecones, greenery and clusters of ornaments within your displays. Incorporate twinkle lights where you can. All of these small things go a long way to leading customers through your store and putting them in the shopping mood. Your goal is to keep customers thinking about gift giving and buying. Incorporate some of the gift items we mentioned above and include some classics like those from Park Designs (below).


5. Do you have items for everyone?  Women are the primary shoppers during the holiday season but that doesn’t mean they only buy for other women. Be sure to include gifts for men, babies, kids and friends. Even if you only include one of these groups, you can get a great turn on just one table or 4 foot wall display that highlights your unique products. This year consider Duke Cannon products for men (below), Stephen Baby items for babies (below), Feisty Pets and perhaps Virginia Gift Brands Reserve Collection.


Our Pinterest board is filled with these and other great ideas for holiday gifts for your store. Take a look! Comment below with any questions. We’re happy to help!

Get Ready to Tailgate

tailgateFootball season is here and that means it’s time to tailgate! The essentials of a good tailgate are people and delicious food (and a lot of it) of course. But these pre-game festivities have evolved through the years and diehard tailgaters have gotten pretty creative. Here are ways to help your customers elevate a good tailgate to a great one with the help of The Southern Link.

Show team colors. Wearing game day shirts, hats and scarves like those available at Emerson Street and Tradition is a given. But, why stop there? Desden has team aprons for the tailgate cooks and stadium approved team-themed totes for when tailgaters finally make it to the game. Line truck beds with team colored blankets and display pennants and banners. When it comes to showing team colors, more is more!

desden collage


Get equipped. Serious tailgaters need serious tailgating gear. Oak and Olive has a football-shaped cooler (pictured below) and football-themed cutting boards and trays to add to the festivities. They also have a music tub cooler that holds over 72 cans and plays music through two built-in speakers when a digital musical device is attached. It’s perfect for serious tailgaters. Special wine carriers like the one pictured below and scrimmage tables are also available from Oak and Olive.


Don’t forget the bar. Some tailgaters devote one vehicle to food and another to the bar. Either

bloodymarybarway, it’s imperative that a tailgate include a bloody mary station. A creative way to display it is in a tiered metal traycoaster2 from Park Designs, similar to the one pictured. And collegiate coasters (pictured right) from Counter Art are great additions to any tailgate. 

Talk to your rep today so that you can help your customers be ready to tailgate in style!

Check out our tailgating board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

Decorating with Lanterns: A Fall Trend

It’s easy to embrace the decorative lantern trend this fall because lanterns offer many great ways to brighten up any home decor — both inside and out. Plus, who doesn’t like candlelight? Lanterns are available at The Southern Link in a variety of woods, metals, colors and sizes. They are so versatile and can be placed alone or in groups to create beautifully illuminated spaces. Here are three ways to decorate with lanterns.

Create a fall tablescape. Lanterns add height and light to creative fall tablescapes. Depending on the size of the table, either a single lantern or a group of them can be arranged with fall decorative items like pumpkins, gourds, feathers, and colorful dried corn. Partially fill the lanterns with acorns or mini pumpkins and place candles in the centers. The candlelight creates a great ambience for fall gatherings. Add some coordinated plates and cloth napkins and the fall tablescape is complete! And when the seasons change, or a holiday approaches it’s easy to change the decorative components for a fresh look.


Add style to outdoor areas. Fall offers the perfect temperatures for spending time outdoors. Lanterns placed on deck steps create a magical entrance lighting the way to an outdoor party.

Create a cozy corner on a porch by grouping lanterns of various

Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn

sizes and avoid using harsh overhead lights and spotlights. Scatter colorful lanterns around a garden area or hang lanterns from branches of various heights to illuminate an outdoor eating area. The possibilities are endless and lanterns are so easy to move around and mix and match to create an ambient effect in many types of outdoor spaces. Many choose to use flameless candles in their lanterns. This effect is just as beautiful and some flameless candles are even available with timers!


Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn

Create illuminated spaces in indoor living areas. Lanterns displayed on console tables or grouped on family room floors add style to any decor.

Many prefer the soft light of the lanterns to lamp light and enjoy being able to easily move the lanterns around a room for different looks and effects.

Some like to fill their lanterns with plants or other decorative items that relate to the time of year or they place candles in some lanterns and decorative items and plants in others and group them. There are many creative ways to enhance the style of a room with lanterns and it’s fun to play with various elements to find just the right look! What’s your favorite way to decorate with lanterns? Comment below and let us know! Visit our Pinterest board for more inspiration!


The Southern Link has lanterns, beautiful tablescaping accessories and flameless candles for your store. Call your rep and ask about them and take a look at these catalogs: Melrose InternationalPark Designs, and  VIP International.