It doesn’t take much to stir Buffy Hargett Miller’s imagination. A color in nature or a pretty roll of ribbon is enough to ignite a creative musing that allows her to transform everything from a ballroom to a dining room table or empty wall into a captivating canvas.
“All of my creative projects use the same elements, whether it’s a painting, a mosaic, a flower arrangement, or a vignette. For me, good composition is all about an asymmetrical balance of color, texture, movement, and depth, as well as a little unexpected twist.”–Buffy Hargett Miller
Put a flower stem, green plant, branch, or paintbrush in Buffy Hargett Miller’s hands and something extraordinary is bound to happen. The floral designer, artist, magazine stylist, and creative director for Buffy Hargett Flowers is a magician when it comes to creating everything from over-the-top romantic weddings, beautiful magazine covers, abstract pieces of artwork, or seemingly simple vignettes in her own home.
Full of energy, Buffy orchestrates up to 25 weddings and events a year, both in Birmingham and at destination locales, working with a team of helpers to bring her visions to life. She also styles magazines (find her work in Veranda, Southern Living, and Country Living, just to name a few). If that isn’t enough, Buffy has recently picked up her paintbrushes again and sells directly to interior designers.
So where does all this inspiration come from? “I grew up around the flower ladies of Birmingham,” Buffy says. “My mother, Betty Drennen, had a flower business and worked alongside some of the city’s early master floral designers.” Buffy also honed her eye during her 28-year tenure as a stylist at Southern Living magazine, opening her floral business on the side. She credits her sister, Phyllis Lyons, and her two nieces, Allie Nielson (a forever flower designer) and Kacy Carroll (an interior designer), for their continued influences. “We are a family of creatives,” Buffy says. “We love to collaborate on projects.”
Buffy admits to being busy with her design career year-round, something more doable thanks to the townhouse where she and husband David Miller downsized. A smaller home means less maintenance and a simpler day-to-day lifestyle.
In the main living areas, Buffy set a serene, uncomplicated palette of neutrals and black accents, adding color through art and flowers. Clean-lined upholstery cozies up to the fireplace in the living room with views accessible through French doors to her patio and stone garden wall outside. The dining room, adjacent breakfast area, and kitchen focus on function while edging towards modern. Her personal artwork makes a graphic statement throughout, whether it’s a single abstract painting or a grid of pen-and-ink drawings.
The downstairs presents a different story. Yes, it’s still organized, but only in the way a creative can do it. In the garage and studio, Buffy has stacked her shelves with containers grouped by size, as well as rolls of ribbon sorted by color. There are also her paints, along with a worktable, for nurturing creativity in her grandchildren. “I’m always doing something and trying something new, so this home is perfect for us,” Buffy says. “Downsizing made more time for family, travel, and creative endeavors.”
Inside & Out
In the living room, shelves hold a collected mix of ceramic, wood, paper-mache, and metal containers. “I love combining textures, sizes, and shapes,” Buffy says. On the coffee table, she arranged a vignette using a pewter tray, candles, and vases. “These are my go-to vases at home because they only hold one stem, but when filled, they add instant beauty and life to a room,” says Buffy. The low vessel with the dried pods is a design by her niece, Allie Nielson with Vine & Branch.
A branch with fall foliage creates a simple but impactful focal point in the breakfast area.
West Elm pillows and a blue coverlet add graphic appeal and color to an upstairs bedroom. Favorite books and blue abstracts by Buffy repeat the vibrant hues.
A ranunculus bloom shows the simple beauty of using a single stem.
The living room opens to a back patio with a stunner of a living wall of greenery. “I like to entertain in the fall or spring because we can open the French doors onto the patio to double the size of our house,” Buffy says. Outside, she has created a rockwall garden filled with autumn ferns, grasses, succulents, and begonias propagated from her mother’s garden. “Using dark purples against the greens give it contrast and movement,” Buffy says. “I add in annuals such as coleus, Mexican sage, and yellow lantana for more color.” A path connects Buffy’s home to her sister’s townhouse next door. Topiaries are from Shoppe.
Buffy’s uses her eye for composition to create a beachy look in the entry. An oversized glass vase holds bleached manzanita branches. The mosaics, created by Buffy, use dyed, handmade papers in shades of blue.
Buffy Hargett Miller, Buffy Hargett Flowers, 205.533.3328, buffyhargettflowers.com