Building an Idea House, Improving a Community

For 50 years, Southern Living Magazine has been a beacon of southern culture—illustrating the attention to detail, grace, style, and community-oriented culture that characterizes the South. And their annual Idea House is a testament to that. Bringing to life not only the cutting edge style and innovation Southern Living is known for, but also the community commitment that defines our region.

Every year the Idea House partners with charities that are making a difference in the local community. This year, the Southern Living and Mt Laurel teams chose two Birmingham, Alabama-based charities to help run the 2016 Idea House in Mt Laurel. They narrowed it down to two organizations that are making an impact not only at Mt Laurel, but throughout the Greater Birmingham community: Children’s Hospital of Alabama and the Mt Laurel Public Library.

“The chosen charities are a natural fit for Mt Laurel,” said Marketing and Community Relations Manager, Julianna Vance. “Children’s Hospital of Alabama is an exceptional hospital that helps so many families in our area and is a highlight of Birmingham’s outstanding medical care. We also wanted to support the Mt Laurel Public Library, which was championed by Mt Laurel residents who rallied to build the facility and continue to make it a vital resource for residents of this area.”

The volunteers from these organizations will serve in a variety of roles during the six months that the house is open to the public. They will welcome visitors, collect the $15 admission, answer questions, and hand out Resource Guides that provide detailed information about the furnishings in the home.

“We are excited to welcome the Southern Living Idea House back home in celebration of Southern Living’s 50th Anniversary,” said Children’s Coordinator of Community Development, Anna Pennington. “Southern Living is a huge part of the Birmingham community, as is Children’s of Alabama and we are honored to be a part of the 2016 Southern Living Idea House.”

And while this partnership has clear benefits for Southern Living—there’s nothing more Southern than a friendly welcome—it will also have immediate and lasting effects for each of the organizations.

Not only will volunteers have an opportunity to tell visitors a little bit more about their organizations and how they are impacting the community, — Southern Living will also be sharing a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales with each organization.

“In addition to serving Mt Laurel and the surrounding Dunnavant Valley neighborhoods as a full service branch of the North Shelby Library, the Mt Laurel Library plays an important role in providing a sense of community and enriching the quality of life for residents of the area,” said Ann Price, Former President of the Friends of the Mt Laurel Library. “It will be so exciting to receive additional funds which will be used to further enhance the library itself, our collections, and programs.”

“The proceeds from the Southern Living Idea House will provide the best health care possible to ill and injured children across the state and Southeast by funding research, patient care and advocacy,” according to Anna Pennington.

Stunning landscaping, architecture, design, and décor will certainly make the Mt Laurel Idea House an exceptional house. But it’s the people who will greet you at the door, and the role it plays in the community—supporting Mt Laurel and the larger Birmingham community—that will really make it feel like a home.

To get all the latest details on the 2016 Southern Living Idea House, plus other exciting community events, sign up for the Mt Laurel Newsletter.

The Idea House will be open June 25th – December 18th. Admission is $15 and can be purchased at the door.