Instead of filling every inch of the spacious rooms, Jennifer decided to let the interiors breathe. "I didn’t want to clutter it up with stuff. I’m a big believer that a few select items make a huge difference." With oversized windows, parquet flooring, and a blend of furniture styles, the living room is a favorite gathering place.

Jennifer hired interior designer Ben Watkins of St. Simons Island, Georgia, who has created lavish interiors for Ivana Trump and other high-profile clients. To craft Jennifer’s vision, Watkins used a neutral palette that allows the home’s distinctive architectural details—from ornate marble mantels to polished parquet wood flooring—to shine.

A work by contemporary Cuban artist Alejandro Montesino hangs above a 19th-century French marble-top bureau in the dining room.

A lush, evergreen courtyard runs the length of the home, providing a place to relax. Wrought-iron furniture, a stone fish pond, and a pyramid-capped outdoor fireplace serve as focal points in this botanical sanctuary planted with shade trees, fragrant jasmine, and orange cape honeysuckle.

Jennifer loves the fact that this venerable home has been transformed into a stylish retreat. "My favorite way to entertain is to open the doors to the garden and have friends over for cocktails and good conversation," she says. "It’s a very comfortable place."

Jasmine blossoms frame a stone fish pond.

Jennifer Abshire believes in giving back to her community. Inspired by female philanthropists early in her career, she has founded a local chapter of Chicks With Checks, which unites working women who share a common desire to "get personal" with their philanthropy. This group of businesswomen has raised $25,000 to donate to local organizations in need.
 
"Our philosophy is to give money as a group, without getting credit as individuals," Jennifer explains. She also chairs the Savannah Technical College Foundation board of directors, is a community adviser for the Junior League of Savannah, and is on the board of the Lady Bamford Early Childhood Education Center. "I have found that the more involved I am in community activities, the more I learn about myself and how best to help others," Jennifer says proudly. "Helping others is what motivates me."

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Savannah Chic

This Georgian-style house epitomizes classic charm and timeless style

Written by Allison Hersh
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Tria Giovan

Jennifer hired interior designer Ben Watkins of St. Simons Island, Georgia, who has created lavish interiors for Ivana Trump and other high-profile clients. To craft Jennifer’s vision, Watkins used a neutral palette that allows the home’s distinctive architectural details—from ornate marble mantels to polished parquet wood flooring—to shine.

Wall covering (grass cloth): Schumacher, 800/332-3384, fschumacher.com, trade only.
Chandelier (custom, Quellez iron and lead crystal, by Dennis & Leen): Jerry Pair, 800/367-7247, trade only.
Table ("Sutcliffe Table,’’ #807); side chairs (reproduction, Chinese Chippendale): Dessin Fournir, 785/434-2777, trade only.
Chair fabric (silk tapis in Iced Blue #1711): J. Robert Scott, 800/651-4354, jrobertscott.com.
Painting over mantel (by Christopher Reilly); watercolors to right of library door (by Christopher Murphy): through Cindy Szczecinski, CAS Fine Art Consulting, 912/313-3464.
Vase (Waterford); candlesticks: owner’s collection.

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