Furlow Gatewood, whose homes are the subject of the 2014 Julia Reed hardback One Man’s Folly, will be at Kay Fuller Interiors in Albany Wednesday to meet the public and sign copies of the book. (Special photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — After spending 45 years in New York as a designer working for a prestigious antiques dealer, Americus native Furlow Gatewood returned home and spent the next several years creating a private enclave of houses on his property, that displays his passion for architecture and design.
Those houses and with them Gatewood’s various styles of design and decor were recently featured in author Julia Reed’s 2014 work “One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional House of Furlow Gatewood.”
To help promote the work Gatewood will be attending a books signing Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Kay Fuller Interiors, owned by longtime Gatewood friend Kay Fuller.
“I’m very excited he’s coming,” said Fuller. “He’s a southern gentleman and he’s so interesting.”
Gatewood, who at 92 still travels to Atlanta and Manhattan looking for treasures, said he began working on the houses that are featured in the book when he returned home from New York in his early 80s and began turning an old barn on his family’s property into a proper living space.
“I lived in New York for about 45 years and it was time to come home,” said Gatewood. “I didn’t have anything to do so I took an old barn on the homeplace and renovated it into a living space.”
Working with area contractors and builders, such as Fuller’s husband, Jimmy, Gatewood continued adding to his collection of houses by purchasing a house in Cuthbert and having it moved to the property where he could restore and decorate it.
After that he had another house built and also purchased a house in Lumpkin that he moved to the property as well.
Each of the four structures on the property, after being completely renovated, were then decorated by Gatewood using pieces he had collected over the years during his time as a designer and working with antique dealer John Rosselli in New York.
“It’s all things I have collected; things I found at flea markets and all around,” Gatewood said. “I’ve been collection things all my life.”
While renovating and decorating the houses was a labor of love, Gatewood said he had no idea his project would grow into what it has become.
“I’ve created a monster,” Gatewood said jokingly. “When I was doing it I wasn’t thinking about all the upkeep.”
Gatewood said he is looking forward to his visit to Albany and excited about meeting new people who share his love of design and architecture.
“I’m excited about coming down,” Gatewood said. “Kay’s an old friend.”
Kay Fuller Interiors is located at 2351 Lake Park Drive, Albany in Lancaster Village.