Small Room Big Personality Bigger Impact
The homeowner is an entertainer who was not getting the most out of his historic double shotgun home. The goal of the project was to keep the history and character of the home while creating a contemporary and open experience.
As the heart and soul of the home, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms, especial-ly in the home of an entertainer. The existing kitchen has been completely renovated and opened by removing a significant wall in order to open the floor plan to extend into the breakfast and living areas. An interior door that lead into the kitchen from an adjacent bedroom was closed in order to extend the kitchen’s footprint. The combination of wood grain cabinets and crème glazed painted cabinets provided depth and uniqueness. A large statement wood hood became the focal point on a wall of paint-ed cabinetry within this home.
Creating an Oasis This luxurious master bathroom included floor to ceiling staggered tile, a large walk in shower with rain head, body sprays, handheld shower, and mosaic tiled bench. A large soaking tub with over head chandelier was the focal point and jewels of this oasis.
www.DMGnola.com · 504-275-6664
It isn’t easy being one of the smallest rooms in the house, yet the room that gets visited most amongst your guests. Your powder room can play a big role in creating an unforgettable experience. This tiny space has the potential to cre-ate a grand statement that your powder room is everything but ordinary. Try viewing it as a hidden treasure that is waiting to be shown off and gossiped about amongst your friends and family.
“Will your style statement encompass bold colors, quirky wallpaper, adventurous stone, or fearless light fixtures?”
Utilizing your marble within a bathroom, allows for an elegant and soft look. It can be installed to horizontal surfaces like floors or vertical surfaces like shower walls. Throw away the mindset that stone is limited to only countertops. Any of these types can be used on vertical or horizontal planes.
Use the commonly viewed countertop horizontal appli-cation and push for more. Imagine your surface installed on a horizontal or vertical plane. Allow your surface to be a backsplash, waterfall island, integrated sink or even an island knee wall.
DMG Design+Build is a New Orleans based Design + Build construction firm focusing on residential new construc-tion, renovations and commercial construction. We are committed to quality craftsmanship and transparent communication, and we consider each client a partner, treating each project as if it were our own. Our talented blueprint artists take the theoretical and make it con-crete by putting your ideas - quite literally - on paper. To put it another way, we are committed to Building Better.
HOMES AUTUMN 2020 / VOLUME 23 / ISSUE 3
EDITORIAL Editor Melanie Warner Spencer Art Director Tiffani Reding Amedeo Associate Editor Ashley McLellan Web Editor Kelly Massicot Contributing Writers Mirella Cameran, Lee Cutrone,
Fritz Esker, Valorie Hart, Andy Myer, Pamela Marquis, Misty Milioto, Margaret Zainey Roux Copy Editor Liz Clearman
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504/830-7242 or Brooke@MyNewOrleans.com Account Executive Becca Farnell
504/830-7219 or Becca@MyNewOrleans.com
RENAISSANCE PUBLISHING MARKETING Coordinator Abbie Dugruise PRODUCTION Manager Emily Andras Designer Rosa Balaguer CIRCULATION Subscriptions Jessica Armand Distribution John Holzer ADMINISTRATION Office Manager Mallary Wolfe Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne
For subscription information call (504) 828-1380
A Publication of Renaissance Publishing LLC Printed in USA 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste. 123, Metairie, LA 70005 (504) 828-1380 New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles, ISSN 1933-771X is distributed four times a year and published by Renaissance Publishing LLC, 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. For a subscription visit on line at NewOrleansHomesandLifestyles.com. Periodicals Postage Paid at Metairie LA and Additional Entry Offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, 110 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright © 2020 New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles Magazine is registered. New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazines’ managers or owners.
CONTENTS P. 18
FEATUR E S New Build of the Year Persistent planning, collaboration and hard work combine to create a Lake Vista family’s dream home 28
Color Pop Interior designer Susan Currie’s home brims with style 36
Design Masters Our 2020 class of design industry pros making their mark on New Orleans 42
Best of Home Winners Your favorite New Orleans designers and businesses to help maintain and beautify your home 52
STA N DAR D S
Editor’s Note + Design Diary Gimme Shelter 14
Style In Great Taste: Fall is the season for foodies, so savor every delicious moment in style 16
Out of your Gourd: Go nuts for Chef Michael Gottlieb’s roasted acorn squash with crab and pistachios 18
For the Garden Join the Club: Local garden clubs build community and provide educational and volunteer opportunities 20 ON THE COVER
Masters of Their Craft
Illuminating Tradition: Four generations of craftsmen keep the handmade aners flickering at Bevelo Gas & Electric Lights 22
Get Floored: Tips from the pros on choosing and installing the right type of flooring for your home 64
Storytelling: Weave the tale of your life’s adventure with furnishings 68
Mix and Match: Break the rules by mixing patterns and textures to create an artful and sophisticated look 66
Lovely Libations: A swanky bar card adds sophistication to home design 72
Trendwatch Homeward Bound: Travel-inspired pieces to instantly cure your wanderlust woes 24
New Build of the Year This Lake Vista home, designed by JL Design Studio, was custom made for the growing family within. (p. 28) PHOTOGRAPH BY SARA ESSEX BRADLEY
ART OF LIGHTING
GIMME SHELTER NOT SURPRISINGLY, I HAVE LONG BEEN OBSESSED WITH NOT ONLY SHELTER
magazines, like this one, but also books about design and architecture, as well as anything about the very concept of home. I finally got down to the business of reading “The Yellow House” by New Orleans-native Sarah Broom. Set in New Orleans East, in the beloved shotgun house Broom’s mother bought at age 17, it centers on the author’s large family, their love, loss and transformation. This debut work — which published in 2019, topped countless book lists and won the National Book Award for Nonfiction — is not a light read, tackling racial and economic inequality, Hurricane Katrina and the joy and heartbreak of multiple generations. It is definitely a book for our times, capturing the spirit and resilience of New Orleans, our collective love of this special place and the distinctive architecture that — along with people, food, art, music and other aspects of local culture — shapes, reshapes and defines all of us. Broom’s work is vastly different in many ways than another book about a home that also covered the loss, and later hope, wrought by Katrina, “The House on First Street,” released in 2007 by frequent New Orleanian and entertaining doyenne, the late Julia Reed. Both are poignant and beautifully rendered, having earned them a place on my bookshelf, under the “home” category. Reed, who opened up earlier this year about her fight with cancer succumbed to the disease in August. We mourn her loss along with the lifestyle and journalism communities and all of her loved ones. She was a talented force with a laugh that could fill the Superdome. We’ll greatly miss her presence. My guess is we can all expect more than one book to publish in the coming months and years about our time spent at home during the pandemic. I look forward to those works and learning about how others weathered this very different kind of storm which, rather than displacing us to find shelter, has us sheltering in place. For me, it has been spent making small, but impactful changes to our rooms to make them as pleasant as possible while we “stay safe at home,” to quote the NOLA Ready slogan. A priority project was refreshing my reading and meditation nook, because like everyone else, I have so much more time to devote to both practices. If you are feeling stuck at home, rather than safe, my hope is that this issue will inspire you to switch things up a bit. If all else fails, I highly recommend escaping with a good book.
Locally based lighting designer and artist Julie Neill has created a collection of new light fixtures for Visual Comfort & Co., a designer lighting company based out of Houston. Neill finds inspiration for many of her designs in the culture and landscape of New Orleans, and the sense of creative spirit inherent to the Big Easy can be seen in this collection. For example, the showy Farfalle Large Chandelier (available in gold and burnished silver leaf) serves as a functional piece of art that’s perfect for any room. In addition to her collection with Visual Comfort, Neill designs bespoke lighting for individual clients based on exacting specifications. Each piece is drawn by hand, and skillfully crafted in her New Orleans studio. 3908 Magazine St., 504-8994201, julieneill.com, visualcomfort.com
TIMELY TOME In her new book, “Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques” ($50, Abrams), local designer and antiques dealer Tara Shaw highlights a number of her never-before-published projects in which antiques take center stage. Shaw is a respected supplier of French and other European antiques for noted designers such as Bobby McAlpine, Mary McDonald and Bunny Williams. In her book, Shaw teaches readers how to select the best antiques and how to pair pieces from different periods. In addition to her import business, Shaw has a custom furniture line, dubbed Maison, and a licensed product line with Restoration Hardware. 5833 Magazine St., 504-525-1131, tarashaw.com
CULTURAL SPACE NOMA has long had a mission of offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation — all while engaging diverse communities and cultures. As a way to further this mission, the museum began a renovation of its existing auditorium in January. The expanded auditorium — designed by local architecture firm Eskew Dumez Ripple — will feature a flat floor, surround-sound and theatrical lighting. It also will be able to accommodate 360 visitors (an increased capacity of 140) for events such as films, lectures, festivals and live performances. The new design also better connects the auditorium with the adjacent Great Hall and Café NOMA, the latter of which is also being renovated as part of the project. noma.org
— COMPILED BY MISTY MILIOTO
THERESA CASSAGNE PHOTO
IN GREAT TASTE
Fall is the season for foodies, so savor every delicious moment in style PRODUCED BY MARGARET ZAINEY ROUX
1. “Stone Soup” market tote by Annie Selke, Perino’s Home & Garden Center, Metairie, perinos.com
2. Lugano fondue set by Swissmar, St. James Cheese Co. stjamescheese.com
3. Set of three Itza wood tasting spoons by Bloomist, bloomist.com
4. Zanzibar Trellis cheese knife set by Schumacher for Williams-Sonoma, Metairie, williamssonoma.com
5. Modern square mortar and pestle by AERO Thomas O’Brien, aerostudios.com
6. Crushed Mediterranean Aleppo by Royal Merchant Trading Co., Langenstein’s Uptown, Old Metairie and River Ridge, royalmerchant.co
GATHERINGS ROASTED ACORN SQUASH WITH LOUISIANA LUMP CRAB, HOLLANDAISE SAUCE AND PISTACHIO Roasted Winter Squash 2 acorn squash 1 ounce molasses 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature kosher salt black pepper 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 2. Combine butter and molasses to create a smooth paste. 3. Cut acorn squash into fourths and remove seeds. Baste with butter and molasses mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. 4. Place seasoned squash on a roasting rack and bake for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Hollandaise Sauce 4 egg yolks 8 ounces butter 2 ounces cider vinegar 1 ounce white wine 1 teaspoon tarragon 2 black peppercorns, cracked 1 bay leaf 1. Melt and brown the butter. 2. Combine cider vinegar, white wine, tarragon, peppercorns and bay leaf. Reduce mixture. 3. Whisk egg yolks over a double boiler until they ribbon. 4. Slowly whisk the butter into the ribboned yolks. 5. When 1/2 of the butter is incorporated, slowly whisk in 1/2 of the cider vinegar reduction after removing the bay leaf. 6. Slowly whisk in the remaining butter. 7. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. 8. Thin to proper consistency using reduction. 9. Adjust salt and black pepper.
Out of Your Gourd Go nuts for Chef Michael Gottlieb’s roasted acorn squash with crab and pistachios PRODUCED BY MARGARET ZAINEY ROUX
About the Chef
Crab and Pistachio Topping
Chef Michael Gottlieb grew up in Savannah, Georgia where he was born into a 110-year food legacy, lending a hand at his family’s bakery from a very young age. After graduating from culinary school and serving stints in kitchens throughout the South, he moved to Madisonville to oversee the dual-dining concept, The Anchor and Tchefuncte’s, where he is executive chef.
4 ounces jumbo lump crab, picked and warmed 2 ounces pistachios, shelled, roasted, salted and chopped 1. Stagger alternating pieces of warm roasted squash pieces on serving plate; drape with hollandaise sauce. 2. Cover evenly with jumbo lump crab. 3. Sprinkle with the chopped, roasted pistachios. EUGENIA UHL PHOTO
FOR THE GARDEN
There is much the government can do and should do to improve the environment. But even more important is the individual who plants a tree or cleans a corner of neglect. For it is the individual who himself benefits, and also protects a heritage of beauty for his children and future generations - FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES, LADY BIRD JOHNSON
JOIN THE CLUB Local garden clubs build community and provide educational and volunteer opportunities
YOU MIGHT THINK GARDEN CLUBS CONSIST ONLY OF GENTEEL
ladies sipping mint tea while discussing wisteria and roses. But throughout their history, garden clubs have made a major impact on the environment. They’ve addressed such issues as groundwater runoff, billboard advertisements and littering. In the New Orleans area, we have numerous clubs specializing in everything from irises to roses. They meet in traditional settings and online. One traditional garden club is the Old Metairie Garden Club. It was formed in 2017 by Carmen Waring with the intention of beautifying the community. Its motto is, “Old Metairie Garden Club, cultivating community.” “In quick order, we have established a community of volunteers and have hosted in excess of 20 or more events annually which are mostly free to the public,” says Denise Oliva, president of the club. The club recently funded a parklet on Canal Street Parkway, which consists of a bike rack, bench and trash receptacle. “We were recently approved for, and will be adding to our parklet, a seed library designed by Kellyn Queyrouze,” says Oliva. “Additionally, we are very excited that Canal Street Parkway is the venue for our annual Spring Arts Festival. We are always looking for volunteers and someone
to suggest and own the next great idea.” The virtual clubs include the Facebook group, “How NOLA Grows Dat! Growing food and gardening tricks for everyone.” It’s a space for information sharing, education and materials trading. It has more than 2,000 members. “Facebook groups are much like garden clubs, especially for the younger generation of gardeners,” says Anna Timmerman, a horticulture extension agent with LSU AgCenter. “We don’t have time to go to physical meetings due to work, school, kids ecetera, but find community online easily.” Her Facebook group is “The 504 Community Garden Share Project.” It was started to address problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. She kept hearing from people worried about food or trying to start to garden with few resources. So she produced transplants and gave out seeds for free and announced this on her Facebook page. Timmerman helped 75 families through Green Light, 400 families through SPROUT NOLA and about 300 mostly beginner gardeners and out-of-work service industry folks through her free plant table. “Growing your own food is the most radical thing you can possibly do, especially if you share with others. Build community, grow food.” – BY PAMELA MARQUIS
MASTERS OF THEIR CRAFT
ILLUMINATING TRADITION Four generations of craftsmen keep the handmade lanterns flickering at Bevelo Gas & Electric Lights FOR DECADES, THE ENCHANTING FLICKER OF FRENCH QUARTER
lanterns has illuminated our courtyards, homes and boulevards. With equal parts romance, history and utility these iconic fixtures provide a timeless elegance to our lives. Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights is a fourth-generation, family-owned business and the oldest continuously operating gas light manufacturer in the country. For 75 years, the business has blended history, craftsmanship and technology to create these architectural treasures. When Andrew Bevolo, Sr. worked at Higgins Industries, he helped build the famed landing craft for the D-day invasion. Ten days after World War II ended, Bevolo opened the doors to Bevolo Metal Crafts. A highly skilled craftsman, he did everything from repairing chandeliers to making surgical equipment. Customers often brought him streetlights to repair. Some of those lights were more than a century old and were onerous to fix. Bevolo put his mechanical background to use and began using rivets to keep the lamp pieces together. “This was his historic contribution to gas lighting,” says his grandson and current owner, Drew Bevolo. But Bevolo’s contribution to the lantern didn’t end there. In the early 1960s, renowned Louisiana architect, A. Hays Town was looking for a light fixture to enhance one of his designs. The story goes that he asked Bevolo if he could make a specific light fixture and Bevolo answered: “If you can draw it, I can make it.”
The original French Quarter Lantern was born. Today, all Bevolo lights — which range in price from $200 for simple lamps to $5,000 for larger installations — are still handmade and sourced in the United States. “Sheets of copper are cut with hand and foot shears,” Bevolo says. “The brackets are hand welded. The nearly one hundred rivets per light are tapped in with ball-peen hammers.” Drew Bevolo learned the business from his uncle and when he took over, he trained new artisans, opened new warehouses, manufacturing facilities and a museum featuring two working coppersmiths and his grandfather’s original worktable. He also expanded the number of light styles the company made to more than five hundred.They are all designed to operate continuously with Bevolo’s patented natural-gas “batwing” flame burner, which costs just a few dollars a month to operate. In honor of its 75 year anniversary, all lanterns will bear a craftsman’s Maker’s Mark. This mark is one of the earliest forms of trademarking and has been used for centuries by craftsmen to claim responsibility for their work. “It’s very satisfying to have a tangible product to show for my efforts at the end of the day,” says John Greco, craftsman and Bevolo’s creative director. “The thing I love most about my job is knowing that my craftsmanship will be on display and appreciated by our clients every day.” – BY PAMELA MARQUIS
EUGENIA UHL PHOTOS
Homeward Bound Travel-inspired pieces to instantly cure your wanderlust woes BY ANDY MYER
Striated glaze ceramic jar by artist Dario Magro and glazed ceramic sea urchin by Gioacchino Autovino, made in Sicily and available at Sud, sudneworleans.com; vintage blue Eastern European bud vase and “Tales from the Roads Less Traveled” by Dutch photographer Pie Aerts, Sunday Shop, sundayshop.co; hand-painted brass floral sculpture by Tommy Mitchell of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Sotre, sotrecollection.com; “Tales from the Roads Less Traveled” by Nina Freudenberger, “A Wandering Eye” by Miguel Flores-Vianna, “Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques” by Tara Shaw and “The Parisians: Tastemakers at Home” by Catherine Synave and Guillaume De Laubier, Garden District Book Shop, gardendistrictbookshop. com; pillow by Scottish artist Eve Campbell, Katie Koch Home, katiekochhome.com; E. Lee cube side table hand-painted in tortoiseshell finish by local artist E. Lee Jahncke Mead, Judy at the Rink, judyattherink.com.
EUGENIA UHL PHOTO
Vibrant silk scarves (also available in pocket squares and shawls) based on antique Sicilian floor tile patterns, rendered for Sud by artist Harmony Cromwall and printed in Italy, papier-mache snake by artist Mark Gagnon of Frederick, M.D., Sud, sudneworleans. com; sustainably sourced Ankole cattle horn trays, coasters, servers and bowl from a fair trade organization supporting artists and workers in Uganda, Katie Koch Home, katiekochhome.com; light blue vintage Eastern European vessel, Sunday Shop, sundayshop.co; assorted color hand-thrown pots by Italian artists Potomak Studio and blue and green glazed ceramic platter by Belgian artist Martine Mikaeloff, Sotre, sotrecollection.com.
EUGENIA UHL PHOTO
Rachel Forstallâ€™s No. 1 priority when designing the house was to have a floating staircase.
NEW BUILD OF THE YEAR PERSISTENT PLANNING, COLLABORATION AND HARD WORK COMBINE TO CREATE A LAKE VISTA FAMILYâ€™S DREAM HOME BY MISTY MILIOTO PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA ESSEX BRADLEY
ative New Orleanians Chris and Rachel Forstall first met at his cousin’s wedding in 2004, and the dynamic duo has been inseparable ever since. Chris, who has wanted to be a veterinarian since he was in fifth grade, opened Southshore Animal Hospital in Metairie (along with Dr. Mark Pearce and Dr. Philip D’Antonio) in June 2013. Rachel, meanwhile, works as the practice manager. In addition to owning and managing two veterinary practices — the others include Southshore Animal Hospital at Frenchman’s Creek — the Forstalls have three daughters, ages 11, 9 and 6. They also have two family dogs, Pearl, a Maltipoo and Reb, a red Labrador Retriever. So when it came time to build their dream home, the Forstalls knew they wanted a low-maintenance home with durable finishes suitable for their children and pets. They also wanted their home to serve as a retreat from their busy lives with clean, modern lines and dramatic focal points. The Forstalls worked closely with architect, Charles E. Ruello; designer, Jacquelyn Lindsey, owner of JL Studio Designs; and Brad Landry, owner of Cypress Creations, to bring their ideas to life. Chris was raised in Lake Vista, and, after he and Rachel married in 2006, they set a goal to move back to the neighborhood. They purchased a lot in Lake Vista in May 2008, but they weren’t quite ready to build their dream home just yet. Years later, when the house next to their lot went up for sale, they decided to purchase it as well. Finally, in April 2018, they demolished the existing home and broke ground on their 7,214-square-foot dream home spanning both lots the following month. “The house that we see today was an end result of a circuitous journey,”
Above: The Forstalls’ 7,214-square-foot home in Lake Vista consists of five bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half baths spread across three wings. Technically, the rear of the house faces the street and the front of the house faces circulation lanes and green breezeways. Left: The design team worked overtime on the fireplace and kitchen hood, which mirror each other. They achieved a cohesive look with bookmatched slabs of Greylac marble from Triton Stone Group that resembles a piece of art.
Ruello says. “When we first started planning for this residence, it was a fairly traditional design. Each time I met with the owners, they showed me more contemporary ideas. We scrapped the original design when they bought the lot next door, and we were able to elongate the plan.” Ruello drew the house plans by hand — a veritable lost art in today’s technology-driven world — with the rear of the house facing the street, and the front facing circulation lanes and green breezeways. The home is divided into three wings and features five bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half baths. The east wing consists of the master bedroom, master bathroom, two master closets and a study. Meanwhile, the middle wing houses the great room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast area and playroom, with their daughters’ bedrooms and a guest room located above on the second floor. Finally, the west wing contains the garage, storage areas and a second-floor “man cave.” During the planning process, which started when the couple purchased the first lot, the Forstalls pored through magazines, Pinterest and Houzz for inspiration. They contacted JL Studio early in the process, and, as a result, Lindsey was able to collaborate with Ruello to further enhance the interior design and flow of the home. “We spent several months tweaking the floor plans, creating lighting layouts, designing cabinetry elevations and space-planning the furniture,” Lindsey says. “Through continual communication and weekly site visits, we were able to develop each intricate detail as the project was progressing.” The open floor plan has minimal transitions, allowing the family to spread out and feel comfortable in their day-to-day activities. Crucial to having a low-maintenance home was choosing a flooring material that worked well for their active lifestyle but would enhance the architecture. They decided on a durable concrete floor in a smooth finish for the interior, and a slip-resistant, broom-finish texture for the exterior near the
Facing page, Top: The Greylac marble fireplace serves as the focal point in the living room, accented by a black-and-white color scheme. Bottom, left: Soft textures add warmth to the home’s neutral color palette. Bottom, right: Expansive windows overlook the park, while allowing natural light to filter inside. This page, Top left: The Forstalls’ master bedroom in located in a separate wing from their daughters’ bedrooms, so they can’t hear them laughing and dancing during sleepovers. Middle, left: The expansive master bathroom features a bathtub and shower both encased in large glass panels. Bottom, left: All of the statement light fixtures were ordered through Elan Studio Lighting, and the paintings — bringing a sense of calm to the space — were commissioned through Abigail Reller Art. Right: Classic Cupboards created statement built-in cabinetry for the dining room using mirrors, glass and ebony-stained wood. The cabinetry lighting, contrasting finishes and two-toned hardware offer visual interest and an unexpected wow factor, while showcasing the Forstalls’ dinnerware.
pool. By mixing in the same color for both the interior and the exterior concrete, the house feels more expansive while connecting the two spaces. A large NanaWall sliding-glass door further connects the interior with the exterior. From the start, Rachel’s No. 1 priority was to have a floating staircase. Soon, a large sculpture will provide added interest to the space. She and Chris also wanted unobstructed views of City Park, a feature that was accomplished with floor-to-ceiling windows. However, due to the large windows, every design aspect had to be considered not only from the inside looking out, but also from the outside looking in. “It was crucial that the light fixtures throughout the home complemented each other as a whole, because they are all seen together from every exterior view of the house,” Lindsey says. “The shell of the house is a bold design, so we selected oversized, sculptural light fixtures to complement the architecture and mass of the house.” The high contrast of the black-and-white color palette allows the windows to speak as an architectural feature, and it gives the house drama with minimal ornamentation. “I wanted our house to pop,” Rachel says. “I love the dramatic vibe that the contrast brings.” In keeping with the black-and-white scheme, the Forstalls focused heavily on the marble kitchen hood and fireplace walls. “The two mirror each other, so we wanted them to be wrapped in the same material,” Rachel says. “We decided to look for a piece of marble that looked like a piece of art.” They searched for nearly one year for stone that had a clean black-and-white color palette with dramatic veining and no gold tones running throughout. After an exhaustive search, they achieved a bold statement with Greylac marble from Triton Stone Group. Lindsey and her team worked closely with Joe Pieri, owner of Pieri Tile & Marble Co., to bookmatch the marble veins for perfect symmetry. “It was a labor of love, but it was well worth it,” Rachel adds. In addition to the stonework, every other inch of this home was thoroughly planned to serve the Forstalls needs now and in the future. “Chris was particularly great at making sure the house would work as our needs change,” Rachel says. “I always tell everyone that this house didn’t happen overnight; we worked hard and sacrificed a lot to get the home of our dreams.”
Facing page: The Forstalls love to entertain, so having a beautiful outdoor space was important to them. They kids love making s’mores in the fireplace, while Chris watches football games. This page: Top: Paradise Pools and Spas designed the pool — which goes from three to five feet deep — with wide steps so young kids could splash around if they aren’t strong swimmers, and a large tanning deck for when Rachel simply wants to relax and watch the kids swim. Bottom: The Forstalls keep a beverage cooler stocked with adult and kids’ beverages for easy access while swimming, and they use their outdoor dining area for grilling and crawfish boils.
The living room comes to life with a gallery wall of art, a glass coffee table from Worlds Away, a rug from Moattar, a light fixture with blown opalescent glass shades from Luxe Light and Home and a sofa reupholstered in a rose pink linen velvet fabric from Stroheim with fan-pleated arms and nailhead details above the carved wood base.
Currie specializes in renovations, particularly bathrooms and kitchens. She believes it is important to ensure the underlying structure is in good shape before adding new finishes and design elements. So when she purchased her 1,830-square-foot bungalow near Audubon Park in February 2013, she knew she wanted to make some architectural changes. “When I first moved in, the big challenge was converting the precarious Lapeyre stair into a more gracious stairwell from the living room,” Currie says. “It wasn’t an easy task, but I made sure that INTERIOR we could build something that would meet DESIGNER the building code before even putting an SUS AN offer down on the house.” Currie and her CURRIE’ S architect, Brian Gille, designed a custom HOME BRIM S iron-stair banister with the handrail termiWITH STYLE nating in a graceful volute. She later renovated the upstairs and bathrooms in 2014, and she began a 200-square-foot addition in the fall of 2018 that she completed last year. “With my love of cooking and entertaining, it became clear that expanding the kitchen and family room to open onto my patio would really enhance my use of the space,” she says. “Brian Gille and I thought through several schemes that included a screened-in porch. Ultimately, our hot and humid climate was the key factor in deciding that more interior living space was the way to go. And we made an effort to keep the addition architecturally [similar to] the rest of the house, which is almost 90 years old. I wanted a modern space, but I also wanted it to feel like it belonged.” The resultant 2,030-square-foot home houses two bedrooms, three bathrooms and a sizable office. When it came to the interior design, Currie once again turned to her love of color for inspiration. For example, her living room is awash in hues from the entire color wheel thanks to a salon-style
BY MISTY MILIOTO
lan, flair, panache: Whatever you choose to call it, Susan Currie’s home has it. The local interior designer and principal of her eponymous firm, Susan Currie Design, has a passion for color that shines through all of her projects. Symmetry, which she also finds appealing, is another piece of a larger puzzle that she says includes mixing scale, pattern, texture and balance to create a harmonious room. Indeed, all of these aspects can be found in her 2,030-square-foot Uptown home. Currie, who is originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, started her career in TV news. It was a job in broadcast journalism at WDSU that brought her to New Orleans in 1985. However, she decided to pursue her passion — architecture and interiors — by returning to school and earning an interior design degree in 2009. “As a little girl, I was intrigued by beautiful homes and remember going to my Grandma Floy’s house where she had a place for everything,” Currie says. “This fascination with design continued and is part of what drew me to New Orleans. You can’t beat our historic buildings and neighborhoods.” Currie also lived in Atlanta for part of her design career, and she was invited to serve on the ASID Georgia Board. She became entrenched in the design community there, which led to learning more about classical architecture. It was during the 2008 recession, when Currie was in Atlanta, that she decided to open her own firm. Over the years, she has created spaces that are both interesting and welcoming — all while being fairly minimal and unfussy. She describes her aesthetic as transitional, meaning that she likes to use furnishings with traditional shapes but with cleaner, simplified lines. “With a little less trim and intricacy, we can create a fresher, more updated look,” she says. “I’m also a huge fan of color, and I have no qualms about suggesting a teal sofa or chartreuse draperies.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA ESSEX BRADLEY
Above: The dining room sets a lovely tone with wallpaper by Jim Thompson Fabrics, a rug from Moattar, a chandelier by Currey & Company, and a dining table and chairs by Louis J. Solomon. Facing page, Top: Large windows in the family room overlook her garden, and floral wallpaper by Thibaut brings the outside in. Bottom: Symmetry, along with scale, pattern, texture and balance, create a harmonious room.
wall of art (atop a fabulous Venetian plaster finish) that combines Currie’s collection of abstract, still life and portraiture art with architectural fragments, small sculptures and family heirloom pieces. Originally belonging to her grandmother, the 1940s-era sofa was once tufted with tapestry fabric. After several reincarnations, it now features rose pink linen velvet from Stroheim with fan-pleated arms and nailhead details above the carved wood base. The subtle-yet-colorful rug from Moattar helps soften the space, while the light fixture from Luxe Light and Home transforms the room with its curvaceous branches and organically shaped, blown opalescent-glass shades. Currie also appreciates nature and architecture, and these interests are expressed throughout her home. Take the family room, which sparks joy with pops of teal and lime green. The floral-patterned wallpaper by Thibaut creates a nature-inspired backdrop, and it informed the design of the entire room. “From there, I worked on the transition from this room to the dining and living rooms,” Currie says. “Cerulean blue links the spaces together and creates a sense of consistency as you move through the house. The fabrics that we selected for the dining room introduced several other blues, allowing me to add the Jim Thompson raindrop-printed grasscloth wallpaper, which I think adds a lot of interest.” Meanwhile, Currie wanted to design a modernized “forever kitchen” that was architecturally in keeping with the rest of her home. As a result, she chose a neutral palette of soft white with warm undertones and a contrasting taupe finish for the island; ephemeral inset doors and drawer fronts; and plumbing fixtures from Brizo complemented by satin brass hardware from Schaub & Company. She added luxury appliances, including a Sub-Zero Wolf refrigerator, dual-fuel range and warming drawer; U-Line Wine Captain cooler; and an ASKO dishwasher. To complete the space — while adding movement and sparkle — she opted for Taj Mahal quartzite for the countertops. Finally, Currie added subtle pattern and texture to the space with custom-glazed Pratt & Larson backsplash tile. The biggest challenge that Currie faced when designing her home was making sure her contractors were available to her clients first and foremost. While it caused some delays on her own home, she was even more thankful once it was completed. “For me, the house is perfect,” Currie says. “It’s always my goal to create timeless designs that won’t look dated down the road.”
Facing page: Top, left: Currieâ€™s goal is always to create timeless designs, as seen in this bedroom. Top, right: The use of wallpaper adds pattern, texture and color to a space, as seen in the entryway with wallpaper by Jim Thompson Fabrics. Bottom: In order to achieve symmetry, Currie likes to add pieces that might be different styles but similar in visual weight. This page: The welcoming kitchen features a neutral palette of soft white with warm undertones and a contrasting taupe finish for the island, luxury appliances, Pratt & Larson backsplash tile, Taj Mahal quartzite countertops and blue cut velvet barstools from Fabricut to complete the space.
BY LEE CUTRONE PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRAIG MULCAHY
s in years past, each of this year’s New Orleans Homes Design Masters has creativity in spades. Despite the fact that many businesses have suffered this year there is, as always, reason to be hopeful for continued creativity in the Big Easy. To survive the challenged economy, members of the design community are putting their creativity to use in new ways. In fact, the word “pivot” has become the buzzword du jour for shifting gears. Whether staying with what they know best, contemplating a change or parlaying their talents into a new or related arena, New Orleans creatives take note: We support you, we celebrate you and we look forward to your futures. That being said, we are proud to introduce our 2020 Design Masters.
ALYSSA AND ERIKDAVID KRAEMER
WHO: Alyssa and Erikdavid Kraemer, owners of E. Kraemer Fine Metal & Woodwork. WHAT: We are a high-end fabrication studio specializing in the design and build of furnishings and architectural elements for residential and commercial spaces. WHERE: All custom pieces are designed and fabricated in our 14,000-squarefoot facility located in the Upper 9th Ward. Our work can be found at Auction House Market, Gianna, Jewel of the South, Justine, Hotel Monteleone and the new [Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport]. WHEN: Erikdavid Kraemer comes from a long line of artisans where working with their hands is second nature. First learning how to make violins with his luthier father, Erikdavid later incorporated a slew of metalworking techniques into his skillset. Alyssa, after working many years for others, decided it was time for the two of them to try something new, different and exciting. HOW: Combining an eye for design and detail with a passion for engineering, our team is invigorated by building unique and challenging pieces. We are one of the few fabrication shops in the country specializing in red metals (brass, bronze, copper). With an arsenal of trusted craftsmen, our talented and driven team can make any project a reality. WHY: Because the details matter. IN OUR WORDS: We love collaborating with creative people on innovative designs and unique projects. Check out our website (ekraemer.com) to see more of what we do, including our latest endeavor to help combat harmful microbes and dangerous infections they cause â€” such as COVID-19 â€” through self-sanitizing surfaces.
WHO: Kirsten Gaiennie, co-owner Sazerac Stitches. WHAT: Small
lighting and design studio that designs and makes everything by hand. WHERE: The design studio is in the Lower Garden District, 1218 Annunciation St. WHEN: Started in 2012 by Kirsten and her husband, Matthew Gaiennie. HOW: Neither of us have a design background and we couldn’t afford to furnish our own home with the types of lighting we coveted. After a lot of research and a several DIY attempts, we created a chandelier design. That evolved into other chandelier designs, then sconces, then some decorative home accents. Experimentation is an ongoing process for us. WHY: Creating is highly addictive. Pairing colors, shapes, textures and modeling them out into a functional item is rewarding even when a design is a failure. However custom design shouldn’t be exorbitantly expensive. Our goal is to mix affordability with custom design. IN YOUR WORDS: Lighting is often referred to as “jewelry for a room.” It can be in your face, a subtle accent or be the design inspiration for the rest of the room. However, it shouldn’t be considered “one size fits all” and customization should be available at a lower price point.
WHO: Byron Veal, artisan. WHAT: I offer exterior stucco wall systems in multiple textures, colors and finishes. I also provide interior plaster systems, replications of moldings, medallions, sconces [and so forth]. WHERE: Uptown, Garden District, CBD, French Quarter and Old Metairie. WHEN: In 2007, Detailed Plastering & Stucco Systems became the new kid on the block within the plaster restoration and stucco application community. Our clients include actors, NFL players and other celebrities. HOW: I started out as a laborer, learning from the ground up. I was taught by elite artisans how to cast balusters and make cement rails. It was easier to grasp the less demanding wall systems as an apprentice. Replications and duplications all came with the craft. WHY: I actually was a troubled kid, into the wrong lifestyle. A friend’s brother at the time owned a plastering company and I committed my life to this trade. God has his way of commanding the journey of a man. That journey has developed into a love. IN YOUR WORDS: For some, a visualization of a finished product is difficult. I on the other hand see finishes and textures, almost as musical notes. I look forward to a client’s smile at the end of a project. I find it amazing that I’m a grown man who gets paid to play in mud. There is not one scroll or crack repair I’ve forgotten.
WHO: Sean Wilkerson, The Bank Architectural Antiques. WHAT: Architectural antiques, sales
and service. Specializing in historical building materials of New Orleans. [A] 40,000-squarefoot warehousing old cypress doors, mantels, shutters, corbels, moldings and hardware for sale to renovate historic homes or supply new construction projects with old-world appeal. Paint removal and full repairs to fix up old doors, shutters and hardware. WHERE: The Bank Architectural Antiques, 1824 Felicity St. WHEN: Established in 1972. HOW: I have disassembled nearly 600 blighted homes in New Orleans to acquire their building components and repurpose these items. By taking things apart, we can understand how they are put together. The construction technique of an old New Orleans shotgun home is awe inspiring. The material used, (cypress), stands the test of time. It just makes sense to preserve this stuff. My father, Mike, started this business and developed a technique for paint removal which I still use today. WHY: I really enjoy my work. Stripping a pair of 200-year-old shutters and repairing them to near original condition gives me a very rewarding sense of purpose. IN YOUR WORDS: I am just dusting off what the craftsmen that built this city made. Itâ€™s hard, grueling work sometimes but preserving New Orleans architectural heritage is worth the effort.
MICHAEL SHORIAK AND COURTNEY WILLIAMS
WHO: Michael Shoriak and Courtney Williams of Cypress Building Conservation. WHAT: An architectural conservation company. We consult on all aspects of historic restoration projects, from documentation and research to laboratory analysis of historic finishes. We also hold a commercial contractor’s license. WHERE: All over the city. Sometimes elsewhere in the state. Earlier this year: Maine. WHEN: [In] 2013, when we both moved back home to Louisiana [after] grad school at the University of Pennsylvania. HOW: Doing the work ourselves as contractors is an unparalleled way to learn about buildings, and it constantly informs our consulting work. It’s easier to explain to a mason why and how to use an historic mortar mix if you’ve actually repointed a wall yourself. WHY: In a single day, we could find ourselves on top of scaffolding inspecting masonry work on a National Historic Landmark, crawling around a French Quarter attic space documenting 19th-century timber framing, running to an Uptown Queen Anne to put a final varnish coat on a front door, looking through a microscope to analyze historic paint finishes from a Creole cottage up River Road and finally hauling debris away from a job site with a trip to the dump. But it’s definitely never boring. IN YOUR WORDS: Our wide range of services allows us to participate in all aspects of the construction process. We are extremely fortunate to learn from and work with the best historians, architects and craftsmen in town. We are constantly striving to improve our knowledge and understanding of how to properly maintain our historic building materials, because they are truly irreplaceable.
MICHAEL BAUDIN WHO: Michael Baudin, owner and founder of Legend Interiors. WHAT: Legend Interiors is a full-service kitchen and bath design company. We provide cabinetry, countertops, tile and design services to individuals, architects, interior designers and builders. Our focus is smart, functional designs that complement our clients’ unique styles and needs. WHERE: Our design studio is located in the heart of Mid-City. WHEN: I began my career in 2001 as a draftsman, designing cabinetry and millwork for large commercial jobs and high-end residential projects. Having a knack for drafting and design, I decided to test my talents and build my own company in 2010, Legend Interiors. HOW: Our experienced designers take the time to listen to each client’s wants and needs. It is during this phase that we collaborate with the client, apply our knowledge of the products, and create an overall style and vision for the project. We guide the client through seemingly overwhelming options and ensure that the overall functionality and aesthetics complement their taste and lifestyle. WHY: I enjoy creating, problem solving and challenging myself. It is incredibly fulfilling to take a project from the infancy of the client’s vision, into design and development, and then making that refined vision a reality. IN YOUR WORDS: I can honestly say that I enjoy my work, but what I do is not a solo act. I have a very knowledgeable, talented, and dedicated staff, and long-standing relationships with trusted subcontractors and suppliers that together, help bring our clients’ projects to life.
CASI ST. JULIAN WHO: Casi Francis St. Julian, senior interior designer at Eclectic Home New Orleans + After Dark Wallpaper Collection. WHAT: Our design firm offers interior design services [and] retail. Projects include residential and commercial design offering renovation, new construction and decorating services for clients across the country. Our showroom also provides an eclectic mix of lighting, accessories, vintage furnishings and custom upholstery. WHERE: Our showroom is located at 8211 Oak St. WHEN: Established in 2000, Eclectic Home has evolved into a 7,000-square-foot showroom, offering a unique shopping and interior design experience. I started working in the family business in 2012 alongside my mother, principal designer Penny Francis after graduating with a BFA in interior design from Savannah College of Art & Design. HOW: I’ve grown up in the interior design business and have been blessed to experience what it takes firsthand to be an entrepreneur and boss lady. My mom is an inspiration to me because she [has] shown me how to be successful and a graceful designer without taking life too seriously. WHY: The arts have always been something I’ve been immersed in since I can remember. Fashion and interiors have been my main focus and, I feel, come naturally to me. IN YOUR OWN WORDS: Interior design is a delicate song and dance between designer and client. It takes time technically, but evolves into something aesthetically layered and artistic. Each space we are hired to take on reflects not just us, but more importantly our clients’ wants and needs.
WHO: Chuck Rutledge, developer; Jonathan Tate, architect (Office of Jonathan Tate); Pierre Stouse, contractor (Edifice Builders LLC) – All are co-developers. WHAT: We are a loose association of project partners (and friends) who join forces formally on a project-by-project basis when we find interesting infill opportunities. We usually work in New Orleans; recently in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta. WHERE: Jonathan’s office is at 1336 Magazine St., Pierre’s office is at 900 Peniston St., and Chuck works out of his car traveling between New Orleans and Clarksdale, Mississippi, where we developed a 20-room hotel called Travelers Hotel. WHEN: The three of us have been working together on various projects since 2005. HOW: Chuck often finds the site and initiates the concept. Jonathan agrees and then designs what he wants. Pierre agrees with Jonathan and then builds what he wants. And somehow it works. WHY: We like to find oddball or undersized or atypical situations that provide unique opportunities to respond with creative development, design and construction solutions. IN YOUR WORDS: We like contributing good design (hopefully, really good) to our built environment and elevating or, at least, contributing significantly to our cityscape. We like to think that we find a nice balance among our three disciplines and on occasion, even harmony.
WHO: Jose Alvarez, principal at Eskew Dumez Ripple (EDR). WHAT: At EDR we
build places for people, our work enhances lives. We craft beautiful buildings that celebrate their native places, providing a framework for the life that occurs within and around them. WHERE: Since 1989, we have worked, lived, and played in New Orleans, one of the most complex and culturally rich places in the United States. Our home serves as a constant inspiration for our work, reminding us what it means to connect deeply with a place while maintaining a global outlook. WHEN: Established in 1989, EDR has transformed from a local firm doing nationally recognized work to a national firm that has retained its local roots. HOW: We celebrate designâ€™s ability to solve problems. We listen to our clients and see them as collaborators in the design process. We seek to draw out a common vision from a diversity of voices. WHY: Design is powerful. As designers, we play an indispensable role in realizing a more equitable future. Good design is also a collaborative act. For a project to serve and empower its community, the voices of that community must be heard and integrated into the design process. IN YOUR WORDS: Itâ€™s now more than 20 years since I came to New Orleans (from Caracas) to complete my Master of Architecture at Tulane University. Little I knew that I would meet architect and mentor Allen Eskew, fulfill my professional career, work with amazing people, meet the love of my life and fall in love with this wonderful city.
BEST OF HOME
WINNERS Each year our readers vote by online ballot for their favorite home design industry professionals in New Orleans. The businesses cover the scope of everything homeowners need to make and maintain a beautiful house and home. The votes have been tallied and we present our 2020 Best of Home winners. Best of Architecture Flynn Designs
Best Paint Company Helm Paint & Decorating
Best Place to Buy Outdoor Furniture Le Voyage
Best Audio/Music NOLA Wired
Best Pest Control Company Terminix
Best Place to Buy Stained Glass Ricca’s Architectural Sales
Best Demolition Company Demo Diva
Best Closet Design/Installation Ruffino Closets
Best Place to Buy Tile or Stone Stafford Tile & Stone
Best Fencing Company Amko Fence
Best Handmade Woodwork Ricca’s Architectural Sales
Best Place to Buy Antiques Magazine Merchant House
Best Gutter Company Audubon Gutters
Best Pool/Patio Design and Installation Mullin
Best Place to Buy Window Treatments Wren’s Tontine
Best Builder/Contractor/Construction Entablature
Best Place to Buy Animal Supplies Jefferson Feed Pet & Garden
Best Place to Design Your Kitchen Nordic Kitchen Kitchens and Baths
Best Hurricane Prep LAS Shutters + Windows
Best Place to Buy Art Casey Langteau Art
Best Private Chef or Home Catering Liberty’s Kitchen
Best in Real Estate Entablature Realty
Best Place to Buy Linens Leontine Linens
Best Restoration Company Entablature
Best Interior Designer H. Mathews Interiors
Best Place to Buy Cabinets Mattix Cabinet Works
Best Roofing Company C3NOLA Construction Services
Best Landscape Company Mullin
Best Place to Buy Flooring Jim Owens Flooring
Best Security Company Fort Knox Alarms
Best Outdoor Fountains Mullin
Best Place to Buy Gardening Items Perino’s Garden Center
Best Shoring Company A1 House Leveling
Best Place to Buy Home Décor Sunday Shop
Best Solar Panel Installation Bayou Solar
Best Place to Buy Lighting Eclectic Home
Best Tree Cutting Service Bayou Tree Services
Best Place to Buy Modern and Contemporary Furniture Eclectic Home
Best Window Company LAS Shutters + Windows
Campbell Cabinet Co.
Casey Langteau Art
220 Hord St., Harahan, 504/733-4687; 4040 Highway 59, Mandeville, 985/892-7713, campbellcabinets.com
4700 Magazine St., New Orlean, 504/500-8164, caseylangteauart.com
Cosentino New Orleans
5800 Jefferson Hwy, Elmwood, 504/410-3116, cosentino.com
Design-Build General Contractor, entablature.com
By appointment only, 504/896-2206, modernmarketlifestyle.com
10356 River Road, St. Rose, 504/275-6617, mullinlandscape.com
Abigail Reller Art
C3NOLA Construction Services
5809 River Oaks Road South, Harahan, 504/734-9088, classiccupboards.com
Alex Czerny, 5568 Catina St., New Orleans, 504/220-2539, usec3nola.com
Mattix Cabinet Works
Ruffino Custom Closets
415 N. Solomon St., New Orleans, 504/486-7218, mattixcabinet.com
2413 L & A Road, Metairie, 504/887-1515, 800/264-1527
111 Campbell Blvd., Mandeville, 504/252-9884, 985/809-7623, ruffinoclosets.com
M L M Incorporated
Stafford Tile & Stone
Nordic Kitchen and Baths Inc.
1400 Distributors Row, Elmwood, 504/322-7050, 985/231-0233, mlm-inc.com
5234 Magazine St, New Orleans, 504/895-5000, staffordtile.com
1818 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, 504/888-2300, nordickitchens.com
JL Studio Designs
6131 River Rd., Harahan, 504/738-2228, email@example.com
8211 Oak St., New Orleans, 504/866-6654, eclectichome.net
Demoran Custom Homes
1200 Annunciation St., New Orleans, 504/258-0464, m2studiodesign.com
504/810-5346, 985/788-7857, demorancustomhomes.com
Renaissance Doors LLC
1000 Edwards Ave Suite B, Harahan, 504/344-6994, renaissancedoorsllc.com
4112 Magazine St., New Orleans, 504/899-2931, villavici.com
Tuscan Stone Imports
4852 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite A, Metairie, 504/443-4777, stores.sleepnumber.com/la/metairie/4852-veterans-memorial-blvd
720 S Galvez St., New Orleans, 504/837-1511, tuscanstoneimports.com
Sutton House 3800 Dryades Street, New Orleans
Legend Interiors 432 N. Anthony St. Suite 301, New Orleans, 504/324-8080
Sotre 3933 Magazine St, New Orleans, 504/304-9475, sotrecollection.com
GET FLOORED Tips from the pros on choosing and installing the right type of flooring for your home
THE FLOOR IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF
your home. It takes up a lot of space and must withstand constant daily use. Like any other part of home construction or renovation, choosing and installing the right floor for your house requires care and planning to get the result you want. Waterproof flooring is becoming increasingly popular in New Orleans. Lindsay Swenson, chief executive merchant at Floor & Decor, said luxury vinyl plank is an in-demand option for this reason. With an attached backing, it’s very easy to install, does not require any acclimation and is highly durable. It can also be installed over existing flooring. “The visuals and texture are of such a premium quality, it’s actually hard
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to tell it’s not wood,” said Swenson. “More and more, homeowners don’t want to worry about maintenance.” Swenson said other popular options include pattern tile, which allows homeowners to bring artistry, color, and fun into their living spaces. For wood flooring, wide boards with lighter and more natural finishes are in demand. Peggy Stafford, owner of Stafford Tile & Stone, said she is seeing a lot of people choosing terrazzo tiles. Some of these options include encaustic cement tiles with a sprinkle of terrazzo material and mosaics with metal inserts or stone pieces. Moisture is a problem in a damp, swampy climate like New Orleans. Swenson said it is a big concern for solid-wood flooring. Buckling, cupping, and cracking are just some of the problems that can occur from too much moisture. When you are shopping for flooring, think about things in the long-term. You use your floor every day, so it needs to be tough and it needs to have a look you’ll be happy with for many years to come. It is not a place where you should even consider cutting corners. “Getting the best product you can afford in a timeless look is key,” said Swenson. “You won’t be changing it out anytime soon, so spend the extra money on the item you love that’s made to last a lifetime. Getting a low-end product can actually devalue your home.” Stafford agrees with this assessment. She said it’s important to take your time and look at as many flooring options as possible before making a final decision. Thorough
deliberation and planning saves money in the long run. “A common mistake [from homeowners] is not allowing …enough time and energy for the selection process of tile and stone in their projects,” said Stafford. “It would be unreasonable to think that you can select these items in a few hours … A well-executed plan usually has fewer mistakes and less headaches.” Once you have settled on the right look, make sure you hire a reputable installer for your floors. It’s a good idea to do your homework ahead of time so you can be sure your installer is following proper guidelines. “Many people don’t realize that a simple mistake from an installer like not letting the flooring properly acclimate in the space or not leaving an expansion gap around the perimeter can cause your floor to fail and it won’t be covered by the warranty,” said Swenson. Stafford said COVID-19 restrictions require customers to make an appointment with her to discuss flooring and tile options. She thinks this practice might be a good idea for customers even when pandemic restrictions are lifted. She said an appointment makes homeowners more focused, mindful, and prepared when they show up to discuss options. If you’re handy and adventurous enough to install your flooring, the DIY Network said to lay flooring perpendicular to the joist, ensuring the floor will be as strong as possible, and reducing the odds of warping or separating down the road. – BY FRITZ ESKER
Mix and Match Break the rules by mixing patterns and textures to create an artful and sophisticated look BY MIRELLA CAMERON
“San Miguel” 65-inches by 65-inches, acrylic and mixed media on canvas painting by local artist and Katie Koch “artist in residence” Robin Crutcher, available at katiekochhome.com
Pavilion is an abstract design of lines and dots, based on the Abacus Screen from the 1951 Festival of Britain. Made in the UK and available locally at sprucenola.com Arne Jacobsen Paris Chair, available from sundayshop.co
Steamer side table, 19-inch by 17.5-inch by 22.25-inches, available at eclectichome.net
Ceramic pots with graffiti spray paint by Robbi Renzi from katiekochhome.com
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ASK THE EXPERTS
STORYTELLING Weave the tale of your life’s adventure with furnishings EVERYTHING ABOUT A HOME MAKES A STATEMENT. WHILE the colors and textures of your walls and floors certainly affect the level of welcome or personality, furnishings introduce the most play and the most fun. How we fill a space tells the story of who we are, what we love and where we find comfort. From furniture items with bold colors and big curves to art with clean lines and monotone shades, furnishings allow for freedom of expression. That is, so long as you don’t find yourself caught in a trend trap. Having lately spent more time than usual at home has many of us considering our “stuff,” what we love and what now bores us. Perhaps we’ve had more time to watch home design shows, time to eye spaces that are enviably fresher than our stale sitting rooms and bedrooms. But often, these visuals feed us fleeting trends or give undue praise to spaces void of personality. Penny Francis, owner and principal designer of Eclectic Home, warns that too often these images from TV, apps or magazines are used for imitation rather than inspiration. “Our advice is to use the photos as a guide to how you want your space to feel and what emotion to evoke,” she says. By playing with furnishings,
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whether already owned or new, designers like Francis have a variety of tricks up their sleeves to create rooms that reflect personal style. One of her tricks is simply repurpose items that you may want to replace or update but not fully discard — hang a vintage or antique rug as impactful, beautiful wall art or turn an old farm table into a kitchen island, desk or base for a double vanity. “When it comes to trends, less is more,” says Vikki Leftwich, interior designer and owner of Villa Vici. It’s OK to like a trend — after all, likeability makes a trend — but not to overdo it. “If there’s a trend you really love, whether it’s curved sofas and chairs or rattan pieces, choose one item to use in a special spot in your design rather than incorporating too many of the same style throughout your décor.” Seating takes up much of a home’s space, which means it deserves more consideration than a lot of people give it. For Nicole Ruppel Jones, interior designer for Legend Interiors, chairs are a favorite furnishing for showcasing style. “In my own tiny home, I must own 10 different styles of chairs just downstairs,” she says. “It’s a great way to showcase different styles without overpowering the overall design.”
If you’re struggling to incorporate that pair of 19th-century, Louis XVI armchairs you inherited into your bold, eccentric room design, try upholstering them with modern fabrics. This is a common trick for designers who create eye-catching scenes with juxtapositions of old and new. Modifications can also be made to sofas — reupholstering or adding a slipcover are easy ways to give your furniture a makeover. Jones says you could even add a metal detail to an existing wood frame or take away an existing ornate detail to give the sofa a clean, sleek look. As a furniture designer and builder, it’s probably no surprise that Alex Geriner of Doorman Designs is passionate about the items used to fill a space. “In my own home, I only place furniture that means something to me,” he says. “I want each piece to have a story.” Geriner’s dining table has an 800-year-old story — the converted ancient cypress stump was rescued from a front yard in rural Florida after being dug from the mud of a nearby swamp. For showcasing personal style in a bedroom, Geriner loves the canopy bed. “They’re fun, they’re cozy, they’re dramatic,” he says. “They can be overstated or understated, flashy and colorful or muted and paired down.” Compared to chairs and beds, a person’s art collection is a more obvious starting point for personal expression. Creating transitional designs that will last for years and allow for the mixing in of unique art pieces is one of Hailey Mathews’ go-to tricks. “One of my favorite examples is a client who had a home full of gorgeous inherited antiques that we styled with really bold and bright modern art,” says Mathews, owner and designer of H. Mathews Interiors. “It was a way of making sure their taste stood out amongst the original furniture.” Conversely, according to Erin Nicolosi, owner of Abode, an antique still-
life painting — perhaps a dramatically lit bowl of apples or grapes — with an ornate frame can be elevated to new appreciation when paired with a modern chair or table. “Layering in antique with modern is a great way to be timeless,” says Nicolosi. “Before you get rid of pieces, get a second pair of eyes to take a peek and see how it might work in ways and places you didn’t think possible.” It’s no secret that over the last few years, white and gray room designs have been prolific. But designers warn not to fall into that trend trap either, as color is one of the best ways to access personality. Lately, Mathews finds herself steering clients away from all-white homes. “It is gorgeous but also creates very cold spaces,” she says. “If you want the all-white look, I think it is best to mix in warmer woods [for] case goods and brighter colors [with] the accessories to avoid being part of the trend.” According to Tara Shaw, owner and designer at Tara Shaw Design, your home should read like your biography. As a collector, Shaw has amassed two decades’ worth of furnishings from her travels to France, Italy, Belgium and Sweden, and her home tells that story even as she edits it yearly by changing things around. She recommends finding the styles that speak to you and begin building your rooms around these items that you want to live with long term. “Collecting is a lifelong journey,” she says. Part of what makes design so fun for these designers is reading their clients’ stories by viewing what items they’ve collected over time. Whether that collection begins with a lovable trend or just some quirky detail you’re drawn to, it’s worth including in your furnishing story. Fortunately, it’s a story that can be made fresh time and again with a few simple edits. - BY KELCY WILBURN
ad ver tising direc tor y
Abigail Reller Art 504/491-5675 abigailrellerart.com Bell Architecture 755 Camp St., New Orleans 504/596-2355 C3NOLA Construction Services 504/220-2539 usec3nola.com Campbell Cabinet Co. 220 Hord St., Harahan 504/733-4687 4040 Highway 59, Mandeville 985/892-7713 campbellcabinets.com Casey Langteau Art 4700 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/500-8164 caseylangteauart.com Classic Cupboards 5809 River Oaks Road South, Harahan 504/734-9088 classiccupboards.com Cosentino New Orleans 5800 Jefferson Hwy, Elmwood 504/410-3116 cosentino.com Demoran Custom Homes 504/810-5346 985/788-7857 demorancustomhomes.com DMG 2345 Metairie Rd., Metairie 504/275-6664 DMGnola.com Eclectic Home 8211 Oak St., New Orleans 504/866-6654 eclectichome.net Entablature, LLC 8438 Oak St. Suite C, New Orleans 504/322-3822 entablature.com
Exterior Designs Beverly Katz, Land. Design New Orleans 504/866-0276 exteriordesignsbev.com Fiber Seal 504/866-2273 firstname.lastname@example.org Floor & Decor 2801 Magazine St, Ste A, New Orleans 504/891-3005 Flooranddecor.com H. Mathews Interiors 504/339-4003 Home Bank 1600 Veterans Blvd., Metairie 504/834-1190
Modern Market 504/896-2206 modernmarketlifestyle.com MULLIN 10356 River Rd., St. Rose 504/275-6617 mullinlandscape.com Nola Rugs 300 Jefferson Hwy #401, New Orleans 504/891-3304 nolarugs.com
Nordic Kitchens & Baths Inc. J&J Exterminating New Orleans 1818 Veterans Blvd., Metairie 416 Commerce Point, New Orleans 504/888-2300 504/833-6305 nordickitchens.com jjext.com Paradise Pools & Spas JL Studio Designs 4221 Division St., Metairie 504/494-2580 504/888-0505 JLSudioDesigns.com paradisepoolsandspasla.com Kelly Sutton Designs/ Sutton House-To The Trade 3800 Dryades St, New Orleans 504/302-2547 kellysuttoninc.com Kim Starr Wise – The Flower Shop 2036 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/390-0563 LAS Enterprises 2413 L & A Road, Metairie 504/887-1515, 800/264-1527 Legend Interiors 432 N. Anthony St. Suite 301 504/324-8080 email@example.com
M2 Studio 1200 Annunciation St., New Orleans Entablature Realty, LLC 504/258-0464 8438 Oak St., Suite C, New Orleans m2studiodesign.com 504/327-5868 entablature-realty.com Mattix Cabinet Works 415 N. Solomon St., New Orleans 504/486-7218 mattixcabinet.com
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M L M Incorporated 3500 N. Causeway Blvd. Ste. 160, Metairie 504/322-7050 South Shore 985/231-0233 North Shore mlm-inc.com
Picardie 504/587-9194 firstname.lastname@example.org picardietimberframe.com Poydras Home 5354 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/323-9051 poydrashome.com Renaissance Doors 1000 Edwards Ave., Harahan 504/344-6994 email@example.com renaissancedoorsllc.com Ruffino Custom Closets 110 Campbell Ave., Mandeville 504/252-9884 ruffinocustomclosets.com Russells Cleaning Services 3704 Robertson St., Metairie 504/832-1546 3401 Tulane Ave., New Orleans 504-482-3153 russellscleaning.com
Sleep Number 4852 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Ste A, Metairie 504/443-4777 stores.sleepnumber.com/la/ metairie/4852-veteransmemorial-blvd.html Sotre 3933 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/304-9475 sotrecollection.com Stafford Tile & Stone 5234 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/895-5000 staffordtile.com Triton Stone 6131 River Rd., Harahan 504/738-2228 firstname.lastname@example.org Tuscan Stone Imports 720 S. Galvez St., New Orleans 504/837-1511 7150 Pecue Lane, Baton Rouge 225/753-5870 tuscanstoneimports.com Villa Vici 4112 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/899-2931 villavici.com Wren’s Tontine Shade & Design 1533 Prytania St., New Orleans 504/525-7409 wrenstontine.com •
Hugh Bar Cart by Worlds Away, 36-inches wide by 34-inches high by 20-inches deep, $1,347, at Eclectic Home, available for in-store or curbside pickup
LOVELY LIBATIONS A swanky bar cart adds sophistication to home design
THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN A FULLY STOCKED
bar is a gorgeous, fully stocked bar cart. It’s the perfect example of form meets function. Not only can you move it to wherever the party is happening (poolside drinks, anyone?), but a lovely bar cart can serve as a sophisticated focal point to elevate your home design. One option to consider is the Hugh Bar Cart by Worlds Away. The three-tier
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cart features inset mirrors in antique brass perfect for displaying beautiful bottles of your favorite spirits. Choose stunning crystal decanters to add more panache to your setup. Then, simply learn a few new cocktail recipes and take your entertaining game to a whole new level. Available at Eclectic Home, 8211 Oak St., 504866-6654, eclectic-home-new-orleans.myshopify.com – BY MISTY MILIOTO