New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles Summer 2018

Page 1


summer 2018

Summer Entertaining

Outdoor Living

Poolside Chic


new orleans

homes & lifestyles

SUMMER 2018 / Volume 21 / Issue 2 Editor Melanie Warner Spencer Art Director Tiffani Reding Amedeo ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ashley McLellan Web Editor Kelly Massicot Contributing Writers Mirella Cameran, Laura Claverie, Lee Cutrone, Fritz Esker, Valorie Hart, Pamela Marquis, Lisa Tudor, Margaret Zainey Roux Contributing Photographers Thom Bennett, Sara Essex Bradley, Theresa Cassagne, Jeffery Johnston, Eugenia Uhl Copy Editor Liz Clearman Vice President of Sales Colleen Monaghan 504/830-7215 or Sales Manager Brooke LeBlanc Genusa 504/830-7242 or Account Executive Zane Wilson, 504/830-7246 or; Alyssa Copeland, 504/8307239 or Director of Marketing and Events Cheryl Lemoine Event Coordinator Whitney Weathers Digital Media Associate Mallary Matherne

For event information call (504) 830-7264 Production Manager Jessica DeBold senior Production Designer Demi Schaffer Production Designers Emily Andras, Kendall Woods Traffic Manager Topher Balfer Chief Executive Officer Todd Matherne President Alan Campell Executive Vice President/Editor-in-Chief Errol Laborde Distribution Manager John Holzer Administrative Assistant Mallary Matherne Subscriptions Manager Brittanie Bryant

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 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 Š 2018 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.








A Good Fit

Top Tier

Up on the Roof

Lush Life

When George Varino found a New Orleans home and an interior designer that met his qualifications, he knew he had a winning combination

Designer Chad Graci updates a penthouse at One River Place

A swanky party overlooking the city will wow your guests

Lounging poolside in New Orleans never looked so good







Editor’s Note Including the Editor’s Pick 16

Design Diary News and events 18



Hot Takes 20

Get Organized Child’s Play: Corralling the kid’s stuff with creative solutions, style and whimsy 22

Artist Profile Sean Friloux 24

Bon Vivant Good Gifting: Hostess gifts to get you invited back again and again 26

Gatherings Caribbean Connection: Chef Nina Compton channels memories of her charmed island childhood with this fresh and fruity summer recipe 28

For the Garden Firmly planted: Horticulturist Margie Yates Jenkins named to Louisiana Department of Agricluture’s 2018 Hall of Distinction 30

Home Grown Fern-tastic: Boston ferns are a New Orleans, Southern staple 32


Living with Antiques Cover Up: Give antiques new life with bold, modern fabrics 34


Masters of Their Craft Life Goes On: Woodworker Paul Troyano gives felled and old trees and wood a second act 36 on the cover


Inspiration Board

Expert Advice

Patio Posh: Add luxurious global-market karma to outdoor lounging in your own backyard 38

Fun in the Sun: Quick and easy pieces to create a stylish outdoor entertaining space 92

Backyard Living: From plants to pools and paint to prettying things up, the pros are offering up advice for your outdoor oasis 96

Home Renewal

Price Mix

Planning for Your Pool: If you are considering a pool, do your homework and plan for maintenance 90

Sizzling Style: Chef Kevin Belton’s advice for a grill to suit any occassion this summer 94



Last Indulgence Clean Dreams: Fragrant, gentle cleansing products that make household chores less of a chore 104

New Orleans has seen a boom in rooftop bars over the past five years, rendering it unnecessary to have one of your own. See how to create a party overloking the city in “Up on the Roof” on page 66. Photo by sara essex bradley



editor’s note

Southern nights Recently, I’m ashamed to admit, I learned the song “Southern Nights” was written by the late, great, New Orleanian Allan, Toussaint. For years, it never occured to me that anyone other than Glen Campbell wrote it, given his version was a 1977 hit. This new knowledge sent me down a rabbit hole of listening to various live versions of the song by Toussaint. My favorite ended up being his beautifully played take on “Allan Toussaint’s Songbook,” which was released in 2013, two years before the musician’s death while on tour in Madrid, Spain. In it, between the piano refrains and the familiar chorus, he tells stories about growing up in Louisiana, trips to the country, visiting with his Creole relatives and the old houses that he jokes were always old; that they were built old. I quickly added the song to a summer Spotify playlist I was creating in anticipation of the many evenings we’ll spend on the porch this season, grateful that the heat of the day will have given way to a slightly more bearable version of hot. It’s of course never really cool in New Orleans in the summer. But that doesn’t stop us from enjoying our outdoor spaces. In this issue, we are celebrating time spent outside. From our pool decor spread in Trendwatch on page 38, to the outdoor entertaining feature, “Up on the Roof,” on page 66, and our annual pools, porches and patios feature on page 76, there is sure to be plenty of inspiration to help you beat the summer heat. Or, if not beat it, at least enjoy it in style. Mix yourself a refreshing cocktail, put on your favorite hot weather tunes and get outside. Whether it’s time spent poolside, on the patio, on a rooftop or on the porch, you’re sure to enjoy those Southern nights. Cheers!

editor’s pick




The Joy of Cooking In 2017, self-taught baker, blogger and cookbook author Joy Wilson, aka Joy the Baker, opened The Bakehouse in Bywater. The circa-1900s, converted double shotgun serves both as Wilson’s home and studio space, which she uses for her own work, plus workshops, private parties and events. In May, The Bakehouse started a petite retail space open during workshops. It offers her cookbooks, locally-made Hex candles and, says Wilson, “other vintage odds and ends for cooking and baking.” This summer she’s working on a book proposal and launching an online cooking and baking series for people who can’t make it to New Orleans. Wilson’s cozy, eclectically decorated space is clearly becoming the hotspot to learn, entertain or be entertained.


design diary

Design, Architecture and Film!

Summer Reads While you’re laying out by the pool with your summer cocktail, be sure to grab some new reading material and find your next home inspiration. New Orleans-based decorator, writer and designer Sara Ruffin Costello’s new book “Gatekeeper: World of Folly by Hunt Slonem,” features Slonem’s work as an American painter, sculptor and printmaker. The highlights include his latest interior project at The Watres Armory, built 1900 to 1901. The book showcases the artist’s take on interior design with an assortment of historical and rare items found from around the world. — BecCa Miller



Mark your calendars for the 3rd annual Architecture & Design Film Festival, presented by the Louisiana Architecture Foundation. There’s something for everyone at the festival, which covers preservation, landscape design, women’s roles, modern architecture and more. There is a contest for high school and college level students as well as amateur and professional filmmakers, the deadline to enter is July 16. The festival also includes panels and book discussions. The event is Aug. 23 through 26. louisiana — BM

Home tour

Inspiration, Ideas and a Dream House The annual Parade of Homes is the perfect event to see the latest in building techniques, industry trends, starter homes and elegant mansions. This is the place to get inspiring ideas for renovations on your existing home or even purchase a new house. The free event takes place at newly built homes in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes. Don’t forget to enter in for the St. Jude Dream Homes Giveaway, where one lucky winner will receive a beautiful new home. — bm

open house

Mid Mod NOLA Enjoy an evening at the former home of renowned midcentury modern architect, Nathaniel “Buster” Curtis, Jr., with guests David Curtis and Nell Tilton. Curtis and Tilton will share stories of their experiences growing up in the home. Enjoy catering by Laura Arrowood and mingle with the current homeowners Lee Ledbetter and Doug Meffert. Tickets ($125 for nonmembers and $75 for members ) are limited and pre-registration is required. — bm




hot takes Produced by Margaret Zainey Roux

2 1

4 3



1. This hand-painted tin pagoda epitomizes chinoiserie chic. Insert a candle and use it as a lantern or fill it with succulents for a terrific terrarium. Sotre, 3933 Magazine St., 504-3049475,


summer 2018

2. Amanda Talley is taking her art off the walls and putting it on the patio furniture. The local artist now offers 56 of her digitally reproduced designs on weatherresistant pillows. Studio Amanda Talley, 1382 Magazine St., 504-5953136,

3. Lightweight and loosely woven, this versatile rattan table moves like a breeze between the parlor and the porch. Sunday Shop, 2025 Magazine St., 504-342-2087,

4. Summer’s essential accessory is the umbrella. Made from recycled metal with a sleek lacquered finish, this pelican umbrella stand keeps your stash flocked together. Hazelnut New Orleans, 5525 Magazine St, 504-891-2424,

5. Expanding on her eponymous jewelry and home collections, Kendra Scott’s new candle collection builds on her passion for natural gemstones and the emotions they evoke. Kendra Scott, 5757 Magazine St., 504-6134227,

6. Alexis Walter thinks outside of the box. Nationally known for her luxe, layered mixed media paintings, the local artist’s newest works feature handmade circular canvases. Alexis Walter Art, 5702 Magazine St., 504-5680316,

eugenia uhl PHOTO

get organized

good read

teachable moments “Where’s My Stuff?” by Samantha Moss and Lesley Schwartz with illustrations by Michael Wertz offers tips for helping pre-teens become organized at school and at home. This guide shares step-bystep recommendations for decluttering, managing a schedule and creating organized habits. The book shows your child how to spend less time looking for things and leaving them more time for fun.

A Chic Twist A swivel storage cabinet has it all: plenty of shelf space, hooks for bags, a corkboard for works of art and a full-length mirror. The swivel base makes the piece full of options. They can be found in two-sided or four-sided styles. These sturdy and elegant storage towers put the fun in functional storage.



Child’s Play Corralling the kid’s stuff with creative solutions, style and whimsy Are your child’s stuffed animals in the midst of a population explosion? Are there always hundreds of Legos painfully underfoot? Are their rooms full of dirty clothes, broken crayons and forsaken toys? Experts agree if you take the time to make a place for everything, it will be easier to keep everything in its place. – By Pamela Marquis

+ To create storage and seating in your child’s room try turning two bookcases (Ikea) on their sides. Then add a foam cushion covered in a fanciful fabric for seating. Place baskets inside each shelf to help sort and hold toys, or use clear plastic shoebox storage containers to hold little plastic figures, My Little Ponies or much-loved trucks and cars.

smart solutions

shooing away the clutter If you are lucky enough to have a closet use it to its fullest. Fill it with shelving units, bins, and plenty of child-level hooks. Also use the back of a door for added storage with an over-the-door shoe organizer — perfect for Barbies, action figures or trading cards. Also, as all teachers know, cubbies are one of the best organizing tools for their classrooms. Try using them in your child’s bedroom, too. They will recreate and reinforce what your child is doing at school. Place them in the entryway to their rooms, creating a “drop zone.”

artist profile

Sean Friloux The Mighty Mississippi has been a powerful presence in artist Sean Friloux’s life. Growing up in Destrehan, he was introduced to its strength, beauty and industry by his grandfather. Today, the river is also a powerful presence in Friloux’s art, which depicts a variety of local subjects, including French Quarter scenes, industrial sites along the river and portraits. At 14, Friloux and his family moved to Pittsburgh, home to three different rivers and to both the Art Institute of Pittsburg and Community College of Allegheny County, where he studied graphic arts. After more than a decade as a graphic artist, he tired of the profession’s reliance on digital media and turned to painting. In 2005, he headed back South, first to Baton Rouge, then New Orleans, and in the last six years, has garnered an enthusiastic following. “There is a movement happening especially in places like San Francisco and New York of traditional painting and I wanted to be a part of that,” says Friloux. “It’s coming out of the underground, but it’s becoming more mainstream.” Friloux, who says he is mostly self-taught, began working in watercolor, but moved to photorealist work in oil. Inspired by favorite painters John Singer Sargent, J. M. W. Turner and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, he is adept at capturing nocturnal light. A student of cinematography in films by directors such as David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick, he also is skilled at creating movement in his work, especially his paintings of the flowing river. Like Rembrandt, he uses a limited palette of four to six colors that he blends into other hues. He finds beauty in things that are overlooked or considered ugly.



“I grew up near oil refineries, that whole industry thing, ships, lights,” he says. “People think it’s ugly, but I think it’s like a little city.” Common threads through his work are his distinctive use of light and shadow (“there’s always a light focal point and then it blurs out”) and his emphasis on showing something other than the cliché. “I think New Orleans can be portrayed in a different way,” he says. “The beauty is in the fog and in the night.” Friloux also does watercolors and charcoal portraits and has painted rivers and skylines in cities such as Chicago and New York by commission. When asked what he prefers to paint, his reply is “river scenes” and he says there are many more to come. “As far as my career goes, I think I’m just starting,” he says. Sean Friloux’s work can be seen at — by lee Cutrone

thom bennett PHOTO



bon vivant

Good Gifting Hostess gifts to get you invited back again and again

When it comes to hostess gifts, our own guests always knock it out of the park. We try to do the same in return, and as a Southerner, I was taught to never show up empty handed, which has prompted an ongoing mental list of go-to items to gift when we are invited to cocktail parties, dinners, barbecues, weekends at our friend’s homes or any other reason it is warranted to offer up a token of appreciation. Caldrea products for the home and body are a frequent indulgence. (So is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, which you can read about in “Last Indulgence” on page 104.) The line includes aromatherapeutic household cleansers, hand lotions, candles, laundry products and housekeeping tools in a variety of gorgeous fragrances. The Basil Blue Sage Linen and Room Spray is infused with essential oils and freshens up the ironing, bed linens and every room in the house. I love to spritz it in all of the rooms after cleaning or right before guests arrive for a visit. As a gift, I’ll wrap up a bottle in a pretty fabric ribbon or fancy up a gift bag with tissue paper, twine or curling ribbon. The gift sets, such as simple hand soap and lotion in a ceramic or stainless steel holder, are beautifully packaged and the perfect marriage of form and function. Scented candles are a classic hostess gift. After living for many years in Texas, I’ve become partial to Tyler Candles (a Tyler, Texas-based company), which are highly fragrant and easy to spot by the sassy leopard patterned lids. Gordon’s in Metairie has a large selection. Place a few votives and holders in a fun bag or box and gift away.




Stationery is the perfect hostess gift for your friends who enjoy writing letters and notes. Scriptura has several charming New Orleans postcards. My favorite is the letterpress featuring a French Quarter streetscape. With grosgrain ribbon tied in a bow and perhaps a little sprig of rosemary or lavender, you’ll make a big impression. Coffee is a no-brainer for friends who are lovers of the bean. Community Coffee, French Truck and Orleans Coffee are my go-to Louisiana brands. A cute little scoop sweetens the gesture. Roux Royale in the French Quarter carries a fleur de lis scoop I own and gift. Fine tea is also lovely for those who prefer the leaf. Once after spending a few days in Mobile, Alabama with friends, I ordered custom monogrammed soaps from Mark and Graham (markandgraham. com). This is a couple we stay with often, so I wanted to do something a little special and with a personal touch. Art books, the aforementioned foods and beverages from home, chocolates and gourmet food items (olive oils, marinades, barbecue sauces and so forth) are also often in the repertoire. It’s best however to avoid fresh flowers, because your host or hostess will then have to take time away from their duties to place them in fresh water. Whatever you decide to give — large or small, beautifully packaged or in the brown paper bag from the store in which you acquired it — your host or hostess is sure to be touched by your thoughtfulness and invite you back again and again. – By Melanie Warner Spencer

melanie warner spencer PHOTO




eugenia uhl PHOTO

Caribbean Connection Chef Nina Compton channels memories of her charmed island childhood with this fresh and fruity summer recipe Produced By Margaret Zainey Roux

Tuna Crudo with Mango and Pine Nut Gremolata Ingredients 1/8 teaspoon pickled red onion* chili oil ** 2 ripe mangoes, large diced 1 cup olive oil ¼ cup lemon juice ½ clove garlic, grated ¼ bunch parsley, chopped ½ bunch chives, minced 1¼ tablespoons pine nuts 1 lemon, zested ¾ cup olive oil 1 pound sushi-grade tuna, diced sea salt 24 pieces lime supreme (4 limes, each carefully cut and segmented)

Directions Pickled red onion: Take 1 cup red wine vinegar and bring to a boil with 1 cup sugar so it dissolves. Pour liquid over 1 medium onion, small diced, and let cool. Chili oil: Heat 1 cup olive oil and pour over ¼ cup red chili flakes; then strain. Mango emulsion: In a blender, puree the mango with lemon juice, and add slowly add olive oil; strain and reserve. Marinade: In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the garlic. Cook until aromatic, though not yet browned, and remove from heat. Once garlic is cooled, add the herbs, nuts, pickled onions, lemon zest and ¾ cup olive oil.

Serving Directions In a chilled bowl, toss the tuna with just enough marinade to coat, then season with salt and chili oil to taste. Add the mango emulsion, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until creamy. Add lime segments and serve. Serves 4

About the Chef Chef Nina Compton was born and raised in St. Lucia and currently resides in the Bywater with her husband Larry Miller. She recently won the “Best Chef South” award by the James Beard Foundation and was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” for 2017. Her first restaurant, Compère Lapin, was listed among Eater National’s “Best Restaurants in American 2017” and Bywater American Bistro, her newest concept that opened in March, is already gaining acclaim.



for the garden

Firmly planted Horticulturist Margie Yates Jenkins named to Louisiana Department of Agricluture’s 2018 Hall of Distinction

“Living so close to

nature we learn about life and its meaning,” says 96-year-old, horticulturist Margie Yates Jenkins. She is a wellknown plant breeder and nursery owner from Amite. Because Jenkins has a successful agriculture career spanning more than eight decades, the Louisiana Radio Network and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture recently named her to the 2018 Hall of Distinction. She is the only woman to receive this honor. At the ceremony she had this to say: “It has been a blessing that I was born with a love of nature and land. I am happy I was able to follow my passion to grow plants. Tonight has been truly a soul’s feast for me.” Her career started with a



small watermelon patch. She and her husband sold their melons and with the money earned they steadily built a thriving dairy farm and eventually a highly successful nursery. “Aunt Margie always loved exploring the woods for special plants and gradually she and Uncle Bryant developed their wholesale nursery,” say her niece Sue Madison. “One of her special loves is our native azaleas. They are deciduous and smell wonderful unlike the Asian azaleas widely planted in the South.” However, these azaleas are very difficult to propagate, the cuttings are hard to root and the seeds are tiny. But Jenkins was determined to find a way to root the cuttings and she succeeded. She was honored several years ago with the Propagator of the Year Award from the Plant Prop-

agators’ Society and her nursery was honored to be on the tour of the International Propagators’ Society. Her innovative technique was detailed in an issue of the American Nurseryman and she happily shares it, and other tidbits of horticulture wisdom, with anyone who asks. “Aunt Margie’s big house sits on a hill on the property where they had the dairy,” says Madison. “There’s a magnificent old live oak adjacent to the house that is very special to her.” She hosts an annual family reunion every year under the live oak. She also celebrated her own 95th birthday party there with family and friends. “When I first talked to her last week she made a point to tell me she was 96 and a half,” says Donald Molino, senior farm broadcaster with Voice of

Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network. “She’s a strong lady and apparently never meets a stranger. She deserves all the accolades she’s received and probably a lot more. I’m proud to know her.” Jenkins stays busy. Recently, she went to Little Rock for an azalea convention and visited with old friends and colleagues. She says she never feels like her work is a job because she so thoroughly enjoys what she does. “We are born with the love of nature and there are so many attributes to gardening,” she says. “My advice to new gardeners is to plant the things that give you joy, like a flower your grandmother grew or one you carried in your wedding bouquet.” – By Pamela Marquis

theresa cassagne PHOTO



home grown

Fern-tastic Boston ferns are a New Orleans, Southern staple By Pamela Marquis


The Appeal Boston Ferns can improve the curb appeal of your home, as nothing evokes the feel of New Orleans’ beautiful wrought iron balconies and quintessentially Southern porches than these stately plants.

2 Care AND MAINTENANCE Fertilize your Boston fern with a houseplant fertilizer monthly from April to September and every other month from October to March.

3 LIKES AND DISLIKES Choose soil that drains well. Ferns don’t like wet or water logged roots at all.

4 KICK IT UP Every six months use two tablespoons of Epsom Salt to a gallon of water to energize your ferns.

During the summer your fern will need water every day. On hot days, the fern may require a second watering, especially if it is in a container.





living with antiques

cover up Give antiques new life with bold, modern fabrics So… there it sat. A beautiful antique French chair that once graced my mother-in-law’s living room. Its graceful lines and elegant workmanship always charmed me. But the dull mauve silk with the Napoleonic bee motif was stuffy, boring, and lifeless. How could I perk up this tired looking piece? I called my wonderful artistic friend Diane Killeen who painted the frame several coats of a creamy white, allowing much of the old wood to peek through. The chair was beginning to regain some of its youth. Now I needed fabric. A yummy fabric in soft neutrals or a muddy green might work, but formal? No. My living room was French enough. If I added one more dressy piece, the room would go all Marie Antoinette-y. I needed to go fun and young. The room needed a punch. After months of searching and more months living with a large swath of fabric draped over the chair, I chose a bold coral piece. The once tired, mauve chair now makes the room.



“Choosing a modern, young looking fabric for an antique adds excitement to a room. It’s unexpected,” says Patricia Cordaro Daigle, owner of Fairfax Fabric Company, a small, European-style textile boutique on Magazine Street. “It adds the ‘wow factor’ to a room.” Patricia once covered her grandmother’s sofa with a bold purple linen blend, but left her grandmother’s worn floral print on the base for sentimental reasons. For one client, she upholstered two French chairs in a large geometric print in a creamy white and coffee color, making the duo a hip addition to a living room. Two antique English chairs that reside in the entrance of her shop are now upholstered in a flame stitch in watermelon pink, yellow and white. “The key to working with modern fabrics in a formal, antique-filled setting is balance,” she says . “Mixing the old and the new gives freshness to a room.” Don’t limit your modern fabrics to chairs and sofas. Think about upholstering an ottoman in a striking print. Or you might want to use a luscious solid as the backing of a china cabinet or buffet du corps. And don’t forget the power of throw pillows, covered in an exciting print. Patricia often has clients come into her shop and complain that they’ve just inherited a piece that doesn’t work. “I tell them: don’t leave that the way Granny had it! Make it your own. Paint it. Add a cool fabric. It becomes a piece of art.” My friend Jenny inherited a Duncan Phyfe sofa from her grandmother many years ago, when we were all penniless graduate students at Tulane. She needed the sofa but wasn’t sure how to liven it up. While on a search for the perfect fabric, she found a Chinese print in cobalt blue on a white background. The large dragons and lanterns were dazzling and the sofa made a sophisticated addition to her small apartment. Advice If you don’t have the courage to cover an 1. In mixing entire chair or sofa with a dramatic fabric, patterns on a think about covering it with a solid and use piece or in an entire room, think a contrasting fabric for the piping. The subtle about scale. One trim can take that piece from drab to fab. print shouldn’t “Most people who want to perk up an anoverpower antique have no idea where to begin,” says Paother. The size of tricia. “I like to show them a range of options the prints should blend seamlessly. to see where their comfort level is. I tell them to look at everything…prints, solids, florals, 2. Think about color. Do the bright colors and soft ones. Take a sample of colors work well the fabric home and live with it a few days.” together, or do Once you have decided on a fabric you they fight each love, do as my mother advised me years ago: other? Buy several extra yards and keep it on hand 3. Ask for samples for that inevitable moment when a guest acof various fabrics and take them cidentally spills a glass of red wine on your home with sofa or your child has a diaper accident on you. Colors can that beautiful chair. change in differYes, sometimes Granny knows best. ent settings and lights.

– By Laura Claverie

eugenia uhl PHOTO




Life Goes On Woodworker Paul Troyano gives felled and old trees and wood a second act Paul Troyano is a bit of a latter-day Johnny Appleseed. Instead of planting seeds that give life to trees, he gives life to reclaimed wood creating lamps, chairs and tables from a choice of 42 varieties of wood. Pecan, magnolia, cherry, pear, sweet olive, camphor, mulberry, cypress and cedar are some of his favorites. Troyano gets little of his wood from a lumberyard. He primarily uses wood from trees felled by storms or old age, preferring local woods, saying they contain a wide range of beauty and workability. “I try to build tables that imitate nature’s designs, asymmetrical and unique as tree branches,” he says. “I need to make what I see in nature. So I try to build furniture that imitates nature’s designs and gives recovered wood new life and beauty.” Tryoano favors handmade over digitally-aided design. Dozens of



brown banana leaves are drying on a clothesline in his backyard. He’s hoping to create a new type of paper with them. His wife, Sue, who is a papermaker, currently makes shades for her husband’s creations out of rice paper. “You know they have computer programs that will make it look as though furniture was handcrafted,” he says. “They even put in stress marks to make it look handmade. We need to keep using our hands.” Troyano is a member of the Furniture Society and Louisiana Crafts Guild. He’s also on the Green Pro Directory, which lists the best craftsman using environmentally friendly materials. His works has been honored by organizations such as the Green Project, in its annual furniture design competition, Salvation. Troyano sells his work on his website (, as well as on, and shows selected pieces at Ariodante Gallery and Dutch Alley Artist’s Co-op. Throughout the years he’s also sold his work at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. His collection also includes bowls, cutting boards and utensils, all of which are hand-rubbed with Danish oil, making them non-toxic and food safe. “He made me a table and bowls out of a cherished Magnolia tree we had to take down in my front yard, says Laurie Reed, owner and director at Ariodante Gallery. “The whole neighborhood was mourning the loss of this tree, so I called Paul and he turned it into ‘living furniture.’” Troyano also makes wooden bowties. A fellow artisan, who was making leather ties, suggested Troyano try making wooden ones. “So I experimented and came up with the right way to do them and found the sizes that worked,” he says. “They sell very well. I can’t keep up with them.” Repair work is also in Troyano’s repertoire, because he never wants to see a once functional chair or table thrown into the trash. He, of course, wants to bring it back to life. – By Pamela Marquis

eugenia uhl PHOTOs




Patio Posh Add luxurious global-market karma to outdoor lounging in your own backyard By LISA TUDOR photographed by eugenia uhl

The Collection Bistro 24-inch round folding table and chair patented in 1889 is a classic among the terrace furniture styles by Fermob, available in the showroom and to order at Perino’s Home & Garden; Plush Chik-Chek tassled Turkish towel available in all sizes at Sunday Shop by Logan Killen Interiors; Wine and water bottle holder with attached cap and beaded heads in several shapes and sizes are imported from Morocco at Katie Koch Home.

Graphic wide-stripe “Colombian� bed blanket at Katie Koch Home; Plush organic cotton hand-woven Turkish bath towel at Sunday Shop by Logan Killen Interiors; Ombre Pop indoor and outdoor rug made in India available at West Elm; Maritime life buoys, patented in 1918 and available on eBay, are both useful and decorative poolside.

The ample jute tote at Katie Koch Home is sturdy enough to store half a dozen rolled beach towels; Precious Threads Pompom throw at Perch.



Hand-braided macramĂŠ cotton rope hanging chair, lantern and pillow crafted in India available at Peony NOLA; The Philomela Studio hand-drawn and printed fabric is compatible for patio upholstery or to curtain an outdoor cabana or shower and is available exclusively at Spruce; Whitewashed midcentury lantern available in four sizes at West Elm.



The glass tumbler from Sotre rests on a set of Moroccan cocktail napkins available at Katie Koch Home; Xenia Taler bamboo fiber plates at West Elm; The “Green Leaf� peel and stick wall covering by Chasing Paper is sold by the 2-foot-by-4-foot panel at Spruce.



Woven Cape Cod basket and vintage South American blanket at Perch; Banded stripe “Orange Eclipse� 24-inch square outdoor pillow at West Elm.







a good fit When George Varino found a New Orleans home and an interior designer that met his qualifications, he knew he had a winning combination. By L ee C u t rone

P hotogra phe d by Sa ra Essex Brad l ey

hen George Varino, who grew up in Baton Rouge and now lives in Rye, New York, decided to buy a New Orleans home for himself and his two teenage kids, he had a clear idea of the type of house he wanted: a classic old New Orleans house with good bones and proximity to St. Charles Avenue Mardi Gras festivities. He found it a block off St. Charles Avenue in a 6,000 square-foot house with a notable pedigree and beautiful architectural details such as leaded glass windows. “I’ve done some gut renovations and at this stage, I have a pretty good eye about how to improve a house,” says Varino, an alumnus of LSU and Tulane Business School and a busy financier. “I realized it didn’t need that much. It just wasn’t put together right.” He also knew what he wanted in a designer – and found it in Bethany McCulla of Bmac Interiors in Covington. A New Orleans native, McCulla spent years living and working in Houston and New York before opening a retail business and design studio on the North Shore in 2010. “[Working with a designer] is a very personal relationship,” says Varino. “You want to connect and have a similar aesthetic. Living in New York, I knew it had to be someone who really ran a professional business. Bethany was clearly that. She is highly organized and attentive to detail. I knew that would make it instantly easier for me.” Built in 1901 by brothers Jacob and Hartwig Newman, sons of wellknown businessman and philanthropist Isidore Newman, as a residence


Facing page: The original tiles of the living and dining rooms’ fireplaces (which face one another) could not be saved, so textural Walker Zanger tiles (from Stafford Tile) and marble slabs were chosen for both. The antique Oushak rug and antique mirror were purchased locally. Custom chandeliers with quartz crystal and oyster shells occupy both living and dining rooms. The walls, ceiling and trim in the living, dining and parlor are painted with Benjamin Moore’s Ballet White. The linen curtains (all drapery through BMac Interiors workrooms) were matched to the paint color.



The main part of the kitchen, renovated by a previous owner, remained the same. A custom farm table and bench that were locally made are paired with retro wishbone chairs.



Right: The dining table by Century was purchased in New York and the antique Oushak was purchased locally. The curved painted cabinet, found at the Holly Hunt showroom, was selected to compliment the bow windows. Clean-lined half shutters afford privacy while allowing the room to be washed with light. The dining chairs and bench beneath the window are custom. The mantel is original. Bottom: Built in 1901 by brothers Jacob and Hartwig Newman (sons of Isidore Newman), the house sits on a large piece of property a block off St. Charles Ave.

for themselves and their respective families (and as part of a larger Newman family enclave on that block), the three-story house appealed to Varino even before he had seen the inside. He liked the architecture and large footprint of the property and from the front of the house could see the pool out back, a definite plus on his list of musts. “I wanted the house to have an open flow from front to back,” says Varino, who later viewed the house via FaceTime and immediately put in a bid. “I liked the layout and functionality.” It had space for formal, casual, public and private areas, a generous yard, as well as a kitchen and several baths that could remain relatively the same from a previous owner’s renovation. Nevertheless, the 18-month project involved replacing a rear portion of the kitchen with a bar and powder room, painting, refurbishing fireplaces, refinishing and patching floors, adding a screened porch overlooking the yard, redoing several baths, adding a bunk room to the third floor, landscaping and custom furnishings and finishes. Today, there are four bedrooms,

a bunk room and seven baths. To allow the Victorian architecture to speak for itself and make the most of the home’s natural light, McCulla painted the interior white and brought in color with fabrics and art. “She pushed me on the use of color and she was totally right,” says Varino. She also opted largely for transitional furnishings that worked with both the age of the house and satisfied the client’s taste for modern design. “The design goal was to lighten the home by streamlining the decor with simplicity and contemporary lines, while keeping the antiquity of the beautiful architecture,” says McCulla.

Top, left: A dark third floor space was transformed into a bright bunk room with four built-in bunks and a lounging area for the kids. Bottom, left: Varino’s daughter’s room includes custom bedding through BMac Interiors and accessories from Restoration Hardware. Right: A tiny powder room under the stairs combines a Tara Shaw starburst mirror, an amethyst colored sink and Visual Comfort lighting. Facing page: The parlor’s baby grand was specifically chosen for the space. Chandelier by Niermann Weeks.





Left: A guest room’s custom bedding is made with fabric by Kravet Couture’s. Painting by Michele Y. Williams. Top, right: The master bath juxtaposes a contemporary soaking tub with the original mantel. Bottom, right: Paintings by local artist Logan Ledford hang above a window seat with an embroidered cushion on the stair landing. The leaded glass window is original to the house. Facing page: Top: Varino’s son’s bedroom features a custom headboard and bedding and Roman shades through BMac Interiors. Bottom: A back kitchen was replaced with a bar and a powder room. In the powder room, McCulla paired a marble top vanity with a glass shelf, a silver-leafed ceiling, antique glass wall tiles and a marble mosaic floor. The pendant light fixture is by Visual Comfort.



Select pieces with an antique feel, including a stunning, painted corner cabinet found at the Holly Hunt showroom in New York, bridge the new with the old. “Basically, I’m transitional,” says Varino. “If I had a blank canvas, I’d be modern. But I felt I had to respect the history of the house.” With a strong appreciation for New Orleans culture, particularly its music, Varino wanted the art in the home to reflect his love of the city. McCulla had pieces from his collection of local, music-related photographs matted and framed for the interior. Abstract works by Houston artist Michelle Y. Williams, purchased through local art dealer Susan Illing, feature prominently in the design as well. With a slightly more formal feel in the front of the house and a casual atmosphere in the back of the house, where the kitchen, keeping room and screened porch are located, the house is designed to work for both formal and informal gatherings. “You can dress it up and have parties and dress it down and hang out,” says Varino. When Varino is not entertaining guests, he says his New Orleans home is the perfect place for he and his family to unwind. “The New Orleans house is my home,” he says. “I feel at ease here. New Orleans has spoken to me since I was a child. It’s in my blood.”




Designer Chad Graci updates a penthouse at One River Place


By Lee Cutrone Photographed by Sara Essex Bradley

hen a local couple traded in their Warehouse District condo (NOHL, Autumn 2014) for a penthouse in New Orleans’ premier condo building, One River Place, they wasted no time calling Chad Graci of Graci Interiors, the friend and designer who had transformed their former address. Like the previous project, this one called for renewing the space with a fresh, calming, classic aesthetic, which is Graci’s specialty. But this time, the clients wanted Graci to create the high-end feel of a luxury hotel in the heart of the city. “We told him we wanted to feel like we were checking into a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton,” says one of the owners, a local real estate investor, who like his partner commutes out of town daily, but loves coming home to views of both the cityscape and the river. “We’re in a five-star building, so we really focused on the finishes and didn’t scrimp. We thought the penthouse demanded high-end.” The first order of business was to renovate the bones of the condo, which was already spacious and well proportioned. The floorplan remained largely the same, but some rooms, such as the kitchen, were opened for better flow and/or reconfigured. New flooring was added, the kitchen and master bath were completely gutted and

Left: The library, colored with shades of gray and beige, has views of sky and river. Painting by Kevin Gillentine, Christopher Spitzmiller lamps, Empire console from Uptowner Antiques, pair of tabourets with Mongolian sheepskin, from CB2.

redesigned, and architectural details, such as arched pediments, were added to give the space the kind of timeless quality associated with a pre-war building in Manhattan. “There is a level of formality that the other apartment didn’t have,” says Graci. Other spaces, the guest bath for example, were freshened with cosmetic refurbishments such as new counters and lighting. The sweeping panorama of the city in the front of the condo and a spectacular exposure of the river’s changing scenes at the rear of the condo guided Graci’s hand. “We wanted to take our cues from the views,” says Graci, who used various cloudlike shades of white, pale neutrals, sky-inspired blues, and skyscraper-inspired grays for the aerial perch. “We kept it light like it’s floating above the city. A lot of the colors really do come from the skyline in both vistas.” The fact that the clients wanted to use furnishings from their last condo also factored into the serene interior. “They wanted to use some of the same key upholstered pieces that were still in excellent shape,” says Graci. “Of course, we had to expand on that.” The condo, which is three times larger than the last residence, is in no way a repeat, however. “Chad was able to bring all the pieces but he placed them differently and incorporated them with different art,” says the owner. “It looks totally different.” Graci also added new pieces. Among the most unique and treasured are a custom cabinet at the foot of the bed in the master bed-

Top: Graci added antiqued pediments to the library for architectural interest. The lacquered Asian-style cocktail table was customized with a deep plum color. The painting is by Kevin Gillentine. Bottom: The dining room is painted Benjamin Moore Wildwood Crest. A reproduction dining table is paired with 1970s chrome and brass dining chairs, a Julie Neill gilt plaster chandelier, and a French 1970s brushed stainless steel and brass console from Uptowner Antiques. Candlesticks with marble bases and rams head detail are from mac Maison, eagle sconces were found at auction. Facing page: The kitchen mixes glossy and matte surfaces and shades of gray and white: the perimeter is painted with Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray, the counters are Graphite, the backsplash is glazed Moroccan terra cotta, the island is walnut. Milk glass globe pendant fixtures with polished nickel mountings from Rejuvenation.

Top, left: The owners’ private sitting room includes am inherited mid-century modern sofa reupholstered with a pale green velvet, a West Elm cocktail table, a Moroccan CB2 rug, vintage ‘70s club chairs covered with ivory chenille and bookshelves backed with grass cloth. Bottom, left: Graci designed a tufted sofa for a corner of the living room. Silk velvet pillows have vintage art deco tape trim from Promenade, Ming-style stools from Silk Road Collection used as tables, the sconces were found in Dallas and have shades of hand-painted paper with an Empire motif along bottom. The painting is by Alvin D. Loving, Jr. Top, right: The focal point of the entry hall is a Biedermeier console in front of an antique mercury mirrored wall. Glazed earthenware lamps mounted on Lucite bases are Chinese. Facing page: Top: In the master bedroom, Farrow & Ball’s Blue Gray takes on the tint of the sky and buildings outside. The 1940s chandelier is made of pewter and alabaster, Khotan rug, English Regency tilt top table used as a night table is from New Orleans auction, vintage Eames brown leather chair, oval convex mirror is from Ann Koerner Antiques, lamps from Malachite, bedding Leontine Linens, Kevin Gillentine painting at right. The painted piece at the foot of the bed, modeled after a French Moderne parchment and walnut piece by Jean Michel Frank, was designed by Graci as a pop-up cabinet to house the television. Bottom, left: The bathroom vanity combines Calacatta gold-honed marble, cabinetry with a custom-glazed finish and a mirror with a deco-style frame that was silver-leafed by hand. Bottom, right: On the balcony, a custom dining table with an iron and brass base and limestone top is paired with weathered gray wicker chairs.

room and a sofa that belonged to one owner’s grandmother. The former, a painted piece modeled after a French moderne parchment and walnut piece by Jean Michel Frank, was designed by Graci as a pop-up cabinet to house the television. The latter, a mid-century piece, was donated to the Salvation Army by the owner’s grandmother when none of her family expressed interest in it. The owner soon regretted the mistake and contacted the Salvation Army to reclaim it. When he was told that the thrift store could make cash-only sales, he boarded a same-day plane to his native Kentucky and bought it back for $100. Graci had the vintage keepsake recovered in a smart green velvet and today, the owners say it garners more compliments from guests than any other single piece in their home. Graci’s interpretation of the hotel-inspired condo that the homeowners envisioned manages to be light and ethereal while also being tailored and sophisticated. White upholstery and light-reflecting mirrored surfaces are completely at home with the surrounding sky, while the mix of vintage, antique and new pieces grounds the space with an urbane edge. Jolts of color (moss green lamps in the library, glazed celadon-hued shelving in the living room, peacock blue snakeskin dining chairs and vibrant abstract canvases), intimate seating areas, custom closets, and personal touches add the kind of bespoke livability and comfort not typically found in even the finest hotel. “Chad did a great job,” says one homeowner, who loves his home in the sky. “We look forward to coming home at the end of the day. It’s a great place to relax and recharge.”

Top: The owners found the French desk at Uptowner Antiques and asked Graci to incorporate it into the décor. Graci combined it with a mid-century leather and metal Mies van der Rohe chair with a gilt bronze finish. A seascape and a still life of fowl hang above the desk. Bottom: To one side of the living room, a George Rodrigue blue dog hangs above an 18thcentury Italian settee. Facing page: The owners wanted the living room to be similar to the living room of their previous condo, so Graci used the same palette of celadons, beiges and browns. The ceiling is a lacquered celadon, the zebra chair is from the owners’ last home, the Billy Baldwin slipper chairs were made for the space, the mirror is 1930s French Art Moderne.



Up Roof on the

A casual party overlooking the city will wow your guests


ummer is the perfect time to host a rooftop party. If you don't have a rooftop space of your own, don't fret, as New Orleans is home to several hotels and event spaces with elevated decks and patios to reserve or rent, making entertianing atop the city a cinch. The Catahoula Hotel is one such gem tucked away on Union Street in the Central Business District. Its laidback rooftop bar is an oasis with ample, lounge-style seating and the bar’s focus is on agave and rum, with cocktails featuring spirits from both categories. When Chef Melvin Stovall of the popular Midnight Noodle popup restaurant has a day off, he likes to gather a few friends together at the Catahoula Rooftop Bar. Midnight Noodle ( midnightnoodlenola), with its ever rotating menu, is a fixture at both the Catahoula on Friday nights and Barrel Proof bar on Sunday nights. Stovall specializes in plant-based Asian dishes that are served family style. The menu for his friends, specially prepared for this feature, includes Extra Crispy Scallion Pancakes, Garlicky Smashed Cucumbers, Drunken Noodles and Smokey Bao. The mixologists at The Rooftop Bar prepared two summer cocktails to complement the dishes. A New Orleanian, Stovall was born and raised in a Creole family. “I probably learned to cook and walk at the same time,” says Stovall. He is well versed in all the New Orleans basics, jambalaya, gumbo and any dish one brings to a family gathering. The chef first got excited about cooking during a two-year stint in Los Angeles, where he first tasted Thai food and acquired a fond-

ness for Sichuan peppercorns. “When I moved back home, I started my pop-up food kitchen Midnight Noodle around the same time I decided to go animal free,” he says. “I popped up with just a small table, gas burner and my trusty wok usually late night, at bars, breweries and small events cooking stir-fried noodles. Rather than focusing on how I could replicate animal foods, the focus was on fresh produce, flavor and what smells I could evoke, using various spices and sauces from Thai cuisine. My palette has expanded to Taiwanese dim sum and to Indian curries and more since then.” “Eventually I’d love to open up my first restaurant concept in my hometown, but right now I plan on learning about the culinary world as much as possible through small Written and styled research trips to Shanghai and Southeast by Valorie Hart Asia, and food projects involving learning Photographed by how to use mushrooms as a more interesting Sara Essex Bradley plant food source." The Catahoula Rooftop Bar does not have a covered ceiling and is closed according to the whims of New Orleans weather. The hotel opens its kitchen doors to roaming concepts, Wednesday through Saturday evenings. The pop-up kitchen series features fresh takes on street food from Puerto Rico, Cajun Country, Korea and Taiwan, with a different corner of the globe represented each evening of service. (For private parties like the one in this feature, contact Chelsea O’Lansen at neworleanshomes&


Cool Hand Cuke Created by Chelsea S. O’Lansen 1 egg white .75 ounces fresh cucumber juice .75 ounces vanilla simple syrup* .75 ounces lemon juice 1.5 ounces BarSol Mosto Verde Pisco 4 dashes El Guapo Cucumber Lavender bitters 1. Combine in a shaker tin. 2. Shake once (hard) with ice, discard ice and shake again without, then double strain into a coupe or Nick and Nora and garnish with Angostura bitters and an edible flower. *To make vanilla simple syrup, simply add .25 ounces of vanilla extract (O’Lansen uses homemade) to 24 ounces of regular 2:1 simple syrup



Pepe le Moko Created by Geoffrey Ian Ward .5 ounces St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur 1 ounce Absolut Elyx Vodka 1. Combine in a rocks glass. 2. Top with about 2.5 oz of Fentimans Rose Lemonade and garnish with a few skewered, fresh raspberries. This drink can easily be built for a crowd. Just multiply the recipe by 4 and build it in a pitcher.

The Catahoula Rooftop Bar | 914 Union St., 504-603-2442 Wednesday: ​4 to 10 p.m., with a movie screened at 7:30 p.m. | Thursday: 4​to 10 p.m. | Friday and Saturday: 4 ​ to 11 p.m. Happy Hour is Wednesday thru Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Specials include wine, beer, a seasonal frozen cocktail, a Peruvian take on Sangria, and more. Pop-up kitchens start serving food at 6 p.m.



Smokey Bao 20 steamed Bao buns (can be found at Asian markets) 1 bunch of cilantro 3 Persian cucumbers, sliced thinly Vegetarian Hoisin sauce Toasted sesame seeds 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil Tofu 2 packages extra firm tofu, drained and pressed. 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon chili flakes 1 teaspoon salt Vegan Fish Caramel 1/2 cup of vegetarian fish sauce (can be found at most Asian markets) 1/4-cup sugar 4 garlic cloves 1 tsp kosher salt ¼ cup warm water Roasted Peanut Sugar ½ cup of roasted red peanuts 2 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Pulse peanuts and sugar together until finely ground like the sugar. Set aside in bowl. 2. Rub spices onto tofu and then place in oven on sheet pan for 30 minutes. Take out and slice each tofu blocks into 10 thick pieces. 3. Sprinkle kosher salt over garlic cloves and chop until minced. Let sit for a couple of seconds. Next place garlic in the warm water and mix. Strain garlic but leave behind garlic water. Mix sugar, garlic water and vegetarian fish sauce together to make caramel. 4. Heat grapeseed oil over medium high heat in wok. Add half of tofu and half of caramel. Turn until cooked golden brown on each side. Should be sticky. Repeat with remaining tofu and caramel, place on plate. 5. Steam Bao buns in a steamer basket until soft. Dress buns to impress in this order: Hoisin, cilantro, caramelized tofu, cucumbers, roasted peanut sugar and sesame seeds. Repeat with all buns and serve to your hungry guests. Note: Ingredients can be found at Hong Kong Market, where a huge selection of Asian groceries and fresh produce are offered. At 925 Behrman Hwy #3 in Gretna, 504-394-7075



Little ThaiTaiwanese “burgers� with that magic combo of smoky, sweet, salty,and a hint nutty.

Extra Crispy Scallion Pancakes 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting ¾ cup warm water 1 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 bunches of scallions, sliced very thin Sweet soy sauce (Healthy Boy brand preferably, can be found at Asian markets)

These pancakes are the perfect party pleaser. You can use it like a wrap and use various fillings or just do like we do and eat these by themselves, because they’re that perfect.



1. Put 2 cups of flour in a large bowl and add the warm water to it, slowly while mixing with chopsticks until the dough is a little sticky. You may add 1 tablespoon more water if the dough is a little dry. 2. Put dough onto lightly floured wooden cutting board and knead until smooth. Make sure to flour your hands since the dough will be a little sticky. Put dough in a clean bowl and cover with damp towel for 30 to 45 minutes. 3. After resting, put dough onto floured surface again and break into 4 dough balls. Place under damp towel. Gently roll each ball into a 9-inch round, brush with oil, and sprinkle a quarter of the scallions in the middle. Sprinkle with salt. 4. Next, roll the dough into a long spiraled rope and wind it around itself like a cinnamon roll. Use the palm of your hand to push down on dough to flatten. Roll out the dough again into an 8-inch round. Don’t roll too much or scallions will break out of the dough. Repeat with 3 last remaining dough. 5. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat (be careful not to burn). Pan-fry each pancake individually. Make sure to press down on each side for crispness. Cut into 4 wedges and drizzle with sweet soy sauce immediately.

Tips 1. Bring special flower arrangements. We used a fun gold ceramic pineapple vase to tie in with the summer theme, and added a potted plant for the pineapple “top.� Do these ahead of time at home and bring them to the venue. We also added potted succulents from the garden center. 2. Use wooden picnic style utensils and chopsticks with small bamboo plates. 3. Fun paper cocktail napkins for drinks, and cloth napkins for food service are an easy addition to bring to the party. 4. Use the bar as a serving station with dishes presented on platters family style. 5. Choose two special signature cocktails to be served. 6. Focus the number of dishes to be served to a special few. Chef Melvin Stovall chose four.



Drunken Noodles 8 ounces fresh wide rice noodles 2 yellow onions, sliced 6 bird’s eye chilies 8 leaves of Thai basil 2 orange bell peppers 1 handful of sugar snap peas 6 ounces of oyster mushrooms, drained and minced 8 cloves of garlic 1 pack of cherry tomatoes, halved 4 tablespoons vegetarian fish sauce (can be found at Asian markets) 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 2 tablespoons white pepper 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil 1. Mince garlic and bird’s eye chilies together. Put aside in small bowl. 2. Heat oil in wok on high heat and throw in onions, snap peas, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and oyster mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. 3. Next, throw in noodles and garlic-chili mix. Cook noodles until soft. Put in 6 of the basil leaves. 4. Add rice vinegar, white pepper, soy sauce, and vegetarian fish sauce. Sprinkle a little sugar in to help caramelize the noodles. Cook until noodles are dark brown. 5. Plate noodles and place the last Thai basil on top.

Garlicky Smashed Cucumbers Once you get on the smashed cucumbers train, you’ll never want to leave. Made for the summertime as a refreshing, cold break from those humid days. Only takes about 10 minutes to make.

1 pound of Persian cucumbers perfect for their extra crunchy texture) 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more for tasting 2 ½ teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons sesame oil 2 teaspoons Sichuan chili oil (optional but recommended) 3 teaspoons light soy sauce 2 teaspoons Chinese black



vinegar zest of 1 orange 4 cloves of garlic 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds small bunch of chopped cilantro 1. Wash cucumbers and dry with towel. 2. For the fun part: use a large Chinese knife or rolling pin to

smash all the cucumbers on a wooden cutting board. This will be messy but worth it. You can also put on gloves and rip the cucumbers with your fingers. 3. Mix cucumbers in a large bowl with all of the ingredients. Tossed well and add more salt or sugar to taste. Serve with sesame seeds and cilantro for presentation.





It’s time to make big pitchers of iced tea and lemonade, kick back and relax, or take a refreshing dip in the pool. Summer is sultry and languid in New Orleans, and many homeowners create paradisiacal oases in their backyards. Each one is distinct, as would be expected in the diversity that is New Orleans in all things, even pools, porches and patios. Whether it is traditional, modern or bohemian, the common thread is sybaritic.

lush life

Lounging poolside in New Orleans never looked so good Written and Styled By Valorie Hart Photographed by Sara Essex Bradley



Scott James and Greg Morey relocated from New York City loft living to a historic Garden District home that was built in 1857. They love to entertain and decorate (while in New York, James was the in-house architect for luxury retail designers, inluduing Dior, Ermenegildo Zegna, Michael Kors). Their annual Christmas party is legendary, and it spills out onto their luxurious courtyard. Since moving into the house, they have renovated the master bath and kitchen, and are in the process of updating the carriage house. Landscape architect RenĂŠ J.L. Fransen (renefransen. com) designed the garden, but the homeowners do their own gardening, and feel blessed to have two magnificent magnolia trees in the yard. The courtyard space at the back of the house has a beautiful pool surrounded by lush plantings. The stairs leading to the back entrance are used as an ever-changing staging area for pots of plants that are restyled as the seasons dictate.





Erica and Kevin Bart took a leap of faith when they purchased a home flooded during Hurricane Katrina, and totally renovated thereafter. The location is in Lakewood South, and their property abuts up to the 17th Street Canal. When they first purchased the home, the large backyard was not landscaped. Dreams of putting in a pool evolved. They wanted the space to resemble their favorite luxury hotels. The Barts finally made the dream come true this past year. They designed the pool, patios and garden areas themselves, and got professional help from Smoketree Landscaping (smoketreelandscape. com) with the plantings and landscaping. The expansive vista over the canal levee gives the pool an amazing open feel.





Greg App has a love of restoring old New Orleans homes. He’s not the usual renovator prone to knocking down walls and modernizing the original footprint of a space. The infrastructure is certainly updated and redone (plumbing, electrical and so forth), but his projects are a marvelous time machine of preserved textures evocative of the romance of old New Orleans. Seraphim Maspereau built what's now called the Seraphim House ( in the 1860s. It came as no surprise when App designed and added a pool ( in the back of his center hall home located in the Treme, that he would utilize reclaimed materials in a major and unique way. The patio was painstakingly laid by hand, using incredibly heavy old ballast stones whose weight was once used to stabilize ships, and then most likely used as street pavers across the old city. App collected and stockpiled them for years, looking ahead to using them as the paving stones on his patio. The charming pavilion he built at one end of the pool is constructed from architectural salvage pieced together like a three dimensional puzzle. The slate on the roof came from an old French Quarter stable. The rough ends of the exposed crossbeams are intentional. The timbers are old joists, sills, and girders. The original cuts where those joists would have joined, are now used as a decorative edge of the pergola. App calls it “The Casita,� and kept the furnishings minimal, using an antique bed with a vintage chandelier overhead. The landscaping is the vision of Marcela Singleton (, formerly the lead gardener at Longue Vue Gardens. App wanted to tap into her vast knowledge of native plants that would work within the color palette he chose for the project. The transformed courtyard and pool (and the elegantly decaying masterpiece of the ballroom inside the house) are now available for intimate weddings.






Aeratis Porch Products

Chase’s Landscaping, LLC

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Demoran Custom Homes

Leonel’s Fine Upholstery

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2843 Piedmont St., Kenner, 504/469-0889,

Tyson Construction

Shotgun Design Group, LLC

New Orleans, 504/905-1042,

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Cameron Kitchen and Bath Designs

Hoskin Homes, L.L.C.

8019 Palm St., New Orleans, 504/486-3759,

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Mullin Landscape Associates

Select Stone, LLC

10356 River Rd, St. Rose, 504/275-6617,

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Renaissance Doors

The Plant Gallery – TPG

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Adda Carpet & Flooring Huey Brown’s Kitchens and Appliances 5480 Mounes St., Harahan, 504/736-9001, 504/736-9001,

Maria Barcelona Interiors, LLC

Protocol Construction L.L.C.

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Eclectic Home 8211 Oak St., New Orleans, 504/866-6654


The Historic New Orleans Collection

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Louisiana Custom Closets

Entablature, LLC

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Haven Custom Furnishings 300 Jefferson Hwy #102, New Orleans, 504/304-2144,

M A S O N • R ĹŒ S architecture

Katie Koch Home

Stafford Tile & Stone

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Campbell Cabinet Co.

Sleep Number

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Vinyl Tech

Pokorn Construction

2849 Tifton St., Kenner, 504/220-ALEX, 504/469-7590


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Paradise Pools & Spas, Inc.

Tuscan Stone Imports

4221 Division St., Metairie, 504/888-0505

720 S. Galvez St., New Orleans, 504/837-1511; 7150 Pecue Lane, Baton Rouge, 225-753-5870,


home renewal

Planning for Your Pool If you are considering a pool, do your homework and plan for maintenance The heat and humidity of a long New Orleans summer can be oppressive. Taking a cool dip in a swimming pool is one of the best ways to temporarily escape the heat. While many people would love the convenience of a pool in their backyard, it can be harder to tell if the installation and maintenance costs are worth it. The answer can vary from person to person. When you are looking for a contractor to install your pool, do your homework. Robert Namer, manager of Blue Haven Swimming Pools, says everyone should check out their prospective pool installation company with the Better Business Bureau ( and the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website ( “A lot of people don’t do their due diligence,” Namer said, cautioning customers that someone does not have to have any real qualifications before installing pools. “All you need is a pickup truck and you’re in the pool business.” Namer said customers should find out the strength of the concrete that will be used. He said it needs a minimum of 4,000 PSI for compressive strength. If it’s lower than 4,000 PSI, the concrete will crack. One issue that may be unique to New Orleans residents is what you might find when you start digging for your pool. In 2011, The Times-Picayune published an article about 15 coffins that were found when a man started to dig for a pool on his French Quarter property. The story also noted that many New Orleans neighborhoods and properties, including the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, are on the sites of former cemeteries. If you have a chlorine pool, you need to be willing to perform the tedious tasks of pool maintenance. Make sure the water is balanced, meaning, it has the right pH, alkalinity and



calcium hardness levels. According to, this prevents eye and skin irritation as well as damage to pool equipment and surfaces. The pool needs to be chlorinated to prevent bacteria and algae. Shock the pool weekly to reduce contaminants and break down cosmetics, sunscreen and other wastes that can’t be filtered out of the water. Also, add algaecide and skim floating debris out of the pool. All of the above may sound like a bit of a headache to do on a regular basis. This is why many pool owners are switching from traditional chlorine pools to saltwater pools. Another reason is, chlorine irritates eyes and skin more, as well as having an off-putting chemical odor. New Orleans resident Mary Blue had a saltwater pool installed at her home and she’s happy with the results. “I was reluctant because I felt like I already knew how to manage a chlorine pool and I don’t like the salty taste of swimming in the ocean, but it’s nothing like that,” Blue said. “You hardly taste the salt at all. And it’s better for the skin and hair as well as for the environment.” “Saltwater is a little more expensive to install, but cheaper to operate over the long haul,” Namer said. The website estimates the yearly cost of maintaining saltwater pools as $70 to $100. For chlorine pools, it ranges from $300 to $800. The website studied costs of installing pools across the United States. The national average in 2018 for installing an in-ground pool was $48,871. The typical range was $35,674 to $63,567. But these are loose estimates. The prices can vary for many reasons, from the location of the house, to the shape of the backyard, to the type of plaster used and other equipment needs. Before moving forward on your pool installation project, Namer said it is also important to get a guaranteed completion date from the installer and to get detailed information about the installer’s warranty program. “Everything should be spelled out,” Namer said. – By Fritz Esker




Fun in the Sun Quick and easy pieces to create a stylish outdoor entertaining space By Mirella Cameron

Assorted Baroque style acrylic glassware from Hazelnut, Singapore green and Singapore lilac outdoor pillows from Eclectic Home,

Leaf design placemats from Judy at the Rink, facebook. com/judyattherink

Pineapple hurricane lantern from Judy at the Rink, facebook. com/judyattherink



Croquet Aluminum side chair in Oyster by Summer Classics, Perino’s Garden Center,



price mix

Sizzling Style Chef Kevin Belton’s advice for a grill to suit any occassion this summer Settling in to the warmer months means, for many, abandoning the heat of the indoor kitchen for outdoor cooking and summer soirees. Whether you’re cooking for a party of one or two, or for a crowd, having the right outdoor grill can make a big difference. We consulted with PBS/WYES Chef Kevin Belton, celebrity food educator and co-author of the new book “Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen,” about the best options for grilling and chilling this summer. Belton selected three options for cooking for a variety of gatherings, but stressed one important side note for all grill masters: “No matter what grill you cook on, it is important to understand the technique of cooking over an open flame,” he says. “The best investment to any grill is a cooking thermometer since most folks overcook their food. Prepared right, food is smoky, moist and delicious.” Happy grilling equals happy eating. Here are Chef Belton’s top grill picks for firing up the best summer eats, and beyond. - By Ashley McLellan

$30 to $50

Casual Cooking Portable charcoal grill for grilling up with friends: “For a simple but effective grill that is portable, I like the Weber Smokey Joe,” says Belton. “When I want to grill fast and simple like burgers, dogs or chicken, this is my go to. Plus, it’s portable.”

$150 to $250

Entertaining friends Crowd-pleasing threeburner propane gas grill: “The Char-Griller Grillin Pro is my go-to for a party and especially steaks,” Belton says. “One of my favorite things to do is turn on all the burners and close the lid and allow the temperature to get close to 600 degrees. This allows me to sear steaks for just about two minutes on each side. The side burner also allows you to work a sauce while food cooks on the grill.”

$2,000 to $3,000

Near restaurant quality

+ For the Cookbook collection “Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen,” Chef Belton’s second cookbook, offers a glimpse inside the popular PBS chef’s own family kitchen. From Vietnamese flavors, a celebration of Plaquemines Parish citrus and a chapter based on his love of the Louisiana pecan, Chef Belton offers home cooks a recipe tour of Louisiana’s culinary best.



Six-burner luxury gas grill with all the bells and whistles: “The Formula One of grills for me is the Weber Summit S-670,” Belton says. “Besides having a sear area, side burners and smoker box, it’s the rotisserie that’s really neat. There is a place that catches all the juices as the food cooks which creates smoke to flavor what’s on the rotisserie. There are also lights in the handle that shine down on the grill when it’s open for night cooking.”


ad ver tising direc tor y Abry Brothers, Inc 3319 Orleans Ave., New Orleans 504/488-2671

Exterior Designs, Inc 2903 Octavia St., New Orleans 504/866-0276

Adda Carpets and Flooring 5480 Mounes St., Harahan 504/736-9001

Floor & Décor Design Gallery 2801 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/891-3005 4 Westside Shopping Center, Gretna 504/361-0501

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Flynn Designs 8903 Jefferson Hwy, River Ridge 504/667-3837 Graci Interiors, LLC 902 Jefferson Ave., Suite 3, New Orleans 504/452-0051 Haven Custom Furnishings 300 Jefferson Hwy #102, New Orleans 504/304-2144 Home Bank 1600 Veterans Blvd., Metairie 504/834-1190 Hoskin Homes, L.L.C. 8498 Highway 23, Belle Chasse 504/400-7771 J&J Exterminating 416 Commerce Point, New Orleans 504/833-6305 520 N Causeway Blvd., Mandeville 985/674-9004 Katie Koch Home 3905 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/410-1450 Lambeth House 150 Broadway, New Orleans 504/865-1960

Landscape Images 655 Central Ave., New Orleans 504/734-8380 Leonel’s Fine Upholstery 2843 Piedmont St., Kenner 504/469-0889 Louisiana Custom Closets 13405 Seymour Meyer Blvd. #24, Covington 985/871-0810 Maria Barcelona Interiors, LLC 9501 Jefferson Hwy, River Ridge 504/975-5098 Mason Rōs Architecture 504/250-8407, Mid-South Coatings 4636 Sanford St., Metairie 504/662-1616 Mullin Landscape Associates LLC 10356 River Rd., St. Rose 504/275-6617 Poydras Home 5354 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/897-0535 Protocol Construction 4104 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans 504/218-5711, 885/218-5711 Renaissance Doors 1000 Edwards Ave., Harahan 504/344-6994 renaissancedoors Select Stone, LLC 733 Distributors Row., Elmwood 504/216-0110 7050 Exchequer Dr., Baton Rouge 225/756-2274 1024 Forum Rd., Broussard 337/608-9184 Shotgun Design Group, LLC 4404 St. Peter St., New Orleans 504/233-4442

Nathalie Dubois Latter & Blum Inc, Realtor 2734 Prytania St., New Orleans 504/610-0679

Sleep Number 4852 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Ste A, Metairie 504/443-4777 metairie/4852-veteransmemorial-blvd.html

Nola Boards 519 Wilkinson St., #105, New Orleans 504/435-1485

Southern Refinishing, LLC 708 Barataria Blvd., Marrero 504/348-1770

Nordic Kitchens & Baths Inc. 1818 Veterans Blvd., Metairie 504/888-2300

Stafford Tile & Stone 5234 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/895-5000 4273 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge 225/925-1233

Paradise Pools & Spas, Inc. 4221 Division St., Metairie 504/888-0505 Pokorn Construction 2307 General Pershing St., New Orleans 504/377-9033

Sun Tropic Landscaping 1502 Engineers Rd., Belle Chasse 504/392-3639

The Crescent City Depression Glass Society 745 Pecan Grove Lane, Jefferson The Historic New Orleans Collection 533 Royal St., New Orleans 504/523-4662 The Linen Registry 200 Metairie Rd., #102, Metairie 504/831-8228 The Plant Gallery – TPG 9401 Airline Hwy, New Orleans 504/488-8887 Titan Construction, LLC 4440 Chastant, Ste. D, Metairie 504/455-5411 stephen@titanconstruction. com Tuscan Stone Imports 720 S. Galvez St., New Orleans 504/837-1511 7150 Pecue Lane, Baton Rouge 225/753-5870 Tyson Construction New Orleans 504/905-1042 Villa Vici 2930 Magazine St., New Orleans 504/899-2931 Vinyltech 2849 Tifton St., Kenner 504/220-2539, 504/469-7590 Wren’s Tontine Shade & Design 1533 Prytania St., New Orleans 504/525-7409 •


Paradise Pools & Spas

backyard living From plants to pools and paint to prettying things up, the pros are offering up advice for your outdoor oasis

Springtime in South Louisiana brings the sweet perfume of blossoming jasmine and the aromatic spices of a nearby crawfish boil, while summer scents likely include a neighbor’s freshly cut grass or mouth-watering steaks on the grill. Louisianians love the outdoors — this is Sportsman’s Paradise, after all — and will go to great lengths to make sure they can enjoy it from the comfort of home. This season, local experts are giving their favorite tips and tricks for turning your backyard into an enjoyable oasis for friends and family. Still others offer tips on how to protect your home and outdoor space from the beating summer sun and the heavy downpours of seasonal storms. Whether for fun or protection, the exterior of the home is the focus in summer.

Home Protection While our tropical climate affords opportunities to spend time



outside much of the year, there are some disadvantages to being so close to the equator and the blazing sun. Our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico translates to the threat of hurricanes and seasonal thunderstorms that arrive in an instant, dumping inches of water. Part of backyard living — the part that isn’t as much fun to plan — is making sure the areas of your home that are exposed to the elements provide the protection your home needs to weather the — well, weather. “Our brutal summers are hot and wet,” says Alex Czerny, chief operating officer of VinylTech. “With the amount of rain we experience in New Orleans, having a sound roof is critical in protecting one of your most valuable assets — your home. Gutter maintenance is also key. Gutters that are backed up can overflow, rotting walls and attracting termites. We offer gutter screens to help prevent this from happening.” VinylTech specializes in products for home exteriors, including

vinyl, wood, and fiber cement siding, stucco, roofing, gutters, aluminum patio covers and windows. In the early 2000s, Aeratis Porch Products was founded with a focus on creating historically accurate, architecturally correct building products that outlast similar wood products — another important consideration for old New Orleans homes. “Our focus is to not only mimic the building materials used in the early 1800s but is to help our customers spend less time cleaning and maintaining their exterior living space and more time doing the things they love,” says Chris Tidwell, president. To that end, Aeratis recently introduced a line of custom, historically accurate, operable PVC shutters. According to Tidwell, these shutters retail for about ⅓ the price of a wood shutter, outperform wood, and have a limited lifetime warranty. “Consumers will never have to worry about their shutters again,” says Tidwell. As a coating, paint plays a much bigger role for the home than simply an aesthetic one. As the main coating for your siding, shutters, and more, its quality will affect both the home’s look and strength. “In 1978, they took the lead and mercury out of paint,” says Kevin Mmahat, president and owner of Mid South Coatings. “Since then, owners have been applying ‘water-colors’ every three to five years depending on their pride of ownership.” Instead of paint, “Lifetime Exterior Solutions” is the focus of Mid-South Coatings, and according to Mmahat, the company’s Coolwall coating system can reduce cooling costs up to 21 per-

cent and has been tested by the U.S. Department of Energy. “Our Coolwall product is the only heat-reflective coating that saves on cooling cost in all colors,” he says. He adds that Mid South offers the most fade-resistant coating on the market, and that it’s more affordable than most owners realize.

Outdoor Products and Design Tips With landscape architects, horticulturalists, and crews, Landscape Images Ltd. is a comprehensive design-build company that encounters a variety of trending approaches to backyard living. According to landscape architects Allan Basik and Kim Alvarez, current trends include edible gardens, outdoor fireplaces, and integrated technologies. “Whether through schools or personal gardens, people are looking to bring more edibles into their green spaces,” says Basik. “For children it is a wonderful way for them to understand where their food comes from and getting them to be a part of the process.” “The technology in outdoor spaces can add a lot to a garden,” says Alvarez. “Lighting creates a beautiful feel in the garden, and with the advancement in LED technology, changing bulbs is much less of a factor.” Similarly, Mullin Landscape Associates provides turnkey landscape solutions. For Senior Landscape Architect Martin Romero, multi-functional spaces are key for backyard living — creating spaces that cater to any age group and also any size group.



“The challenge in developing spaces for families is creating a dual purpose environment; one with space needed for kids to play, and one that appeals to the ‘personal retreat’ factor for the adults,” says Romero. “Blending these two while creating an overall aesthetic theme is the key to a well-planned out space.” Examples might include outdoor kitchens and covered pavilions for entertaining and edible gardens and pools as areas for kids to expend energy. “My favorite way to take advantage of backyard living is to make the backyard available all year long,” says Earl Hardouin, president of Paradise Pools & Spas. “Whether we are grilling with friends and family or turning on the heater and utilizing the spa in the winter, we always seem to gather around the pool.” According to Hardouin, living poolside continues to advance with new technologies, from voice controls to pool mobile apps that allow homeowners to control temperatures, lights, sounds, and water features without being home. Additionally, fire features and pits allow for poolside enjoyment before and after pool season. When it comes to pool design itself, approaches can vary based on needs. For young families, a design might include tanning ledges with bubblers and minimal corners and sharp edges. “When designing for older couples, typically we design for fitness, including swim jet systems and water aquatic depth for exercising,” says Hardouin.



Staying cool in the summer heat is key for enjoying the outdoors during Louisiana’s hottest months, and Blythe Wren, owner of Wren’s Tontine Shade & Design, offers just the tip for shading your sitting area. “To cut down the heat in your outdoor space [or] patio, add an exterior solar shade,” says Wren. “It’s amazing how much cooler the shades can make it for you. Plus, they help block the UV and glare.” According to Wren, motorized exterior shades are a recent trend. Many can be operated via remote, smartphone, or even through Amazon’s Alexa. “To dress up your outdoor space [or] patio, you can add some Sunbrella fabric drapery panels,” says Wren. “The Sunbrella fabrics are mildew and fade resistant. They can soften the feel of the room as well as add a pop of color.” Products like drapes help transform an outdoor space into a comfortable “room,” bringing the indoors outside. Other products, such as Origin’s bi-folding doors, help bring the outdoors in. Bi-folding doors offer homeowners an opportunity to open a room to the outdoors using different configurations of glass doors (a wall of windows, per se) by folding and sliding back the doors. At Renaissance Doors, owner Matthew Durish offers large exterior sliding doors as well as the exterior bi-folding doors. “While the sliders are less expensive, they can be heavy to operate,” says Durish. “The bi-folding door operates like a standard

single-hinged door — only when you want to open the entire wall up does the door require more of a push.” A residential supplier of doors, hardware, windows, and millwork, Renaissance Doors offers a showroom featuring these bi-folding doors. When selecting your windows and doors or planning your design, Durish recommends anticipating the view from inside the home. For instance, floor-to-ceiling windows are only as beautiful as the view they offer from the inside. Flooring is another important consideration for your outdoor space, and you’ll want to make sure your transitions are smooth for the eye but not too slick for the feet. Flooring expert Bruce Mills, Jr., owner and operator of Floor Coverings International of Metairie, recommends avoiding ceramic in the outdoors. According to Mills, contemporary outdoor flooring materials include traditional wood, composite, vinyl, stone, and bamboo. Natural stone, concrete pavers, and wood decking currently corner the market. Outdoor area rugs are rising in popularity, too, as another way of bringing the indoor living area to the outside. For both a child- and adult-friendly option that requires little maintenance, Mills recommends artificial turf. “Artificial turf has changed tremendously,” says Mills. “It looks more like real grass now. It is soft and easy to maintain. Artificial turf is also a pet-friendly option.” While there are many ways one can approach their outdoor

area, there’s one consideration that should remain constant, and that’s ensuring your outdoor space is a relaxing escape. Some people have a tendency to go overboard on gadgets and appliances, outdoor furniture, and even flowers and potted plants. According to Bev Katz, owner and designer at Exterior Designs, Inc., too many focal points and too much clutter causes a space — whether indoor or outdoor — to be distracting rather than relaxing. For a therapeutic space, Katz recommends a streamlined design that engages your senses through colors that blend, floral scents, and the sound of water. “Different textures and colors help you relax, but when you have too much, it doesn’t work,” says Katz. “Less is more; less is best.” Katz recommends simplifying in ways like removing unnecessary pots, perhaps ones that don’t match, that are broken, or are occupied by a dying plant. Instead of six clustered pots, try one big one. Invest in at least one or two comfortable pieces of furniture, and store children’s toys and sporting goods elsewhere. Whether you’re listening to the birds and reading a good book or splashing with kids at a boisterous poolside cookout, when it comes to enjoying the Louisiana outdoors, the sky is quite literally the limit. - By Kelcy Wilburn



2018 HBA Parade of Homes Promotional Section

June 2-3 & 9-10, 1-5pm

Builder: RMC Construction 518 Green Acres, Metairie Contact: Amanda or Ray, Amanda 504-339-9344 Ray 504-228-7777,

Builder: Creative Builders Metairie 520 W. Esplanade, Metairie Contact: Adam Bertuglia, 504-510-5588 or 504-952-7919,

Builder: Tyson Construction Old Jefferson 239 Dodge Avenue, Jefferson Contact: Zachary Tyson, 504-905-1042,

Builder: Troyer Builders Gabriel Estates 17 Cycas, Kenner Contact: Greg Troyer, 504-400-5150,

Builder: Creative Builders Gabriel Estates 4 Cycas, Kenner Contact: Adam Bertuglia, 504-510-5588 or 504-952-7919, CreativeBuildersofLA. com

Builder: Creative Builders Gabriel Estates 115 Palmetto, Kenner Contact: Adam Bertuglia, 504-510-5588 or 504-952-7919,

Builder: Creative Builders 206 Hector Avenue, Metairie Contact: Adam Bertuglia, 504-510-5588 or 504-952-7919,,

Builder: Troyer Builders The Oaks 110 Oaktree Drive, New Orleans Contact: Greg Troyer, 504-400-5150,

Builder: Troyer Builders English Turn 208 Forest Oaks Drive, New Orleans Contact: Greg Troyer, 504-400-5150,

2018 HBA Parade of Homes Promotional Section

Builder: Creative Builders Lakeview 6459 Argonne, New Orleans Contact: Adam Bertuglia, 504-510-5588 or 504-952-7919,

Builder: Reynolds Developments Lakeview 6841 Colbert Street, New Orleans Contact: Cullen Doody, 504-256-6086, reynoldsdevelopments. com

Builder: St. Jude Dream Home/Hyman L. Bartolo, Jr. Contractors, Inc. Lakeview 6401 Avenue A, New Orleans Contact: 800-327-2559,

Builder: Titan Construction Broadmoor 4217 S. Rocheblave, New Orleans Contact: Stephen Fleishmann, 504-455-5411 or 504-913-3030,

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last indulgence

clean dreams

Fragrant and gentle cleansing products that make household chores less of a chore

Scrubbing and Washing aren’t usually at the top of the list of what I consider fun activities. Which is why I dream up as many methods as possible to make those tasks, if not entertianing, at least more pleasant. I employ every trick to get the job done, from playing my favorite music while cleaning and collecting attractive, ergonomic, wooden-handled scrub brushes (with replaceable brushes), to setting timers to increase the “fun” factor and rewarding myself with treats (hello, champagne). Another useful strategy is springing for fragrant candles and cleaning products. Lately, my go-to candle has been the Rose Quartz scent in the new Kendra Scott line (mentioned in “Style” on pg. 20), but I’m also partial to Mad Darling soy candles by local chandler, or candle maker, Jessica Broussard (maddarling.



com). Marigny Moonlight (sandalwood and rose) is my favorite, but Creole Garden (tomato leaf and moss) and Bay St. Louis Breeze (salt and water lily) rank high, too. When it comes to cleaning products, I tend to favor Caldrea and occassionally Method brand, but Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day ( has me smitten with its Peony scent. We also usually have Basil, Lavender and Lemon Verbena on hand. It’s easy to find around New Orleans at Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and various other grocery and hardware stores. I’ve found that while the other brands smell lovely at the time of use, the scent of Mrs. Meyer’s lingers about the rooms for hours. Even with candles and luxurious cleaning products, I still don’t really look forward to cleaning, but I do at least enjoy the now sweet smell of successfully completing the tasks. – By Melanie Warner Spencer

melanie warner spencer PHOTO