Friday, April 23, 2010

Behind Closed Doors 1

New Orleans has beautiful old homes on beautiful old streets. Walls and fences and windows and doors beckon you to peak in.

I have many designer friends working on projects, and sometimes they invite me to see what they are up to. They know I write a blog, and they know I love to look at everything.

Sometimes I can take photos to show you. Sometimes I can say who lives behind these closed doors. In this case I have taken photos of a work in progress, but at this time I will withhold the identity of the owners of this beautiful home.

The home is a three story townhouse on Camp Street across the street from a a beautiful fountain. It's at least 150 years old. A young couple, she a local girl, and he from London, live here with their two children. They are traveling now, and the desinger Bruce McNally is working on the house while they are away.

He invited us to dinner with the blessings of the couple who know us from the shop I work in called perch. Bruce shops at perch. and has gotten some fabric and furniture from the shop for the house.

It is a side entry house that opens onto two huge parlors. The first thing you notice are these incredible chandeliers. Jack, my co worker and a fellow designer from perch. and I gasped when we saw them, and whispered "Mooi".

Mooi is a design company we revere, and we have yet to see anything Mooi used in a home...

Sean Cummings' Mooi chair

...except for once in pictures of Sean Cummings' home in New Orleans when it was featured in Louisiana Homes and Gardens.

Bruce told us that Marcel Wanders the founder of Mooi did indeed design the chandeliers in both parlors.

But they are not sold at Mooi, but rather at Design Within Reach. They are called "Zeppelin".

They are so lyrical, and an amazing engineering feat too. The bulbs touch the membrane, and yet it doesn't burn.

Using these modern pieces in this old house just seems so right. In fact most of the house is furnished with very modern pieces that somehow honor the old architecture.

The first living room/parlor also has handsome bookshelves built in.

The second parlor has another Zeppelin chandelier.

You can see the dark stained hard wood floors that run throughout the entire house, and the floor to ceiling windows.

Comfy leather furniture is kid and pet friendly. The silver mock croc cube is from perch.

This is a sofa detail in the front parlor. It's upholstered and Bruce has sheets tucked in on it to keep it clean while work is being done on the house.

The house has several marble mantles. This one is in the front parlor.

The grand piano hasn't been delivered yet, and this paper doll space saver cracked me up. I danced on the keys like Tom Hanks in "Big".

I think the young couple should consider this modern piano table from lovegrove and repucci that is actually a docking station for an iPod.

Down the hall is the dining room. It has an antique Swedish table surrounded by Philippe Starck Victoria Ghost chairs, and French Louis chairs from perch.

Bruce has covered each Louis chair in different black and white print fabrics (from perch.)

The chairs look incredible, and there are six that are still being worked on.

Here's another marble mantle in the Dining Room, and Bruce stacked three mirrors up above it.

The walls are covered with wallpaper by the genius New Orleans company, Flavor Paper.

I love the mirror with the ornate Lucite frame over the antique sideboard.

The rug in the dining room deserves special mention. It is made of carpet tiles that look like Astro Turf! Designer fringe has been sewn on at the ends, and I think the whole idea and effect is so witty and fun. I love the detail and contrast of the vintage style heating/cooling vent.

Upstairs on the second level are the bedrooms. There's a guest room, the master, a little girl's bedroom, and a little boy's bedroom.

This is a book shelf in the little girl's room.

There is a charming mural painted over the marble mantle in the little girl's room.

Bruce is a well known set painter. He's done extensive film and stage work. He painted all the murals including this fabulous headboard in the master bedroom.

The third floor has an office taking up a huge loft like space. An industrial style desk has been ordered for this space.

Back downstairs on the main floor is a state-of-the-art kitchen. The lady of the house is a professional chef. Bruce did the most beautiful Ventian plaster on the kitchen walls that I have ever seen!

Bathrooms are the next thing I want to show you.

This is the master bath. I love the wallpaper, also from Flavor Paper.

It's called Kashmiri and you can get it HERE

The master has handsome separate double sinks. The bathroom reminds me of an English gentleman's bathroom.

The downstairs powder room has amazing modern bronze fixtures.

And more wallpaper from Flavor Paper, this one a humorous print called Chinatown Toile.

This is a Limited Edition wallpaper designed for the NYC Chinatown Soccer Club’s Adidas sponsored clubhouse in Vienna, Austria for the 2008 European Cup. Chinatown Toile can be printed in any color, but production is limited to 100 rolls total. Get it HERE

Outside at the back of the house is you can see the second floor gallery where the nanny's room and a playroom are located. The doors on the first floor open to the kitchen.

You can see to the front of the property from this corner. The pink house belongs to the neighbor.

This is a catwalk that connects the main house to the old servants quarters which is now a guest apartment.

A brick patio by a swimming pool makes for typical New Orleans nights and days passed with ease and enjoyment.

Even though the house is still a work in progress, and the house was not styled for a photo shoot, and I chose to just show special details, I know you got a sense of all this beauty behind closed doors.

This is the first in a series that I will continue to bring to you, as good generous folks invite me in to share hidden treasures not normally seen.


Ms Smart said...

spoiled w/space and nice things. those chandeliers are organic looking. very cool.

Karena said...

Valorie, I am in love!! So excited to see more. The chandeliers are equisite!!

Art by Karena

Tricia Rose said...

What a pleasure to see a real, beautiful house like this! I have just finished seeing 'Bad Lieutenant', set in New Orleans, and my head is swirling with wrought iron work and french doors still. What a city - I worked there once, years ago.

Things That Inspire said...

How I love to get a sneak peek behind closed doors - great idea for a series.

Love that piano table!

Breastfeeding...........Natures health plan! said...

Looks loverly...and those doors and windows are so quintessentially New Orleans! Beautiful

Carole said...

Its looking amazing already. Such a bold move to put contemporary things into a period house. It certainly works. If only more people were this brave.

Bonnie said...

There is nothing like a a beautiful old home with fresh, modern touches. I love the catwalk -- reminds me of Hemingway's home in Key West; he had a one connecting his studio to the main house. Thx again for another wonderful post.

Kwana said...

What a really beautiful home. Thanks for letting us have a peek inside.

The Gimlet Eye said...

A-mazing post. I am stowing away in your handbag next time you get a sneak peek like this. I love Chinatown Toile from FP and want to one day use it in a project...I love the risks the owners allowed Bruce to take!
Thank you for a great post! LOVED it.

Trouvais said...

Thanks Valorie. Loved the tour, especially that photo of the tub, Flavor wallpaper, and gorgeous oak beyond the New Orleans balcony. Wow. XO Trish

LaurenFaythe said...

Thanks for the tour! Your blog makes me want to visit New Orleans & see all the wonderful architecture!

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Thanks for the fun tour - and even got to stay in my jammies! Is the ceiling medallion in the first photo that is paired with the mod chandelier vintage? It is exquisite!

Anonymous said...

What an Eclectic Dream.

beki said...

Wow! Such a fabulous space!!

Carollynn Hammersmith said...

Thanks for the great home voyeurism. Can't wait to see your next installment.

Anonymous said...

VV, can you give us some information on the lamps in the dining room. Can't wait to see the finished project. I hope you will get another peek.

Anonymous said...

I love, love, loveeee it!!! Modern pieces in an incredible, older home. Spacious ceilings and gorgeous moldings paired with a Mooi chandelier...perfection!

Thanks for the eye candy sista!


Jan said...

Too too fabulous - great tour.
I love the tall windows in that house.
Thanks Vamp.x

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Wonderful tour and I am totally loving the chairs with the graphic b&w fabrics!!!

Scott Fazzini said...

OOOOOOOOOh my Jesus! That piano cum ipod docking station is AMAZING!!!!! I'm going to go to sleep with visions of it's modern glamor dancing in my head...


Renae said...

Wowowowow! So much eye candy...won't it be spectacular when it is finished. Love the black and white upholstered chairs...will copy that to my files! You know me and upholstery!!!!

Renae said...

Oh and I forgot to mention the Zeppelin chandy....I want one!

La Petite Gallery said...

That was a real treat, sneeking in.
Thank's Valorie,

Barbara said...

Thanks for taking us with you.
Loved the yellow walls and drapes.
I enjoyed seeing this house as is--
in progress.

susan said...

I so miss not being able to get to New Orleans on a regular basis--No city can rival the charm and architecture! (not to mention the food!) Those chandeliers almost remind me of creatures from the sea :) Love the Chinese toile. Thanks for the "insider's" tour! Almost forgot--The chairs are my FAVORITE thing--love the fabric!

AppleTree said...

I. Want. A. Catwalk!

lisa golightly said...

What a beautiful new take on the chandelier. I love the world you live in ! xoxo lisa

2 Hounds Design said...

I was thrilled to read you will continue with posts like this. NOLA is my favorite city in NA and could spend my days and nights wandering the streets trying to get a peek in to these beautiful old houses.

We were going to buy a shotgun...till we found out how much the insurance would be!

So now I'm back to looking at photos and dreaming/scheming about getting back there.

Thank you!


Punctuation Mark said...

I love the Mooi chandelier... when i met Marcel Wanders he had just designed it and was great to hear how he came up with it...