Ever since our trip to New Orleans I have been secretly fantasizing/plotting relocating to the magical city. The dazzling architecture, eclectic cuisine, sexy music, enterprising art scene and Southern hospitality left me utterly enamored. Natives seem to have married tradition and nouveau along with ambition and values in a manner that I truly admire!
So you can imagine my delight when I came across Domino alumnae, Sara Ruffin Costello’s 19th-century Garden District manse on Domaine. Souring 14 foot ceilings, an intricately carved fireplace, quintessential Southern porch and masterful mix of expertly styled rooms have me giddy with delight!
Costello and her family relocated to The Big Easy four years ago from New York after falling in love with the city on spring vacation (sound familiar?!). In describing her new hometown, Costello says: “It’s pretty magical here. You stand in peoples’ backyards, drink French 75s, there’s jazz wafting through the trees, and you feel like you’re in a movie. Like, can it really be like this?” To say I’m smitten is a bit of an understatement!
I think by now you all have probably realized I have a slight obsession with art. I truly believe bringing real art into a space transforms a house from four walls into a home. I have admired Amanda Stone Talley for years, so on our recent trip to New Orleans her studio was on the top of my list of places to visit. We were greeted at the door by the studio’s fabulously sweet and funny art director, Randy Jackson,who guided us around providing insight and perspective on the artist’s various works (and was not pushy whatsoever – qualities lacking in many art galleries!). Amanda’s abstract paintings and drawings have an incredible energy to them that I find intoxicating. I fell in love with the relaxing movement of this “Petal” painting that was part of Amanda’s private collection (above left), and by the end of our visit I decided it needed to come home with me. It was delivered last week and hung this weekend, I am so excited to add it to my collection!
We were also incredibly lucky to meet the artist herself who is exceptionally charming and warm, and very kindly printed us out a directory of her favorites places to visit in New Orleans. I could have chatted her ear off all day! Amanda’s art ranges in price from $300 on up.
1 Tigerlily $700 // 2 Bird Series III $500 // 3 Fan Series III $400 // 4 Right Ribbon I $1,500
In my humble opinion Amanda Stone Talley is one of the greatest abstract artists of our generation!
Images via DiCorcia Interior Design and Amanda Stone Talley
Malachite was one of my favorite home stores in New Orleans. The boutique is a new joint venture between Melissa Rufty of MMR Interiors and Adrienne Casbarian of Lum lighting; combining the design aficionados amazing collections of antique treasures with new lines of furniture and accessories. I have admired Melissa’s work on many glossy pages (House Beautiful, Elle Decor and Southern Living to name a few) and peruse Lum’s website regularly for client projects, so I was thrilled when I accidentally discovered the store while in search of their next door neighbor Leontine Linens.
I adore Melissa’s modern take on traditional design, blending classic forms with fresh color combinations to create layered and comfortable rooms.
And the selection of lighting at Lum is incredible! Here’s a few of my favorites:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
It’s no wonder why these two talented ladies partnered up!
I picked up this vintage brass flower from Malachite during my visit. The stem of the flower unscrews and each petal detaches, once providing each guest with their own ashtray at a time when smoking was chic! I’ll never use it as an ashtray, but I love how it pairs with my papier-mâché bird!
Images via Malachite, MMR Interiors, Lum and DiCorcia Interior Design
New Orleans is one of the most magical cities I have ever visited. The food, culture, architecture, art galleries, museums, antiques, jazz clubs, street music, bayous, Garden District, secret little courtyard gardens and infamous cemeteries blend 300 years of history that is uniquely awe-inspiring!
We took every opportunity possible to sample the local cuisine from oysters for lunch at ACME to a mid-day snack of pecan caramels at Southern Candymakers to casual dinners at Lilette and fancy dinners at August. I can honestly say that we didn’t experience one bad meal on our entire trip, which is pretty impressive considering how much we ate! There are so many good restaurants in New Orleans I think it would take at least a full year of eating out twice a day to experience them all! Here’s where we had the opportunity to eat and loved:
From the French Quarter to the Garden District I was constantly inspired by the hanging gardens, iron balconies, double gallery houses, Creole cottages, antebellum homes and landscaped gardens. The art scene in the city is fresh and very up-and-coming. I made my pilgrimage to Amanda Talley’s Studio (more on that later) and thoroughly enjoyed a portion of Roger H. Ogden’s private collection. As for shopping – aside from Paris, New Orleans has one of the best selections of antiques I have seen. We ended our days listening to mind-blowing local jazz musicians spout their tunes while sampling the fantastic cocktails the city is notorious for.
- Antiques and Shops: Bush Antiques, Empire Antiques, Leontine Linens, Lucullus, Malachite, Nadine Blake, The French Antiques Shop
- Art: Amanda Stone Talley’s Studio, Ashley Longshore, Martin Laborde at BEE Galleries, Ogden Museum, Rebecca Rebouche at The Beauty Shop
- Music and Libations: d.b.a., Davenport Lounge at The Ritz Carlton, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, Pat O’Brien’s, Preservation Hall, Sung Harbor
- Sites: St. Louis Cathedral, Woldenberg Park
- Tours: Cocktail Tour, Garden District Tour, New Orleans City Tour
*I keep a list of restaurants, museums and experiences from various places I’ve visited here. If you have any recommendations please post them in the comment section, I would love to hear from you! And if you follow me on Instagram, I apologize for the repetition of images!
I’m departing New Orleans today heading home. We’ve had an amazing week exploring the city, sampling the local cuisine, absorbing the history and reveling in the beautiful culture here! The architecture, museums, antique shops and art galleries are magnificent; if you ever have a chance to visit I highly recommend it! Traveling always leaves me feeling invigorated, inspired and excited to employ little notes of what I’ve learned and loved to my work. I can’t wait to share some details of my trip with you next week, but until then I leave you with this quote that I feel captures my desire to wander and explore:
I’m heading down to New Orleans on Friday for a little family vaca and wanted to reach out to you lovelies in search of recommendations! Work has been super busy as of late (yay!), but I must admit I’m really looking forward to spending a few days in a city known for laissez les bon temps roulez (letting the good times roll)! I’ve received some great recommendations thus far (special thanks Aunt Richele and Leah!), here’s the roundup:
- Art Galleries: Amanda Stone Talley, Rebecca Rebouche, Shelley Hesse
- Museums: The 1850’s House, The Cabildo, Longue Vue House & Gardens, Ogden Museum, The Presbytère
- Music and Drinks: Blue Nile, DBA, French Quater Bar at the Ritz Carlton, Loa’s Bar, Mimi’s, Palm Court Jazz Cafe, Pat O’Brien’s Piano Bar, Preservation Hall, Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, Spotted Cat
- Parks: Audubon Park, City Park and Woldenberg Park
- Shopping: Antiques on Jackson, Ballin’s LTD, Bush Antiques, Em & Liv, Empire Antiques, Hazelnut New Orleans, Julie Neil Designs, Leontine Linens, Lum, Moss Antiques, Perch, Pied Nu, Spruce
- St. Louis Cathedral
- Tours: Ninth Ward Revival Bike Tour and a walking tour of the Garden District
Any other recommendations out there? I would love to hear from you!
Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5