The Old Grocery
renovation of the year (New Orleans homes and lifestyles)
This was a particularly fun project as the upstairs stayed pretty much intact and one designer was used for the upstairs while I was later brought in to do the downstairs (where walls were moved, and rooms were resized and repurposed and rugs were removed to reveal only a subfloor) and became friends with one of the owners who is European and happens to own an art gallery. So some of the art changes like a gallery and she was open to ideas others might dismiss since she is not American with a set notion of how it needed to be and I had lived in Europe as well. She did, however, want it to reflect the essence of the building's original history while creating an open, entertaining kitchen and art studio as she loves to cook and entertain. The current kitchen used to be the family room of the double parlor. Space had been butchered over time from the original use as a corner grocery with the owners living upstairs. The kitchen was in the back when the current owners purchased the property. It is now used as more of a media/den space. In the current layout, the kitchen is truly the heart of the home. The grey-washed ceiling that looks original was an addition I insisted on as are the wide plank diagonal floors to provide the character that been removed with multiple renovations. To me, the floors logically had to be done this way, due to the many directional cased openings throughout the house without having multiple thresholds. The owner decided she would do the faux finish on the ceiling boards herself and they came out great. The owners had specific ideas on what they wanted with regards to a white kitchen and cabinet style along with an eclectic mix of art and curated collectibles from various travels. The kitchen took on more of a test kitchen look with the classic subway tile and plantation shutter treatment. The house had good bones and just needed to be brought back to its formal glory and opened up for today's current style of living and entertaining. Luckily the transoms and banister along with basic original millwork to copy were intact. One of the owners desired a Greek Key cased opening so that was added for additional impact.
Master bedroom urn lamps with inlaid bedsides and zebra rug. Diamond art by South African artist.
Custom iron and metallic suede counter stools by local artisans for waterfall dining counter. Three-dimensional collage art by New York artist and vintage lamps on the buffet. Dutch bag art in the entry with double ottomans.
Modern Dutch lighting was mixed with classic transitional iron and brass lanterns and sconces throughout the home. Venetian plaster was applied in the original entrance to the living quarters as well as in the front living room.
Silver leaf painting by South Carolina artist reflected in the powder room mirror and vanity created by a local craftsman.
Reclaimed boards were used for a more organic feel in the dining room as an accent wall with the custom mid-century lacquered top with brass base and chain mail chandelier. Custom black walnut 3 legged chairs flank the table opposite a slipcovered banquette, flanked by dupioni silk curtains. At the opposite end of the dining room is the custom climate controlled wine room (a requirement by the other owner). To soften the recessed area above, custom tufted vinyl studded panels were added above the walk-in wine cooler. A cozy seating area complete with mohair stools and acrylic tasting table and mid-century modern faux bois swivel chairs balance out the room and open up into the kitchen. Oyster art by local artist beside hidden china closet with shutter doors.
Cool grey colors with white or black were used throughout the home. Accent pillows or pops of curated textiles were added for depth and effect.