Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

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Throwback Thursdays

May 15, 2014

I love Throwback Thursdays because I always post a photo of my daughter who has had so many different looks over the years, it’s hard to believe it’s the same person. Also, I always tag her so that it appears on her Facebook page and try and post early in the morning before she has a chance to delete it off of her page. It has become a little game we play. She did tell me that in one of her theatre classes at Loyola, that my Throwback Thursday photos of her were quite the topic of conversation with everyone, including her professor, saying how much they looked forward to seeing them.

This got me thinking that I should start recycling old color and design projects on Thursdays for my blog. This might be a good way to inspire me to post more often. So, hopefully, this will be the first of many!

I’ll start with one of my first color consultation projects. Shortly after I started my line of Full Spectrum Paints in 2001, Mercedes Whitecloud asked me to meet her at the Pitot House Museum in New Orleans because they were doing some repainting. I didn’t have nearly as many stock colors to choose from back then (now we have over 100), so what was surprising to me, was that many of my colors were actually dead ringers for the historical colors original to the circa 1799 plantation. The interior millwork was all “Edgewood Green” and three of the rooms were the equivalent of our “Wedgewood”, “Citrine” and “Ruby” which is from our Magical Gems Palette. I was floored to discover that this saturated, bright red was used back then!

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“Ruby” walls with “Edgewood Green” trim recreated from the original colors used in this bedroom. Photo from the book Creole Houses.

Today the Pitot House is home to the Louisiana Landmarks Society who saved it, moving it about two hundred feet in the mid-1960s to prevent its demolition for the construction of a school. The Landmarks Society focused its restoration during the period of 1810-19 when it was occupied by Jacques-Francois Pitot, a native of France who became the second mayor of New Orleans. Pitot previously spent time in Saint Domingue, now Haiti, hence the Creole architectural and colorful influences.

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We created our full spectrum formula for the shutters and named the color “Pitot Shutter Green”.

Although I had already created several of the colors used in the Pitot House, I was so taken with the unusual colors of the shutters and the mango-colored parlor, I later created full spectrum formulas for those colors for colorful artist Hunt Slonem, who used them at both Albania and Lakeside Plantations.

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Our version of the Pitot Parlor wall color was used in the parlor of Albania Plantation so we renamed it “Albania Mango”. “Edgewood Green” is on all millwork including the ceiling. Note how the trim is so neutral it goes with every color in the house!

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“Citrine” walls with “Edgewood Green” trim used in one of the bedrooms. Citrine is a color we use often to brighten an otherwise dark space. Works every time!

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“Wedgewood” walls with “Edgewood Green” trim used in this bedroom is probably the most subdued color in the whole house and still one of our most popular bedroom colors. To get samples of these colors, visit: Full Spectrum Paints

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The Last Word on the 2013 Color of the Year (& other news)

December 6, 2012

In my Autumn Living Well Newsletter on the 2013 Color of the Year & Color Trends, I reported on predictions of next year’s color of the year by pretty much everyone but Pantone. Although it was looking like “Monaco Blue” would be Pantone’s pick, they just announced that “Emerald” was their pick for 2013.

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(“Emerald” in the center is Pantone’s pick for 2013’s Color of the Year)

Interesting that it is very close to Pratt & Lambert’s “Tidal Pool” which was their pick for the 2013 color to watch, a dead ringer for our Full Spectrum “Albania Teal”, that appeared in the October issue of House Beautiful. Here’s a photo of Albania Teal in artist Hunt Slonem‘s NYC studio featured in Russia’s Architectural Digest Magazine (I didn’t even know they had an Architectural Digest!). “Albania Teal” was named after one of his plantation’s in Louisiana. The great thing about this color is that it is both soothing and rejuvenating at the same time.Image

I have to say, I’m still selling a lot more whites and complex neutrals, than the saturated colors predicted. We mostly use the more neutral, easy to live with colors, in main areas and save the jewel tones for jewel box spaces like powder rooms, closets, inside of cabinets and bookcases.

Speaking of whites, one of my biggest “JV Cloud White” (JV for Designer Jon Vaccari & created for his New Orleans showroom) fans, Karina Gentinetta, has been making quite a name for herself on the national scene and will appear on More Magazine‘s television special about women who reinvent themselves (Karina was an attorney for 13 years before becoming an antiques dealer, artist and interior decorator). After seeing this video of her segment, I’m thinking she needs to have her own TV show! (Karina used “JV Cloud White” in her 1st Dibbs Showroom and Annunciation Restaurant in New Orleans which you’ll see in the video.)

(Click here to watch Karina’s More Magazine segment

I’m currently working on my Winter Living Well Newsletter featuring one of Interior Designer Marc Charbonnet‘s latest projects, where he had another designer friend of mine (Ken Tibbils of St. Francisville) make this table:

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(I have featured Marc’s projects often over the years. and this latest project showcases his amazing design versatility. Wait until you see the rest of the photos!)

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New Orleans’ New Restaurant “Annunciation” – Heavenly!

August 8, 2012

I have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Annunciation, a fabulous new restaurant in New Orleans. I mentioned it in my May 19, 2012 blog post “JV Cloud White Gets Around” and was finally able to dine there last week when I was in town. Located at 1016 Annunciation in the Warehouse District, it’s owned by the former chef of Clancy’s and the former general manager of  Tommy’s Cuisine, so not only is the food and service amazing; the decor by Karina Gentinetta is heavenly!

Karina recently used our “JV Cloud White” in her 1st Dibbs NYC showroom and liked it so much, she specified it for every painted surface in the restaurant. The building has loads of charm with old brick and plaster walls, exposed wood ceilings and beautiful arched doors and windows that she wanted to highlight, yet make the overall feeling elegant and classic. Known for being a magician when it comes to working within a tight budget, Karina kept things simple with bentwood chairs and schoolhouse pendent lighting from Home Depot. My dinner companion, Isabel Winsberg, raved the entire time about how wonderful the space felt. But that certainly wasn’t the best part! The food was incredible! As we often do, we shared everything so we could taste a number of things on the menu: Fried Oysters with melted Brie and sautéed Spinach, Eggplant Ste. Marguerite, Crabmeat salad with Creme Fraiche and Choupique Caviar, Crabmeat, Lobster and Shrimp Risotto, Cauliflower au Gratin and for dessert, Butterscotch Budino (an Italian pudding topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream sprinkled with sea salt). Every single item was amazing–a word I couldn’t quit using to describe each course. Oh, and you’d think this might have set us back a bit, but our bill (sans wine) was $83! I can hardly wait to go back and am still dreaming about that dessert!

Annunciation Restaurant on Urbanspoon (click image to the left for contact info, more reviews and menu)

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Jon Vaccari’s “JV Cloud White” Gets Around!

April 19, 2012

In my May 19, 2010 blog post “Many Shades of White“, I posted photos of Jon Vaccari’s fabulous New Orleans showroom where everything is painted this dreamy white created especially for him. Almost two years later, this color has made its way from Los Angeles to Miami to New York and back again to New Orleans.

I used it as the main color in Rob and Veronica Wasserman‘s Spanish-style home in Los Angeles and jewelry designer Isabella Holguin’s Miami apartment and most recently, designer/antiques dealer Karina Gentinetta used it in Desegno Karina Gentinetta, her new showroom located on the 1stdibs floor in the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. Karina has been getting quite a bit of press lately, starting with a fascinating article in the New York Times (“A New Cottage in New Orleans with Katrina Patina”, a must read for true inspiration!) and most recently, she was featured on 1stDibs.com in their “Saturday Shopping with Karina Gentinetta“.

Karina in her new showroom, Disegno Karina Gentinetta

Karina’s home is also featured in this month’s issue of Southern Living Magazine and is also featured in Kerri McCaffety‘s gorgeous new book, New Orleans New Elegance, which is coming out next month.

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Cover Photo of Jon Vaccari’s Dining Room painted in our “JV Cloud” White!

I can’t wait to meet Karina in person at a booksigning party for Kerri and her new book which will be held in Jon’s St. Charles Avenue showroom. His living quarters, which are also featured in the book, are upstairs from the showroom where most everything is painted in our “JV Cloud White”. It promises to be a great party reconnecting with many old friends like Jon, Kerri, Dean Coe and Mimi Read (who is quoted in the book and has generously included me in several of her articles for House Beautiful).

Also, Karina is designing a new restaurant to open next month in New Orleans’ Warehouse District (1016 Annunciation) which promises to be divine! I say “divine” because not only is Karina designing it, but the team opening it includes the chef from Clancy’s and the general manager of  Tommy’s Cuisine. I can’t wait to go enjoy what promises to be fabulous food in a divine atmosphere where the walls and millwork will be painted “JV Cloud White”!  I see many more trips to New Orleans in my future!

Speaking of New Orleans and on a personal note, my daughter Alex attends Loyola University majoring in theatre, so I love any excuse to go visit. She plans to spend the summer here in St. Francisville working on four plays with the St. Francisville Transitory Theatre, where she’s been a member since she was 12. Mom that I am, I am trying to help them raise money for this new venture. If you’re so inclined (and especially if you’re a local), here’s the link:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/91005905/summer-of-theatre-2012

Thanks so much and have a wonderful Spring day!

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Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?

September 2, 2011

I lived in New Orleans from the late seventies through the mid-eighties and although country living is more my style these days; I love having New Orleans so nearby that I can easily drive down to attend a party or visit my daughter who just started her first year at Loyola.

Last Friday, I accompanied artist Hunt Slonem to a fabulous dinner party given by the author of my new favorite book, Stealing Magnolias (Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard). Debra Shriver’s book showcases this magical city like no other–and there have been plenty of books written about New Orleans!

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

Besides being a gorgeous coffee table book filled with beautiful photos of her French Quarter home; it also includes original works by more than twenty photographers and artists from her private art collection.

The preface of the book was written by blue dog artist George Rodrigue who was also at the party with his wife Wendy, who was telling us all about the George Rodrigue Foundation they formed in 2009 as a non-profit organization to provide financial assistance and expose children to education in the visual arts, hoping to inspire in others an early and on-going creative passion similar to his own. (George mentioned that he knew he wanted to be an artist at age 4.)

But back to the book! If you were ever curious about New Orleans and have never been to visit, this is the perfect book to get you into the mood. It also includes several of her favorite recipes, my favorite being the “Cheddar Biscuits with Gulf Shrimp and Creole Meuniere Sauce” from her favorite caterer Joel Dondis, who not only catered the dinner party, but was also a guest. (Joel’s mother lives right down the street from my mother in Lake Charles, Louisiana and he also owns Sucre, where we go for an afternoon treat every time we visit the city.)

I am dying to meet Debra’s decorator Hal Williamson, who created some of the most exquisite colors for her home–very organic-looking shades of pinks and purples. I heard from another guest that he was out-of-town, but has an antiques shop on Magazine. I will definitely pay a visit on my next trip!

The front parlor's tone-on-tone Creole pink and purple looks more organic and subtle in person.

Mimi Read wrote a great article about the Shriver home for House Beautiful which is now online: A Fabulous Feminine New Orleans Home

I can hardly wait for another excuse to go visit!