An Afternoon Drive: Houses of The Historic Garden District

George Clooney’s character in the movie Michael Clayton works for a prominent law firm in the capacity of janitor- a lean, mean cleaner of situations gone askew.

Have you ever Googled the word askew?

This page alone proves the gang over at Google has quite a sense of humor.

Getting back to the George Clooney reference.

I am the Michael Clayton here at Places In The Home.  Keeping these home fires burning, running smooth and in balance comes with a certain amount of stress.

Being stressed is not good.

Stressed is desserts spelled backwards, but my backwards is big enough, if you know what I mean.

A fat-free and stress-free afternoon drive viewing houses of the historic Garden District clears away the cobwebs and reminds me how much I love what I do.

houses of the historic Garden DistrictCorinthian Columns

“Architecture mirrors eternal harmony….music echoes it.”  

Otto Van Simpon

Smooth jazz provides the background music while arches, and columns, and pillars (oh, my!) provide architectural eye candy.

A self-guided tour along brick-lined streets and Louisiana bayous sets a serene scene.

bungalow

My Louisiana Parade of Homes series was a labor of love, and today’s post featuring local residential properties near and dear to my architectural and historical home loving heart is no different.

cold-front-cloud

A cold front rolling across the area is to blame for the dark lighting in some of the images.

ES-garden-districtSpanish Colonial

Spanish-garden-district

A-line-roof

Colonial Revival.

Craftsman.

Bungalow.

arched-front-door-1

Italianate.

Palladian.

Georgian.

Just to name a few architectural styles of the houses of the historic Garden District.

magnolia-tree

Modern architectural elements stand out among the grounds of these stately homes and manicured gardens.

The blooms of spring will make a grand statement and give me yet another reason to visit the Garden District.

Queen-Anne

One of several antique horse head hitching posts in the neighborhood.

brick-single

The curb appeal allure is first found in the brick-lined street fronting the detailed brickwork of this single family stunner.

stack

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love your style!

The Second Time Around: Repurposed Vintage Items

The popularity of repurposed vintage items remains deep rooted in decorative purpose.

Vintage furniture, accessories, clothing, textiles, spaces within our homes and even this second time around blog post can live many lives at the creative mercy and keen decorative sense of second chance individuals.

Mad Men

I’ve given a second, third and fourth chance to many repurposed vintage items.

A piece that was merely good in its former life has the potential to be fabulous in its repurposed one.

architectural pediment

Rooney Robison Antiques on Tumblr

Architectural elements find new life through current trends and design applications.

Granting a decorative reprieve to armoire crowns and pediments is a perfect example of an elegant repurpose.

repurposed-doorsTraditional Home

A door is a door is an entryway statement.  

A set of vintage doors installed on rollers and repurposed as stunning entryway options- absolutely!

Repurposed by definition is to change an item so it can be used for a different purpose.  

This door repurposed project does exactly that by taking traditional off the hinges and achieving excellence through elegant and unique repurposing. 

antique wood doorTraditional Home

Houston interior designer Julie Dodson makes a I’m a little bit rustic-I’m a little bit California chic homeowner couple happy by combining features pleasing to both taste.  

A repurposed antique wood door becomes quite the unique range surround.   

Pair Baluster Lamps smAtelier de Campagne

The beauty of the repurposed balustrade lamp is found in the distressed patina that adds the charm factor, neutral lamp shades that complement and complete the look, and the finished product that shines a light on elegant simplicity.

The balustrade lamp in the image below  is from the Dave the Builder collection.

We found the balustrade at an antiques market, scooped it up, wired it up and the rest is illuminated history.

balustrade-shade

A storage deficient kitchen proposes a problem, but a bit of creativity can quickly and uniquely solve the problem.

One of my best treasure hunts resulted in two very happy clients and a fun project.

Dave the Builder and I found ourselves “flea-ing” one afternoon.

My eyes zeroed in on the corner of the storage building where  a matching pair of antique twelve light wrought iron chandeliers from Walnut Grove Plantation called to me.

These beauties were rusty (loved it), massive (yeah, baby), and ridiculously impressive to me.

I could not tag and pay for the iron beauties fast enough!

I caved to convention, code and a quick cash sale and rewired, repainted, and retailed one.

The other I repurposed as a vintage chandelier pot rack.

iron chandeliers

How gorgeous is this antique bureau repurposed as a kitchen island?

island-antiqueTraditional Home

Vintage travel trunks and cases find second life style as coffee and accent tables.

luxury-home-design-Elle-DecorElle Decor

louis-vuitton-coffee-table-Brook-Shields-homeArchitectural Digest

Repurposed vintage items top the treasure seekers gotta have it list as must haves for impressive kitchen decor on a grand- scale.

repurposed-kitchen-itemsCountry Living 

Becky at Beyond the Picket Fence calls her repurposed project Shutter Island.

Great eye and execution, Becky!

repuposed-island1

But wait!

Repurposing goes beyond treasure finds of the furniture or architectural antiques kind.

A redefined repurposing of a space to better accommodate and serve the purpose of need and function is another form of repurposed vintage items.

Consider the layout of most ranch style homes and the sign of the formal living room times from which they came.

Don’t forget the often non-utilized space of the over-sized entrance hall or foyer.

These spaces become interior relics- an area of wasted space ripe for the repurposing.

Before –

entry-hall-blue-door

The insight and courage to go for the design and decorative gusto by repurposing a space is to be applauded.

This center hall area becomes a present day dining room repurposing project- a unique and decorative demonstration of design and decorative repurposing.

After –

repurposed-entry-hallHouse Beautiful

Dave the Builder created another one of his “original” designs by cutting down a pair of vintage shutters to fit an electrical panel opening.

He placed flush mount hidden hinges on both shutters and secured them to the wall.

decorative hook was installed in the middle of the shutters allowing  the shutters to lock together and remain in a closed position.

The new look created a unique disguise to an otherwise unattractive necessity.

antique-shutters

1stdibs

  Unique with a repurposed purpose.

 

 

 

Diamonds In The Rough: Architectural Antiques

Dave the Builder frequently stops by our friend’s antiques shop for a cup of coffee, an antiques market analysis and to scan the inventory architectural antiques.

Bon Appetit 

Each time he goes to the shop I remind him to keep an eye out for my latest obsession – architectural antiques.  Who am I kidding?  I’ve long been obsessed with architectural antiques.  Corbels, pediments, light fixtures, porcelain signs, concrete statues, iron oddities, table legs, doors- yes please!  Our tastes get lost in “this is what she wants” translation, and like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump’s mama told him about, you never know what you’re gonna get.

Cinematic side note:  Harold Herthum, the lovely gentleman who played the doctor in Forrest Gump, was a dear friend of my father.  He was a true character on and off the screen.

More times than not Dave comes home empty handed, but last week he came home bearing gifts.

When Dave walked in with this lovely our conversation went something like this:

Dave:  “Is this what you’re talking about?”

Me:  “Yes indeedy!”

Dave:  “Do you know what it is?”

Me:  “I’m not really sure, but I sure do love it!”

Dave:  “It’s a bed post.”

Me:  “Fabulous!”

Dave:  “What are you going to do with it?”

Me:  “Put a MacGyver on it.”

bedpost

Country Living

We’ve been known to buy a curiosity piece without an inkling of what it is. This is where the fun begins.  We channel our inner MacGyver and usually end up with a piece we love.  The trick is to come up with a piece we love and hopefully a client will love.

antique-regency-mahogany-boat-shaped-canterbury

Online Galleries

One afternoon Dave came home with what was once the bottom of a Mahogany Canterbury, sat it in front of me and announced “this is going to be your new footstool.”  He built up the top piece with foam and upholstered it, flat polished the Mahogany and casters, and left it at home almost an entire month before taking it to the shop.  Our finds tend to find a new home pretty quick upon completion.  It’s the nature of the business.

 Back to the bed post.

What are we going to do with the new find?  We’re considering cutting the post in half to make a pair of lamps.

burlap lamp shade

 

I love the balustrade column lamp Dave made a couple of years ago, and I’ve been wanting to replace the lamps in our bedroom.   A floor lamp with a marble base?  Decorative trim molding on the end sections of a kitchen island?  See how the creative process takes on a life of its own.

Do you have a love for diamond in the rough pieces?

 

The Decorative Genius, Green Benefit and Giving Purpose Of Repurposing

The decorative genius, green benefit and giving purpose of repurposing is a beautiful and stylish thing.

The concept of using repurposing in the name of all things home is genius, green and giving.

Does your heart begin to race and the creative side of your brain kick into overdrive at the sight of  an item with please repurpose me written all over it?

You, my brilliant repurposing friend, are not alone!

Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens

Antiques and architectural pieces stand the test of time, hold their value and do their part in the go green movement.  

Antique buffets and sideboards refitted with user friendly countertops are easily repurposed as kitchen islands, entertainment centers or bathroom vanities.

Reclaimed wood beams wow as the frame of this kitchen ~ dining room doorway. Consider repurposing vintage display cabinets as stylish storage solutions.

House Beautiful 

The Decorative Genius,Green Benefit and Giving Purpose Of RepurposingHouzz

Forged-iron industrial tripods and manhole covers become unique side tables.

House and Home

Architectural pieces find new life in many decorative forms.

This chippy, funky and fabulous antique door was repurposed as part of our fence.

We bought this door from an antiques dealer friend in Denham Springs, Louisiana.  She had this lone door unit in her shop, the last of a set of five purchased by the pickers for Bass Pro Shops.  It came with a large arched window above the doors that I removed and sold as a separate piece.

repurposed doors gate

Dave the Builder figured out years ago to expect the unexpected from me and my nonconformist decorating ideas.

Repurposed items present endless possibilities in the pursuit of making decorative statements.

baluster lamp

Dave scored big brownie points when he made this lamp for me out of the baluster I found kicking around a vintage shop.

Fresh Home 

Etsy

Antique windows with the panes removed beautifully come to second life as a repurposed headboard.

arched windows headboardApartment Therapy

architectural headboard

Innovative and inspirational- an antique french armoire repurposed as interior doors.

via 

This look decoratively defines the concept of repurposing.

A salvaged store display used as a china and collectibles cabinet becomes the unique and ingenious focal point of this kitchen.

Better Homes and Gardens

Antique key plates, vintage seltzer bottles and one lone rustic roof ventilator shed new light on the art of repurposing.

Napa Style

Napa Style

Relique

A purposeful repurpose~

Habitat for Humanity is on a mission and open for business.  A non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates homes for low-income people.  In an effort to raise revenue and endure these trying economic times, Habitat for Humanity has and continues to open ReStore resale outlets.   ReStore resale outlets accept donations of doors, lighting, flooring, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, furniture and used materials.  Items are then sold at bargain prices. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund construction of Habitat homes at the local level. ReStores work well to encourage the three r’s- reuse, repurpose, and recycle.

Did you hear that?

It’s the collective cheers of DIY fans and decorating bargain hunters the  design world over.  More importantly, it’s the many voices of thanks for supporting a wonderful cause.

Love your style!

 

 

Stepping Back To The Nineteenth Century Through Design And Decor By Way Of A Converted Presbytery

The nineteenth century lives on through character, color and design in the converted presbytery home of Muriel Dana. Featured in Campagne Decoration, the decor of this Normandy coast home reflects the fascination of a time gone by.

A self proclaimed decorator and bargain hunter, Muriel’s passion for furniture and objects of the nineteenth century swathe her home in a magnificent interpretation of romance, lace, and femininity.  Shades of pink frame the space flattering brown accents, and the French settee done ooh la la lovely in complementing aubergine.

Repairs were made to cracking walls, doors, and windows, allowing detail to authenticity in the ground floor reception rooms. The greens of both the Louis XVI cane chair with gold accents and velvet curtains draw the eye to the finish of the golden brown mud walls beneath the wainscot.  Two-tone walls, such as in this case, enrich the color palette.

A former upstairs Sunday school room was effortlessly converted to a  dressing room and bathroom.  A pine armoire serves two purposes,  practical storage and perfect complement to the hardwood floors. The six light gold gilt and crystal chandelier pales in beauty only to the claw foot tub and gold gilt drapery crown.

The undeniable hallmarks of French decor- gray(or is it grey), blue, white- Très bien!  The patina of the original mud walls allows an antique finish to be created summed up by two words, perfect imperfection.

Should I begin with the distressed beauty of the copper pot lined cupboard, the silverware cabinet door hardware and napkin holder, the embroidered sheets doing cuisine duty, or the gourmet feeling that French design and decor defines?It’s all so wonderfully French and so wonderfully good!

The upstairs master bedroom became the room Muriel had always dreamed of. Isn’t that exactly what a master bedroom should be?  Baroque influenced accents from whitewashed walls, golden cherubs, and lace panels exemplify the new meaning of the three r’s ~ romantic, refined, restful.

Like mother, like daughter~ a dream room is the wish Muriel granted her daughter Sophie. Decor choices of framed vintage prints, pink as far as the eye can see, a bed crown befitting a sleeping princess, and toile de Jouy are perfect for child’s play.

Taking a meal in the intimate dining room overlooking the gardens would certainly be a dining and visual treat. The deep patina of the gray(grey) wall showcases the rosewood decorative wall clock as a focal point. The chicken wire doors of the china cupboard, the highly decorative appliques and crown, and toile lined shelves epitomize European charm.

Home design and decor should express and reflect the essence of its owners. The homeowner’s passion for the furniture and accessories, reminiscent of the nineteenth century,  is uniquely displayed throughout the home.  Character and charm are two elements of great design, and are the calling card of this stunning home.

Love your style!

 

 

 

 

 

 

images: Christophe Rouffio

Mixing Wood Finishes And Introducing Wood Design Elements Into Your Design And Decor

Mixing wood finishes and introducing wood design element into your design and decor is gaining steam and style.

The unique and layered look of rich tone and texture is visually captivating, and a showcase outlet for contrasting pieces in light or dark finishes.

mixing-wood-finishesDomino

European influences in home design highlight almost any decor they are a part of.

European-farmhouse-entryPinterest

Strong in influence, texture and characteristically fair in finish, these elements allow the natural beauty of Belgian wood to remain pure and true to the look.

belgain woodsPinterest

The neutral palette adores Belgian wood design features.

wooden refrigerator doorsTraditional Home

The incorporation of wood design elements into one room or an entire home gives the space unique charm, character, and a timeless ambiance.

At Home Arkansas

Lighter woods paired with darker finishes, woods and stains create a stunning treat for the eye of the beholder.

mixing wood finishes

Lonny

The drapes, lamps,  and chandelier infuse the most notable hints of color to the family room, but note the gorgeous contrast in regards to the neutral walls.

White is a stunning foundation if for no other reason than its power to pop accessory colors. Focal point extraordinaire- fabulous wood French doors that open into a custom media cabinet.

farmhouse-wood-doors

House Beautiful

The use of wood carries through to the master bedroom.

An antique three drawer chest and mirror fit the room and wall color choice.

A pair of Earl chairs sit at the foot of the bed in regal contrast to the wood stool table.

The headboard is a repurposed antique door, and was chosen for the look and space saving value.

Kay-Douglass-Designs

House Beautiful

Reclaimed furniture and architectural elements are the beautiful first cousins of stripped furniture left incomplete.

reclaimed doorsTraditional Home

I have always considered this look to be one of my favorite unfinished finishes (how’s that for a design/decor oxymoron).

The patina is multifaceted in color, texture, and period.

antique distressed armoireAugustus Brandt Antiques

Light timbers and exposed hardware speak fluent Aspen modern in this picturesque mountain lodge.

Aspen home

I knew I was immediately drawn to the wow factor of this rustic kitchen.

It is in a log-cabin style home in one of my favorite places on earth, the foothills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

Salvaged wood was used for the walls and ceiling, allowing the decor to stay in theme with the log-cabin design.

The 19th-century English-oak rack fits the space and adds a touch of formality and contrast to the rustic decor.

rustic-kitchen

Architectural Digest

Rustic comes home to the Hamptons in this Joe Nahem designed kitchen.

Unique features of this custom kitchen include backsplashes created from19th-century Portuguese tile, vintage lanterns, and the pièce de résistance, the antique wood ceiling.

The center island lacquered in oxblood red is modern genius.

islands-nahem-xln

Elle Decor

Incorporating wood design elements into home construction and remodels adds distinct appeal and presence to the space.

The deep patina of both the rustic farm table and wooden cane bottom dining chairs sets the look of the kitchen dining area in the Los Angeles home of Kristen and Lindsey Buckingham.

kristen-buckingham

Elle Decor

The desired look you want to convey may be better served by the stunning combination of European styles and reclaimed wood(s)/lumber.

Whatever the choice, the look will create a unique feel and bring character to the space and your home.

What’s An Architectural Pediment Like You Hanging In A Place Like This?

Conformity is unavoidable in some circumstances, but individuality reigns supreme in most of them. I like to use elements of surprise, or at the very least, ones that invariably make someone ask, “How did you come up with that idea?”

architectural pedimentBrooke Giannetti 

I’m an “eyedea” kind of girl.  Using an architectural pediment as a home decor piece is a unique way to top off the look.

Sherry Hart ~ Houzz

My eyes are constantly looking at the decor world  through idea colored glasses.  Dave the builder is my 20/20 equal and when we are in the zone we can be quite productive.

repurposed pedimentBetter Homes & Gardens

I distinctly remember my first I could’ve had a V8 moment in regards to this practice. It was 1986, and we had closed on the first of many of our dream homes.  Flipping afforded us the opportunity to have many dream homes.  The reason we had many was simple- as soon as we would complete one Dave the builder would sell it and we’d start all over again. Our first dream home is still occupied by the same couple we sold it to. They love it even more today, and have never changed one thing about the interior or exterior of the house.  Either I’m very good at making timeless decor and design selections or they are incredibly lazy.  I tell myself it is the first one.

headboard made from pedimentBetter Homes & Gardens

The den fireplace was in the center of a brick wall that was the focal point of the room.  The original fireplace mantel in the house found a better home by the curb, and the choices for its replacement were less than impressive.  Today’s choices in the arena of home furnishings are infinitely better, and I for one am eternally grateful for the strides that have been made.  Anywho, back to the late 80’s.

antique pedimentsDave the builder went to a neighboring town to look at a property.  He came home that evening the proud owner of another depressed property in need of flipping, but even better than that he brought home a stroke of genius in terms of interior eye candy.  In his rounds that afternoon he stopped by an antique shop and purchased a salvage piece.  Well, it might not be truly defined as a salvage piece, but what it was defined as was our new fireplace mantel.  In its previous life the piece had served as the pediment of an antique Mahogany armoire.

armoire pediment

Surprisingly, the pediment was in pristine condition as a stand-alone item.  We turned that baby upside down and the “ledge” was deep enough to allow my favorite lamp and Staffordshire dogs adequate display room.  The centrally located broken arch looked great upright, but inverted it went to the next  level of wow!   Our “eyedea” and ideal mantel graced four fireplaces out of six of our homes.  When we sold our second to last home the new homeowner begged me to leave the mantel.  For a split second I considered doing so, but couldn’t find it in my heart to part with it.

bed crown

I like incorporating a pediment into home decor.  The one in the picture below is one I purchased for a client.  Her plan was to use it as a bed crown in her daughter’s bedroom, but we went in another direction. I grew fond of it and the finish by default while handling it five hundred times during her creative process.

kitchen-pediment

When she said no I said so and brought it straight home.  I went antique on antique and placed it above the vintage balustrade lamp in my kitchen.

scandanavian-pediment

The one below is really nothing special, definitely a salvage piece off a piece of funky furniture.  It has a bad spot on it we filled in.  The gold spray paint put up a fight not wanting to adhere or cover.  It won, I settled, and it found a home over the picture hanging in my bathroom.

guest bathroom

I ran across a really neat idea in my treasure hunting two years ago.  Don’t throw those old dining chairs away- recycle the top rails and use them as smaller scale pediments.  I purchased two sets and placed them above medium sized frames as a finishing complement.

country-french-dining-chairs1stdibs

Keep your eyes open and the creative juices flowing.   I hope this idea helps you with your own “eyedeas”.   One man’s trash is always another man’s treasure.