Tuesday, February 19, 2013

First Home In New Orleans

A young woman engaged me to help her furnish her new condo in New Orleans. She recently arrived from New York when she got a job as a resident doctor in a hospital here.

The condo is a two bedroom, carved out of one side of an old  shotgun style house. It has been renovated with nice contractor grade finishes (granite in the kitchen, etc.).

The young lady had no furniture to speak of, so we were starting from scratch. She loves color, her books, and a collection of prints. She wanted a tufted modern gray sofa. So we took it from there. She reads the design blogs, and Houzz, so she has a good eye and vocabulary for decor. We speak the same language.

First home in New Orleans

The starting point was the gray sofa

We got a pair of these chests for the living room- Later on when she moves to a larger home they can be re-purposed as nightstands, sideboards, useful in any and every room

I arranged the furniture away form the front door to create an entry way - I hate when the door opens right onto a couch in a shotgun house - One of the pair of chests is placed by the front door

A breakfast nook in the kitchen was created by using two upholstered benches and a round table - These benches can be used elsewhere since they are not built in

Vamp Greige walls, gray and white furnishings, with an accent of green and black - The white chairs are part of my flex plan for the future - They could be used as host chairs in a  dining room in a larger home one day

My young lady is on a budget, so we did a bit of catalog and smart local shopping.

  • Sofa - Z Gallerie
  • 4 Bookshelves - Home Decorators
  • 2 green studded chests - Home Decorators
  • Sea grass rug - on sale at Modern Flooring (a local shop)
  • White leather chairs - Renaissance (a local consignment shop)
  • You can also find the white quilted leather chair at Overstock
  • Pair of vintage green tables - Caravan Finds (local home furnishings shop specializing in on trend vintage)
  • Green chair is one of 4 - Hotel Liquidators (a local warehouse that sells second hand hotel furnishings at rock bottom prices - These chairs were $7. each, and we spray painted them).
  • Pair of floor lamps - Hotel Liquidators
  • Pair of over size lamp shades - World Market (our local one)
  • Drapes - custom made from Etsy
  • Pillows - Etsy
  • Bamboo shades (for the whole house) - Overstock
  • Picture frames - on sale at our local Michael's
  • Benches for kitchen dining area - Overstock
  • Industrial metal kitchen table - Discoveries (a local shop)
  • Paint - Wal Mart,  job done by a lovely local
  • Prints for her gallery wall - various internet sites
  • Daybed for guest room - West Elm
  • Headboard, nightstands, lamps for master bedroom - Hotel Liquidators

This is just Phase 1. We have spent the first part of her allotted budget. She also got a padded headboard with nail heads, two nightstands and two lamps for her bedroom, and a daybed from West Elm for her second bedroom used for guests.

Once her home decor fund is replenished, we plan to get a vintage vanity for her bedroom, a rug, and drapes (she has bamboo blinds in the bedrooms now). The second bedroom needs side tables, a rug, curtains, and a desk and desk chair. Down the road, we would like to do a tile back splash for her kitchen.

Buying a first home is a milestone. What did the first home you bought look like? How did you furnish and decorate it?

Photos by Sara Essex Bradley

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  1. Very nicely done, Valorie! Love those green chests!

  2. I am a new reader. What a talented lady you are!

    And, generous with your sources as well.

    I second Ms.Sugarfoot above about the green chests. They are adorable.

    Best, Ellen

  3. I love and admire you style. It's so brave and out of the box and still is timeless! I tend to stay with the classics, so it's always a breath of fresh air to see differently! Sue

  4. You are a genius!!! I love all that you did and all the ways you planned for her future home. Beautiful job Valorie!! xo Ann aka Hill Country House Girl

    P.S. Don't know why I am anonymous today - I guess Blogger has forgotten me!

  5. What a great room! Those white padded chairs are so nice, high ceilings with light walls add to the 'roominess' of the space!

  6. What a beautiful space you created for this lucky young woman. So few designers have the ability to see the potential in the unexpected the way you do Valorie - it's a real gift. I just love this decor. It is so fresh and young and as you pointed out, it can be used in other spaces in the future. As usual, when you post your own work it's a home run out of the park. Congratulations. Wish you lived in my area.

  7. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks so much for the kind words.
    The white quilted leather chair seems to be a hit, and even though we purchased our pair locally, you can also find the same chair at Overstock, http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Christopher-Knight-Home-Roma-White-Quilted-Bonded-Leather-Arm-Chair/5036296/product.html
    xo xo

  8. Valorie, please continue to post your own work. It is so refreshing to see how someone can effectively use trends, but make the outcome look classic. Everything you have done is so unique to your client which is what great design really is. There is no formula, no look a likes that appear in so many other blogs written by designers. I love looking at your work and appreciate the work that goes into giving your client their monies worth.

  9. wow!!!!! i love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! fabulous!!!!!!!!! i love the colors and i love those white chairs. soooo great.

  10. LOVE everything about this! Especially the green studded chest, and those white chairs are to-die-for!

  11. You did an outstanding job. I think you have such a good eye. Seeing your final results on your home and some of your projects is always such a joy. I just wish I had just half of your tremendous talent. Oh, what I could do....

  12. Oh it's beautiful, what a lovely first home. I went for a colonial look in my first flat, lots of dark wood and white and palms.

  13. Great job Valorie! Those white chairs are a find...and that hotel outlet store...would I love to live near that!

  14. Valorie this is beautiful. She'll never want to leave New Orleans ever!

  15. I saw this site, always going in a very nice theme.such matters is very difficult to find many great subject now is really nice, but I really liked your site.
    ming green marble Tile


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