Monday, July 30, 2012

Where Did You Get That?

I did a post about a dinner for ten that Alberto and I recently hosted, and got a few queries about where I got a few things.

So I did a post of Guest Picks at Houzz, with links to everything you see on the table, including the table! So check it out. Houzz is getting to be more and more of a great go-to site for decorators.

When I researched the Houzz post, I found a plate similar to mine with an Italian name. I'm beginning to think the lobster was a very popular image, perhaps used for transferware.

The mark on the underside of my plates say "Hand Painted Made in France", and I think they are vintage, not antique. I have had them for twenty five years or so, when I first got them in an antique shop in New York for my little cottage in East Hampton. Perhaps the gold rim is hand painted, and the lobster is transferware.

Find out where to get these vintage lobster dinner plates and other great things for the table at Houzz

I always loved them, and use them on New Years, or when I serve shellfish. The lobster has morphed into a crawfish since the plates moved to from East Hampton to New Orleans.

Hope you enjoy my "finds" on Houzz!

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Where Did Agora Go?

Agora Galleries was a fun shopping place, a collection of different vendors with well priced things for the home. I say "was" because sadly it closed a few weeks ago. But dry your eyes fellow decorators! It has reopened just up the street, with a new name: The Shops at 2011 Magazine, at 2011 Magazine Street. No web site yet, but a Facebook page called The Shops at 2011 Magazine.

Just open for a couple of weeks, it is still being stocked with wonderful things by wonderful vendors.
I had to stop by and see what is going on, and there is so much cute stuff to buy! I snapped a ton of photos, so sit back and come window shopping with me, and get over there soon. And if you are not from New Orleans, put it on your must-see list when you come to visit.

Go see The Shops at 2011 Magazine now! Open 10 - 5,  (504) 407-0499

Fabulous pairs at 2011 Magazine

Cute brass lion at 2011 Magazine

Fantastic zebra couch at 2011 Magazine, and love that hot pink pillow

Loving on the loving cup at 2011 Magazine

This booth at 2011 Magazine has a ton of lamps at good prices

Love these little paintings at 2011 Magazine - only $60. each!

Wonderful art work, and a spectacular Empire style chandy at 2011 Magazine

Tailor's bins at 2011 Magazine - wonderful storage

Rolls of pretty twine at 2011 Magazine - Pile a few in a basket

I love graphics! Cute Bistro sign at 2011 Magazine

Yellow Ikat dot settee and charming Buddha pillows at 2011 Magazine

Fab metal letters starting at $8. At 2011 Magazine

LOVE these HIP letters at 2011 Magazine

So many goodies at 2011 Magazine

Vintage retro and Euro style at 2011 Magazine

Cute stationary is getting harder to find, but you can find it at 2011 Magazine

Stylish notions at 2011 Magazine
Happy Shopping! 

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Jenny Andrews from MFAMB is having a love affair with vinyl.  I've been having one for years. I covered my dining chairs, a French settee, and a camel back sofa if faux white leather, which is really, uh vinyl. I have also done this for clients' furniture.

Jenny says, "that some of you think vinyl is the asshole of all fabrics. The most annoying of all fabrics. The Luann in London of fabrics".

She has a way with words. Really. I love her.
These chairs are for Jenny - designed by Ashley Longshore
Anyhoo, I found some very special vinyl covered furniture that I think Jenny will love, and I think you will love too. It's designed by the artist Ashley Longshore here in New Orleans. Scroll down and enjoy!

Ocean blue metallic with gold fish

Bonjour! Hot pink glitter! You know you want these!

Tasteful beige glitter Time Out chairs

Spectacular vintage Milo Baughman chairs covered in white metallic vinyl, named the Paparazzi Chairs

Fab Kelly Green frame with Audrey painted on patent leather vinyl

Black French frame chair with matte finish beige vinyl with Audrey painting on it

Fantastic robins egg blue vinyl on an antique settee frame

Child and adult size Time Out chairs in gray and yellow vinyl - I could sit on one forever

Ashley Longshore with her chairs - In her talented hands vinyl is art - photo by Michael Smith

Anybody else out there love vinyl? Just one thing: Don't wear a vinyl rain coat when you sit on a vinyl chair. You might get stuck there forever.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dinner For Ten At Eight

Having a dinner party tonight. Squeezing ten people into our tiny dining room carved out of what probably once was a bedroom in our shotgun house. To me it's a glorified hallway, but hey, I've had dinner parties in smaller places in New York.

Alberto is making Barbecue Shrimp tonight so I thought I'd use these plates

I used a great over size paper runner - It comes on a roll and you just cut off what you need, and then throw it away at the end of the party - Perfect for messy barbecue shrimp

I placed the table on a diagonal so I could open up one leaf - The table actually has two, but the room isn't long enough to fully open up both - I use folding chairs instead of my regular dining chairs to save space

Flowers in a tureen on the "sideboard" 

Happy Weekend!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Have All The Time In The World On My Hands

Today is the final day of the week long funeral events for the most beloved 'Uncle" Lionel Batiste.

Wear white today and your watch across your hand in honor of Lionel Batiste

Uncle Lionel said, "I want to be at the Mahalia Jackson or the Superdome,” he explained to one of his daughters of his funeral wishes. He loved spectacle, a good show, and good time surrounded by tons of people.
"I want to be at the Mahalia Jackson or the Superdome” - photo by Christopher Briscoe

The memorial today is at the Mahalia Jackson Theater, a venue big enough for touring Broadway shows. “No dark colors and no crying,” he told his daughter.The family has requested that white be worn to the memorial.

I think this memorial and second line funeral procession will be the largest the city of New Orleans has ever seen, bigger than the one for musician Ernie K-Doe in 2001.

Lionel Batiste seemed like he was around forever, and that he would be around forever. A respected musician, the bass drummer for the world famous Treme Brass Band, and a also singer who could play any instrument, he would often grace the bandstand of many clubs in New Orleans, by sitting in for a number or two. He became a movie star in the HBO series "Treme".

Lionel Batiste was always there

He was a dapper dresser, and loved to promenade on Frenchman Street to show off his sartorial splendor for all to enjoy. One of his trademarks was to wear his watch across his hand, telling people,  "Have all the time in the world on my hands".  Uncle Lionel shared his joie de vivre with everyone, locals, tourists, fellow musicians, and especially pretty girls.

The sharp money green suit on his birthday

The formal attire as Grand Marshall of a second line parade

So if you can't make it to The Mahalia Jackson to pay your last respects, wear white today, and wear your watch on your left hand, and say a prayer for Lionel Batiste as he is sent home by the thousands who love him.

Have all the time in the world on my hands - Wear your watch like Uncle Lionel today - photo by Christopher Briscoe

Have you thought about your funeral? I has a friend who wanted one like the character Annie had in the movie "Imitation of Life". Little did I know that I would be living in a place where that kind of funeral is the custom.

"No dark colors and no crying" - Wear white today to celebrate Lionel Batiste

Off you go Uncle Lionel.  Off you go home, where you truly do have all the time on your hands.

Lionel Batiste 1931-2012 - photo by Marc Pelletier

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Magpie Cafe Getting A Huge Buzz

I had done some consulting work for a young couple in Baton Rouge, at their home, and for a new venture they were launching called the Magpie Cafe. Lina, the lady of the house, has a natural talent for interior decor, and the new home she and husband James had just moved into was off to a good start. I helped with a floor plan, and pointing the way to further what they already had going on. Sometimes a second, experienced opinion, and a sounding board is all that it takes to move a project along.

As the house was getting done, they told me they were chasing their dream of working for themselves. Both had long professional careers, straight jobs that they enjoyed well enough, but they felt ready to do something they were truly passionate about.

James and Lina Jacobs owners of the Magpie Cafe in Baton Rouge

So they decided to open the Magpie Cafe in Baton Rouge. They called me in to weigh in and consult on the floor plan and decor. The space was a former tattoo parlor/hair salon. On a tight budget, they would have to implement the ideas themselves, so armed with a punch list, they were off. They thought they'd be open in a month.

Magpie Cafe - 3205 Perkins Rd. in the Perkins Overpass area - Open 7 AM - 5 PM Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 5PM Saturday, Closed Sundays - Web site under construction

Of course, many issues cropped up from parking zoning, to whatever else comes up when you have to do some renovation. Needless to say that one month stretched into many before they could open, and with no regular paychecks coming in, and no income from the cafe coming in either, nerves were frayed.

The front part of the Magpie Cafe - Lina used a line of wall lamps from West Elm to great effect

Being true to their vision gave them the confidence to weather the storm, and the Magpie Cafe opened in May. Their vision is clear: Serve fresh truly local food and the best coffee, in an uncomplicated, honest, and charming way.

Great coffee made in a great espresso machine

The focus is an espresso bar. James is passionate about artisan coffee, and I swear to God he makes the best cup of coffee I have ever had. He would make coffee for me when I was at their home helping out with the decor, so I could not wait for the fancy espresso machine at Magpie to fire up and produce a cup of coffee for me.

The best cup of coffee I have ever had comes from the Magpie Cafe

The decor is clean and unpretentious. Tolix chairs, green top cafe tables, wall lamps from West Elm, glass cake pedestals and cloches, and charming student art graces the walls (at very affordable prices). Lina is an art collector, so the pieces she chooses are very good. Graphics favor nice typography, and Lina designed a wall made from $100. of reclaimed wood from The Green Project, that she and James installed themselves. Upgrades will come with time.

The wall that Lina designed from reclaimed wood has already caused a stir - Locals call it "The Wall" - Steal this idea! I also love the vintage lamp and coffee table paired with the comfy leather chairs

Tolix chairs in the dining room

A farm table Lina acquired to use for family style community dining in the cafe - Student art work graces the walls

Student art at Magpie - $15.!

Portrait of Red Velvet Cake

Love this guy - Student art work at Magpie Cafe

So cute - Student art work at Magpie Cafe

Charming graphics everywhere - Service is attentive and  laid back

Rest room door sign

Rest room door sign

Even the to-go cups are cute and eco-friendly

Lina loves healthy food, and she is presently making all the food, baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and salads at Magpie. She says she  is not a chef (yet), but once again as she is blessed with natural talent in home decor, she is blessed with natural talent is food preparation.

Lina prepares food with love in the kitchen

The menu changes everyday (go the Magpie Cafe Facebook page to see the daily menu). Lina opens the cafe at 5 AM with a barrista, while James shops the local organic markets for the food Lina will prepare for lunch. Lina makes creative, uncomplicated food, with some surprising and delightful flavor combinations. Her food tastes like food, if you know what I mean.

Shared lunch on the day I was at Magpie Cafe - Fresh and delish!

The sandwiches are all heated in a Panini press. There are two sandwiches choices, one Vegan and one with meat. There is a soup, and a salad offered as well. And it all sells out early. Only enough is made fresh for that day, so when it's gone, its gone. Lina also makes the baked goods, fresh and organic and so yummy.

Everyone in Baton Rouge is talking about the Magpie Cafe HERE

Lina plans to offer more retail. Right now there is a collection of great glass containers for sale.

Well priced glassware for sale at Magpie Cafe

Love these bottles for sale at Magpie Cafe - Perfect for flowers

The buzz around Baton Rouge about Magpie Cafe is tremendous. There has been a significant amount of local press, but the word of mouth is even more exciting. Top chefs are stopping by for a bite, and everywhere you go if you mention Magpie, people are already hooked on it, or dying to check it out.

Live What You Love, the motto of Lina and James Jacobs - This sign was in their home office, and now hangs at their  fabulous Magpie Cafe

So if you live in Baton Rouge, lucky you. If you are passing through, stop by and get something really good to eat, and the best coffee ever. Lina and James are excellent hosts, and the space is open, airy, pretty, and friendly. Their motto is Live What You Love, and it is infectious.

PS Stay tuned. A little buzz is also going around about the 2009 US Salon Tango Champions hosting a once a month tango night at Magpie Cafe...

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