There is much about New Orleans that lends to home decor. In the melting pot that is New Orleans, romantic Spanish style courtyards are found attached to French provincial properties. Bright and funky decor mimics the feel of Mardi Gras and brings in the color and mystery that surround Haitian, African Creole and Caribbean influences. Add a dash of grand southern style and you have the decorative essence of New Orleans.
Touches of New Orleans
New Orleans style is anything but consistent. It's eclectic, dramatic, surprising, romantic and bold, but consistent it is not. This opens a myriad of options to you. Display a hint of New Orleans by adding African Creole or Caribbean art pieces to the bookshelf of an otherwise formal French-influenced room. Apply an antiqued or faux cracked-stucco texture to your walls and install colorful storm shutters and window boxes on the insides of windows. By weaving bits and pieces of New Orleans style into your home, you extend the theme throughout the house.
Add Molding and Trim
According to Karyn Pierce Paxton, owner of New Orleans-based Pierce Paxton Design Studio, many of the trims and moldings New Orleans is known for were handcrafted by Creole craftsman who brought indigenous architectural elements to New Orleans homes. While these items were original to French-sytle New Orleans homes, there is no reason you can't add these architectural elements to your home's decor. Choose a room in your house and think New Orleans formal parlor. Bring in elegant crown molding and install a real or faux ornate plaster design to highlight overhead light fixtures. Continue the molding around windows and add ornate carved moldings above a door.
Sun Room Makeover
Old stone courtyards and small indoor-outdoor rooms that feature tropical plants and wrought iron furnishings are found all over New Orleans. Create that ambiance by redecorating a sun room or small room in your home with that classic and romantic New Orleans feel. Begin with the walls and windows. Paint the walls a rich Spanish-influenced dark-sand color. Next, hang billowing, light-weight, pale-colored curtains that will catch the smallest of breezes. Install a terrazzo, glazed brick or distressed-pine floor in lieu of carpet. If new flooring is not an option, lay a room-sized natural woven rug on the floor before adding furnishings.
Use wrought iron outdoor porch furniture in the room. Add seat cushions and accent pillows made in a formal French damask fabric, and place glass and wrought iron lamps about to illuminate the space. Large potted banana palms and flowering gardenia plants complete the look. Use real gardenias if you can, as they add a sweet southern-style fragrance to the room.
- Photo Credit wrought iron gate image by Svetlana Tikhonova from Fotolia.com shades of blue image by David Dorner from Fotolia.com library front door image by horacio villamonte from Fotolia.com gardenia image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com
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