Laurel Street Blog

Archive for October 2009

Just some fun hand-assembled (and phoney) clocks I spied today in the window of Saks. Our Saks is not generally known for creative window design so this one caught my eye. Also digging the New Orleans skyline and street lamps I caught in the shot.

P.S. Valorie, the Visual Vamp keeps on marching through the ranks in the Apartment Therapy 2009 Color Contest. She’s in the finals today! Show a little love and go here to vote again today!

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A bit dinged but with a little touch-up here and there, they just might work as the bedside tables I’m been scouting. Unless someone around here talks me out of it, I think I’m going back for them today. They’re well priced at $99 a piece – I couldn’t buy a single new table for $198, total. And it was a total accident that I stumbled across them.

I was out on River Road yesterday looking for Antiques & Wholesale Furnishings when I overshot my target. The first spot I found to pull off the road and turn around turned out to be a flea market that I didn’t know existed. After my last round of scouting left me more flea-bitten than anything, I had low expectations. I deliberated even getting out of the car. So what a surprise when this pair of twins appeared amidst a broken jukebox and a menagerie of dusty bibelots.

Not antique - but close enough.

Not antique - but close enough.

I didn’t buy them on the spot as I was in the car and thought I might find something even better at the wholesale place (that was having a sale of 50% off all warehouse stock). But there really wasn’t anything there to speak of, so I took a leisurely drive back up River Road homeward.

Near the Riverbend, the car started loosing power and I was able (miraculously) to swing the car off the busy two lane road onto a side street. Even more miraculously, Richard just purchased AAA for us both this week when he went to get his international driver’s license.

Strangely, the car died only three blocks from our mechanic, but still had to get it towed – it took an hour and a half to have the car moved three blocks. I was done for the day… but I still can’t get the tables off my mind.

Granted there is most like a federal-deficit sized bill coming for whatever Saab part has to be flown across international waters to resuscitate the car and Italy trip is looming, but I think the tables are too good of a deal to pass up. I’m off now – don’t tell Richard.

Update:

These things work miracles!

These things work miracles!

And there we go.

And there we go.

Ripped from the headlines (again): “Magazine Street interior designer a scam artist, bamboozled customers say.” Read the gory details here on NOLA.com. I have not had enough coffee to make really good jokes yet. This post will be updated throughout the day.

It is so hard to get a good mugshot.

It is so hard to get a good mugshot.

I lost it all in soft furnishings.

I lost it all in soft furnishings.

In fact, there is a motorini in my future.

In fact, there is a motorini in my future.

Oh yes, that is one pretentious post title. I like to trot out the French from time to time just to keep things fancy. Actually, the ‘flaneur’ part is from Edmund White’s literary confection of the same name concerned with nothing more that various walks though Paris. All pretense aside, it will transport you there. It is a wonderful read and you will save euros.

I should be working on my [rudimentary? rough-hewn? larval?] Italian sound-making ability right now as it is only six weeks and counting until our non-traditional Thanksgiving in Italy. I have tapes, grammar workbooks, phrase guides, flash cards (one must attack the enemy from all sides! …Assaltare!) What I do not have is motivation.

So in basically non-sequetorial spirit I present: Le Boulevard. It’s an art & antique mall that lives technically in New Orleans but is in fact so close to Metairie it might as well be there (it’s also close to my primary hair care provider).

Do you all remember Metairie? The place where New Orleanians are forced to go from time to time to get stuff? The place where the sole question on the driving exam is, “Can you honk the horn?” I believe this is the same driving test they take in Italy.

I’ll start with the GOOD:

An adorable coffee table made from reclaimed New Orleans shutters. A glass top keeps your wine glass from ruining the rug. A design by Janet Molero, ASID. Cute, no?

An adorable coffee table made from reclaimed New Orleans shutters. A glass top keeps your wine glass from ruining the rug. A design by Janet Molero, ASID. Cute, no?

Here's the dining room version - I'm crazy about this.

Here's the dining room version - I'm crazy about this.

This is a handsome (and well priced) writing desk from a seller who had numerous writing desks and obviously shares my dotty obsession with writing desks. Alas, I do not have a spot for it.

This is a handsome (and well priced) writing desk from a seller who had numerous writing desks and obviously shares my dotty obsession with writing desks. I do not have a spot for it. Shoot.

A lovely pair of colorful lanterns - it's a shame they weren't wired for the new electric light.

A lovely pair of colorful lanterns - it's a shame they weren't wired for 'the new electric light.

This pair of (Italian!) lanterns was electrified and I would've slapped them up all over the front of my house if I weren't going to (Italy!) next month. $$$.

This is one of a pair of (Italian!) lanterns which was electrified and I would've slapped them up all over the front of my house if I weren't going to (Italy!) next month. They are well priced, but still... well, let's just say there's room in the budget for haircuts and coffee right now and that's about it.

Nice gray linen chairs with an unexpected printed burlap on the back.

Nicely made gray linen chairs with an unexpected printed burlap on the back.

There was more GOOD, but I’m snarkily itching to get to the BAD!

A very rare specimen from the Lo Mein dynasty. It is fortunate that my iPhone has a terrible camera inside of it. This is more hideous than you can believe and I simply cannot fathom an interior design problem where this chair is the solution.

A very rare specimen from the Lo Mein dynasty. It is fortunate that my iPhone has a terrible camera inside of it. This is more hideous than you can possibly believe and I cannot fathom an interior design problem where this chair is the solution.

Tortured Jesus with a decorative gold gilt base was on sale! This was actually sitting on a buffet in a dining room vignette. I'll just have a salad, thanks.

Tortured Jesus with a decorative gilt base is on SALE! This is actually sitting on a buffet in a dining room vignette. I'll just have a salad, thanks.

Every room needs a focal point!

Every room needs a focal point!

And of course, we have the UGLY. If you have an expensive LCD monitor you may not with to continue. No warranty or liability is implied…

That's quite an flower arranglement.

That's quite an flower arranglement.

Though a creative fusion of flammable fabrics and electricity, this lighting creation still manages to retain a hydra-like creative point of view.

A creative tour de force of flammable fabrics and electricity. Hydra-like, this lighting Muppet could illuminate your own collection of snow-globes and props from the movie Aliens.

I have told myself I would go thrifting since I started this blog. Today, I had my mind set of some tables or small chests that would serve by the bedside. I’d even do some [shudder] painting or refinishing if needed. So I Googled and mapped out a little circuit though Orleans and Jefferson Parish. My best prospect was my first one – Canal Hotel Liquidator – reselling all manner of things, mostly gently used from when the local hotels renovate. Fun ideas for other projects (Thanks for the tip, Mitchell!) No luck on bedside tables, however. It was on to my next stop.

It turned out The Plant Gallery was on my way – I picked out two new well-priced houseplants and chuckled in the boutique part of the store over a Zebra melamine tray that was marked $250.00 – I was tempted to ask if that was a mistake! Ahem. It’s um, melamine.

From there it was a short and fast drive to Harahan where the Jefferson flea market was just waiting for me with bed tables galore!!!

But oh – what’s that I see in this strip mall? TJ Maxx? Well I never. So many house bloggers have found gems at Chez Maxx that I had to stop in. I was unfortunately not rewarded – and I keep an open mind and look for any creative opportunity.

Next door was something called Kirkland’s Home. I had a vague memory of this store from the 90’s – couldn’t hurt to take a peek, could it?

It actually hurt. The music was loud and the junque (I’ll add a -que out of generosity of spirit) was even louder. Not what I remembered. But then the 90’s are a little hazy for me… I do seem to remember Bill Clinton.

Well, I hopped in the truck and sprinted to the Jefferson Flea Market. 85 vendors! And this happens every weekend? How could I have missed this phenomenon?!? My own Round Top right in my own back yard!!!

As a representative of the Greater New Orleans Area I will now personally apologize to Eddie Ross for the Jefferson Flea Market (Eddie came in March for a shopping trip and Home Show installation and presentation – I met him briefly at the Vamp’s soiree!).

I apologize for the fact that the Jefferson Flea Market is an all-out God-forsaken black hole of a dust-mite necropolis and I will never, NEVER step foot in that place again. But, BUT, if I am ever looking for acrylic crochet LP covers, or a single representative of every mis-matched dish known to human-kind, or something like, like… this…

Anyone? A little something Rococo for the boudoir?

Anyone? A little something Rococo for the boudoir?

Then I know where to go. Whew…

Miz V.

Miz V.

In 48 hours, the Apartment Therapy 2009 Color Contest will be decided. And with a little help from you friends – Valorie (the Visual Vamp) could be the winner.

I looked at all the entries over coffee this morning – and Valorie’s entry is stunning. And I covet the outsized medical charts in her dining room. You have to see them. Go now. Vote for Val!

P.S. About the ya’ll in the title. I was carried away by Joni’s last post from this achingly beautiful Texas ranch. Gosh – what a place!

Take a look at what can be done in a small San Francisco apartment with a small renovation budget (and obviously wonderful taste and some wonderful antiques!). Enjoy out the clever work of the talented designer, Grant K. Gibson. A coplete slideshow is here on NYTimes.com. Photographs are by Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

A custom built banquette makes a cosy dining area. If I'm not mistaken is that a burlap tablecloth from Ballard Designs?

A custom built banquette makes a cosy dining area. If I'm not mistaken is that a burlap tablecloth from Ballard Designs?

A tidy corner for a drinks tray.

A tidy corner for a drinks tray.

It helps to have great antiques - many of the prints were pulled from old books and put in inexpensive frames. My favorite trick...

It helps to have great antiques - many of the prints were pulled from old books and put in inexpensive frames. My favorite trick...

Classical lines even in a tiny powder room. The silver loving cup hides the T.P.

Classical lines even in a tiny powder room. The silver loving cup hides the T.P.

Creative upcycling of a $500 bed from PB Teen with a custom mohair headboard.

Creative upcycling of a $500 bed from PB Teen with a custom mohair headboard.

Greek Key trim boosts the linen curtains

Greek Key trim boosts the linen curtains


Laurel Street Blog

Nate and Louis

Well, hey there. I'm Nathan and this is the Laurel Street Blog. It's a place for talking about design, decor and DIY (with small amounts of snarkery snuck in). I'm a pretty restless guy who loves house projects and lives in a 150+ year old cottage on Laurel Street in New Orleans. Since the house always has something going on with it (or falling off of it) I'm subsequently blessed with a never-ending supply of Web content to share. Oh - and you can drop me a line anytime LaurelStreetNola@gmail.com. Enjoy!

Can I get a tweet up in here? Follow along @LaurelStreet

The Laurel Street Cottage

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