Laurel Street Blog

Archive for November 2009

Behold. The Pottery Barn Daily System.

Behold. The Pottery Barn Daily System.

What is the concept at work here?

To take a drawer and hang all of its contents on a wall?

Clearly the people that live in this imaginary Pottery Barn house have a desperate need to see at all times, with a single glance:

  • their scissors
  • a bingo card
  • one photograph of pancakes
  • every key that they own
  • 30 precisely sharpened pencils

Or maybe its is a low tech version of this:

Either way, I am amused that the first item on the imaginary shopping list is “Arugula”

If you visit only one blog post today (other than this one) make it to the blog From the Right Bank to the Left Coast.

I see so many things that are an inspiration. I read all the magazines – each room styled within an inch of its life. But this feels different. It feels like real life. Go see a genuinely beautiful French country home near Normandy.

The photos taken by the owner, Christian of Le Banc Moussu blog are pure poetry – please proceed directly to the sublime.


Double sigh.

There’s so much more. 15 years of restoration love at work.

Okay, okay. The slipcover thing for the headboard didn’t work out. My angst is misplaced. The headboard is not my favorite in the world but can make do until I find something antique.

But there is something in the bedroom that has been bugging me for a long time. I just realized this morning, the corners of the room seem abandoned. I remembered seeing a wonderful “broken capital” pedestal on Joni’s Cote de Texas blog once. Maybe if I can source a column and a neo-classical bust, my corner would feel more complete.

The classic broken column. What I'm wanting today.

Via Cote de Texas. The classic broken column. What I'm wanting today.

Now for something fun to go on top. I’m off to the races to check blog buddies for ideas. I found a lot of busts and other classical details – here’s a round-up:

Via Cote de Texas. Joni had a lot of good ideas about statuary in a recent Skirted Roundtable podcast.

This room via Cote de Texas really has some WOW. Note the bust, enfilade.

Another find from Joni - loving the black velvet table skirt.

Above images were shamelessly stolen from Cote de Texas

A handsome pair of hall sentries from Euro Antiques Market blog.

Above image was liberated from Euro Antiques Market

From Mary at Devon Designs - the Across the Pond blog (who should patent her decorative paint techniques for furniture - I've learned a lot from her)

Above image purloined from  Mary – Across the Pond

A weathered find from My Notting Hill

Above image was scandalously snagged from My Notting Hill

From a room by Shelia Bridges via So Haute

Above image was pilfered from So Haute!

Love this gold-tone bust. A find from KatieDid.

Image five finger discount via Katiedid

I like this fellow perched up high on Lauren's bookcase - from Pure Style Home. She saw a potential gem and gave this piece a fantastic aged finish.

Above image was filched without remorse from Lauren at Pure Style Home

I'm hoping this girl is still waiting for me at Perch New Orleans. She's too small for what I'm looking for but I bet I could find a home for her elsewhere in the house.

Image petty theft from Perch New Orleans!

Valorie has featured her in a variety of vignettes at Perch. This little staute works anywhere.

Above image was rapaciously misappropriated from the Perch blog

And finally – if anybody has any ideas for me to source the ‘broken column’ pedestal, please let me know!

Vintage 1974 Kenmore Sewing Machine

Vintage 1974 Kenmore Sewing Machine. Do not ask it to do anything more than a straight stitch or it starts making noises like a bucket of rocks in the clothes dryer.



Wingback headboard with attractive shape but unfortunate wickeriness.



I’m thinking slipcover – either Linen or White Twill will be involved and piping for a nice professional look. I can guarantee some cursing will also be involved.

Hopefully the “after’ will make it to the blog. Not all of my weekend projects are successful. My attempt a faux finish on a light fixture last weekend was not pretty. Literally and figuratively.

I’m due for a win, I think.

UPDATE: I forfeit the match. Twill & linen were boring. I could not find a nice pale, mushroom colored velvet in town. My motivation to continue making a pattern has diminished to zero. I seem, in fact, to be growing fonder of the original wicker by the minute.


logoI’m not shilling for any company – but one of my favorite all time, all around most satisfying online friends is Nancy Boy. My love is hard won, earned through their unique, extremely effective brand of email marketing. Here’s an excerpt from an email they sent me on Monday about remodeling their new bricks and mortar store:

Subject: New Store & Hearth is Back!


Experts say the top 3 reasons people divorce are sexual incompatibility, money and infidelity. The sample must have been limited to people living in mud huts because 92% of couples actually split after a remodel.

A candlelit dinner is romantic. Sharing a bath is romantic. Nine months of eating, sleeping and pooping in what used to be the hall closet is not romantic.

While my attitude is very Mother Teresa no matter the circumstance Jack is a monster under stress like when we decided to turn a dilapidated building in Sonoma’s idyllic West County into a sumptuous country store.

I took on the hard parts like visioning and strategy. All Jack had was tactical stuff like architectural plans, city and county permits, contractor management and a wee bit of the actual construction.

While I lay on the couch with eyes closed but strategizing intensively Jack traipsed through the house covered in drywall dust after I’d repeatedly said to hose off in the driveway first. To turn his passive aggressive behavior into a learning opportunity I got out the electric turkey carver while he was in the shower and patiently cut his dusty clothes into shreds. He had a total spazz attack wherein he said I was working his last nerve so I moved into the laundry room with the leftover Halloween candy and my therapist says healing may be a slow process based on past experience.

The new store is open just in time for our 8th anniversary in business and we cordially invite you to visit if you’re up wine tasting but come on the days I work not him he will misrepresent certain things. You can see pictures sprinkled throughout our site: To see some pretty new photos of our San Francisco store and one of Jack with someone the caption says is me but isn’t, I am way cuter, click here:


Nancy Boy Signature Scented Lavender Buds

I get one of these hysterical emails each month – usually with a free-associative segue into whatever new product they’re announcing. All fun aside, I have to say their products are amazing. I heartily endorse the Nancy Boy Signature Shave Cream (“Tested on boyfriends, not animals.”), and almost any other of their all-natural and incredibly scented products.

Heck, I even washed the dogs on Sunday with the Nancy Boy eco dish soap. It contains entirely natural products – more so than the ‘dog shampoo’ I used to use that was made out of a petroleum-based substance. Likewise, all our clothes, towels and sheets get washed with their eco laundry soap. The fragrance is from actual lavendar and our clothes are completely petroleum free.

Speaking of botanicals, the Nancy Boys always send me a gift with each order. Last month it was a bag of lavender buds that were enhanced with their signature essential fragrance oil. I don’t usually do ‘house fragrance.’ I like candles but I never think to light them. And if I do, you will never walk into my house and think, “Is there a Cinnamon-Pomegranate Pie smoldering somewhere in this house?”

But I put these buds in a simple wide-mouthed glass bowl in the bedroom and it is just heavenly. The door stays closed during the day, so when I open it after work or settling into bed at night… well, the light fragrance will transport you. What a nice gift from a funny, original retailer.

Can I just say that this is a very good price for a handsome linen wingback headboard. It’s $449.00.


Land's End Furniture Collection

Soooo. I was just looking to order a replacement lawnmower blade, but I seemingly wandered into a vastly different online department and found this – at

Who knew? It might could be a leeetle more plump but this is really a steal… and it’s got the whole linen Swedishy thing going for it.

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 Enjoy!

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

The Laurel Street Cottage

November 2009