Laurel Street Blog

Archive for the ‘Shopping Out Loud’ Category

The Vamp had a great post up yesterday: Hits & Misses…. It got me thinking what worked around Laurel Street and what didn’t? Valorie and I both live in classic, but small, New Orleans houses… one square foot never felt so precious, every inch counts. She posed the question today – are you a serial decorator?

"Serial Mom" starring Kathleen Turner. Please tell me I am not the only one who remembers this movie.

Okay to the serial decorating, I might be guilty. And the recent misses of 2009? I missed big time on this one:

This clock. I mean, it's fine, it's fun, it was a good deal, it's well made, it's New Orleans-y.... I tried convincing myself on multiple levels.

But ultimately I could not convince myself that it didn’t look just a little bit cheap… honestly I have never bought such an overtly ornamental thing in my life. Why I didn’t I look around little longer?

This one is the perfect scale for the space and its design is more up my alley:

This is very handsome. At 20" x 13" it's a nice size and will be perfect for the narrow space in the bath. The other clock will find a nice (different) home. Perhaps on a farm somewhere.

This clock comes from Bronson Design. I’d come across them before online but neglected to bookmark their site. Then they followed me on twitter @BronsonDesign and I rediscovered a great site, deep with a wide variety of lighting and accessories.

I’m also loving these little clocks from Bronson Design – I could make a fun vignette with them:

Pedestal Clock in Antique Brass

Christopher Clock

Nice little lantern clock

You’d think with all these clocks around I’d never be late for anything. Well… I can’t talk anymore. I’m running late.

But I will offer them here for you just in case you actually need them!

One of you out there needs this chair. Great lines and less than $99.00!

I want but do not need. Well priced at $349.00 from (this site is a recent discovery)

If you cannot sleep at night because you haven't found the perfect golden bamboo etagere here it is from a ridiculously named site called

If you are still forlorn after to loss of Domino Mag (I'm really not mourning, sorry. But don't get me going on the loss of Southern Accents - I feel like pulling a Roger & Me on that publisher let me tell you - to the barricades!) Anyway, you can install one of these Zebra printed cowhides at a good price. I'm not endorsing it, mind you. Just saying, here it is.

The thing that still eludes me is a genuinely beautiful pharmacy lamp – preferably in bronze or even antique brass (is shiny brass making a comeback? I’m not sure I’m ready for it again, just yet.)

This is exactly the style I want – and it’s available from a New York retailer. They keep it in stock – I’ve had it bookmarked for at least two years.

Wouldn't you just think you could find this in a hundred varieties on the Web? Not so much. I love this and really, actually, truly need a reading lamp. This one is a classic in my book.

I know (in my mind) that $270 is reasonable for a lamp I will love for 30 years, but it just seems like there should be better priced version out there. If it’s out there – I can’t find it. But hey, I had quite a little safari while I was out looking for it.


Lindsey at the fab Better After Blog featured little old Laurel Street today – both the famous Whole Room Redux: Spare Bedroom to Study post as well as the el cheapo kitchen fixes! Thanks Lindsey! If you love before & afters like I do, you’ll love reading the Better After blog every day. Always fun!

I couldn’t be happier with these new frames – I’m so glad to find a new online source with real variety of profiles, styles and non-stock sizes.

The frames below have a handsome green finish with edges picked out in gold. Nice bevel and dimensionality and available in an unusual 14″ x 18″ size. Or 15″ x 18″ or 13″ x 19″ if I wanted… almost custom framing flexibility! I had my choice of this green, red, black or a nice navy blue…. and that was just for this one profile type. The seller has many many more to choose from.

The best part? These frames only cost me $13.99 a piece. I mean, that is a steal.

So handsome. I would've never guess they were ready-mades. Yes that's Ella (our Boxer) in the Northeast corner of the pic - she's debating whether she wants to go out in the wet backyard.

Of course, I’ll need to get mats cut for the little prints that will go inside these frames, but I just thought I’d share a sneak peek and the online source. The Rusty Roof is an Amazon seller that I’m sure I’ll be visiting again. I think they are fairly new to the scene because I’m constantly hunting online sources and hadn’t come across them until last week. Some other profiles:

This is very nice - I'm sure I'll find a use for this one in the future.

They have this simple profile in a wide variety of lightly distressed colors. And hey - turquoise is the Pantone color of the year, right?

Another great profile - these don't look ready-made to me!

Mod/Urban - I'm pretty sure I could put this to use somewhere.

One of the more handsome gold profiles I've seen online. I actually used this same profile in a small custom frame once - it cost 5-6 times what it does on Amazon!

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”

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!

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.

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.


These things work miracles!

These things work miracles!

And there we go.

And there we go.

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

May 2020