Laurel Street Blog

Hey, I love the New Orleans Saints. And in honor of the playoff game this Saturday, I offer this decor to be burned on the altar of  – well, I don’t know. But it should be probably be burned, somewhere.

Ripped from the Times-Picayune headlines “Living the Who Dat dream in Destrehan

PHOTOS BY BRETT DUKE / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE James and Gina Scott show off their living-area tribute to the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints chair was a recent addition to the home, but the image of Reggie Bush with a real ball protruding from it was the accent piece that put Gina Scott on the road to decor victory.

Gina Scott says the football-shaped clock in the kitchen was a Christmas gift from her mother.

The upstairs bonus room holds spillover decorations, such as the yard ornaments that have been moved inside. The tree, however, stays up year round.

While I want our local team to get to the Superbowl (Geaux Saints!) I don’t want to encourage this decorating behavior. If you spot any of the above symptoms in the home of someone you know, there is a hotline: 1-800-WTF-OMG1.

It’s handy to have, just in case.


I know I do. And it all started with these glossy black doors:

Wow! These are beautiful!

Everybody loves this San Francisco house from Elle Decor – funny but one of the things I admired the most were the glossy black front doors. The hardware and center knobs are beautiful too… but that’s not what got me thinking about pulling out paintbrushes! The glossy black finish looked chic and sleek to me.

Loving the doors. And those picture frames, the consoles, the giant glass hurricanes... and...

There’s a lot to love in this room (I shamelessly pilfered this image from my blog cousin Millie at the Laurel Hedge) but the doors again caught my eye. I believe the image originates from Homehints.

Another fabulous black door.

Another find from Ness of Marley & Lockyer blog and store fame – what a tidy, trim entry. The Wellies make the photo for me – not to mention the black and brass on the front door.

From Better Homes and Gardens via Porchlight blog

Here’s a stunner with sidelights, all rendered in black. It’s from BHG via (my third Australian design blog in one post – wow!) via porchlight interiors. I want a real gardener to deliver those two urns that flank the door to the Laurel Street cottage.

I honestly can't remember where I swiped this image from - please let me know if it looks familiar to you.

Black doors from Joni Webb's Tanglewood client. That door looks wonderful with the black banister.

Joni from the ever amazing Cote de Texas blog talks about when she painted all of her interior doors black – and again where she did it for a client. After seeing this – I love the idea.

A lovely study from Patricia

The wonderful Patricia from pve design is the source of the handsome drawing above – it’s a bit amazing how Patricia’s drawings can inspire inspire us. Take a look at this wonderful post from The House that A-M Built.

Looking good on these French doors!

I think painting the pocket doors black is a pretty hot look. I might be run out of the house if I did this to ours, however.

Above two images from the wonderful Raenovate blog post on a before/after by designer John Willey on an upper East side renovation.

The Laurel Street brown varnished door. I think a serious sanding and high gloss black might do it a real favor. Probably need to rethink the old curtains a bit (they are necessary for basic privacy). And what is up with all those crazy light switches and old alarm system box? Hmm.

Now I just need to figure out how to make it happen. Anybody have any painting tips for me to get that black high-gloss look?

Someone did say it and I made out like a bandit, despite the whole needle/haystack situation – $7.00 a yard!

I’m glad I persevered sorting through a mountain of remnants, though I had to do a bit of  strategic misdirection against a couple of sexagenarian ladies that were eying my toile rather competitively. I’m totally kidding, but those girls did admire my choices a just little bit too forcefully. They wanted to know, “what are you planning to do with that fabric, young man?” I always get funny looks (and more) when I go in the fabric store.

Nevertheless, these three are going to be turned into something fun, very soon. On reflection, I probably should be flattered that those two ladies considered me “young.”

Face it - I'm more Southern Accents than Elle Decor. I know. But come on - who could resist these three when they are at a fire sale?

It was just a happy day altogether. Not only was it (nearly) short-sleeve weather again in New Orleans, but when I went to my frame shop they weren’t busy. The framers offered to cut the mats for my little Italian prints on the spot! This never happens. It was amazing.

Happiness is instant gratification.

Zip - up they go. They're pretty cute there, but I'm not sure this is their final resting place....

And just to end on a non-sequitor: Look at this happy little Ivy! I picked up some sheet moss to dress around the base and it gave it a nicer look for the living room.

I get inordinate pleasure from little things – often inexpensive – around the house.

My duvet is from Restoration Hardware (not inexpensive, but worth the price as it gets washed every week due to frequent canine traffic and comes out of the laundry beautifully wrinkle-free).

But I struggled with their Euro shams. I didn’t want them too ‘matchy matchy’ or made out of material that had to be dry cleaned (really, RH, that’s not going to work at all) and most of their shams were ridiculously overpriced.

Look at me wildly mixing stripes and paisley - I am a crazy man! Somebody stop me.

I loved these striped shams from (of all places) that only cost about 15.00 a piece. I think I got the last two – they’re no longer on the site. Kismet.

When I posted the gallery wall – I realized that my Chinese Evergreens that I keep tucked under my desk were looking pretty battle weary after three years. Happy houseplants are another one of my simple pleasures.

After three years of service, these two have earned an honorable discharge.

That's better. Good for another three years, I think.

A pretty copper watering can - my favorite Christmas gift. (Thanks Mom - it is perfect.)

Little plants on my chippy Creole pie safe

This is my spot. The combination of three simple things make me unbelievably happy.

But the thing I’m most pleased with today is that I finally have a nice spot in the house to read. For some reason I feel happy and peaceful in this spot by the front windows.

The wingback in the floral print was an inheritance – it’s calling (loudly) for a slipcover… but I don’t mind it terribly in the short term. Disregard empty frames behind the chair – I’m still trying to figure out the best place to hang the Italian prints.

I finally ordered that pharmacy lamp from that I had bookmarked for over two years so I can cozy up and read in the evening. The hand-painted garden stool is perfect for a cup of morning coffee or a glass of wine at night. The stool was $89.00 from – I think it’s amazing for that price.

Little things – I’m easy to please.

Sunday afternoon I stumbled over some work that made my jaw drop. Trish from Trouvais posted about Balustrade and Bitters which was quite a fun discovery for me. I clicked over to their blog and saw photos of some of the contributors and designer Jeffrey Alan Marks was among them. His name was unfamiliar so I did a quick web search to find his Web site The first image in his gallery of work stopped me in mid-click:

It had me at hello.

Oh, hello.

Hi there!


Yes please. Thank you.

Designer Jeffry Alan Marks is influenced by years of living abroad in London, Paris and Milan and his style is indeed timeless. I hope he does a book.

BTW – he’s pretty stylish himself:

Jeffry Alan Marks

You might’ve had to have been there. But I love this mashup.

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.

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 2018
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