Monday, June 6, 2016

Traditional Home's SOUTHERN STYLE SHOWHOUSE: New Orleans: Review by Polly Guerin

The mansion magnificent Uptown Garden District of New Orleans is a breathtaking excursion to take preference on your sightseeing list, but recently the magazine, Traditional Home presented the 2016 inaugural Southern Style Now Designer ShowHouse at 7618 St. Charles Avenue, to benefit the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. "This Showhouse has special meaning," said Caroline Christman, who graciously greeted me. "We haven't had a Showhouse in several years and I anticipate that others will follow."
     Despite the fact that the New Orleans ShowHouse enters its final week in the Southern Style Now Design Festival, which ends June 12th, I would like to recap on some of the participating designers and artists, all originally with roots from the South, but now many are engaged in businesses from coast to coast. These inspired creators lent their contemporary vision to the 15-room showhouse while also incorporating traditional southern design to their oeuvre.
Historical Tidbit
      The 2016 showhouse, an exquisite Queen Anne Victorian built in 1895, is located in the Uptown District on one of the city's revered streets, Charles Avenue. The house is a bijoux, a jewel trimmed with white painted wrought iron and embellished with stained glass windows and beveled glass doors A French Quarter-style courtyard off the house leads to a guest cottage. The oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world, the St. Charles line, passes by the house as it makes its way from Canal Street in the Central Business district through the oldest and most majestic sections of New Orleans. 
THE SOUTHERN STYLE NOW DESIGNER SHOWHOUSE: The parlor captivated my attention. In this room Los Angeles-based designer, Reagan Hayes called on works with local bloodlines. "I started thinking of my Southern upbringing and the types of materials, textures, and design details that made me feel at home. But the design isn't just history with a soft touch. There is an edginess that is core to my personal design aesthetic." A bold graphic patterned sofa, a grand piano focal point adds eye-catching detail. Also important is art. "Every room needs a killer piece of art."Hayes says. "It adds instant drama, instant emotion, inspires conversation, and helps to elevate the entire space. That doesn't mean that it has to be expensive, but it needs to be origi8nal and needs to make a statement. Raegan's handmade furnishings are available through her eponymous showrooms in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
     Denise McGaha Interiors, Dallas, created a powder room that is a statement in femininity. Soft rose trims this bath, while a dramatic floral wall covering from Ashley Woodson Bailey covers the walls and ceiling--its reminiscent of the Garden District that has become synonymous with this beautiful city. 
The custom Roman shade is acid green finished with a modern take on Greek key trim, while original photography adorns the walls and offers a sophisticated finish to McGaha's powder room design.
     Ware M. Porter, Ware took on the task of the master bedroom and balcony. He began with a custom wool dhurrie carpet from Lisa Fine and Richard Keith Langham. An Empire bed from Bunny Williams and fabrics from Quadrille's archives were carefully chosen to work with the rug. "Tonal striped walls and custom-made lampshades deliver a sophisticated space that works the way people live today," he said.  The designer's firm is based in Birmingham, Alabama where he crafts his fresh takes on traditional design "infused with sophistication and happiness."
      Though this is just a sampling of Southern Style inquiries about other showstopper designers by contacting
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! After this Southern Style Show I think I need a total  house makeover. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at and click on the line to the Blogs in the left hand column to fashion, visionary men, determined women, and poetry. 

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