Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shopping Le Petit Paris

New Orleans has often been referred to as "Le Petit Paris" and it is no wonder why. New Orleans is full of European charm and as the only city (indeed, the only State) in the country that still practices and follows the Napoleonic Civil Code, one wonders why go to Paris when you can stay in the U.S. and visit Le Petit Paris.

As many of you know (or maybe not), I am fond of and love to go on shopping hunts around town for my clients who may be looking for something in particular but don't see it on my 1stdibs store. My store is small and while there are many things in my inventory that may not be listed on my 1stdibs store, I do love to find it for you as part of my design services. In fact, while I'm not gilding or painting or otherwise choosing fabrics for some wonderful upholstery idea of mine, I am shopping for friends and/or clients for that absolutely perfect antique that they just can't live without.

A lot of people forget the French influence New Orleans has and the amazing european treasures that exist in this City alone. So if I don't have a particular piece you're looking for, there is no need to despair and take the next flight out to Paris. Chances are it is right here in Le Petit Paris if you know where to look. And what's more (like I have done in the past for many of my clients turned friends), if we find a piece and it needs upholstering or painting or waxing or restoration (and most antiques do), I can do my magic on it and have it shipped absolutely ready to be used in your home. In fact, a client of mine (a designer) was looking for months for an Italian gilded queen size bed for her own client. She called me and I went on a headboard hunt. I finally found an amazing florentine headboard that was stunning. As many antique headboards go, this one did not have legs but rather was meant to hang from a wall. Although the headboard was stunning (and I can't wait to show you photos of it as soon as we are done with it), her client wanted it altered to have legs such that a bed frame could attach to it and she also wanted the inside of the headboard (which was the typical florentine wood panel) upholstered and tufted. As my amazingly talented craftsman says, "No problem!!!" Not only is he making a frame with legs that will blend in perfectly with the antique Italian headboard, but we are also keeping the gorgeous gilded frame of the headboard but upholstering and tufting the inside of it in a white velvet. The result is going to be stunning!!! Photos to follow.

So please don't ever think something is impossible. Nothing, including my own dreams, are impossible, I've realized.

But enough of my blabbing. Here are some of the most beautiful treasures I found on a recent walk around my little european city.

Antique Italian giltwood headboard (similar to the one I found and am restoring for my client)(Bush Antiques).

Whimsical Painted Trumeau Mirror on wood (almost looks like the real thing!) (Bush Antiques).

I love the way the chandelier was hung from the paneling and the mirror placed behind it. (Bush Antiques).

Italian Beaded Chandelier with Turquoise painted wood frame. To die for!

I wish I had the room in my house for this trumeau, I would have taken it!!! Gorgeous 12 ft tall painted trumeau (painted in a gustavian grey) with hand carvings. (La Belle Nouvelle Orleans).

Even the outdoor architectural elements and furnishings are beautiful and easy to find in this city. (The Plant Gallery)

I love urns, whether you use them inside or outside.

Another 12 ft. trumeau -- this one is gilded and stunning. (La Belle Nouvelle Orleans).

And this Antique Italian Florentine chest took my breath away. My client needed something to put a small television on and this was absolutely perfect! (Antiques on Jackson).

Of course, there is always plenty of treasures at my own store, disegno Karina Gentinetta....

Just in -- Beautiful pair of brown mohair and down cushion french bergeres.

Pair of Italian painted bombe chest nightstands. I adore the hues of greys and whites on these pieces.

Swedish style painted corner cabinet and French antique sofa in Belgian linen and down cushion.

Custom made pair of Italian sconces (4ft. tall!!), handcrafted in Italy with Murano glass crystals. The beauty of these (aside from the obvious) is that they can be made to order in any size and in multiple pieces.

Italian handcrafted chandelier above custom made, four-post bed. The white belgian linen settee in the background just shipped to Manhattan.

Also just in, this gorgeous, hand carved Italian oval desk/table with original paint and original satin upholstered table top. One of my favorite pieces!! The accompanying french armchair also has its original pink satin toile fabric. Together, they are exquisite.

I love this carving detail on my of my newest antique Italian carved mirrors. Have you ever seen anything quite like it?

But just remember, just because you don't see it on my website or at my store, it doesn't mean I can't find it here in New Orleans buried among the gorgeous european treasures we have in this city. Just email me or call me through my 1stdibs page. I find it especially fulfilling to make dreams come true.


  1. Karina - My favorite piece that you found for me that wasn't in the store is the petite chandelier we put in the bathroom. I was shocked that I asked you for something and you came back within a day or two with that find and it was beyond my expectations. I look at it every day in awe at how perfect it is! I have a personal crush on the upstairs part of Bush Antiques with all of the antique religious vestments and objects.

  2. Hello,dear Karina!

    Your store is divine,absolutely beyond nice...What an magnificent treasures do you have in!
    All those pieces tooks my breath away,just bizzar pices!!!

    My warm hugs,

  3. Stephanie, you are so sweet! I think of you often.

    Dear Violetta, you always have such nice things to say.

  4. Thank you for visiting and your kind words. I love your blog and I think your taste is exquisite also.Just wish I could by everything on your blog. All oh so beautiful! Fiona

  5. Karina, you are one of the most resourceful and talented women I've encountered. I love your passion for helping clients find just the right thing. I don't get the feeling that you're in it for the sale so much as for the joy and satisfaction of knowing you helped someone find their dream piece! I love that about you.

    I've been wanting to call you back, but October has raced ahead without me!


  6. Dearest Karina .... I just posted a comment and lost it! So I will try again! Beautiful post as always and "le petite paris" is on my to visit list! We are going to have such a great time. I love the Italian mirrors and the sconces and also the bedside bombe tables! You are incredible as you find what people want with an innate sense of knowledge of the antiques and your clients! Gorgeous and stay posted for your surprise!
    hugs Frances


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