Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stealing Magnolias

I just happened to run across a copy of Debra Shriver's new book, Stealing Magnolias, and it was love at first sight for me. And what makes it even more lovely for me is that it is a book about Shriver's love affair with New Orleans -- my own city and home. I am dying to share it with you.

I am always amazed how people who visit New Orleans fall in love with this city -- all of it. From its architecture to its culture and food, New Orleans is one of those unique cities that gets under your skin. It is different from any other place on earth -- and I've been to quite a few.

In this dreamy and seductive entree into the magical city that is New Orleans, Shriver, a 12th generation Southerner, Francophile, passionate preservationist and jazz devotee creates a book that is part love letter, part scrapbook, and gives readers a rare tour behind courtyard walls and private gates of this enigmatic city, which is often considered the Paris of America.

Blue Dog Artist, George Rodrigue, offers a beautiful and touching preface. Having moved to New Orleans in 1989 from his home town of New Iberia, Louisiana, he writes:

"I never imagined as a child that I would one day call New Orleans home, and yet after Hurricane Katrina, I could imagine living nowhere else. Water has flowed through this city forever, long before "the storm," and yet the original footprint remains intact; the old buildings change hands and fulfill dreams; and the people stay loyal to this place. Once it gets a hold, there is nowhere else to go. I relate to Debra Shriver's ongoing passion for this city, and like many locals, I understand the emotion and excitement she describes throughout this book, because in 2010, after all this time, New Orleans, through this incredible combination of art and narrative, has seduced me once again."

When people ask me why I rebuilt in New Orleans after Katrina took everything away, I often don't know what to say. It is my hope that in looking at these photos and reading Shriver's wonderful book, you will understand why so many of us choose to stay, time after time. New Orleans has been an inspiration to me and with every piece of this city I restore and bring to New York or 1stdibs, I try to keep the dream alive.


  1. I-CAN-DEE!!!! Your blog is one amazing source of inspiration!! I'm ready to shop!!

  2. Thank you, Dorothy! You are a true friend.

  3. I'm baffled at the beauty! Love the photos, the content. It's on my to buy list.


    Sandy @ My Shabby Streamside Studio

  4. Dear Karina .... I LOVE this book! I am going to hop on to Amazon.com and order it! So beautiful and the pieces of furniture ... stunning (actually I think you may have done some of them!) One day I am going to make it to New Orleans and I know I will fall under its spell and when that time comes we are going to have a magical time! Have a gorgeous day.
    best wishes always

  5. P.S. Also love the macarons and that coffee cup with the gold crown!!!!! I want one! Heaven!

  6. Dear Karina this is wonderful, you know it was my concern for the beauty of New Orleans and the adds of antique dealers in Verander over the years and me thinking o no it will all be gone I trawled the inter net and found your exciting blog and now almost feel I belong to the restoration.
    Thank you Beverley xxx

  7. Beverley, both you and Frances have made me love Aussies! Both of you have become such dear friends and supporters. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.



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