Saturday, March 31, 2012


Many thanks to Valorie Hart a/k/a The Visual Vamp for the wonderful, kind, thoughtful, and generous article she wrote on me.  A talented New York designer, stylist, tango dancer, and writer who has adopted New Orleans as her home, Valorie is a gem among gems.  To read the article and all the other insightful posts on her blog, click here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Southern Living Magazine April 2012 Issue

In January of this year, Southern Living Magazine (which graces the coffee tables of most homes in New Orleans and in the southern states) contacted me about doing an article on the rebuilding of our house post-Katrina.  I was so honored that Southern Living, a magazine which I have been following for so many years with its great articles on Southern cooking, travel destinations and features on some of the most beautiful homes in the Southern U.S., would want to feature my home.

Here are some of my favorite recent features from Southern Living in case you are not familiar with this Southern magazine icon:

So in the somewhat cold month of January, a 5 member editorial and photographic crew from Southern Living flew in to New Orleans to spend 3 days with us.  It was a lot of work preparing the house for the shoot with 2 young kids and 3 very curious and attention seeking dogs (especially the Labrador who wanted each of the crew members to engage in a game of "toss the kong so I can go retrieve it about 100 times").  But it was also a lot of fun and meeting the staff of Southern Living was a great experience that I will always treasure.

Yesterday, in the mail, I received the April 2012 issue of the magazine and was ecstatic to see the beautiful article they wrote on my little house in New Orleans.  Due to hit newstands today or tomorrow, here is a sneak peak at the issue.

April 2012 issue

A little nook in my kitchen

Our kitchen

Our family room with Thelma, one of my twin wire-haired dachshunds.  Her sister, Louise, was under the antique daybed which I use as a sofa.

My beloved secretary (to the left) which I rescued and painted in Benjamin Moore's Tudric Pewter and Summer Storm (inside the drop leaf).

Embarrassingly distressed front porch floors.  People think I did it on purpose but that is the result of painters painting on a rainy day and not letting the paint fully dry before the next coat.

 The family portrait (took several shots to get everyone, including Satchmo and Louise to all be 
looking at the camera!)

Thank you, Southern Living, for believing that I was worthy of such a wonderful article.

Hope you have a fabulous day wherever this post finds you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action! - Behind the Scenes

The big day arrived yesterday for my photoshoot and I felt like Catherine Zeta Jones getting ready for the red carpet.  It was such an amazing day full of glamour, fun and lots of designer dresses (30 to be exact!).

Here are a few shots of the day's events.

My wardrobe arrives

30 gorgeous designer dresses to choose from, including the latest designs from BCBG, Brunello Cucinelli, Maria Cornejo, Max Mara, Cristiano Magni, Josie Natori, Elie Tahari, TSE, Michael Kors, and Giorgio Armani.

Discussing hair and make-up with my stylist, Evlin Lake (and catching up on some celebrity girly gossip)

Conceal, conceal, conceal those fine lines!!!!

 Let the fun begin!

Very nervous...

Getting a little more comfortable...

By the end, I was in celebrity mode!

And then, it was all over....  The coach turned back into a pumpkin, the coachmen into mice, and my gorgeous dresses into my daily casual yoga wear.   Sigh.....

But I still have my one glass slipper......

Hope you have a fantastic day wherever this post finds you and remember, LIVE OUT LOUD!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

Forgive me for the lack of posts in the last week.  Things have been hectic in my world with lots of exciting things happening, not the least of which is my photoshoot tomorrow for More Magazine.  It has been in the works for some time and I really never thought it would happen.  But it is!  And tomorrow is my big day, complete with make up artist, hair stylist and a wardrobe.  I cannot tell you how excited and nervous I am.  Just stay tuned for the June issue of More.

As many of you know who have been following me for over a year now, all of this started out of necessary choices in life.  Hurricane Katrina, losing my home, rebuilding, my father's death, a very stressful legal career -- all of these things contributed to a life style and career change that I could only have dreamt of.  And, with the last bit of courage and desperation that comes from feeling like you've hit rock bottom, I took the plunge into the unknown.  Almost 2 years later, with a showroom in New York and an online store on 1stdibs, I keep pinching myself daily.  Every day is a new journey for me, a new learning experience and I embrace every minute as if it were my last.  LIVE OUT LOUD, I say!!!!!!  It's the only way to live.

But enough of me!

Now, being the curious cat that I am, I had to check out the photographer who would be shooting me.  I mean, you would do the same, right?  So I googled Cedric Angeles and was just amazed that this man -- this artist -- this genius of the camera --  would take the time to photograph me in my home in New Orleans.

Cedric Angeles is a transplanted New Yorker who now lives in Louisiana.  His photographic style is influenced by his love for film and travel. He is a regular contributor to many of the world’s leading travel, lifestyle, and fashion magazines like GQ, Glamour, Travel+Leisure, Martha Stewart Living, Food+Wine, W, Bon Appetit, and British Traveller. His work is driven by the natural light and movement surrounding his subjects. Born and raised in the Philippines, he moved to California in his early teens and studied photography at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He lives between New York and New Orleans.  Oh, and he just had a beautiful baby girl 2 weeks ago!  Congratulations!

Take a look at a few samples of his work.

 Part of his Dreamland New Orleans series

Clancy's Restaurant (so many memories of this great neighborhood restaurant.  As young attorney, I lived across the street from this famed New Orleans' establishment) 

 Cedric can make water look like champagne!!!

The juxtaposition of light and shadows is so dramatic.

Cedric has traveled extensively, shooting far off places

He can take an ordinary brick oven and artisan pizza and make it look like art.

Clean and elegant


For more of Cedric's work, click here.

So I'm thinking I'm in very good hands, don't you think?  Certainly, Cedric can do magic with his camera.  Now I just hope and pray that my home and I can be worthy of his lens.  Off to exfoliate my face!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Minimalism Meets Decadence

La Maison des Champs-Elysées:  The first hotel to be decorated by Martin Margiela, the renowned Belgian fashion designer.  Yes, you heard me right, a fashion designer.  In this absolutely gorgeous historical building, which dates back to 1864, fashion meets architecture and the two blend in seamlessly.

Take a look.

The Maison Champs Elysées successfully combines classical and avant-garde styles to create an elegant, relaxing environment.

The impressive and slick lobby.

The dramatic contrast between old and new is captivating.

I can't take my eyes off these danish style modernist chairs.

Painted mouldings echo the architectural details of this historic Parisian building.

I adore the contrast of minimalism with decadence as brought forth by this beaded chandelier.  For a similar one, visit my 1stdibs store here.

Margiela wanted to bring black and white drama to his design and contrasted white rooms against black ones.

So art deco.

A bronze and marble staircase contrasts with the belgian linen upholstered fabric Margiela is well known for.

The belgian linen upholstery makes this lounge inviting.  

I can't get enough of these chairs!

La Maison des Champs Elysees
8, rue Jean Goujon
75008 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 40 74 64 65    
Fax.. +33 (0)1 70 36 54 63

I hope you enjoyed this design tour as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Have a wonderful weekend wherever this post finds you.