Colorful Homes In New Orleans

There is just something about being in New Orleans. The culture has deep roots and I love exploring the city. On one street, you can find a home, a church, and a coffee shop! (what more do you need in life than that!?) There is nothing worse (to me) than an entire neighborhood with 3 floorplans, a reversed version, and 4 brown stucco colors on the whole street. I love character. Art. Imagination. This city has plenty of it!

Once just an old Southern tradition, the blue porch ceiling has made its way north and is being introduced to new generations. There are numerous theories as to why — from fooling spiders and wasps into thinking the ceiling is the sky, to blue being a harbinger of good luck, to the color extending daylight, to scaring away evil spirits. Notice the subtle color below. (Info courtesy of Sherwin Williams website.)

And another blue porch ceiling…

Post Katrina search & rescue teams identified homes by marking them with a spraypainted “X” and coded information. Some residents made a conscious decision to retain the codes as part of the provenance of that structure or a memorial to the event. This photograph was taken last week.

Aren’t these colorful homes wonderful!?


Tuesday’s Tip: Solar Shades & Double Shades

Last week, I went for the final installation of  Solar Shades for a client’s New Orleans condo. You can see the difference in glare from the left window (no shade) to the middle window (with shade). MechoShade window coverings can reduce glare, heat & your energy bill. The shades are available in a variety of fabrics, transparency levels, and can even be motorized! And the best part about solar shades: you can see out, but no one can see in.

For the living room windows/door, we decided on using the highest heat blocking shade without going opaque.

Tip: For bedrooms, considering using a dual shade. This system is 2 shades on one headrail that serves two purposes: You can block heat during the day while maintaing your view, and use a blackout shade at night. (Your guests will thank you for it!)

Below: Transparent Shade

Below: Blackout Shade & Transparent Shade

For you engineers, here is the visual of how it works….

If you would like to reduce heat & glare for your windows, or perhaps add a blackout shade to the bedrooms, email me at: I would love to help!

Join me tomorrow! I got to New Orleans early and was able to get some snapshots of the colorful artsy homes around the area!!!


Jamie Drake

“I don’t think there are any ugly colors, and I’m not even sure that I think there is any combination that can’t work somehow; it has to do with balance and proportion.”    –Jamie Drake


Diane Von Furstenberg – London Claridge’s Hotel Suite

Happy Monday! I’m finally back from my 10-day hiatus. In a down economy, most people pull back, but I have done quite the opposite. You can never stop learning, especially in this fast-paced industry when trends are in one day and out the next. So, I attend as many seminars and markets as my schedule will allow.

I try and constantly surround myself with people who have great vision for their life…a desire for a great marriage, family, and career. I love the saying: “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”.

On my way back from Canada, (blog post to follow) I was lucky to score the newpaper from the guy next to me! Not sure what was inside, but something caught my eye. Low and behold, it contained a DVF designed hotel suite. (I can spot great design from afar!) Here’s a little peak at London’s Claridge’s Hotel.

And this is what type of fashion she cranks out…(mild heart attack!)

Who is your favorite fashion designer?


Tuesday’s Tip: Chandelier Hanging Height & Size

Have you ever wondered what size your dining room light fixture should be? Before buying the wrong size, you can do a quick little calculation to find out!

Designers have several tricks of the trade and Crystorama has provided the perfect tool to save you time.

How wide should a chandelier be?
To size a chandelier in your room. Measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. Example the room is 12’ X 14”, (12+14=26? – the chandelier is 26”

How wide should a chandelier be if my table size is…?
To size a chandelier to your table, measure the width of your table and divide by 2.
Dining Table seats 4-6 people, the chandelier diameter is 20”-24”
Dining Table seats 6-8 people, the chandelier diameter is 25”-29”
Dining Table seats 8-10 people, the chandelier diameter is 30”-36”

How low should a chandelier hang with a two-story ceiling?
The chandelier should hang 10”-11” above the floor.

What is the height a chandelier should hang above a table?
Click here to visit their website and find out!


Did you find this tip useful?


Happy Labor Day!

I hope you’re able to catch up on your rest today! Labor Day marks the end of summer, the beginning of NFL and college football, and the last day to wear white. (I always say you have to know the rules to break them!) I love white, but I guess my “summer dresses” will have to move to the back of the closest.

Today is also my mom’s birthday! Happy Birthday MOM!!! Here’s one last “white” picture of the season for you…a white kitchen. (I’ve been begging to paint the brown cabinets for years…I think I’m finally wearing her down)

The fixture below is from Crystorama. They carry a beautiful assortment of lighting from traditional to modern…can’t go wrong with Swarovski!)

How do you feel about white after Labor Day? Any big celebration plans?