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Urban calm at Folklore hair salon

folklore hair salon new orleans

New Orleans is a lot of things, but it's not exactly hip. Antebellum mansions, classic cocktails and Mardi Gras balls usually spring to mind.  When you step into Folklore Salon, you instantly get the feeling that somehow, maybe, New Orleans is cool.

My friend Nicole opened the Freret Street location with her business partner Agnes in March. It's simple, clean, airy and inviting.

Each mirror is surrounded by air plants in geometric planters, the seating areas feature clear lucite chairs atop warm woven rugs and towering white walls contrast perfectly with stained concrete floors.  Topping off the entire design are four stunning large-scale oil paintings by New Orleans artist Craig Berthold.

If you're in town, stop in for a cut and color.  You just might walk out feeling a little more hip.

Winding Down in Wine Country

Chandelier hanging in tree at Viansa Winery Summer is finally over and Joe and I just returned from our last trip of the year to sunny California.  We visited family in Sacramento and fêted our dear friends Mike and Maggie in Sonoma.  Living in New Orleans, we don't get many chances to go wine tasting, so we packed as many stops as possible into a sliver of free time!

Our wine country tour focused around the Carneros Region of Sonoma Valley.  The area is just south of the town of Sonoma, off Highway 121, and makes some of the most delicious sparkling wines you've tasted.  We began our day early at Viansa, where for $10 a person, we sampled their reserve offerings and for $45, brought home a bottle of Cabernet.  The winery is impeccably landscaped and offers sweeping views from the rustic terrace dotted with tables, chairs, strings of lights and chandeliers in the trees.  We sipped, shopped, relaxed and strolled through the vineyards before moving on.

10 minutes up the road you'll find Gloria Ferrer- an expansive estate of the famed Ferrer family, who's been wine-making in Spain since the 16th century!  You may be familiar with their largest brand, Freixenet.  Much like the family she married into, Gloria has a knack for sparkling wine.  Her Pinot Noir-based bubbly, Blanc de Noirs is their most award-winning variety and offered a tasty start to our tour of the facility.  The $20 per person tour lasted roughly an hour and explored different varieties of sparkling wine as well as the wine-making process.

Last, but certainly not least, we made our way to Cornerstone Winery for Mike and Maggie's wedding.  It was a drastic departure from our previous stops.  In lieu of Tuscan architecture, Cornerstone boasts modern art and labyrinth-like gardens.  Everywhere you look there's a sculpture or art installation, intricately woven between shrub-lined walkways.  The ceremony overlooked a modern lily pond, dinner took place inside a tent filled with farm tables, and dancing spilled out of the barn and into windmills on the large lawn.

By the time Joe and I stumbled back to our hotel room, our heads were spinning from all the excitement of the fabulous day... and maybe all that wine as well!

Framed Maps Add Vintage Touch

Vintage maps The way I rave about Fine Art America, you'd think I owned stock in the company.  It's an online database of THOUSANDS of prints... of you guessed it... fine art!  What's cool is that you can find anything from John James Audubon's famous sketches to up and coming modern oil paintings and have them printed any way you'd like.  They offer canvas prints, art prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, greeting cards, even matting and framing.

I purchased the safari-inspired prints for Beau's nursery from their website and recently ordered two prints of antique New Orleans maps to add to our guest bedroom.

To cut down on costs, I bought a pre-made frame, then got the glass and mat cut at the frame shop and had them assemble everything.  The overall size is 24"X30" and with the cost of the framing and prints, each piece came out to only $100 ($200 for the pair).  I love the finished product more than I ever predicted and saved a ton of money doing them this way!  Our British Colonial-inspired guest room is now almost complete.  We just need to change out the light fixture and finish the burlap curtains.  I can't wait to show you the finished result!!

Kingsway House: Contemporary Design With Rich History

Kingsway House Chandelier- Studio WTA A while back my neighbor told me he found his dream home.  Since his house is MY dream house, I figured this place must be amazing.  He was working on a movie that was being filmed at the Kingsway House, on New Orleans' historic Esplanade Avenue.  It's a 12,000 sq ft private residence that's rented out for movies, weddings and parties (my friend Kenny went to a party put on by Solange Knowles there)!

The home began as two separate residences in the 1860's and was combined into one in the 1930's.  Back then, it was owned by Count Leon Arnaud Cazenave, owner of the famous Arnaud's Restaurant.  In the early 1990's, the property was transformed into Kingsway Studios, which recorded the likes of Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M. and Sheryl Crow.  In 2002, it was sold to Nicholas Cage.  Studio WTA worked on renovations for Cage and again for Sean Cummings, the current owner.

The Kingsway House boasts a floor-to-ceiling crystal chandelier- apparently one of only two in the world.  The decor blends modern minimalism with traditional New Orleans warmth. I think its absolutely stunning, but take a look at the pictures from Studio WTA's website and decide for yourself!

Whole Foods Goes All-American

20140701-141241-51161421.jpg You never know where you'll find inspiration and I certainly don't expect it at the grocery store, but Whole Foods Market had such a cute idea, I had to share it! Interspersed between flags, watermelons and 12-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, the store is adorned with these darling wood pallets for the upcoming 4th of July weekend.

They're painted very simply like the American flag, then lightly sanded for a vintage appeal. They have a big impact and if you could scrounge up some free pallets from a local grocery or big box store, they'd cost next to nothing to make!

I'm definitely going to try the project for myself.

Wood pallet flag at Whole Foods

Wood pallet flag at Whole Foods