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!

Neo-Classical Minimalism in New Orleans

Shaun Smith Design, Courtesy Times-Picayune New Orleans' Times Picayune recently had an incredible article on designer Shaun Smith's latest project, which was just too good not to share!

According to the article, Smith bought the 1930's era home in the Fontainebleau neighborhood.  Describing the renovation, Keith Marshall writes, "Gone are the paneled front door and the sinuous lines of ultramarine blue that outlined the home's neo-classical pediment. Now, a clean-lined gas lantern fills the space above a new, charcoal-framed front door that enlivens the all-white facade."

The interior is as stunning as the exterior.  Apparently, the staircase is the only original feature that remains in the house.  Out with the old, in with a minimalist transformation!

You can check out some of the incredible pictures below and read the article here.  Also, make sure to check out Smith's Magazine Street boutique, aptly called Shaun Smith Home.

Your Best Mother's Day Gift Guide!

Anthropologie Pamona Heels 79

If you haven't thought about mom yet, you'd better get on it.  Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 11th!  There are plenty of boring old standbys like beautiful flowers and massages.  Trust me, any mom will love either one of those!  However, if you're feeling a bit more creative this year, here are some more interesting options for mom. XOXO,


Terrain Kitchen Herbs Seed Collection 24

Kitchen herb seed collection from Terrain. $24

Martha Stewart DIY Heart Sandwich Cookies Cost of Ingredients

DIY heart sandwich cookies from Martha Stewart

Pottery Barn Chancllor Tray 49

Chancellor rectangular tray from Pottery Barn $49

Porter Lyons Everyday Double Bracelet 75Everyday double bracelet from Porter Lyons $75

Lands End Medium Tote 25

Medium canvas tote from Lands' End $25

HSN Coffee Press 40Colin Cowie Selects Bodum French press from HSN $40

Fleurty Girl Filigree Cluth 30

Fleurty filigree clutch from Fleurty Girl $30

Plain Vanilla Mom DIY Butterfly Footprint Cost of Supplies

DIY butterfly letter print from Plain Vanilla Mom

Heifer International Donation Empower Women

Donate to Heifer International to empower women and it will be matched!Goorin Bros Naomi Straw Floppy 58Naomi straw hat  from Goorin Brothers $58

Restoration Hardware Venetian Glass Frame 39-59

Venetian glass frames from Restoration Hardware $33-$49

Williams-Sonoma Soda Stream Penguin Soda Maker 180

Penguin Soda Stream sparkling water maker from Williams-Sonoma $180

Mrs Meyers Glass Hand Soap Bottle 10Glass hand soap bottle from Mrs. Meyers $10

Sucre Mother's Day Macaron Collection + Piper-Heidsieck Rose Sauvage 83

Macarons and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne gift set from Sucre $83

Anthropologie Pamona Heels 79

Pamona high heels from Anthropologie $79

Etsy Pety's Bourbon Cupcake in Jar 8

Peyton's bourbon cupcakes in a jar from Etsy $8

Better Homes and Gardens DIY Magnets for Mom Cost of Supplies

DIY magnets from Better Homes and Gardens




Shabby Chic Kitchen Renovation, BEFORE and AFTER

  New cabinet finish, counters and backsplash

It's amazing to think that our kitchen renovation is finally done!  We've been enjoying the finished product for about 6 months now, but with baby Beau hogging my free time, I just now got around to taking some AFTER pictures.  The kitchen renovation was a much longer process than I ever anticipated.  I started in earnest while Joey deployed last year to Afghanistan.  We didn't finish until he returned.

I'm incredibly proud to say we did every ounce of work ourselves, with the exception of fabricating and installing the granite counters and an emergency visit from a plumber when not once, but TWICE, my below-sink plumbing exploded!  Here's a list of the improvements we made (with links if you'd like to check out the original posts), along with the before-and-after photos.  I still can't believe it's ALL OURS and it's ALL DONE!

Knowing the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into this project, makes us enjoy the end result more than I ever could have imagined.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

XOXO, Anne

Kitchen renovation AFTER:

Kitchen renovation BEFORE:


Preservation Resource Center Holiday Home Tour

Courtesy, Sara Essex Bradley The Preservation Resource Center is holding its annual Holiday Home Tour this weekend, December 14th and 15th!  It's a fabulous way to get a glimpse at how "the other half" lives and tour some stunning mansions in New Orleans' historic Garden District.  Last year, the PRC featured a newly renovated neighbor of mine.  I couldn't haven been more proud!

Pictures aren't allowed on the tour, but the PRC was kind enough to offer some promotional photos by photographer Sara Essex Bradley, so I could give YOU a sneak peek!  Let's just say... you might actually start to drool.