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New Orleans Alchemy

A home just steps from Audubon Park illustrates the fresh sophistication of today’s New Orleans style.

In the front parlor, light neutral colors create a calming atmosphere. With contemporary fabrics and delicate legs, the antiques avoid any suggestion of stuffiness or heaviness. The chairs are 19th-century French fauteuil from Nina Sloss. The canapé is also 19th-century French from Mac Maison.

kerri mccaffety

Earlier in this series, we talked with veteran New Orleans designer Gerrie Bremermann about what makes local style unique. In this home, we again see Bremermann’s alchemy as she combines antiques, textiles and contemporary art to create a comfortable, personal New Orleans kind of elegance.

The homeowner grew up in New England and came to New Orleans more than 20 years ago. With the help of Bremermann –– and in eclectic local tradition –– she integrated family pieces and prized possessions into her New Orleans interiors.

KM: You have the perspective of someone who comes here from a very different culture and climate. How have you come to view and embrace New Orleans style?

HOMEOWNER: When I moved to New Orleans, I was overwhelmed with how different things are here. I remember vividly how warm and green it seemed. Gerrie’s interiors are created for this atmosphere and for this light. She is wonderful about using what you have. She expresses your personality and makes it work.

KM: How do you think New Orleans style is unique?

HOMEOWNER: People here are more willing to take chances with their decorating instincts. It is not about the current trend; it is all about what appeals to them. It is not about matching; it is about blending, whether it is English, French, art deco or folk art.

The New Orleans homeowner’s inspiration and creativity is the canvas for what they love and are comfortable with. Living in New Orleans is very eclectic –– no rules –– nontraditional.

People here buy what they love and incorporate these items into their decorating instead of buying for the space needed. So what they have are lifelong treasures rather than the latest fashion.

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