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By Design

A peek inside the homes of three New Orleans designers

Sara Essex Bradley

The old saying that the cobbler’s children have no shoes is often true. Have you ever met a contractor who wasn’t last on his own to-do list? But this is not always the case. Three locals who have their hands in the business of home design are sharing their own labors of love with us in this issue, illustrating that those who help beautify the homes around
us do indeed manage to bring their special talents to their own homes.










Erin and Mark Jacobs

River Ridge

As owners of the home furnishings store Abode, designer Erin Jacobs and her husband Mark Jacobs knew exactly what they wanted when they built their new home. Having lived in River Ridge for 15 years, the Jacobses and their two children outgrew their previous home. So they decided to build one designed specifically for their family’s tastes and needs. “We wanted something conducive to my family when they come in town,” says Erin, who has a large extended family and notes that Mark is one of five siblings who all live here. “That’s the amazing part — it has room for family.” The Jacobses house has an upstairs master, their two children’s bedrooms and a downstairs guest suite. The couple’s other goals when building: to take advantage of the site’s light and views; they designed the living spaces to accommodate their daily life — forgoing a formal dining room for an open kitchen, living and dining space; and they wanted the house to have a rustic contemporary feel that is both casual and elegant. Erin’s experience as a designer coupled with the store made acquiring materials, supplies and skilled craftsmen readily accessible. “I do this all day long,” she says. “It made doing my own house easier.”


Kendall Winingder and Patrick Schindler


When Kendall Winingder and Patrick Schindler built their Uptown home, they considered its design from multiple angles. As partners in their own real estate development and design companies (Felicity Property and Felicity Design) they designed it to fit in with the historic character of the neighborhood. As a couple, they designed it to reflect their tastes (she calls her combination of clean-lined transitional pieces, modern elements, calming palette and bohemian flair “warm modern;” he’s a minimalist) and accommodate the family life they were about to begin as newlyweds. To satisfy the first part of the equation, they paid attention to details — antique gingerbread brackets, decorative quoins, reclaimed cypress doors, tongue-in-groove pine floors, French doors, exposed beams, milled windows and gas lanterns. “I love when people think the house has been there forever and it’s actually new construction,” says Kendall. To make the house an expression of their combined aesthetic and lifestyle, they incorporated items from their travels, art they’ve collected, distinct lighting, custom paint finishes, cumaru wood decks and a contemporary kitchen. They’re currently finishing a new uber-modern home for their family, which includes two toddlers and two dogs, while their award-winning business focuses on multi-family dwellings, including St. Anna’s in the Lower Garden District.  “Our partnership is very complementary,” says Patrick. “I take a minimalist view, Kendall brings it all to life.”


Natasha Shah


Designer Natasha Shah’s Esplanade Avenue pied–à–terre serves as both a staycation escape for herself and her husband, Pulin Shah, and a place for visiting friends and family. Because it’s located on the edge of the French Quarter, she respected its historic bones (the ground floor apartment is one of two residences in the 19th century, double gallery Queen Ann house), but also gave it a free-spirited, offbeat ambiance, much like the neighborhood itself. “It’s all about the French Quarter,” she says. “It’s very decadent.” Against a classic backdrop of high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and crown moldings, she created an irreverent mixture of Mardi Gras colors, reimagined antiques, animal hides, modern photography and surprise elements — including a taxidermy peacock and an indoor swing. The effect is of an historic interior turned on its ear. The master bedroom, for example, juxtaposes red velvet drapery inspired by a 19th century New Orleans boudoir with exuberant zebra wallpaper by Scalamandré. The smaller of the two bedrooms mixes a French-inspired bed topped by a crown canopy with playful bunny rabbit wallpaper by Southern artist Hunt Slonem. “There are some traditional elements, but I put them in a new light,” says Shah. “I wanted them to be young and fun.”


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