JLNO Kitchen Tour

Saturday, March 24, 2012
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The Junior League of New Orleans Seventh Annual Kitchen Tour is a self-guided tour of 11 beautifully appointed kitchens in the Uptown and Old Metairie neighborhoods.

1. Julia Reed & John Pearce
1236 First St.


Julia Reed and John Pearce have a kitchen that is a charming throwback to simpler times, a time before everyone started ripping out the old and replacing it with the new.

When they acquired their circa 1847 double-gallery home in 2004, it was in need of total renovation (a story you can read about in Reed’s book The House on First Street). The kitchen had already been updated, and as far as Reed, who decorated the home with help from lots of her designer friends, was concerned, the bones were good enough to work with. There were plenty of solid cabinets, a good floor plan, windows overlooking a terrace and ample counter space.

A soft renovation took place. Hardwood pine floors replaced linoleum ones. The ceiling-height cabinetry and walls got a coat of Farrow & Ball paint, and the “tacky” (Reed’s description) cabinet hardware was changed. The island had a place for counter stools that was eliminated and replaced with bookshelves built in beneath to showcase the dozens of cookbooks the couple collects.

The solid white Corian countertops that came with the house still look as fresh as they did when they were installed years ago by a previous owner, so they too remained intact.

Reed and Pearce have wonderful collections of art and objects throughout their home, and in the kitchen you’ll find antique copper pots hanging over the South Bend commercial stove and collections of crab and egg prints gracing the walls, along with a John Alexander oil painting of oyster shells.



2. Clyde “Rocky” Sorrell
2808 St. Charles Ave.


I f a man cave could be a kitchen, then the kitchen of Clyde “Rocky” Sorrell would fit the bill perfectly. It is fully wired, as is the rest of the “smart house,” making use of the latest technology, including piped-in music and media. There are high-tech cameras set up that enable any guest in the kitchen to view the parades on St. Charles Avenue without ever leaving the perch atop one of the four grape arbor counter stools from Frontgate.

The grape arbor theme continues in the grand crown molding, and double French doors with a beautiful fanlight window above them add to the Old World elegance. The custom stone floors and countertops by Triton Stone Group, the Fading Fleur de Lis tile backsplash by Stafford Tile & Stone and the custom faux finishes by Sylvia Dumas of Fantasy Finishes are amazing, but most incredible is the hood surround for the Viking hood that was modeled after one at the Biltmore Estate. The hood was custom- manufactured from architectural concrete, and installers Tommy Lachin and David Trahan had to add a one-and-a-half-story steel superstructure foundation to support it.

The 1919 house was constructed from materials of one or more cottages built around 1837 and features bargeboards installed diagonally inside the walls. The 475-square-foot kitchen renovation was started in May 2005 and finished in May 2009.

The gorgeous masculine cabinetry is cherry with custom knobs and pulls hand-finished by the interior designer on the project, Nan deMontluzin.
Sorrell is a self-proclaimed “wannabe chef” and indulged in creating the perfect chef’s kitchen.



3. David & Mary Lucy Lane
1329 Octavia St.


Tommy and Leila Gamard are no strangers to the renovation process. They turned their Uptown shotgun home from an unpolished jewel into a restored gem.

The kitchen was completed in 2002, but a major fire in a next-door house in 2008 damaged the Gamards’ house and their kitchen. You can’t blame the couple for loving the cheery modern kitchen from their original renovation so much that they re-created it after the fire, having the kitchen redone in the same exact way with help from Billy Goliwas of Protocol Construction.

The compact 150-square-foot space sports 12-inch-wide heart of pine floor planks reclaimed from an old building torn down in North Carolina. The top design features are the Absolute Black granite countertops and the custom maple hardwood cabinets with beaded inset doors painted in a soft green from Lagarde’s Kitchen and Bath Design.

The backsplash was a happy accident. It’s a stainless-steel panel made by Guaranty Sheet Metal Works, but when it was installed, it had a major scratch, a casualty of construction. The contractor was unsuccessful when he tried to buff out the scratch, but the random pattern created was so interesting that the couple installed it as-is.

A Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf range, Franke water purifier, Miele dishwasher and U-Line wine cooler, all from Lagarde’s, fit nicely into this perfectly designed and pretty kitchen.

“My kitchen is the lifeblood of my house, party central and where we live,” says Leila. “We constantly entertain and are always having impromptu dinners.”



4. Tommy & Leila Gamard
236 Walnut St.


Tommy and Leila Gamard are no strangers to the renovation process. They turned their Uptown shotgun home from an unpolished jewel into a restored gem.

The kitchen was completed in 2002, but a major fire in a next-door house in 2008 damaged the Gamards’ house and their kitchen. You can’t blame the couple for loving the cheery modern kitchen from their original renovation so much that they re-created it after the fire, having the kitchen redone in the same exact way with help from Billy Goliwas of Protocol Construction.

The compact 150-square-foot space sports 12-inch-wide heart of pine floor planks reclaimed from an old building torn down in North Carolina. The top design features are the Absolute Black granite countertops and the custom maple hardwood cabinets with beaded inset doors painted in a soft green from Lagarde’s Kitchen and Bath Design.

The backsplash was a happy accident. It’s a stainless-steel panel made by Guaranty Sheet Metal Works, but when it was installed, it had a major scratch, a casualty of construction. The contractor was unsuccessful when he tried to buff out the scratch, but the random pattern created was so interesting that the couple installed it as-is.

A Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf range, Franke water purifier, Miele dishwasher and U-Line wine cooler, all from Lagarde’s, fit nicely into this perfectly designed and pretty kitchen.

“My kitchen is the lifeblood of my house, party central and where we live,” says Leila. “We constantly entertain and are always having impromptu dinners.”



5. Dr. Joe & Cristina Guarisco
299 Walnut St.


The kitchen that Dr. Joe and Cristina Guarisco created in their 1912 Uptown home has a decidedly contemporary look.

The most spectacular thing is the park view from their kitchen windows, which is enhanced by the clean modern lines of the beautiful kitchen design.

The Guariscos purchased their home in 2008 and began the yearlong renovation of the 500-square-foot kitchen at that time. Daniel Samuels of Daniel R. Samuels Architect did the plans, and Jimmy Lagarde of Lagarde’s Kitchen and Bath Design did the design honors, with contractor Tom Ginther of Ginther Construction rounding out Team Guarisco.

The clean lines of the white cabinetry with modern hardware open up the space visually to the park views. A spectacular glass tile backsplash provides an exciting visual counterpoint. Both the tile floors and glass backsplash come from Stafford Tile & Stone. The oversize stainless-steel hood over the Wolf range enhances the modern look of the kitchen.

Sleek white solid stone countertops from Pieri Tile & Marble Co. installed on the large center island and on the work areas are pristine and elegant. Besides the usual top-of-the-line appliances (Sub-Zero, Miele, Wolf), this updated kitchen has an additional refrigerator along with wine coolers installed under the counter. There is also a custom pantry built into the space.

Ample lighting abounds, with whimsical pendant “flying saucer” lights overhead by YLighting.



6. Jeffrey & Edie Pitt
500 Walnut St.

The Uptown home of Jeffrey and Edie Pitt was built in 1890 and purchased by the couple in 2005. The kitchen renovation was undertaken then and took two years to complete.

The 2,000-square-foot space features handsome Downsview rustic alder cabinets with a custom finish. The soft patina of antique pewter hardware adds to the warmth. The island is cherry wood, also with a custom finish. The countertops are marble.

Wood flooring continues the warm, inviting look, and a travertine backsplash done in silver mosaics and field tile adds an elegant contrast to the dark cabinetry. The Pitts pulled out all the stops with beveled glass doors on some of the cabinets, a custom mantel hood and a Kohler apron front sink and fixtures. The kitchen also features an additional prep sink and convection and microwave ovens.

Restaurant-quality appliances, all from Classic Cupboards, include a 48-inch six-burner Wolf range with a 22-inch griddle and signature red knobs, a Sub- Zero refrigerator and a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher. The refrigerator and the dishwasher are artfully installed behind integrated paneled doors.

There is a stunning showstopper of a chandelier hanging over the island, made of colorful handblown glass that expresses the joie de vivre of the couple.

John Lagarde and Patricia Neal of Classic Cupboards did the design honors, creating the perfect kitchen where Edie loves to cook with her daughters, Olivia and Bella.

Kitchen sponsored by Classic Cupboards.



7. Dr. Michael & Christine Maristany
7107 St. Charles Ave.


Dr. Michael and Christine Maristany purchased a home built in 1908 in 2009. They immediately embarked on their kitchen renovation, which was completed in 2011.

Interior designer Kevin Gillentine provided a beautiful French-inspired look for this lovely kitchen. He incorporated a stunning 19th-century French panel into the range hood built by Jeff Hamilton. Designer fabric Roman shades installed on the windows that flank the hood add elegance.

Walls were removed to create an open floor plan so the Maristanys could enjoy family time with their three small children in the adjacent den and breakfast area.

Ivory ceramic tiles from Stafford Tile & Stone, installed by Jon Ingram of Perfection Tile and Stone, make up the backsplash, which sets off the Seafoam Green granite countertops with an ogee edge from Triton Stone Group.

The original brick fireplace in the kitchen was converted to cabinet space with the beautiful old brick intact and exposed.

The maple cabinetry is Wellborn Forest in the Madison pattern with a Vanilla Bean finish with glaze.

Gillentine custom-blended the wall paint color and painted the trim in Benjamin Moore Linen White from Helm Paint & Decorating.

Recessed lighting and the over- and under-counter lighting were installed by Dice Electric. The stylish pendant light over the raised bar carved out in the den is from Pine Grove Electric.

Top-of-the-line appliances were installed, including a Kenmore Elite wine cooler that holds 38 bottles.



8. B.K. and Lydia Sneed
324 Dorrington Blvd.


The urban country kitchen of B.K. and Lydia Sneed looks as if it’s been in their 1926 home forever, but it’s really quite new. The couple has owned their Old Metairie home since 1974, but Hurricane Gustav instigated their current kitchen renovation.

Gustav unceremoniously ripped off roof tiles so that one side of the home sustained serious water damage. Taking it in stride and turning it into an opportunity, the couple relocated the kitchen to a more harmonious place in the house.

Adding to the charm of this kitchen is a huge farmhouse-style table in the breakfast area and the vintage Thermador professional range and oven moved from a St. Charles Avenue residence to the Sneeds’ kitchen.
HomeCrest cabinets in Ivory from Jefferson Door incorporate a built-in plate rack over the sink.

The classic and timeless look of the backsplash was accomplished by using American Olean tiles in the Bright and White Profiles pattern. The color is Designer White. Walls are painted a charming soft shade called Natural Wicker by Benjamin Moore.

The flooring is also American Olean tile. The pattern is Porce Leona, and the color is Verde, which perfectly complements the wall color and tile backsplash.

Appliances were all purchased at Lowe’s.

The Sneeds’ kitchen is an inspiration that shows how combining big-box store appliances, a fabulous used and “upcycled” stove and classic cabinetry with beautiful stone countertops and tile can produce a kitchen design that will never be out of style.

Louis J. Aubert was the designer, and Willow Inc. was the contractor.

Kitchen sponsored by Jefferson Door Co. Inc.



9. Robin & Leslie Cheatham
360 Jefferson Ave.


A newly constructed house provides a wonderful opportunity to build the perfect kitchen, one that you can make uniquely yours.

Robin and Leslie Cheatham built their home in 2010 in Old Metairie. Leslie is the owner of LHC Builders, the company that acted as contractor and builder, and when a homeowner is also a professional contractor and builder, you can imagine the beautiful results!

The color choices are masterful. Leslie engaged contractor Eduardo’s Painting to carry out her scheme. In the kitchen, Sherwin-Williams Warm Stone is used on the walls, with Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments on the ceiling. The breakfast area’s walls are painted with Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments and Sherwin-Williams Anew Gray on the ceiling. The effect is nuanced and sophisticated.

The oversize island is spectacular, with Paradiso marble from the Stone Gallery in a special design layout. A second sink is installed in the island, and the oversize proportions allow for counter stools to be placed on two sides, creating the perfect place to hang out with whomever is preparing a meal.

The flooring has a rich patina that complements the antique-inspired cabinetry. The floor is hickory wood from ProSource. The custom maple cabinets, from Cajun Wood Products in Lafayette, are finished with a wash.

A glass tile backsplash, from Emser Tile & Natural Stone, adds sparkle.

Top-quality Thermador and U-Line appliances are de rigueur, the ultimate finishing touch in a tastefully lavish kitchen.



10. Peter & Suzette Vernaci
244 Ridgewood Drive

The Vernacis used an all-white palette and chose stunning furnishings and fittings in this kitchen. Tommy Gennusa of Tag Homes Inc. was the contractor who made dreams come true.

The custom wood cabinetry has a semi-gloss painted finish, and there’s plenty of storage space in the soaring cabinets installed to ceiling height. K & S Custom Woodworks did the honors. The paint color on the cabinetry is Benjamin Moore Ice Formations, which coordinates with the wall color, Benjamin Moore White Down.

The countertops, from Palatial Stone & Tile, feature one of the hottest trends going, which is the use of white marble. The choice of the Calacatta Danby marble with a polished finish was a perfect choice for this designer kitchen.

The decorative lighting is lovely. Interior designer Julie Ponze used two antique glass pendants over the island and a fabulous Julie Neill chandelier over the antique-style round pedestal breakfast table.

The honed white marble subway tiles on the backsplash came from Floor & Décor Outlets. The stunning floor is composed of 24-inch-by-24-inch Snow White marble tiles with a polished finish from Palatial Stone & Tile, laid on the diagonal.

The entire house, as well as the kitchen, has a white-on-white color scheme, which creates an airy, fresh and clean feeling that the homeowners find comfortable for everyday living.



11. Tommy & Janace Gennusa
240 Mulberry Drive


Tommy Gennusa II built a new home for himself and his wife, Janace, in just 11 months, which includes their fabulous designer kitchen. This isn’t surprising given that the couple’s son, Thomas Gennusa III, owns his own company, Tag Homes Inc., specializing in contracting and building beautiful homes in the metropolitan New Orleans area.

The kitchen and dining area occupy a generous 874 square feet of the home, which was completed in 2011. The neutral color palette used throughout is anchored by the soft wall color, Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan.

The coordinating stonework done by Palatial Stone & Tile includes countertops in Light Emperador marble with an antiqued brushed finish and eased edge. The backsplash done in Cashmere limestone has a honed finish installed in a staggered pattern. The accent backsplash over the stove features an impressive Côte d’Or Bouchard medallion, and the honed French limestone floors are Beauminiere Clair.

Interior design touches by Leah Richardson of LR Interior Design include white linen drapery panels installed from ceiling to floor in the dining area. The antique table with French chairs covered in tan linen fit in beautifully.

The maple cabinetry and island are done by Classic Cupboards with a custom-painted glazed finish. Rounding out the kitchen design is a suite of high-end appliances that include a GE Monogram refrigerator and professional range top, a Miele dishwasher and a Dacor microwave. The designer sink is by Luxart with a special Pedal Works faucet controller with Kohler faucets.

Kitchen sponsored by Classic Cupboards.

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