Spring Dreaming

Tom and Donna Russell’s house, our “Renovated Home of the Year”

Sara Essex Bradley Photograph

There’s an advantage of editing and producing a seasonal magazine, and it’s not necessarily the feeling of glee upon catching an errant comma or a typo.  
The advantage we had throughout this abnormally frigid winter was that we knew in our hearts, as far back as January, that springtime would arrive.

It had to arrive, at least by wishful thinking, because we were working on the spring issue of New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, replete with articles on making your own rain garden and spring cleaning and drinking lemonade and all kinds of things you do when the weather is nice.

 My faith wavered a bit when I found myself still wearing a coat in mid-February, which I always thought of as “sandal season,” but we persevered. I’m not going to brag that we’re clairvoyant, but clearly, as you can see, we were correct, and springtime is finally here, with sunshine and festival season underway.

This is one of our most inspirational issues yet. We are very excited about our inaugural “Renovated Home of the Year,” a gorgeous dream home in Lake Vista that belongs to Tom and Donna Russell (pg. 34). They stopped to admire the home on a pleasant stroll around the neighborhood one day, and when it was for sale shortly afterward, they jumped at the chance to buy it. A skilled designer herself, Donna orchestrated a stunning renovation with a team of talents, leaving no detail untouched.

Another highlight of the spring is the ninth annual Junior League Kitchen Tour (pg. 45), a self-guided tour, held April 5, through 12 kitchens Uptown and in Old Metairie. Spend the day exploring these beautifully appointed spaces – you’ll be amazed by the elegance and design, and you may find inspiration for your own kitchen renovation.

Preceding the Junior League Kitchen Tour is a showcase of a different kind – the Secret Gardens Tour on March 15. Twelve lush gardens Uptown will be open for private-guided and self-guided tours, and proceeds benefit the Brain Association of Louisiana presented by the Waring Family.

Other highlights in this issue include a fabulous Southern casserole recipe in “Gatherings” (pg. 16), Peter Reichard’s comprehensive advice about where to buy doors (pg. 80); a profile on artist Steve Martin (pg. 12) and an interview with an up-and-coming designer, Patti Dunn of Tchoup Industries (pg. 22). Additionally, we debut a brand-new column, “Expert Advice.” Lee Cutrone sat down with six home décor experts who will make your spring cleaning much less daunting – and maybe even something to enjoy.

I hope you all like this issue and find a sunny spot to read it.

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