A house of Carnival
CHERYL GERBER PHOTOGRAPHS
Carnival season in New Orleans allows for colorful decorations that sometimes rival the elaborate Christmas adornments.
For a glimpse of a glorious residence dressed in Mardi Gras finery, come inside Catherine Hill’s home. Located between historic buildings on grand Royal Street in the French Quarter, you will find a stately Queen Anne-style mansion, complete with flowers in the front yard, rocking chairs on a broad porch and a large, welcoming balcony. The home stands out as a unique treasure among its neighbors.
One step inside and you have entered the season of merriment that Hill loves. “I always go all-out with my decorations,” she says. ”Mardi Gras Day is my favorite day all year. I love having friends stop by in their colorful costumes and watching all of the marching groups that pass the house.” Hill’s friend William Godwin, a talented interior designer from Meridian, Miss., handles the decorations. “Wecover every surface with Carnival memorabilia, including masks, beads and dolls in costume. The swags above the living room windows are decorated with garland in Mardi Gras colors and we use streamers on the dining room drapes to add to the festive mood. The large mirrors in the living and dining rooms get special attention, with elaborate adornments topping each one. I add something new each year, so the decorations are always fresh,” says Hill.
Hill is the President of PPOplus, a physician and hospital network for the self-employed. During the Carnival season her elegant dining room table takes on a
special, festive air when it is draped with a multi-colored tablecloth. She uses a green-colored runner down the center for extra emphasis. Her flowers are yellow and purple with green leaves to complete the season’s trinity of colors.
“There is always plenty of King Cake for my guests,” she says. “It is a joyful time for me, and I love sharing my home with friends. They know they’re always welcome so there is no need for me to set restricted times to visit. When it’s Mardi Gras and the Carnival Season in New Orleans, I’m at home celebrating.”