Author: Melanie Warner Spencer

Dust Busting

  Most New Orleans dwellings are old. This means drafty windows and myriad other open nooks and crannies that allow dust to come in and settle on every imaginable surface, rendering even the most meticulous housekeepers powerless against it. The…

Wediquette Wednesday: Do we have to have a rehearsal dinner?

  Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)   Question: Our…

Lemonade Days

  When New Orleans’ temperatures climb above the 90s, I start craving lemonade. Or perhaps I’m craving the idea of lemonade and the associations I have with it being a wholesome, refreshing drink to enjoy on the porch, during a…

Let There Be Delight!

  Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I met a prosecutor-turned-designer and hotelier named Liz Lambert. The time was 2004, the land was Austin, Texas and I was a baby reporter at the Austin American-Statesman newspaper…

À Votre Santé

  The French 75 is my favorite cocktail. I love the lore. I love its namesake bar at Arnaud’s in the French Quarter. I love sipping a Cognac version during colder months. I love the lighter take made with gin…

Editor's Note

  THIS TIME LAST YEAR, my husband and I were planning Sunday drives and chicken and champagne picnics, in addition to any other form of safe entertainment we could cook up. The city…

Bon Vivant | Brunch Bunch

In May, I june the 11-month mark of a year-long alcohol-free challenge. (It’s going well, I don’t miss booze and I feel great, thanks for asking!) I like to celebrate these milestones with treats and rewards, including creating alcohol-free versions…

We’ve Come Full Circle

  In April, my husband and I — fully vaccinated and ready to (safely) mingle — attended our first gathering (of more than six, socially-distanced people) since “The Before.” (That’s our phrase for anything that happened prior to the pandemic.) To…

Informal Debut

  This week, I entertained inside my home for the first time since the pandemic. We’ve hosted a few casual, four-to-six person, socially-distanced, outdoor gatherings, but in keeping with the CDC guidelines, nothing indoors. Since I’m so out of practice,…

In Full Bloom

  At the beginning of this week, I was saddened and shocked to receive the news about the unexpected death of one of our talented and vibrant New Orleans Homes magazine contributing writers, Pamela Marquis. Her articles about organizing, profiles…

In Memoriam

  Pamela Marquis, a longtime contributor to various titles at Renaissance Publishing, died unexpectedly on May 4. A devoted gardener, Marquis’ gardening column and other contributions to New Orleans Homes kept readers in the know not only with trends and…

Picking Favorites

  Let’s face it, you ­— and your dog — adore the pet groomer you’ve been seeing for Fluffer’s weekly blowouts for years. The thought of even looking at new toss pillows without consulting your designer (who is practically a…

Homeward Unbound

  I often daydream about how cool it would be to live and work in a new city every year or maybe even every few months. In the past, I’ve cobbled together about two weeks of working remotely from about…

Spring Break

  Bon Vivant is on a break this week to celebrate Easter. Whether you are celebrating one of the various religious holidays this week or simply reveling in the coming of Spring, enjoy. If you’d like something to read, catch…

Note De L’editeur

There is likely no time in my life when I’ve uttered the words “light at the end of the tunnel” as much as over the past month. With the vaccine rollout moving quickly and — as a result of that…