Design Diary

Art of Lighting

Locally based lighting designer and artist Julie Neill has created a collection of new light fixtures for Visual Comfort & Co., a designer lighting company based out of Houston. Neill finds inspiration for many of her designs in the culture and landscape of New Orleans, and the sense of creative spirit inherent to the Big Easy can be seen in this collection. For example, the showy Farfalle Large Chandelier (available in gold and burnished silver leaf) serves as a functional piece of art that’s perfect for any room. In addition to her collection with Visual Comfort, Neill designs bespoke lighting for individual clients based on exacting specifications. Each piece is drawn by hand, and skillfully crafted in her New Orleans studio. 3908 Magazine St., 504-899-4201,,

Timely Tome

In her new book, “Soul of the Home: Designing with Antiques” ($50, Abrams), local designer and antiques dealer Tara Shaw highlights a number of her never-before-published projects in which antiques take center stage. Shaw is a respected supplier of French and other European antiques for noted designers such as Bobby McAlpine, Mary McDonald and Bunny Williams. In her book, Shaw teaches readers how to select the best antiques and how to pair pieces from different periods. In addition to her import business, Shaw has a custom furniture line, dubbed Maison, and a licensed product line with Restoration Hardware. 5833 Magazine St., 504-525-1131,

Cultural Space

NOMA has long had a mission of offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation — all while engaging diverse communities and cultures. As a way to further this mission, the museum began a renovation of its existing auditorium in January. The expanded auditorium — designed by local architecture firm Eskew Dumez Ripple — will feature a flat floor, surround-sound and theatrical lighting. It also will be able to accommodate 360 visitors (an increased capacity of 140) for events such as films, lectures, festivals and live performances. The new design also better connects the auditorium with the adjacent Great Hall and Café NOMA, the latter of which is also being renovated as part of the project.

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