A newly remodeled, 12,300-square-foot home in River Ridge not only exemplifies the New Orleans aesthetic, but it also showcases the homeowners’ travels with acute attention to detail. “This home really shouts unique creativity and complete originality,” says Nicole Ruppel Jones, kitchen and bath designer and remodeler at Legends Interiors. “Just like the streets of New Orleans, every room you enter tells a different story. From glass sculptures to ceramics to canvas art, local artists have a place to showcase their best. New Orleans is vibrant and alive. When entering this home, you are immediately introduced to layers of colors and textures that keep your eyes wanting more.”
Jones, who is originally from River Ridge and has been an interior designer for 16 years, first began working on this home 10 years ago — after Hurricane Katrina — with her then co-worker and owner of Interiors & Extras, Nancy Hirsch Lassen. From there, she continued to work with the homeowners to bring their vision to fruition.
That vision included blending different styles to have a cohesive look. “We achieved this by creating a comfortable and welcoming space with interesting features, and blending contemporary aspects with warm and fuzzy accents,” Jones says. “It really is the best of both worlds. The home is filled with unique accessories and art that are due to spark up any conversation. Throughout the space you will find evidence of their travels, interesting fabrics, exotic stones, mixed metals, colorful custom rugs, unique light fixtures and so much more.”
The main house, which includes five bedrooms, five full baths, one powder room, a theater room, a workout room and a study — and the pool house, which has a two bedrooms, two full baths, a full kitchen, a living room and dining room — have intricate features throughout. Jones was instrumental in choosing everything from the jewel-toned color palette to the fabrics and building materials.
Some of the standout materials include an Enchanted Tree copper foyer chandelier from South Africa, an amethyst slab stone inlay in the French white oak floors and a custom back-slanted marble sink in one of the powder rooms. Other special finishes include Connemara green marble countertops, Alexandrita quartzite countertops, a custom maple staircase with Jacobean stain and champagne-gold spindles, and an antique mirrored wall with finials in the dining room.
Jones also sourced silk and capiz shell custom drapery with lucite hardware, a 10-foot solid walnut dining table, a metal sculpture table base for the breakfast area and metallic rattan chairs for the dining room. In addition, Jones designed several custom pieces for the home. These items include a leopard print bench in the breakfast area, a green marble sink in one of the powder rooms and bird-motif ottomans.
When Jones first approaches a design project, she typically starts with an inspiration piece. Whether it is a homeowner’s favorite Moroccan vase from their travels or a wall-covering pattern, the inspiration piece starts the conversation. Jones then spends time getting to know her clients, their life routines and how they use their home. From there, she can gauge the scope of the work. “These clients are well traveled and live life to the fullest,” she says. “I think their home is a representation of all they have soaked in along the way.”
A self-described color and texture girl with a design style that borders on Bohemian with a touch of moody glam, Jones took inspiration from different pieces throughout the home. For example, she designed the dining room around a buffet piece from Spain with a metallic fuchsia paint finish dressed up with satin brass. Her design aesthetic shines through with playful color splashes at every turn, yet the home remains sophisticated where needed. “The inspiration in this home is endless,” Jones says. “It really is a designer’s dream to be able to work in [it].”
A designer’s dream it may be, but that’s not to say that she didn’t encounter challenges along the way. “You never know what you will really be presented with until you start taking things apart,” Jones says. “I would have to say that the kitchen was probably the biggest challenge. We needed a focal point, more wall space and an open concept leading into the living room.”
In order to achieve these goals, the renovation team flipped the kitchen by closing in three exterior windows to allow for ample wall space and storage, and busting through the concrete slab to reroute the gas and water lines to different locations. The focal point became the showstopper waterfall-edge Alexandrita quartzite countertops. “This stone has swirls and rivers of turquoise, brassy oranges, soft shades of green, dusty rose and so much more,” Jones says. “We pulled in all the other colors from this slab of stone. We also sourced a Galley 48-inch custom workstation sink for ultimate functionality, accompanied by high-end appliances [Wolfe, Miele and Sharp], custom lighting, designer fabrics, a custom brushed-copper hood and handmade raku backsplash tile.”
Meanwhile, the expansive outdoor space came to life with the help of oversized copper gas fire pits, broken turquoise glass and custom Barcode glass tile from Canada. The outdoor furniture came from Janus et Cie, Dedon and The Phillips Collection, while a rug by Liora Manné finishes the space.