Editor's Note – Fall Freshness

I have this wonderful albeit clichéd fantasy of a Southern summer where I’m sprawled out on a chaise lounge, surrounded by tropical plants, with a dog-eared Flannery O’Connor book, pausing only to fan myself or sip a mint julep. It’s a pretty far cry from the busy, bug-slapping, sweaty reality of it all.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the summers here: afternoon rainstorms; barbecues; cold drinks; the lighthearted fun of citywide events like the Red Dress Run and the Running of The Bulls; wearing a messy ponytail because, well, what’s the point of brushing it?; the excuse to eat a snowball for lunch because Lou-Lou’s is near our office, and walking there is technically exercise. (If you measured exercise by the amount of sweat produced, we’d all be marathoners.)

But autumn always feels like such a reward. A cool, collective sigh of relief is felt around New Orleans this time of year. Hurricane season is drawing to a close, diminishing anxiety. Then we’re onto our next season’s events like cheering on our beloved football teams and admiring our cultural season of performing arts.

The mosquito bites are starting to fade, and our once-bare feet are covered with stylish new boots. We can all start planning our Halloween (and Carnival) costumes without feeling ridiculous. (That might be a stretch – many of you can admit that costume planning happens year-round.) Kids are back in school. It’s a fresh start. Amidst all the excitement, I look forward to the simple pleasure of being outside: riding my bike; jogging through City Park, being at outdoor concerts; sitting in the backyard … comfortably.

With my enthusiasm for being outside, I find it serendipitous that in this, my first issue as editor of New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, we have three great articles that focus on exterior spaces. Pamela Marquis, in For The Garden, reveals some of the healing benefits of being en plein air, to which any nature-lover can attest. She also lets you know where you can socialize, exercise, meditate or just wax poetic among our city’s lush plant life. In Home Renewal, Peter Reichard explores several outdoor aesthetic styles and just might steer you in the right direction if you’re also feeling indecisive about how to decorate your garden. Plus, Laura Claverie offers some very useful tips on garden décor in Living with Antiques.

While the garden is important, the kitchen is where meals and thus the best memories are made. Jenny Peterson has the scoop on three fashionable kitchens that you certainly won’t soon forget, and the recipe that Margaret Roux discovered for Gatherings is easy to prepare, delicious and healthy – a perfect addition to any kitchen! We’re also excited to show off three fabulous local bathrooms that induce a sense of spa-like serenity.

Like many newlyweds starting their lives together, Jacob and Amber Donnes needed guidance on how to turn their newly purchased house into a home. After teaming up with some talented local professionals, their shared space is now a stylish yet comfortable reflection of their personalities and interests.

Also for this issue, Lee Cutrone assembled a “dream team” of 12 highly skilled individuals for our sixth annual Design Masters feature. Their abilities range from sustainable landscape design to lighting to furniture-building and beyond, and their endeavors and unwavering commitment to the city are impressive. It’s an unbeatable bunch!

Lastly, if you’re a regular reader of this magazine, you will notice that I have replaced Eve Kidd Crawford as editor. Over the past five years, Eve has been a trusted colleague, mentor, editor and friend, and I look forward to continuing her good work and her commitment to present exciting style and content to you!

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