With an exterior as cheerful as a daffodil and a touch of parrot green for the ceiling, you may think you’re in Spain or the Caribbean when you drive up to Julie Jones’ camelback shotgun-style house in Bywater. “Yes, I love color,” the University of New Orleans professor says as she conducts a tour through her room-behind-room house that offers a burst of color behind each new door. “Color makes a home warm and interesting.”
The rear of the house features a large room furnished with an antique daybed and a table for eating or working.
Built in 1886, the sturdy house is on a quiet one-way street where most of the houses have experienced a revival in the past couple of decades. “I fell in love with the openness, especially the side gallery, the high ceilings, pocket doors, wide floorboards and the classical details,” says Jones, who teaches Spanish film, 20th century Spanish and Spanish-American narrative.
The colorful home on a quiet Bywater streetwas built in 1886.
No wonder the home is as colorful as a fiesta in Costa del Sol. You almost expect to be greeted in Spanish and offered a glass of sangria when you walk through the front door. “Yes, there’s an bit of magic in having a different color in each room,” Jones says with a smile. “I have lived in this house since 1985, and it has been interesting to create a colorful environment that fits my lifestyle.”
The construction left just a sliver of dirt for a flowerbed next to the front steps. An iron gate and fence lead to the side yard and gallery that features French doors opening onto the dining room and kitchen. The gallery is a favorite spot for Thelonious, Jones’s Airedale terrier, to perch and greet the neighbors.
Pocket doors divide the front parlor from thedining room that opens onto the side gallery through French doors.
The first room off the entry is like a comfortable sitting room in an old library. One wall is totally devoted to books, and which are even stacked on the floor, either for lack of space on the shelves or to create a side table on which to rest a glass of wine while she reads. Furnished in fine antiques, as is the entire house, the tall windows in what would normally be called the front parlor provide plenty of light for reading. Exterior shutters allow privacy and security.
The front parlor-library has tall windows that provide plenty of light in space.
Pocket doors divide the front parlor-library from the dining room. Colorful rugs further define each space and here Thelonious keeps an eye on everything. “He loves the run of the house,” she explains. “The openness of the floor plan gives him plenty of room to explore,” as do the French doors in the dining room that open onto the gallery, or side porch.
The colorful kitchen features a long island whereguests enjoy gathering when Jones entertains.
A sister French door leads from the kitchen to the gallery. Here, a long island was added to accommodate the dual sinks and provide seating for dining or a place to perch and watch Jones cook. “Like most houses, I find that my guests love to congregate in the kitchen,” she adds. “Here again the warm color of the walls gives the space a Spanish flavor.”
The sidebedroom is dressed in the same fabric that was used to create theceiling high canopy.
On the way to the large back room of the house there are two additional rooms. “The barge boards in the back room came from the early barges that were floated down the Mississippi River with supplies before the steam engine was invented,” Jones says. “The barges were broken up and the wood reclaimed to build houses.”
The sunny rear room functions as guest quarters or a den. “I don’t have a favorite room,” Jones says as she ends the tour of her colorful home. “It all depends on the light and what I want to do. I do tend to gravitate to the rooms with lots of tarnished gilt and clouded mirrors, so I spend a lot of time in the back room but I also enjoy spending time in the kitchen because I love to cook and in the cold months I carry my laptop in there, where it’s warmer.”