Imagine a private wine cellar with 5,000 bottles of wine in a magnificent space that would be the envy of the finest restaurant in New Orleans. This wine cellar may be the crown jewel in the Chateau Estates home of Marian “Mimi” and Martin Peake. There is nothing ordinary about their home. From the entry, where you view a custom-etched glass divider that separates the space from the living room, to the dream-like master bedroom with a television suspended from an alcove, you are bound to be amazed at the eye-candy views in each room. The breathtaking living room has 24-foot-high ceilings with a second floor balcony that rims the space and allows for an upper level art gallery. Huge mirrors rest on the marble floors, accented with a colorful rug. Plush furnishing in the room would be fit for a modern-day Versailles.
NEW ORLEANS HOME: Uncork Mimi and Martin Peake’s home; it’s a cellar’s market.Mimi, the daughter of Saints owner Tom Benson, and Martin, owner of the Peake BMW dealership, both love the unusual. Owner of Trade Secrets design company, Mimi enjoys creating unusual spaces. She knows how to add the “wow” factor to any room. “I am always looking for the new, the interesting, the unusual,” she says as she conducts a tour of their home. “I go to the best markets in the country and I never pass up anything exciting.” Martin has no problem with turning over the design duties to Mimi. He likes her taste and finds their home comfortable; “She is totally in charge of the interior design.”
NEW ORLEANS HOME: Uncork Mimi and Martin Peake’s home; it’s a cellar’s market.“We took a space that had been a mediation garden and built an 835-square-foot wine cellar,” he says. “Paul Dupont was the contractor. The state-of-the-art cellar has an automatic generator that comes on if the cellar loses power and the temperature goes up past reasonable limits. There is also a James Bond-type phone connection that will dial Peake’s cell phone if the temperature ever gets too high. “When our collection outgrew our wine storage space in the garage, we decided to build our cellar,” Mimi says. Martin is quick to add that Mimi is the one who taught him about wine. “We are big ‘Cab’ [Cabernet Sauvignon] drinkers.” They even bottle their own Cab wine with their good friends Lana and Gordon Konrad under the KoPe label. Mimi enjoys the new wine cellar, but she especially likes the secret fur closet that is tucked away in one corner. “We found wonderful carved panels from Bali featuring exotic figures that we used on the double doors of the fur closet.”
NEW ORLEANS HOME: Uncork Mimi and Martin Peake’s home; it’s a cellar’s market.Every room in the somewhat fairytale-like home of Mimi and Martin can intrigue the adventuresome soul. “Nothing is boring,” she says with a smile “A house should be a fun place to live and everything should be touchable.” For Martin it all comes back to comfort. “This is a comfortable home and, yes, the wine cellar is my favorite space.”