In talking with the occupants of these bedrooms about their decorating goals, it became clear that everyone had the same ambition: They wanted their bedrooms to be peaceful, soothing retreats, calming places where they could shut out the stresses of the outside world. Despite the common goal, these bedrooms could not look more different. The Friends decorated their bedroom to remind them of an Italian vacation and furnished it with European antiques; the Dongieuxs chose to use the wall behind their bed as a showcase for their collection of Greek icons; and the Tureaus called in a color consultant from New York before settling on a color palette that includes light-gray walls and bedding in fawn, ginger and spice. In the end, each bedroom perfectly represents the couple that inhabits it and encompasses their unique notions of the intersection of comfort and style.
By Sarah Ravits
In a Southern Colonial home situated on a quiet Uptown cul-de-sac, Nina Friend and her husband, Ken, have created an elegantly comfortable and inviting space for their family, which includes their son, Davis, 13, and their daughter, Charlotte, 9, plus two dogs and a cat.
The couple owns Friend & Co. Fine Jewelry, though their fine taste extends beyond the jewelry industry. The Friends decorated their home with care, taking their time and saving the master bedroom for last –– but certainly not least. “I wanted the room to make a statement but at the same time have it soft and inviting,” says Nina.
The Friends called Monica Ortega from Melancon Ortega Design for assistance in decorating and designing the bedroom. “We let the room evolve at a natural pace,” Nina explains. “We both wanted to find the right furniture and fabrics rather than rushing to finish it.”
Fond memories of a past vacation served as part of her inspiration: “We fell in love with a beautiful hotel room in Venice, Italy, so we used a similar color palette for our bedroom.” Nina says that she has always admired the clean, simple look of Swedish design. “Even though we used mostly French furniture, we chose lightly painted pieces so the room would feel light,” she says.
The furniture and bedding within are a combination of French blue, cream and soft gold tones.
The bedding, which comes from Leontine Linens, “makes a great, classic statement,” says Nina. Most of the furnishings in the room were bought on Magazine Street; items from such stores as Karla Katz, Empire Antiques and Petricia Thompson Antiques can all be found in the room.
Nina says that the décor of the room matches the rest of the house, which is also filled with antiques and unique finds from Magazine Street shops. However, “I wanted to use more painted pieces in our master bedroom,” says Nina, who has always admired the artwork of George Mark. “I was excited when we found one of his paintings that fit perfectly with the concept for the bedroom. I love the combination of modern artwork with beautiful French antiques.”
Although the bedroom appears to have all of the finishing touches, from the paintings to the furniture to the bedding, Nina sees it as a fluid environment that will continue to evolve over the upcoming years.
“It’s still a work in progress, but that’s OK,” she says. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” •
By Nicole Wroten
Pam Dongieux eyed what is now her house on State Street for 10 years before she and her husband, Duke, purchased it. She had always loved the look of the home, owned by the Ochsner family for decades, as she passed by it every day while walking her dog.
“People tell me they grew up here,” Pam says. “They were in and out of the Ochsners’ house, spending time here during the summers.”
When the house finally came up for sale after Hurricane Katrina, she knew this was the opportunity she had waited so long for.
Perhaps her favorite thing about the entire home is its rich history. The Dongieuxs have yet to do the research, but from the way the house is structured, they believe it was part of a small plantation at one time. Having a family as prominent as the Ochsners own it for a number of years also adds to the home’s significance. The room where the Dongieuxs’ bedroom now stands was, at one time, the Ochsners’ son’s room.
From the first moment she walked through it, tucked downstairs in the rear of the home, Pam knew that one room in particular was where she wanted to create her very own oasis: the master bedroom. Now, after two years of renovation by Duke and three months of actual living in the home with their three children, Gunner, Anita and Dennis, the couple is thoroughly pleased with the result.
Although Pam didn’t initially want a decorator, she decided to enlist the help of Anne Villere. “Anne knew my colors, brought samples; she made it so much easier,” Pam says. Modeled after her former home on Pitt Street, the color scheme of her bedroom reflects her “contemporary casual” style, with rich purples and subtle gray tones. She doesn’t consider her bedroom formal, but Pam’s style choices do radiate a very polished look.
Floor-to-ceiling silk curtains by Katie Koch drape the windows, accenting the fabric-covered headboard and elegant slipper chairs purchased at Villa Vici. Pam found her luxurious bed linens in gray with purple accents at Leontine Linens. But perhaps her favorite décor element of the room is the collection of Greek icons displayed over her bed, a tribute to her Greek heritage.
One of the most interesting and unique things about the bedroom isn’t in the décor but in the construction of the walls on one side of the room. During the renovation of the bedroom, Duke was inspired by the concrete exterior walls of the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. He mimicked the brick-like structure of the concrete in raised wood on the walls. It gives the room a completely different but modern feeling.
The Dongieuxs’ love affair with the home started a decade ago, and now, after years of renovation and envisioning, the Dongieuxs finally have a dream bedroom to retreat to. •
Bedroom with a View
By Eve Kidd Crawford
June and David Tureau are having a busy summer. In addition to the normal bustle of jobs and summer parties, they are preparing to send their youngest daughter, 18-year-old Alexandra, off to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
So now more than ever, they need a relaxing space to unwind at the end of the day.
Luckily, smart use of color and natural light have helped the Tureaus create the perfect sanctuary in their Bywater home.
During a 1998 renovation, the Tureaus added a modern addition to their traditional shotgun, built in 1930. They installed cork floors and huge windows in the bedroom, which was strategically placed to overlook their lush garden.
“At first, I felt our decision to install cork flooring in the bedroom significantly affected the colors and patterns to be chosen for bedding and furnishing, and I was at a loss,” June says. “Ultimately, I allowed the floor to lead me in the right direction, using natural colors and fibers. The continuously shifting green cast from the garden called for an understated wall palette. Three shades of light gray were selected and applied concurrently, by dry brush, to create a diaphanous but interesting effect. Nine-foot bleached muslin curtains puddle, sans hem, on the floor. They softly frame the windows, and the translucent quality allows for maximum light. The bedding colors are fawn, ginger and spice. The wicker furniture is dark green and upholstered in a complementing ginger-and-pale-olive toile.”
June obviously knows her stuff when it comes to color, and she certainly feels that her bedroom now has the mood she was striving to create: “peaceful, natural, with an integration of outdoor and indoor space.”
She didn’t work alone, though. Her husband and daughter, she says, have a great eye for color, and she consulted with Bruce McNally of BKLN Studio in New York about colors and wall finishes. She also worked closely with the stylists at Bellanoche to help achieve the perfect look. With their guidance, she decided to keep furniture to a minimum to reduce clutter and accentuate the clean lines of the room. What furniture she did include was antique to contrast the contemporary aspects of the addition.
“When the construction of the addition was complete, the look and feel of the bedroom was quite modern, but we felt modern furniture would not create the atmosphere we desired,” she says. “Influenced by living in New Orleans for 20 years, we already had enough 19th- and early-20th-century pieces to furnish several bedrooms. We compromised by combining period furniture in a modern setting.”
Along with some style suggestions, Bellanoche provided the bedding for every bedroom in the house. And though Alexandra is trading the Big Easy for the Big Apple, she’s not turning her back on her hometown: “Even the bedding for her dormitory room came from Bellanoche!” June says. •