Some people’s lives are just more colorful than others.
Margaret Lippman’s more-than-respectable color palette is evident from the first
step inside of her winsome Uptown double shotgun. Immediately inside the front door is the compact dining room, complete with a multi-colored, hand-painted Asian dining table. The walls, which Lippman describes as a “near-persimmon” color, were accomplished with layers of glaze and a wallpaper pattern painted over the top. Linen
draperies from Nuko designs feature hand-crocheted flowers. Sensory overload? Delightfully so, but it only gets better as one proceeds through the shotgun-style rooms.
Upon entering Margaret Lippman’s home, guests are greeted by a vivid palette of colors and patterns. The Venetian chandelier is from ABC Carpet and Home in New York City. The rug is from Dombourian Oriental Rugs. The glass vases are by New England-based artist Robin Mix. The painting over the fireplace is by Elizabeth Case, who was from Bucks County, Pa.
“I lived in Manhattan for 20 years,” Lippman says. “I’m used to living in small spaces, and I’m accustomed to finding creative solutions for storage.” That is evident from the first room, where an Asian modern sideboard is more than eye-candy—it is the first item on Lippman’s hidden agenda—storage.
Lippman, who has worked as a buyer and merchandiser for Belladonna Day Spa for the past 17 years, knows a thing or two about outfitting a home. Step one was finding the right space.
A rocking chair, stool and chair are by noted woodworker George
Nakashima, who happened to be a neighbor—and family friend—of Margaret Lippman’s family in Pennsylvania.
“When I moved to New Orleans, I wanted the classic [architectural] vernacular,” she says. “I wanted windows to the floor, 13-foot ceilings, a gingerbread house.”
What she found was a 900-square-foot, century old, newly renovated space. And then, she went to work. The work included strategically placing her enviable collection of “stuff” throughout the house. Two George Nakashima stools found a home in the living room, along with a French provincial sofa, an antique Adirondack chair and two steel and glass towers that serve as more storage solutions.
“In my home you see a juxtaposition of styles,” Lippman says. “It’s not like I have
an Asian room. I like the mix of styles. And so much of what you see has great meaning to me.”
The bedroom’s warmer hues create a haven for relaxation. The bed and linens
are from Bellanoche, as are the Ikat fabric and Hable Construction throw pillows.
That includes Lippman’s personal art
collection, starting with mini landscapes depicting Bucks County in Pennsylvania. “I was buying art at flea markets,” she says, “and it turns out they were all by artists from the Pennsylvania Academy of
Fine Arts, who had migrated to Bucks County. I grew up in Bucks County
and lived there for 20 years, so these works reminded me of home.”
Lippman went on to earn her own art history degree from Hamilton College in upstate New York, focusing on decorative arts and architecture.
Lippman’s artistic sensibilities are clear in
every room. A contemporary bronze sculpture of a poodle by Leslie Guthrie is a tribute to Lippman’s own standard poodle, Oliver. A sculpture of boxers is by Joe Brown, the Princeton University art professor who does all the large figures of athletes found at major U.S. arenas.
“I wanted the colors in this house to be harmonious,” Lippman says, “because you see them all as you proceed through the house. I wanted colors to vary, but be tonal-related. So what you end up seeing is a range of orange, taupe, khaki, reds and
browns. I think it all adds to the warmth of the house.”
The French Provincial couch, circa 1960s, was once Margaret Lippman’s mother’s and has been reupholstered. The coffee table was an English breakfast table that Margaret had cut down to size. The bronzes on top
are by Joe Brown and the paintings behind the couch are by artists from Bucks County, Pa.
In Lippman’s office the walls are a Chinese lacquer red, which serves as a dramatic backdrop for a Swedish chest-on-chest inlaid with birdseye maple, and a Japanese-inspired desk
across from an Indonesian armoire. In the bedroom, an imposing four-poster bed fills most of the room. The Soho bed is from Artesia, a company represented locally at Bellanoche.
There is much to look at and appreciate in Lippman’s house, largely due to her extensive travels. “I travel a lot on behalf of Belladonna, to Atlanta, New York, L.A., San Francisco and Paris,” she says. Lippman also does consulting work for a
New York company that sends her to France and Portugal.
Oliver, Margaret Lippman’s standard poodle, poses for a photo.
Still, Lippman has not succumbed to the “house as gallery” syndrome.
“Everything I have in the house I use,” she says. “You can put your feet up on my coffee table, eat off real dishes, good glassware and fine flatware.”
Despite the real charm of Lippman’s house, she
may just be outgrowing the space, she says. “I love my stuff, but I’m tired of looking at it every day. I want more room and more storage.”
How will that play out? “My next move may be to Lakeview,” Lippman says.
“I’m going to look for a mid-20th century home there. I love the clean lines and open floor plans. I think that’s what I’ll do next.”
In a passageway, Margaret Lippman painstakingly painted the squares—and in fact did the painting and faux finishes in the house. The photograph is
of her grandfather, Joseph Lippman.
The bright Chinese red walls of the home office better highlights the furniture, such as the Swedish inlaid-wood wardrobe from ABC Carpet and Home.