Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Parades, Beads, and Bevolo

Being Mardi Gras, it's the perfect time to take a virtual trip down to New Orleans and sneak a peak at some of the prettiest gas light fixtures available. That means we're going to Bevolo. [You know you're design-obsessed when you're checking out light fixtures during Mardi Gras.]

Bevolo has been making lanterns since 1945 in the tradition of French lights from the 17th century. The original Mr. Andrew Bevolo got his break with famed architect A. Hays Town , whom has had so much influence in the area and commissioned the first "French Quarter Lantern."

Bevolo has been passed down in the family from Andrew to Jim Bevolo, who now runs the company with his son Drew. Bevolo's showroom is in a patina'd old brick building in the middle of the French Quarter, oozing light and charm. It's got a tall and rough wood beamed ceiling and a tall narrow staircase that leads to the shop (though they do have an off site shop as well). Each copper fixture is made to order, many of which in this particular shop. A feature I found to be very cool is that the shop's worktable-top is made of an old bowling alley floor. It is speckled with drill holes and looks spectacular... what else would you expect in NOLA!

These French Quarter Lanterns look so elegant in this McAlpine Tankersley Courtyard. The yoke hanger is a fabulous feature.

An inviting veranda is made even more with this soft glowing lantern. (Great Shutters too!)

Here is the same French Quarter Lantern, but wall mounted with a bracket. To top it off with potted orange trees and a stone fountain... ah perfection!

A traditional New Orleans Courtyard with some wall mounted French Quarters... love the brick detailing on this wall.

Here is the French Quarter Lantern with a Mustache bracket... isn't it cute!

And another French Quarter wall mounted... It's architectural lines look stunning with this handsome facade.

An interesting way to mount the lantern is with a Corner Bracket, as seen above. I love how New Olreans architecture is so mysterious and intriguing... those high walls certainly do keep one wondering what beauty lies beyond.

Another wonderful design is the Governor Lantern.

Elongated and stately, it looks fantastic mounted between tall doors.

The fixtures are really more than a light source, they become an architectural element key to the aesthetic of the home.

Fancy or casual doorways both look amazing with a Lantern. I love the bell!

On the wall are Bevolo's Cotton Exchange Lanterns used in combination with a Williamsburg Post Mounted Lantern. Besides gas light, each lantern is offered in an electric version. Very practical for those of us not in the Vieux Carre with gas hook-ups as a standard! The electric versions have glass hurricanes to shield the bulb and Bevolo offers a pinkish tinted spun glass bulb that mimics the light of a gas lantern. It provides a beautiful light.

The creme de la creme... the Ritz Carlton Fixture. As you may guess, this was originally commissioned for the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Brings new meaning to "putting on the Ritz" doesn't it?

Bevolo offers some more ornate designs with a strong European influence. This Marseille Lantern and scrolled bracket certainly won't be overlooked.

Napoleon House Lanterns bring such charm to an entry way.

The Royal Sonesta Wall Lantern.

Bevolo urges their clients to use a combination of fixtures, and not just one for a project. Even on the building above different fixtures are used on the different levels. It makes for a much more interesting experience.

It's easy to get overwhelmed with so many wonderful choices of lanterns and brackets and sizes, so I find it a great service that they have in house lighting designers who are experts at knowing just what should go where. I've sent over plans and elevations and gotten back a gem of a lighting design, with sizes and mounting heights properly appointed. Both their ideas and gracious Southern Hospitality are first class just like the fixtures!

And with that, its time for a Hurricane and some King Cake!

{Pictures from Bevolo and one from my camera}


J ..de Santa Fe said...

Such a great post .. . truly a trip down memory lane, as I grew up in the south Louisiana world of Hays Town. Left many years ago .. . and had forgotten how important the right lantern is to the perfect ambiance!
Almost as important as the King Cake ... Judith

Things That Inspire said...

What a beautiful post. I recently looked at a real estate listing that boasted 'Bevolo lanterns'. Now I understand why this is a selling point!

I love your blog, and linking to you right now.

Columns and Balustrades said...

Great post! Im so exited because the building in the last picture is in my home town of Fairhope, Alabama, and it is one of my favorite buildings in the town!

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