Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Flowers: Summery

compulsively compiled hydrangea in bike basket

Reminds  me of a Cape Cod summer!

Have a great weekend!

{photo via Compulsively Compiled}

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

NOLA Fabulousness: Julie Neill Designs


julie neill

Another of my highly anticipated shop visits when in New Orleans was to Julie Neill Designs.  Those who frequent design blogs will certainly recognize her beautiful fixtures as they’ve been featured on some other great blogs, including Julie’s own Bayou Contessa

The shop itself is enough to lose one’s composure over- it’s on Magazine Street with a candy pink front door and perfectly patinad floors, walls and ceilings.  The fixtures could not be set in a more perfect backdrop.  I was truly like a kid in a candy store here- so much so that I didn’t even realize until we left that my camera was turned on the wrong setting and all my pictures turned out like this:


Bet you want me to hire me as your photographer now, huh? Ha! 

Luckily for this post and for all of us who can’t stop by in person, Julie has a beautiful website that has recently been revamped and showcases her designs much better than I could have even if I did take better pictures!

julie5 via all the best

While I did not get to meet Ms. Neill herself that afternoon, I met several ladies in her shop who were all incredibly hospitable and charming, including her director of sales Julie Ponze.  You can tell everyone at the company truly loves what they do and has a  thoughtful focus on each specific project.

julie neill- jenny bubble chandelier 

This might be my favorite of Julie’s chandeliers- the Jenny Bubbles chandelier.  It’s clearly influenced by a beautiful French chandelier, but it’s been sassed up to perfection.  I love those little swirls and how they clearly convey this is a new fixture with an artistic twist.


julie neill- bella chandelier

The Bella chandelier- appropriately named.


julie neill- juliette chandelier with ornate medallion

Julie’s designs integrate seamlessly into traditional homes and historical grandeur.  This Juliette chandelier works so well with this antique medallion.


 julie neill- carolina chandelier

I love how this Carolina chandelier is made funky with modern round bulbs instead of candelabra tip bulbs.  So versatile…

julie neill- savannah with connected arms

Julie’s take on a painted wood chandelier.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

julie neill-marguerite

You can truly see the artistry in some of the more modern fixtures, like this Marguerite chandelier.


   julie neill- fleur de lis sconce

My favorite sconce, the Fleur de Lis, is spectacular in this silver leafed finish. 


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA julie neill- danica sconce with ball   julie neill- milk punch

I’m set on use using of these tall skinnies in a project!  I love how simple and elegant they are, but each has such personality.  They can be made so different from each other based on finish, the use of a shade, and decorative detailing.  From left to right: Artemis, Danica (which comes in so many design and finish options and looks so different in each!), and Milk Punch. 


 julie neill- maria sconce

A theme that can be found throughout many of her pieces is a leaf garland, shown here on this Maria sconce.

 julie neill- jamie sconce 

The sconces run the gamut from modern and flirty to elegant ad traditional.  The wood Jamie sconce is shown here.


Besides the numerous fixtures that are in her catalog and showroom, there are quite a few photographs of customized work.  I find that one of the best services any product designer can offer!

julie neill- Custom Vanessa Chandelier with Sunburst Canopy

This is a custom Vanessa chandelier with a sunburst canopy.  How pretty is that little detail?


julie neill- denise chandelier with custom chain collar

Denise sconce with custom chain collar, making this instantly unique.


  julie neill- joy chandelier with custom chain ebelleshment and canopy

The Joy chandelier with a custom chain that is completely eye catching and amazing.  The sunburst canopy is also custom and I love how the entire fixture has been well thought out and truly made a focal point of this foyer.

Julie Neill- saints inspired chandy

Perhaps the most festive of her custom pieces shown is this customized Saints chandelier.  Geaux Saints!


What sets these light fixtures apart from the multitude of stuff out there, is that these are not just lights but pieces of art.  Truly.  They’ve been created by a person who knows design, not a mass-producing corporation. 

julie niell- custom ingrid chandelier

The Ingrid chandelier bridges traditional and modern just as well as it mixes finishes.  I absolutely love the gilded finishes!

julie neill- plaster chandelier the big easy life

The plaster Martin chandelier is fantastic play on materials.  And just to bolster how cool it is- this is a shot of artist Amanda Talley’s home.

julie neill- earth chandelier

The Earth Chandelier is truly a piece of sculpture.


 cosmos chandelier

The Cosmos chandelier would be perfect in a contemporary setting.  I love how there is a fixture for every style here.


The finishes here are superb.  If a fixture is supposed to look patinad, it does.  No fake “old world” here.   The gilded finishes are to die for.  I’m currently in a silver mood and I couldn't get enough of the gilded half shades on some of the sconces.  The painted finishes are very pretty too, and what makes them even better are their names- Prytania Taupe, Creole Rust, Orleans gold, Bywater Black.  I have no shame in admitting that I’m totally swayed by the names of colors and finishes! 

julie neill- glazed giltOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAjulie neill- patina gilt


Julie Neill’s specialty is her lighting fixtures- chandeliers, sconces, lanterns, etc, however there are more goodies in her repertoire than just lights. 

    julie neill- custom vanityNew Vanity LR    Garland%20Demilune

I think these vanities are SO cool.  Hand crafted design, amazing finishes, and voila you’ve got yourself a total statement piece.  How fabulous would a modern glass vessel sink be in contrast to these?


julie neill- show house mirrorjulie neill- blue scroll mirror

She has mirrors that run from simple to ornate.

julie niell- customb ed

Even a bed fit for a queen!

As you meander through the shop, one room opens onto the next and furniture arrangements comfortably make you feel as though you’re walking through a home.  There are beautiful tablescapes, accessories, and modern artwork filling each space.

goodbed_thumb1 aok_thumb1 julie neill- dancer

You’ll want them to wrap up the whole room to take home with you.

The fixtures speak so well to the surroundings they find themselves in.  Here are a few more installation shots:

       julie neill- juliette chandelier 

julie neill- juliette chandelier with round table       

julie neill- savannah chandelier  

julie neill- things that inspire foyer

Recognize this pretty picture? It’s Holly’s foyer from Things to Inspire.

julie neill- celeste


So if you’ve been searching for a new stunner of a fixture, the game is over, no?  I know I can’t wait to use these fixtures in projects and my own home!

There’s a wonderful interview with Ms. Julie Neill on All the Best that I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading.  Also make sure to see the new Julie Neill Designs website and Bayou Contessa blog.  If you are in New Orleans you’ve got to see these beauties in person- be ready to be smitten!

{Photos via Julie Neill Designs website, Bayou Contessa blog, Julie Neill Design’s Flick photostream, All the Best blog}

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NOLA fabulousness: Staying in the Garden District & Perch

new olreans watercolor map via aemcdraw on etsy

I can hardly even describe my love of New Orleans, Louisiana.  It’s a city that is so unlike anywhere else in the country with it’s jubilant culture and breathtaking and unusual beauty.

I just returned from spending two weeks there for my sister’s and new brother-in-laws wedding, which was a wonderful event that brought together lots of family and friends.  New Orleans was the perfect setting for such celebration. 

  DSC_0444  DSC_0446

We stayed in a adorable shotgun house in the Garden District (that my charm-seeking mother found on this rental site).  Some of New Orleanian friends debated whether this house actually was within the boundaries of the Garden District or not, but it suited us perfectly just the same!  It had fantastically orange shutters on full length windows that opened to the street,  12’ ceilings, huge moldings, Louisiana pine floors and brick floors (one of my favorite floors ever!)…. basically it oozed charm from every nook and cranny!  It was so nice to have a house for our entire immediate family to stay in together, and that was big enough to house parties and family gatherings. 

And the icing on the cake for this cutie of a house was that it was only a few blocks from the famed Magazine Street, home to numerous antiquarians and artisans.  If I had to pick one street to shop off of for the rest of my life, Magazine Street would without a doubt be it!

perchfooter valorie_hart blog

One of my first stops was to Caroline Robert’s store Perch., where I have to say I was a little blog-star struck when I met Valorie of The Visual Vamp in person.  It’s easy to forget that there are actual living people behind blogs!  She was so nice and I wish I could have stayed a little longer and bought oh, just about one of everything they had in the store!  I didn’t have my camera with me that afternoon, but I found some of my favorite things on Perch’s website, their blog, and Valorie’s blog…

 perch exterior

The exterior of Perch is a preview of the eye candy to come… I adore the robin’s egg/tiffany blue of their shutters!  I saw this pretty shade many times around the city and it even inspired a DIY project at my youngest sister’s Uptown apartment!


Perch trumeau-with-dutch-scene_f_1_320_0

Painted and Gilded Trumeau with a Dutch scene.  You can see some of the other pieces in the mirror’s reflection…


perch zinc table vignettte

Here’s the trumeau again, isn’t it a striking piece?


perch kids table via visual vamp  visual vamp caroline nursery shelf

My absolute favorite Perch find… the child’s Ghost Chair!  Just when you thought the original (adult size) Ghost Chair can’t get any better, it does.  How completely adorable are these?!?


 Rogue Wave by  John Michael Smith at Perch 

Rogue Wave by John Michael Smith is just one of the modern art pieces at the shop.


Perch aqua-glass-tumbler_f_1_320_0

Aqua glass tumblers with the symbol synonymous with the Crescent City, the fleur de lis.  Even though we’ve all seen these glasses at various stores already, they really are just so pretty and fun. 


Perch Claire chandelier

Perch has some incredibly unique lighting pieces.  I love this metal “Claire”  chandelier and it’s play on tradition.


Perch- Viorel Hodre rice paper lamp

Another unique piece, this one by Viorel Hodre.  I’d say this piece is first and foremost a piece of art, second a lamp. 


perch shop fest7 flowers

A vignette of the shop showing the mix of antique and reclaimed pieces (they have some fantastic doors!) and modern ones.


 perch summer table2

This tablesetting was still up when I was there… it’s hard to see in this picture, but the silverware on the table even has a fleur de lis emblem on it.  You can find more oversized eggs, fleur de lis ceramic tumblers, and coral inspired vases on their website.  Actually, you can find all kinds of goodies on their website, and if you are lucky enough to be in or heading to NOLA anytime soon, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your visit there!

perch summer table top  

{Photos via Perch., the Perch. blog, and The Visual Vamp blog}

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