A Writer’s Colorful Shotgun Home in NOLA — House Call
Name: Anne, her husband Nate, their cat Kitty Fat Pants and dog Delta Burke
Location: Irish Channel — New Orleans, Louisiana
The basics: Two years, owned | 2,000 square feet
Anne, a freelance writer, and her husband Nate relocated to New Orleans after visiting the city and being charmed by all of the people, places and things. Their shotgun-layout home is full of personal touches and fantastic wall treatments.
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: The home was built in 1900 in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans. It’s a single-family shotgun style with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, so the size was manageable for us. But really, this house feels as if it were built for entertaining. There’s a lovely dining room with a fireplace, a large kitchen area and a great parlor and den. Having smaller spaces has never stopped us from throwing parties, but it’s nice to be able to spread out and mingle, straight down each room, the minute you enter the front door.
The previous owners get credit for totally overhauling the home, and they put so much care into the house. Well-thought-out details like a beautiful closet in the master bathroom, high-end appliances, and pretty fixtures. Basically, we repainted and decorated. The latter brings the best part of home ownership, in my opinion.
Essentially, we bought almost everything new (or used from somewhere) when we moved from our small NYC apartment to this house.
I’m not sure there’s a way to nail down the style of the decor, but I’d say that it has serious New Orleans flair. There are certain items we’ve purchased for this house that wouldn’t have worked if we lived anywhere else. Like a blue velvet sofa, gold walls, or brightly stripped rugs. As someone who formally decorated in neutrals, I love the pop of color and texture. Actually, I probably need to put the brakes on velvet at the moment. The furniture is a mix of new and old pieces, like the parlor’s funky yellow sitting chairs with my grandparent’s antique Italian marble coffee table or the den’s mid-century sofa with Nate’s family dining table.
The dining room also has touch of umph with the “gold wall.” My cousin and I spent the afternoon eating po’boys and painting stencils here; it’s perfectly accented with a gold wolf head that I found in a boutique in Mexico City. The table from Room & Board is surrounded by modern white chairs and we’ve mixed in an antique settee and chair what was my aunts, which we recently reupholstered in a leopard print.
That said, there is one room in the house what’s not colorful at all and that’s the master bedroom. I travel often for work and have always loved a white color pallet in hotels rooms, and decided to bring that element into our bedroom. It’s feels so clean (likely, it’s not) and calming that we love waking up in this space.
What is your favorite room and why? The front parlor is most definitely our favorite room in the house. Before moving in, we didn’t think we’d get much use out of the space and would, instead, spend evenings in the back den. But this is where we hang out the most. During the day, the original three floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with natural lighting that’s ideal for reading and writing. Come evening, you get the glow from the street’s gas lanterns. We have our bar and record player here and have designated the parlor an electronics-free zone, which gets lousy internet anyway. In the entryway of the parlor sits a simple round table (scored off Craigslist for $30), that is often used to serve a welcome punch at parties.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We bought a photograph from artist Jesse Rieser. It’s a meaningful photo taken at a water park in my hometown in the Ozarks.
Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? I imagine a grown-up Scout Fitch enjoying this home. The front porch is a perch for neighborhood activity, and we recently had a porch swing made with built-in wine and drink holders.
Anne’s words of wisdom: After moving multiple times, I always tell my husband that you know if a home has good juju the minute you walk in the front door. I’ve learned this the hard way with less-than-savory apartment experiences. We put an offer on this house sight unseen, but the minute we walked in, we knew it was our forever home. We fill the space with meaningful items, and also know that things we’ve purchased—mostly from our frequent travel—will tell a story over time.
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