THE NOLA SHOTGUN
One of my good friends, DANIELLE ZUCKERMAN, has been so kind as to provide a tour of her home today as we look at one of the most popular architectural styles of New Orleans houses. If you've ever been there you know that the architecture is a large part of the unique aesthetic of the city. And it is an amazing city with so many things to see. Here, Danielle takes us inside her own abode, an old fashioned New Orleans Shotgun!
Hey, y'all! Yes, I am deliberately saying "y'all" since this will be a southern post, or more specifically a New Orleans post. Ingrid asked me to write a bit about how I designed my own space. I'll also include where I purchased everything for the apartment but more than likely the answer is Target. Anyways, on to the post! First, you may be asking yourself why I named this post, "The Nola Shotgun". The house itself is termed a SHOTGUN STYLE HOUSE. If you live in the South you may be more familiar with this. Supposedly it got its name because if you were to stand at the front door and aim a shotgun to the back it would go straight through the house out the backdoor. Basically, there are no hallways in these houses. It just goes from room to room. This became popular because it allows air to flow easily through the house keeping everything a bit cooler. These houses also tend to have quite high ceilings. Indeed, my ceilings are 13 feet so even though it is a small apartment it feels much bigger. To be concise, I live in a shotgun double camel back, which means that the house is split down the middle (I live on the right looking toward the front). There is also a second story which is why it's called a camel back.
Porches are an integral part of Southern living and people take their porches seriously here. Whenever I take a walk around the neighborhood I am always greeted by people sitting on their porch. The front of my house and porch were recently painted the off-white color you see. I do have quite a few plants, which I also have inside the house. The ginormous hanging fern has recently gotten to be huge to the point that I've named him Shrek the Fern. I also have oleander which blooms beautifully here and some mona lavender. I'm a big believer that plants brighten any space and tend to put me in a better mood. Recently when Ingrid came to visit me, we went on a bus tour around the city. The guide happened to mention that almost all New Orleans porch ceilings are painted blue. They do this to prevent insects and birds from building nests. Supposedly the color confuses them in to thinking that it is the sky. And sure enough a great deal of the ceilings you will find can be found to be a light blue. THE LIVING ROOM
My favorite room is often the living room and my home is no exception. I spend most of my time in the living room so it was important to make it a comfortable and happy space. One of the best things about this apartment is that whoever lived here previously painted it in colors that I would probably have picked myself, possibly with the exception of the bathroom. I adore the soft gray in this room. Every color looks great with it. I already had the bright blue (almost turquoise) pillows so I decided to stick with hues of blue, purple, and green for the space. However, I don't think anyone should be afraid to mix a bunch of color. I am not a fan of matchy-matchy. A lot of my artwork has a lot of red in it so it keeps the space vibrant.
When I first got the apartment, I was most excited about the mantel. I automatically pictured being able to hang stockings at Christmas time. There's just something about a mantel that is homey. At the moment, it still has the Mardi Gras decor I put up and just never took down. I really like my masks and thought it was the perfect place to display them. In between is a hollowed out coconut that I caught at a ZULU PARADE. It is one of the many "throws" around my home. Throws are simply things caught during Mardi Gras. Every parade generally has one special throw that everyone clamors to get. Zulu is one of the oldest and most prestigious of the Mardi Gras parades and their coconuts may be the most prized throw of all. I especially like mine because it has a "Z" which is my last name's initial. And not to worry, they hollow out the coconuts and tend to hand them to you. I'm not sure I would want a coconut flying at my face.
Like Ingrid, I also love SUCCULENTS. Truthfully, how can you not? I especially love the one above because it is large and sculptural. I knew I wanted to put a plant there but it's a spot that doesn't get much light and this particular plant was perfect. It's called a SNAKE PLANT and basically they only need to be watered once every three weeks or so and don't need a lot of light. They're a non fuss plant so even if you think you have a black thumb, I highly recommend the snake plant.
One of the hardest things to find was a rug for the space. I love the hardwood floors even though they are super old and a bit damaged. The room just looked unfinished without a rug. I found this RUG at Target and I love it. It's super soft and the pattern is eye catching. It's almost a piece of art on its own. The rich brown throughout seems to blend with the floors in a way that it just looks like it was made for the space.
The living room flows directly in to the kitchen. It's nice because I can see in to the living room from the kitchen which keeps the space nice and open. For those of you who watch HGTV you know open spaces are all the rage (Keep those sight lines who cares about a "load-bearing wall"!). I kept a similar color scheme in the kitchen with rich blues and greens with pops of red. It's funny because I did not really realize this until right now while writing this. It probably has something to do with those colors being my favorite.
The kitchen is pretty white and bright with white appliances and cabinets. I felt it was a bit disconnecting with the living room so I decided on a dark colored kitchen table that reminded me of the hardwood floors to keep the rich tones flowing.
The fridge is a perfect spot to add personal touches so on the front I have a bunch of drawings my little cousins made for me along with cards and wedding invitation magnets. Along the side I decided to put a bunch of photos. I love my little photo fridge. It's especially nice because it's one of the first things I see in the morning.
I don't have too much to say about the bottom picture except to say how awesome is this thing? I don't even really know what to call it. It's not a fireplace really. There are no working fireplaces in my apartment. There is an old gas line connected to it so it was probably the source of heat in the past. I love how detailed it is considering it's really just a heat source. Seriously, look at those shell patterns. It's just one of the quirky features in this place that made me want to live here.
The plant theme continues in my kitchen. I have a snake plant in the kitchen corner, a DRACAENA on the table, and a little AFRICAN VIOLET on the counter. Not to mention I like to get flowers at the grocery that just perk up any space. I also randomly have an elephant by my sink, mainly because I am a girl and need knick knacks. Is it blue, purple, shiny and from TJMaxx? I'll take it.
I have some more of my favorite throws displayed in my kitchen. I caught the little stuffed crab that sits on my cook book and named her "Lady Crab". Usually I give whatever stuffed animals I catch directly to my little cousins but I liked Lady Crab. She has lipstick and bug eyes with lashes - keeper. I also have an incredibly large cup from the TUCKS PARADE that has a monk on it that says, "Ride Me" on the front and "Size Matters" on the back, so, class. I have another Zulu coconut and then my very favorite throw, my Muses shoe. MUSES is an all women parade (women used to not be allowed to ride in parades at all) and their theme is shoes. When I heard that they threw shoes, I assumed it was a small doll's shoe. Oh no. These are old shoes that people donate and they decorate to the nines. I tried this shoe on and it's at least a size 10. They also tend to hand you the shoes but there were definitely some stilettos being thrown every which way. It's quite a sight to see grown men diving for high heels. I highly recommend it. THE BEDROOM
Thankfully, unlike most shotguns, my bedroom is in the back of the house. Many homes I visit the kitchen is in the back with the bedroom in the middle of the house. I am able to feel nice and secluded. Once again I thank the person who lived here previously because their paint choice is really nice. The majority of the room is an off-white with a feature wall painted a deep purple. Even the closet is painted green. I think I would have been friends with this person. Another practical feature is the fake stained glass on the window. It's very pretty and allows light to come in without any one being able to see in the window. Not that anyone would really since the house is raised about three feet off the ground. Most homes in New Orleans are this way for obvious reasons.
I got lucky in that there is a sizable closet in this room. Old homes here are seriously lacking in closet space. You can even tell that this closet is an addition. It definitely was not there when the house was built. It makes the room smaller but really it is the perfect sized room. When I first moved in, I thought there was no way my furniture would fit, but it fits so well it's as if everything was purchased for this particular room.
There's a lot of black in this room with all the IKEA furniture and it's definitely the darkest room in the house. I actually like this given I like my bedroom to be really dark when I sleep. I decided to have a lot of red in here to brighten it up a bit and it also goes quite well with the brick.
I tend to keep my desk space uncluttered with just the essentials. One of my favorite internet artists is Marc Johns so I purchased a print from him as a Christmas present to myself. It is happy and whimsical and just perfect for a desk space, nothing too serious. I love the little shelf in the corner. I purchased it from Pier One and it literally just folds up, no assembly necessary. I used it to keep dishes in my last apartment but it's the perfect little night stand where I put my pictures and books.
There's not too much to say about this little bathroom except for, ORANGE! This is the one color that I wasn't thrilled with when I saw it but honestly it's not that bad. It looks much brighter in these pictures than it really is in person. However, my main goal was to tone down the color a bit although it does wake you up in the morning. I decided to go with a gray shower curtain and rug and I think it turned out nicely. The curtain is especially nice since it is an ombre and adds dimension to the small size of the room.My main issue in the bathroom was storage so I added some storage space with the little shelves that I got from Target. I'm a bit of a bath and body hoarder as you can probably tell but everything fit nicely.
Directly off my bedroom is the door to the backyard, rather several doors. There are these very old wood doors that open to a second door which finally opens to the back. As I said previously, they are working on the other side of the house so the backyard is a bit of a mess with ladders and debris from next door. However, I think you can see that it will be a very nice backyard when they landscape it. There is a little patio with a shed for more storage space and also houses the laundry space. Then there is the grass space which is quite sizable with the the most beautiful oak tree. The tree adds such nice shade to the back which is amazing especially in the summer heat. While I don't use the backyard too much yet I look forward to soon.
Well this concludes my little tour and I hope you enjoyed it! If you've never been to New Orleans or the South, I highly recommend it. The architecture here is really amazing and worth a visit on its own. I'd like to write a few more posts about life here including the art markets, unique neighborhoods, etc. Which reminds me, in case you were wondering, I live in Uptown New Orleans or to be more specific the Carrollton neighborhood. So if you have any specific posts that you'd be interested in please let me know!