I recently spent a few fun days in New Orleans, Louisiana, and fell in love with it's chaotic and characterful fashion, interior and exterior design. Bustling like the Mississippi it sits on, the "Big Easy" is renowned for it's vibrant night-life, live music and cuisine that blends French, African and American cultures, all with a little Mardi-Gras sparkle and Mexican Day of the Dead voodoo magic.
It's a melting pot must-visit and here's my style take-aways to inspire you to add a little quirk to your own.
bright, bold, beaten
Whether it's a pop of colour, a neon moment, a crazy pattern clash, or the old made new again, NOLA's people and places surprise and delight on every corner. This place embraces perceived flaws and makes them fantastic - old paneling and porches becomes French Quarter cool; overgrown plants become Garden District chic; mural mashup becomes Arts area creative; and Halloween decorations that you forgot to pull down become Bywater boho.
Celebrate all your flavours in fashion with bold accessories next to black basics and all your interests in your interiors with beaten decor next to bright, sleek surfaces. Dare to add a colourful, handmade touch to your walls and keep the rest classic like the stunningly quirky Country Club dining room (below left), or pump up and pimp your powder room (middle). Add whimsy to your backyard with a stone bridge just because (below right), or charm your pool or pond with a swan floatie or flamingo or two!
Bringing out the bold, bright and beaten is simple, savey and oh-so-stimulating!
"It is impossible to capture the essence, tolerance, and spirit of south Louisiana in words and to try is to roll down a road of clichés, bouncing over beignets and beads and brass bands and it just is what it is. It is home.”
― 1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories
Just like Nawlins' rich and comforting food, the locals style themselves, their homes, hotels and businesses with a sense of creative cosiness, which goes aways to explain why somewhere with such a party atmosphere can also feel so homely.
We wore layers to ward off the river winds and sneakers to step confidently over planks and pavers for miles of walking. Cute dresses, band tees, a bit of leopard print, fringe and a peek of PVC. I felt totally myself here and got a lot of compliments and comments on my clothing of choice that might've otherwise drawn criticism and cheek.
If we lived here we'd be bang up for the Creole cottage look on an oak-lined street, complete with white facade and contrasting black ironwork. The inside would juxtapose the outside with contemporary luxe living, seizing the tropical climes with an indoor/outdoor meld, where skulls and upholstered Parisian stools would sit side by side in eclectic heaven harmony!
The whole city is diversity at its very best and offers inspiration for the whole modern family....however you define it! Go experience it or at the very least Google it, and enjoy injecting the spirit of the South into your style, one sugar-coated element at a time.