4-The Wonderful World of New Orleans Designers and Antiques

On our first day in New Orleans with BlogtourNOLA, we were treated to a visite guidée* of renowned Magazine Street by local interior designer Shaun Smith, a gracious and most talented young man.

Shaun Smith on magazine Street. Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Shaun Smith walks us through the shops on Magazine Street. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Shaun proceeded to take us into upscale antique shop Antiquités d’Europe, owned by Petricia Thompson, an antique shop owner for the past 13 years. Petricia has quite a collection of 18th and 19th Century European antiques. The prices are steep but I recommend you stop by this one. Here are a few snapshots:

Antiquités d'Europe - Photo Drecit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe – Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe- 19th Century French Tole Bed Corona Canopy – Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Antiquités d'Europe- Phot  Credit : Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe- 18th Century Spanish Dining chairs – Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAntiquités d’Europe- Vase of April, A French creation, one of my favorites, even if more contemporary.  Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Next stop was Empire Antiques:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaContinuing on Magazine Street we passed Julie Neill‘s Designs, as Julie herself greeted us in front of her storefront. Unfortunately we were headed to another destination, but I could not resist taking a few snapshots of her stylish vitrines**:

Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaJulie Neill’s unusual storefront window with the street reflection- Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaJulie Neill’s unusual storefront window with the street and myself reflected- Photo Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Malachite Home was a big favorite with our group: Shaun Smith introduced us to the designer and her fabulous shop, filled with unusual juxtapositions and brimming with art and sculpture:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMalachite’s. Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaBunny Williams Table with turned legs and assortment of candy colored glassware. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 My personal favorites:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaMalachite Home unusual mid century sculptures- Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

 Gorgeous dragons and floral details enhance these gilded sconces- Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Shaun Smith then invited us in his own shop and regaled us with little canapés of goat cheese decorated with fresh strawberries and other canapés topped with charcuteries***. We welcomed the break and admired his elegant and whimsical style:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Religious symbols abound in New Orleans, a town with a strong Catholic history and culture. One has to keep in mind Louisiana is the only state to be  divided into Parishes rather than Counties.

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaThese chairs might be the ones that belonged to my French grandparents. In fact, they are so eerily similar I am a bit taken aback. Chairs on which grandchildren sat to eat tartines de pain de campagne au miel**** dipped in hot chocolate. Chairs on which my family sat next to the free standing 1950’s first fridge and played bridge. Photo credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaAnd then there is this Louis Philippe commode*****. Surely this has to be the one that was in the guest bedroom in my grandparents’ home?! Feelings like this overcome me throughout my trip in new Orleans. It’s as if the city lends itself to travel into time and pulls me back to Europe…Photo credit:  Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Next stop was Gerrie Bremermann’s fantastic shop with Gerrie herself! Gerrie is a lovely and energetic octogenarian interior designer who left her career as a seamstress to become an interior designer in her 40’s. She was voted Vogue Magazine’s top interior designers in 2004. Her boutique/office is refined and personalized. Gerrie is also represented on 1st Dibs.

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaSoothing palette for this ethereal and elegant bedroom by Gerrie Bremermann. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaFun fact: Gerrie says because the ceilings are so tall in her offices, she selects very tall staff, as she herself is quite petite. Note the stunning -I assume- Italian Murano glass chandelier. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Art holds a big place in Gerrie Bremermann’s designs. I can see why! Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaWith Gerrie :-) We had a good laugh at how New Orleans affected our hair!!!  I so enjoyed my visit with her!

We finish our street tour at Ecru, a tasteful antique shop owned by a darling mother and daughter team:

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaIf you love whites, greys and greiges, this is the shop for you! Photo: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

The day ended at the Ogden Museum with a presentation and book signing with interior designer Miles Redd, author of a book called The Big Book of Chic:

Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaTwo design legends, Gerrie Bremermann and Miles Redd enjoy a quick chat minutes before the book signing. Photo Credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

*French for guided tour
**French for storefront windows
***French for prepared meats usually made of pork, using methods such as curing or smoking, which were methods developed to preserve meat in times when refrigeration was not an option (jambon, saucisson, etc)
****French for buttered peasant bread slices with honey
*****French for chest of drawers

9 thoughts on “4-The Wonderful World of New Orleans Designers and Antiques

  1. Hello Barbara!
    I can relate to the furniture in the grandparents’ home! So much that generation and style!
    Very impressed with the beautiful condition of the French Antiques. They have been well cared for, so they can be expensive!
    The beige and white store could have been my kind of store! Lovely!
    What a most interesting Blog! Thank you!

  2. Like Ghetta Hirsch I love the “ecru” palette and for the first time ever, I feel that I must visit New Orleans. Merci beaucoup!

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