Hey, it’s Doug. I was in one of my favorite places last week…New Orleans…and I wanted to share a few photos I took while I was there. Of course, I left my good camera at home in Birmingham, so you’ll have to bear with my iPhone photos (I really hope the new one that’s supposed to be out this summer has a better camera!)
I’m actually getting ahead of myself, because before I went to New Orleans I stopped by a project in Baton Rouge that we are providing design services for. Our sister company, Dungan Nequette Architects, works with the nationally renowned college housing developer Capstone Development to create beautiful traditional neighborhood developments for college students all over the country. We collaborate on several aspects of the projects with DNA, including selecting all of the exterior colors schemes for the buildings and designing the architectural interiors for the Clubhouse buildings that anchor the developments. I was in Baton Rouge to inspect the progress of the Clubhouse at The Cottage of Baton Rouge, which happens to be the largest Clubhouse that’s been built in a Cottages development to date. It’s equipped with some amazing features, like dual Club Rooms, a spa-like bathroom complete with Sauna and Steam, a Fitness Center that rivals any health club, pool tables, a study center, a room just for video games… definitely nicer than any place I lived in college!
[the exterior the Clubhouse building — those shiny new cedar shingles will soon be treated with a bleaching agent that will make the building appear to have been built years ago]
Inside the Clubhouse there’s just bare sheetrock walls right now, but soon custom designed trim and millwork and lots of horizontally-installed spruce planking (which will also be aged and bleached) will create a warm and inviting space. I worked with architect Louis Nequette and the team at Dungan Nequette to design an exposed ceiling in some of the spaces (pictured in the main Club Room, above) which add an interesting contrast to some of the more refined finishes found in the building. The furnishings will be an eclectic blend of pieces–including some subtle hints of LSU purple and gold (I never thought I’d say that!)…we’ll be sure to post some more photos of the finished product later this summer.
I left Baton Rouge and drove an hour (okay, two hours with traffic) to New Orleans, where I spent an evening and the following morning doing a little shopping and researching spaces for some upcoming projects we have in the works elsewhere across the country.
At first, I thought I’d found Tracery’s Creole cousin when I saw this sign hanging on Tchoupitoulas Street near my hotel, but it turns out the word actually means ‘loft’ in French…the sign advertises the sales office for a new condo development nearby. I spotted the sign on my way to dinner at the amazing A Mano, a great Italian place tucked in the Warehouse District. Paige had eaten there last summer and texted me the name of the restaurant telling me I had to try it. I was not disappointed…my meal was the perfect end to a long day of dusty jobsites and long car rides.
Do you think I enjoyed my Tagliata with Arugula? I was close to licking the plate…well, until I tried the Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic with Sea Salt. The sweet berries and big chunks of salt…YUM…I’ve been craving it since I got home!
The next morning I went for a walk down Magazine Street with a big cup of coffee, checking out some of the local shops and enjoying the amazing architecture that is absolutely everywhere you turn.
[the yellow stucco facade of a convent along Magazine Street– I love the angels between the second and third storeys]
[I was ready to move into this house I found along St Charles Avenue. It’s perfection, right down to the working shutters, subtle color scheme and amazing boxwood and ivy front garden…and those urns brimming with more ivy? Yes, please!]
Before I left, I stopped by a few antique shops in the French Quarter we like to visit whenever one of us is in town. Despite my obvious love for whites and neutrals, I think one of my favorite things about New Orleans is the COLOR…there are few other places where you could get away with such outrageous combinations!
I wish I’d been able to stay longer, but luckily I’ll be back in the area a few more times this spring and summer as the Cottages project wraps up. New Orleans, though relatively close, is so different than Birmingham (or even our office in Rosemary Beach); I find it so refreshing and inspirational to visit a city that exists in such contrast from the places I see everyday. I came home with a lot of great ideas, and a bag full of beignets for the ride back!