Brian and Emily’s New Orleans shotgun will have you smiling before you even take a step inside. The exterior color combination of red, purple, and bright blue is as bold and fun as the city they call home. The couple’s vast collection of folk art covers the interior walls like a modern day version of the storied Parisian salons. “We like to pile it on thick,” Emily says with a laugh.
The couple has amassed their collection from a variety of sources such as festivals, art markets, local galleries, and street vendors in the French Quarter. “I really love New Orleans and I came here because it just seemed so rich and vivid… The art I’ve gravitated towards is like this place,” Emily explains. Although they don’t buy art with investment in mind–“We buy it because we love it,” Emily says–they have a knack for finding artists before they hit it big.
Their artworks are grouped in themes: the music room is decorated with a hand-painted guitar, a bust of Elvis atop a piano inherited from Brian’s grandmother, and depictions of musicians like Lucinda Williams and David Bowie. The kitchen is a celebration of Southern cuisine–think alligator po-boy and hot-boiled crab–and includes whimsical paintings of cats eating food. The bathroom is a display of "Oriental" art inherited from Emily’s grandmother and the den is filled with hand-carved masks from all over the world.
Several distinct pieces of mid-century modern furniture–six tall-back chairs, two glass tables, and a three-piece wooden cube coffee table–make a strong visual statement in the home. The vintage pieces were designed by Adrian Pearsall and inherited from Emily’s grandmother, whose Texas ranch house maintained an early-1960s style until the time of her death.
The overall vibe of the house is lighthearted and inviting. Emily and Brian, who both work in academia, love to open their home to their friends for holiday celebrations, dinner parties, and watching Saints games. “Our style is informal,” says Brian, “because we run in informal circles around here.”
When they are not entertaining, Emily and Brian love to sit on the front porch and take in the verdant streetscape that lured them to the Irish Channel ten years ago. While gushing over all of the wonderful aspects of the neighborhood–the walkability, the varied architecture, the great people-watching–Emily sums it up with this: “The first house [we lived in] didn’t seem like a forever house, but this seems like a forever house… We hope to never leave.”
You can see a full tour of Emily & Brian's home and read more about their art collection at Apartment Therapy.
Photos and text by Jacqueline Marque