New Orleans Penthouse Design | Interior Design by Cara McBroom
Well, taking on a job in The Big Easy shouldn’t be considered work. Actually, it was a lot of work, but entirely enjoyable! This is a penthouse I redesigned for a client, inside One River Place, overlooking the Mississippi River.
Before I began adding color and life to this place, it underwent a major facelift. The previous owner ran an antique shop, and had the place filled to the brim with antiques; walls were knocked down, and every surface was lightened and brightened. My clients wanted to maximize the view, the light, and the space!
I mean, look at this view! Watching paddle boats go by, and hearing the sounds of jazz while working, was definitely a perk! This is the reason I placed this shimmering silver leather Lee Industries chaise in this spot. I wanted seating that would be open to everything–conversation, or view.
I will talk more about my design concept, the elements and principles of design, and why I chose certain details, but for now, let me gush about these Platner Easy Chairs, by Knoll. These iconic sculptured chairs were created with hundreds of welded, curved steel rods. I loved the mixture of soft fabric and metal, and especially the softness of the lines, and the wide comfort.
In designing this unit, I wanted my main canvas to be a beautiful, bright soft white. Therefore, the walls, floors, and upholstery and rugs were all mostly neutral. I brought color in with art, pillows and accessories. The client wanted bold colors, and for me to not be shy. We decided to paint our accents with cobalt, purple, and orange! I wanted these colors to dance and play, and move your eyes across the room, with the same flair that jazz music echoes down the streets. This was how I paid homage to the location. Instead of aiming for traditional French elements and aged old world European flair, the bold, fun and striking colors were an abstract interpretation of the “feeling” of jazz music, and the city.
They did not want a typical design, they wanted something designed especially for them, tailored to their tastes, and needs. Having things remain light, spacious and open, allows the view of the colorful city to shine. The modern style provides a welcome contrast to all the historical architecture of the city. After a night on the town, they can come home to their clean, spa-like atmosphere and have total relaxation!
My shoes matched!
In the Dining Room, I chose a round table to mimic the curve of the windows. You will see I used curvilinear lines throughout. They help move the eye around the room, and it allows the architecture and the furniture to “have a conversation”, if you will. It’s also a way of softening a contemporary look.
These klismos chairs by Vanguard had such an elegant shape. I loved the idea of doing the upholstery in a cobalt vinyl, so that I could create a graphic effect, like dashes circling the table.
I chose these modern place settings, because of its unique shape. The plates mimic the backs of the dining chairs.
I divided the Living Area into two areas, with two different functions. This is the media seating arrangement. Below, you can see the white glass barn door leading to the office.
This is the Office. It has ample space for both clients to work, and I did my best to work magic on the display shelves! The office chairs are from Century furniture, and I covered them in a luxurious, soft cream leather, for maximum comfort.
You’re looking at a murphy bed door! This side of the Office would have looked pretty blank, had I not thought to paint a mural on these doors. This way, the doors are like an art piece hanging on the wall, disguising the functional bed. Pull it down, and voila:
This marble fireplace mantel is the only design element we kept from the previous design. I liked how it looked against all the modern lines around it. We were stoked to capture this dog jumping on the television, during our photo shoot! haha
The Master bedroom turned out beautiful. I chose a high, plush velvet upholstered headboard, some fun artwork, and a rich, soft rug to anchor it all! I love painting a room with color!
This project was featured in a 2017 issue of Vie Magazine. Click here to read my interview, and learn more about my process and the project!
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos:
Colleen Duffley took most of these gorgeous photographs of the project. I threw in a couple of my own photos, but they are mostly her work!
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