February 17, 2015

Light Up the Night in Honor of Mardi Gras

It’s Mardi Gras, my friends, so I thought we’d do a Big Easy themed blog this morning…

Back in October my husband and I took a quick trip down to New Orleans to visit the friends we’d left behind when we moved back to Kansas City in 2011. We had first made our way to New Orleans chasing jazz as my husband John is a professional pianist. But it wasn’t too long after getting there that I wanted to stay based solely on the architecture and home design. Whatever your feelings of New Orleans are – and people have many! – you can’t deny that the architecture is fantastically unique and fantastically inspiring. It’s one of those few cities with its own city style. When you see a photograph of the Garden District there’s no caption necessary. You know exactly where it is. And everybody is familiar with the distinctively cajun feel of the French Quarter. Then there’s the food, the music, the people. It’s all just so….so…so New Orleans.

Can you tell how much I love it? I mean just look at this next picture. This was the view outside of our Garden District apartment where our first daughter was born. How charming is that? Jim would like to point out that half the city’s buildings are falling down, rat/roach infested and under the agonizingly hot Southern sun. But I think it’s charming.

view from our new orleans aparment

And here we are outside of our apartment in 2011 the night before we moved with our daughter back to the midwest. Cue the tears. (And notice the light fixture.)

Brewers outside of their Garden District apartment

Anyway, on the last day of our New Orleans getaway in October it dawned on me that I ought to have been taking pictures of the Bevelo lanterns that are rampant throughout the city. You are hard pressed to find a house without a Bevelo gas lantern hanging beside the front door. And I love it. Can’t get enough. The fiery flames warm my little homesick heart. That and the beignets. Those will do just the right number on your heart. But enough about those. Here are the few pictures I managed to snap on our walk to Audubon Park.

pictures of new orleans houses with bevelo lights

So if you’ve been to New Orleans you know that this doesn’t even scratch the surface! There are gas lanterns everywhere you turn. (And you can custom order one from Bevelo on their website.) I wish I’d started taking pictures prior to the last day there. But while they’re prolific in the South, gas sconces are a little harder to come by here in Kansas City. Nonetheless we still put our fair share in. I sifted through some of our files and found a few of my favorite sconces – though they may be electric.

scovellwolfelighting

 

(With or without sconces, you ought to check out the rest of gallery of exterior Scovell Wolfe projects!) And finally here are some New Orleans inspired lights from online stores for us poor souls not living in New Orleans.

sources for outdoor lighting

 

(Clockwise from the top right: Wilson Lighting, Home Depot, Wilson Lighting, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Flambeaux Lighting)

Moral of the story? Gas lighting will rock your world. Electric lighting can be just as good. Oh, and your next vacation ought to be to New Orleans. No, really. I’m not kidding. Maybe we’ll even give you a free silver dollar with your next kitchen remodel if you can prove you went to New Orleans based on this post. Say what? A free silver dollar doesn’t entice you? Impossible. Speaking of impossible, I’m going to leave you with these impossibly charming stairs leading up to this impossibly darling Uptown house in the good ole Cresent City. Plus this impossibly charming ivy clad wall surrounding a gorgeous property. Tell me you don’t want to move there. Just try.

ivy covered steps

I’m sure my dad (who never wanted me to move down there in there in the first place) would point out that there’s a reason there’s an iron door in addition to a wood one on that house. Something to do with New Orleans being one of the most dangerous cities in America.

 

uptown ivy clad wall in new orleans

But, hey, I’m willing to risk a lot to live in such an architecturally gorgeous place.