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Get the Look: New Orleans Style

Big Easy Decor on a Small Budget


When most people think about New Orleans homes, they imagine outdoor spaces -- cast iron railings and lush, private courtyards. And those are absolutely magnificent. But, New Orleans interiors are pretty special too.

With the city’s mix of French, Spanish, African, Haitian, and American Low-Country heritage, nothing is really inappropriate. I've even seen crumbling plaster become a decorative element. But, for that quintessential New Orleans style -- whether you prefer an apartment in the French Quarter, a colorful shotgun cottage, or a grand manor in the Garden District -- mix in some of these:

Antique French Furniture

Antique French Upholstered Bed
© Leah French
Elegant French antiques, upholstered and wood, are usually seen in New Orleans homes, whether inherited from original settlers, or just an homage to the city's French origins.

Low-Country Antiques

Low-Country Sideboard
© Leah French
Settlers of New Orleans brought their French finery with them, but as their households grew, they incorporated furnishings made locally. While lovely, these additions were far more primitive in design.

Ornamental Iron

Old Iron Gate
© Leah French
If you don't have that French Quarter balcony with the cast iron railings, you can still enjoy decorative ironwork. Hang a gate or fence section on the wall as art or use it as a headboard. Top a three-sided balcony piece with glass or marble to make a console table.

Chandeliers Dripping with Crystal

Chandelier with Colorful Crystal Drops
© Leah French
From French Empire to fun and funky, every New Orleans style home needs lots of chandeliers to add elegance and create ambiance.

Elaborate Plaster and Millwork

Elaborate Ceiling Medallion above French Empire Chandelier
© Wayne Shielly, Memphis, TN Interior Decorator
If you don't have deep crown molding and elaborate plasterwork, you can fake it. Add several layers of hardware store molding to mimic elaborate crown, and paint your own ceiling medallions to enhance your chandeliers.

Gilding and Tufting

Gilding and Tufting
© Wayne Shielly, Memphis, TN Interior Decorator
Opulent design details like gilding and tufting reflect the glamorous Parisian roots of many of the city's residents.

Religious Artifacts

Catholic Crowns and Wax Skulls
© Wayne Shielly, Memphis, TN Interior Decorator
The religious influences of Catholicism and Voodoo make for an interesting blend of decorative artifacts. In this case, wax skulls wear Infant of Prague statue crowns for a striking display.

Mardi Gras Memorabilia

New Orleans residents love Mardi Gras. Display some of your goodies from your last visit during Carnival.

Lighthearted Twists on Tradition

Pink Linen Bergere Chair by LeAnn Stephenson, The Vintage Laundress www.thevintagelaundry.etsy.com
© LeAnn Stephenson, The Vintage Laundress The Vintage Laundry on Etsy
New Orleans is a city steeped in history and tradition, but residents like to have fun with their homes. Try an unexpected twist on a serious piece, like this traditional French bergere chair reupholstered in a bright pink linen by The Vintage Laundry.

New Orleans Artists

© Hank Holland of Baby Jane Studios

New Orleans is rich with talented local artists. Support the arts and decorate your home at the same time. Mix funky, contemporary artwork with traditional Parisian furnishings for a fun, colorful touch.

For more of Cajun artist Hank Holland's work, search eBay for New Orleans Jazzed Up Art from seller LouisianaFolkArtist.

Classical Urns and Garden Statuary

Pair of Classical Urns
© Leah French
Bring the New Orleans style courtyard inside with classical urns and statuary. Fill them with ferns and tropicals for a lush indoor garden.
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