Name: Stephen LaRue Scott Peebles
Location: Irish Channel; New Orleans, Louisiana
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Rented
Sometimes a fresh start can bring one back full circle. For Stephen LaRue, his return to New Orleans after a long hiatus presented an opportunity for a clean slate. As an interior designer, he has had numerous residences over the years with about as many different styles, most recently rather sleek and modern. Upon returning to NOLA, Stephen —a long with long-time friend Scott Peebles and pup Joe Bailey — took up residence in an 1870s camelback in the Irish Channel neighborhood. This time, he decorated with heirlooms collected from family estates in his native Mississippi, and from relatives in Florida and Texas.
The interiors feel more English gentleman’s club than the typical French leanings associated with a traditional interior in New Orleans. The living room has the warmth of an old study, down to the leather chairs and smoking pipes on a side table. A portrait of his grandfather presides over the room above the fireplace.
Collections abound in the narrow shotgun rooms, but properly grouping the articles keeps the spaces from feeling cramped. Even Stephen’s favorite DIY, a mounted set of antlers, seems less “hipster” and more at home amongst them. The muddy tobacco color in the main room was a happy accident—leftover from the previous tenants—and creates a cohesive, warm backdrop to unify the collections. Muted striped silk curtains, originally fabricated by The Curtain Exchange, were reused from a former residence. The living room, dining and kitchen flow into each other, giving the home a very open feel in the public spaces. The twelve-foot ceilings, fairly typical of the older homes here, add to the sense of spaciousness.
While the front public space is very open and airy, the rear private rooms are of a much more intimate scale. Unaltered from its original shotgun style, Scott’s downstairs bedroom contains the stairs to Stephen’s bedroom above, as well as acts as the passage to the bathroom and the backyard. Luckily the two friends (and Joe Bailey) have been close for years and seem to navigate this less than private arrangement with relative ease. The stair wall becomes a gallery of family photos and select art leading one up the staircase.
Stephen’s bedroom seems to glow with almost a slight golden tone. A four-poster bed lends the room a grand air rather than enclosing the space. Back downstairs, the vibrant green of the bath hints at the banana plants peeking over the fence in the small yard beyond, where original art by Stephen’s nephew, Cheney LaRue, serve as a focal point.
Thought the house is a rental, Stephen’s family pieces have come together to create a home that could have been passed down over generations.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Period antique/heirloom
Inspiration: New Orleans Architecture
Favorite Element: Brick fireplaces and mantles
Biggest Challenge: Awkward floor plan (including a narrow, treacherous staircase)
What Friends Say: You’ve only been here three years?
Biggest Embarrassment: The curb appeal, or the old girl needs a facelift.
Proudest DIY: The deer heads, and the bathroom refresher
Biggest Indulgence: Antiques and rugs
Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to implement your ideas and take some risks.
Dream Sources: Jade Interiors, Greg’s Antiques, thrift stores
Resources of Note:
-Hallway Artwork: Nephew Cheney LaRue (also the art in the back yard)
Thanks, Stephen Scott!
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(Image credits: Paul Zansler)