In honor of my upcoming semi-annual road trip to Louisiana (and the latest issue of Lonny Magazine), today's post focuses on the creative and sentimental New Orleans designer Angele Parlange. Parlange, now living in New York and loving it, injects a vivid type of historical flair into every space she decorates. But it isn't as simple as hanging your grandmother's portrait on the wall. How about having her calling cards silk-screened onto hot pink fabric and covering a Louis-style chair with it?
Or creating brightly colored curtains patterned with copies of treasured family photographs? Parlange tackles these projects and more in her witty and visually stunning book, Creole Thrift: Premium Southern Living Without Spending a Mint. In this book, Parlange infuses each and every space with heirlooms and tradition while keeping it lively with modern colors and patterns. This is not your grandmother's house. It's your fabulously daring grandmother's house in Technicolor.
While this inspirational book was given to me about three years ago, I was thrilled to see Parlange's new NYC pad in Lonny this month! I was surprised to learn that Parlange had ended up in New York by default. She had coincendentally traveled north for a birthday party on the same day as Hurricane Katrina and, after not being able to return to New Orleans for several weeks, ended up making New York her new permanent home. Still, that same sense of glamorous Southern tradition showed up on every single page of the spread.
The second surprise in her posh new pad was her use of glossy black paint on so many of the interior doors! This ebonizing technique created a look of sophistication, drama and glamour.
I had to dig deeper to learn more about my new high gloss black door obsession...
The spaces above are certainly stunning, but Parlange has a much more gentle way of approaching the dramatic change. The difference between her gorgeously girly apartment and these modern and minimalistic spaces has much to do with Parlange's use of Benjamin Moore's soothing blue paint called Dolphin's Cove. The other stark black on white contrasts would be fine in most cases, but they are a little too cold for me. Transitioning to black doors in my house means adding a little bienvenue to the walls around it.
While Parlange's touches had already started appearing in my own house with hot pink ikat pillows and a new appreciation for calling cards, her glossy black doors are an unexpected twist that have me amped to try something new. This morning, I surveyed my doors and trim to see which would serve as good candidates for a little Parlange-ing. No final decisions yet, but I'll be sure to let you know what happens.
In the meantime, remember that you too can infuse your space with the most personal touches a la Parlange...without spending a mint. A little paint job is a cost-effective way to give your space a little face lift.