Tours

Apartment Therapy’s House Tour Editor’s Home Fits Two People, Three Pets, and a ‘Costco Habit’

published Feb 25, 2020
Tours

Apartment Therapy’s House Tour Editor’s Home Fits Two People, Three Pets, and a ‘Costco Habit’

published Feb 25, 2020
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Bedrooms
Square feet
850
Sq ft
850
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Name: Adrienne Breaux, Keith Fields, dogs Otis and Stanley, and Pepper the cat
Location: Broadmoor neighborhood — New Orleans, Louisiana
Size: 850 square feet (This is a duplex and is 1350 square feet total; our unit is 850 square feet, and the other unit, which we rent to a tenant, is 500 square feet.)
Years lived in: Almost 1 year, own

After years of asking our readers to share their homes with Apartment Therapy, you might have noticed we’ve been trying to share looks into our homes. We’ve seen inside the apartment of Laura Schocker, Apartment Therapy’s Editor-in-Chief. We got a good look into the Boston apartment of Tara Bellucci, our News and Culture editor, and Taryn Williford, our Lifestyle Director, graciously showed us around her Atlanta loft. Our Managing Editor, Terri Pous, even let Apartment Therapy’s Instagram followers to help decorate her NYC studio apartment.

Credit: Adrienne Breaux

And last year, on Valentine’s Day, I took readers through my own home—a tiny little New Orleans apartment I was renting. I published it on Feb. 14 because it was a genuine love letter to that little bachelorette pad I spent five years in. I really loved that space—all the natural light, all the architectural character, how warm and cozy it felt with all the sunlight. And when Keith moved in, we used smart small space ideas from Apartment Therapy to redesign the space into a home that two people and two dogs could live in and love together.

Now, almost a year later, we’re in a new home: a cute blue duplex in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans that we purchased together. And instead of writing a love letter to it on Valentine’s Day, I’m publishing it on another important holiday—Mardi Gras Day. This tour is also a love letter, but not just to our new house; it’s to our new house AND the city we love so much we made a commitment to it in the form of a mortgage!

Carnival season actually begins back in January on Twelfth Night, but has been particularly ramping up the last few days in what we locals have started calling “Deep Gras,” thanks to a recent meme. For the last five days Keith and I have been dressed in our silliest costumes, sipping on daiquiris, basking in the sunlight while gliding past dancing revelers on our bikes to the parades. This joie de vivre and energy that explodes throughout New Orleans on this most raucous time of year is one of the many reasons Keith and I decided to leave the cutest, coziest, most affordable apartment in New Orleans to buy this house. (Well I mean that and smart financial sense, blah blah blah.)

Credit: Adrienne Breaux

As with my last tour, there’s so much I wish we had done to this house in the short time we’ve been in here; there’s still so much left I want to do. I wring my hands sometimes over whether it looks “cool” enough or professional enough or like the inspiration I see on this site. And like our last apartment, this home is not perfect. But it’s been my dream since I was a little girl (watching episodes of “This Old House” with my parents) to own a home. And with this house—built in the 1930s, bursting with architectural details and charm, customized ever so slightly with my own quirky style—all my dreams have come true. AND it’s in the city I love. Wow, how lucky am I?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Keith – Retired English professor
Adrienne – Retired archaeologist/world traveling journalist/art collector

Inspiration: Keith – Hotel bars, traveling, pictures of dead poets’ rooms, movies

Credit: Adrienne Breaux

Adrienne – Fabulous boutique hotels (Bar Marilou in the hotel Maison de la Luz heavily inspired our library/front room). This creamy beige living room in a project by WORKSTEAD inspired our living/middle room. We kind of aimed for modern country French bistro vibes in the kitchen. That scene in “Only Lovers Left Alive” when Tilda Swinton’s character is lying in a room full of piles of books.

Favorite Element: Keith – I love the high ceilings. After living for decades in ranch-style homes in north Texas and Austin, I can say there ain’t nothing like morning light filling a raised shotgun.

Adrienne – Listening to birds and drinking tea on the front porch. Drinking wine and eating dinner on the back deck. Working each day at Apartment Therapy while sitting in our big purple library. Movie watching nights with friends on our big sectional, or watching TV with all of us (animals included) on a week night. Listening to it rain outside while curled up in bed.

Biggest Challenge: Keith – Because of the long, open layout (the house is like a train car) we had to get creative about nice-to-haves like office space, crafting/workspace, dining area, privacy/comfort nooks for our animals… but Adrienne had solutions for everything. One example is the dining area she cleverly worked into our kitchen. It’s a small footprint that wouldn’t be served well by a standard table and chairs. Enter her grandmother’s sewing table and a lovely MCM bench seat that doubles as storage for all the “overstock” I drag home from Costco.

Adrienne – Weirdly, storage? This home is so much larger than our last apartment, but because it’s older (it was built in the 1930s), it doesn’t have a ton of storage space. The previous owners did add closets in both bedrooms, and the kitchen did come with lots of cabinets, but with Keith’s Costco habit and our pets’ food supplies, we initially struggled with storage space. We used a lot of different organizing tools in our kitchen cabinets to maximize the space, and also added a big vintage wooden trunk that doubles as seating and storage. We moved a vintage cabinet of Keith’s in the kitchen as well that serves as our “Home Zone” and houses things like batteries, candles, tape, tools, etc. And of course, there’s the costume closet, an antique chifforobe I bought off of Facebook Marketplace that houses all of our silly costumes for all the events year round that require one!

Proudest DIY: Keith – We refreshed our living room with just some paint, trim, and curtains. The idea was to make a minimal room that’s still soft, warm, and inviting. We decided to float over the existing paneling because it’s distracting and abundant in the rest of the house. I replaced the thick, rustic chair rail with something more traditional, and added new trim panels to the upper walls. We painted everything from floor to ceiling a creamy beige. I repainted the original light fixture, and we installed curtain rods to match. I used the remaining sample paint to do a Memphis Group pastiche on the back of the canvas screen we use with our TV projector. When we’re not watching television, it rests on the mantel. I love how subdued the room feels after passing through our zany library room.

Adrienne – So many! Although they are all Keith’s. I love our TV projector screen/living room art, where we stapled canvas on both sides of a wooden frame he built. One side is his cool art piece, the other is all white. We just flip it around and use it as a TV screen. The purple library room is also a huge DIY. I’ve always wanted a room full of books, and so “we” (Keith) installed shelves on some of the walls, and combined with a tall bookshelf and a coat of purple paint, gives the illusion of built-ins.

Biggest Indulgence: Keith – Interior Define sofa
Adrienne – The Interior Define sofa and the West Elm coffee table. We usually buy secondhand things (we love going to estate sales on the weekend) but we just had a particular vibe we wanted in our lounge area and were impatient about waiting for the perfect big sectional. We wanted to host movie nights ASAP! All five of us (me, Keith, Stanley, Otis, and Pepper) can fit on this sofa and it’s precious.

Best Advice: Keith – Buy flowers

Adrienne – Practice gratefulness for your home each day. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what still needs to be done, or drown in envy when you peruse beautiful interior photos on Instagram all day. While you can and should have as much design ambition for your home as you would like, I think it’s important to stop often to take stock of what you do have, what you have done, and how lucky you are to have a home you love. Sorry, I know that’s a little preachy, but I think it’s true and important.

Resources:

Credit: Adrienne Breaux

FRONT PORCH

  • Side table — Goodwill
  • Plants — Home Depot, Facebook Marketplace, Lowe’s
  • Wooden rocker — Facebook Marketplace
  • Yellow bird feeder — Amazon

PAINT & COLORS

LIBRARY

  • Large multi-colored rug — World Market
  • Shoe Racks — Amazon
  • Rolling Wood Trunk (that’s hiding craft supplies) — Pretty sure from Kirklands (is it still open?)
  • Chifforobe — Facebook Marketplace
  • Vintage rug — Keith’s grandparents
  • Vintage Lamp on filing cabinet — Closed vintage store in New Orleans
  • Plant stand — Bottom of a really old IKEA side table I got from an ex-boyfriend’s sister-in-law
  • Textured things on top shelf — Pieces of a chair I found on the side of the road and a genuine ’70s hanging fan thing my parents had on their walls when I was growing up
  • Filing Cabinet — Vintage Steelcase cabinet from Texas County Surplus in Austin, Texas ($10, baby!)
  • Two side chairs — Bought from a friend on Instagram
  • Bird pillow — World Market (no longer available)
  • Black and white painting — DIY
  • Metal wall sculpture — Pelican Thrift
  • Desk chair — Vintage
  • Desk — IKEA
  • Stanley’s basket bed — Goodwill
  • Art on bookshelves — Melanie Warner Spencer (white frame); Will Bryant (water gun)
  • Beige Textured Lamp — Craigslist

LIVING ROOM

  • Wegner style rope chair – Received from a friend
  • Art Deco bird print — Margot Johnson print found at an estate sale
  • Plant stand — Vintage
  • Art above fireplace mantel — DIY by Keith; the other side is a blank screen that we use to watch TV on
  • Rattan Stool/Plant Stand — Pelican Thrift, New Orleans
  • Sectional sofa — Interior Design Maxwell sofa
  • Coffee table — West Elm, no longer available
  • Side table — Vintage from Junk’s Above
  • Mini animal planters — Facebook Marketplace
  • Giant Mirror — Craigslist
  • Round table lamp — Urban Outfitters
  • Floating credenza — IKEA
  • Curtains — Dirt Defense Cotton & Heavy canvas Drop cloths, from Amazon (Hat tip to Jacqueline Marque for the recommendation)
  • Turntable, receiver, speakers — Craigslist, and eBay
  • Geometric rug — Estate sale
  • Otis’s foam bed —Home Depot foam + a Mexican blanket
  • Hanging Window Doily — Found in an antique store in Ponchatoula, Louisiana

KITCHEN

  • MCM bar cabinet — Received from a friend
  • Marble contact paper — Amazon
  • Electric Kettle — Fellow Stagg
  • Rug — Spearment LOVE
  • Table — Belonged to my grandmother
  • Storage bench/chest — Vintage from Facebook Marketplace
  • Faux Sheepskins — IKEA
  • Booze Tray — World Market
  • Art — Varied thrift art, found pieces, art I made, pieces Keith brought, found objects, and more.
  • Mirror — Estate sale
  • Globe — Street find

BATHROOM

  • Blue metal wall shelf – Received from family
  • Colanders – Pelican Thrift
  • Cat-shaped litter box door — Keith DIY
  • Shower Curtain — Alja Horvat from Society6
  • “Discover Todays Fun-Tier Texas” Poster — Room Service Vintage in Austin, Texas
  • Round bath rug — World Market
  • Green bath rug — H&M Home

GUEST ROOM

  • Pink chair — Roadside freebie
  • Bird puzzle (framed) — Amazon
  • Bed — IKEA (I upholstered the headboard and the bed is also on risers
  • Headboard — Urban Outfitters blanket
  • Hanging Pothos Plants — Harold’s Plants in New Orleans
  • Macrame Plant Hangers — World Market
  • Bed Accent Pillows — World Market
  • Rug — Overstock
  • Narrow Basket Drawers — Honestly can’t remember
  • Rug — Urban Outfitters
  • “Love One Another” Word Art — Tomoko Yates
  • Left Nightstand — Thrift store
  • Bedside lamp — Vintage
  • Giant Bird Painting — The Bank Architectural Antiques, New Orleans (only paid $50… my friend Liz Kamarul has a matching one; we bought at the same time.)
  • Blanket at end of bed — Urban Outfitters
  • Hanging clothes rack — Keith DIY out of a dowel and some rope
  • Rusty Bar Cart — Free street find
  • Curtains — Came with the house

BEDROOM

  • Carved teak room divider — Estate sale
  • Folding table — Keith’s grandmother
  • Desk chair — Free street find
  • Art above desk — Handmade collages by Keith
  • Sconces — Amazon
  • Craft corner storage — IKEA
  • Bed — KEA storage bed with drawers, bought on Facebook Marketplace
  • Mattress — Tuft & Needle, bought on Facebook Marketplace
  • Bench — Built by Adrienne’s dad
  • Vintage painters box — Estate sale
  • Scandinavian table runners — Estate sale
  • Commune Armless Sofa — West Elm (no longer available)
  • Rug — Overstock
  • Dresser — Maw-Maw’s; it’s metal and apparently from an old hospital in Crowley, Louisiana that was closing and selling furniture
  • Dresser Mirror — Free curbside find painted several times
  • Narrow Basket Drawers — Honestly can’t remember
  • Lamp — Vintage
  • ZZ plant — Amazon
Credit: Adrienne Breaux

DECK

  • Wooden chairs — Roadside freebies