An Adorable New Orleans Rental Is Full of So Many Envy-Inducing Design Details

published Nov 2, 2020

An Adorable New Orleans Rental Is Full of So Many Envy-Inducing Design Details

published Nov 2, 2020
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Name: Cassidy Self, James Farnum, and cat Winnie
Location: Irish Channel, New Orleans, Louisiana
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting

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Situated in the historic Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans, Cassidy Self’s cozy shotgun apartment has no shortage of architectural delights that date back to 1896. Boasting twelve-foot-tall ceilings, there is an abundance of brilliant, soft light pouring in and filling the airy space. A nine-foot original slip-head window in the living room leads to the front porch, and there are original exposed brick fireplaces in each room.

Cassidy is a professional designer, which is evident throughout the thoughtfully decorated, minimal yet inviting space. She shares the apartment with her partner James, a professional pastry cook and record-playing enthusiast, and their cat Winnie. “I’ve always appreciated old and beautiful things, things that are hand crafted and one-of-a-kind. I love refinishing old furniture and mixing them with modern pieces throughout my home,” says Cassidy.

Cassidy and James are proud of transforming their kitchen, which was originally bright yellow, and is now Cassidy’s favorite room in the house. “Functionally, it‘s not ideal: cramped, with little working space and no pantry storage,” she explains. But with some paint and personal touches, she now actually wants to spend more time in the kitchen.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Curated vintage with a minimal and modern approach

Inspiration: Our shared love for preserving history; the timeless designs, quality craftsmanship, and elegant details we come across in our everyday lives.

Favorite Element: The original nine-foot tall slip-head window that leads to the front porch. At sunset, the most brilliant light pours in through the wavy glass panes and reflects off our string of antique chandelier crystals, casting rainbows across the room.

Biggest Challenge: Designing and living with the historic shotgun floor plan has been a unique challenge. Since you have to walk through our bedroom to get to the kitchen, bathroom, and backyard, there is no real sense of privacy. Also, the original wall between the first two rooms has been removed, leaving a very long, linear space. We have done our best to define smaller spaces within this room for our entry, living room, and dining area, while also making them feel cohesive.

Proudest DIY: We recently repainted our kitchen, which was a huge undertaking for us as first-time painters. The twelve foot tall walls and ceiling were thinly painted in a wash of sunshine yellow and covered with patches of spackle and unfixed holes from previous tenants. We patched the plaster walls and painted them in a warm off-white, with a more vibrant white for the millwork and casings. The fresh coat of paint really helps brighten the room and emphasize the black and white tile floor and brick fireplace.

Biggest Indulgence: Our leather sofa! It’s our first “real” piece of furniture together, and we made sure it was worthy. It’s the centerpiece of our living room and definitely our favorite.

Best Advice: Buy what you love! You should have that gut feeling, like you know it’s right the moment you see it. Then wait two weeks. If you still love it, you know it’s right for you. Also, consider investing in larger items that are timeless and will age beautifully – they will anchor your spaces. Everything else can evolve around those pieces and be replaced as your style changes.

What’s your best home secret? Fill your home with beautiful utilitarian items. This way, you never have to “store” them—you will want to display them! Make your storage part of your decor, like woven baskets and vintage crates.



  • Antique Etched Glass Hall Tree — Secondhand
  • Metal Wall Hook Rack — HomeGoods
  • Vintage Etching Print — Thrifted
  • White Curtains — Annalouisa from Ikea
  • Wood Bar Cart — Secondhand
  • Butterfly Prints — Tuesday Morning
  • Gold Tray — Ikea
  • Bar Tools — TJ Maxx
  • Wishbone Bottle Opener — Grandmother’s Buttons
  • Cut Glass Decanter — Thrifted
  • Nickel Tray — Secondhand
  • MCM Record Table — Thrifted
  • Vintage Louisiana Maps — Thrifted
  • Walnut Record Player — Crosby C6 Turntable
  • Black Floor Lamp — Ranarp from IKEA
  • Gold Plant Stand — TJ Maxx
  • Grey Vintage Look Round Rug — Safavieh from Target
  • Grey Velvet Tufted Ottoman — Target
  • Grey Velvet Barrel Chairs — Thrifted & DIY
  • Brass & Marble Drink Table — Thrifted
  • Copper Framed Beveled Mirror — Thrifted
  • Vintage Brass Candlesticks — Thrifted
  • Carved Wood Trinket Box — Thrifted
  • Glass Tealight Holders — Galej from IKEA
  • Grooved White Planter Pot — IKEA


  • Vintage Turned Leg Wood End Table — Secondhand
  • Smoke Glass Tealight Holders — IKEA
  • Brass Candle Snuffer — Thrifted
  • Smoke Glass Pitcher — H&M Home
  • Vintage Weights — Thrifted
  • Black & Ivory Woven Rug — Safavieh from Target
  • Leather Sofa — Dekalb from West Elm
  • Striped Throw — IKEA
  • Pillow Covers — H&M Home
  • Lady Portrait Prints — Thrifted
  • Gold Metal & Glass Coffee Table and TV Stand — Secondhand
  • Vintage Brass Tray — Thrifted
  • Woven Baskets — HomeGoods
  • Wood & Metal Tray Table — TJ Maxx
  • Wood & Gold Circle Mirror — HomeGoods
  • Vintage Wood Crates — Secondhand
  • Ceramic Vase — Faceplant Ceramics


  • Wood Table — Secondhand
  • Dining Chairs — Target
  • Vintage Wood Dresser — Secondhand
  • Gold Circle Mirror — Target
  • Task Lamp — Secondhand
  • Gold Planter — TJ Maxx
  • Vintage Fruit Prints — Thrifted


  • Vintage BedframeSecondhand and DIY
  • White Quilt — HomeGoods
  • Beige Linen Pillows — H&M Home
  • Black Embroidered Lumbar Pillow — TJ Maxx
  • White Linen Bedskirt — Pottery Barn
  • Vintage-Look Rugs — Safavieh from Target
  • Walnut Wood Floor Mirror — Target
  • Woven Basket with Leather Handles — HomeGoods
  • Sisal & Cotton Braided Hamper — HomeGoods
  • Gold & Mirror Tray Table — World Market
  • Cut Glass Lamp — Thrifted and DIY
  • Black Nightstands — Secondhand
  • Brass & Glass Desk Lamp — Target
  • Vintage Flower Picture — Thrifted
  • White Dresser — Hemnes from Ikea
  • Framed Woven Textile — HomeGoods
  • Black Candlestick — H&M Home
  • Beige Curtains — IKEA
  • Vintage Desk — Secondhand and DIY
  • Black Mirror — DIY
  • Leather-Look Desk Chair — TJ Maxx
  • Vintage Glass Hurricane Lamp — Thrifted
  • Antique Brass Pivot Table Mirror — Thrifted
  • Antique Gold Filigree Tray — Thrifted
  • Vintage Glass Perfume Bottle — Thrifted


Thanks James and Cassidy!

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