A Painter’s New Orleans Rental Is a Dreamy Sun-Filled Space

published May 30, 2019

A Painter’s New Orleans Rental Is a Dreamy Sun-Filled Space

published May 30, 2019
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Square feet
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Name: Ansley Givhan, Billy (cat), Oliver (dog)
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Size: 1500 square feet
Years Lived In: 1 year, renting

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I live in a shotgun house in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana with my animals, Oliver and Billy. As a painter, my style is first and foremost a reflection of my practical creative needs; I thrive in a place where I can both work and live, and this house has been an important setting for my painting over the past year.

I have an eclectic design sensibility but try not to collect too many home furnishings; I utilize the open floor plan and wall space for studio work and storage. Having fewer things in a large space allows me to be relaxed and messy without becoming overwhelmed by clutter.

In the late-afternoon you’ll most likely find the front door propped open; I love the way light streams through my studio during these hours. My home is always open to animals, friends, and neighbors, and I really enjoy the dialogue so many New Orleans homes have with the street-life outside the door.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Colorful, comfortable, eclectic

Inspiration: Creating a practical and inviting space for working.

Favorite Element: My 13-foot studio walls. I love having this space to hang groups of paintings, drawings, and photographs. I am always composing and arranging things on my walls, often taking Polaroids and painting the interior arrangements themselves to document how my process and paintings change over time.

Biggest Challenge: I’m not very organized, but I’ve learned to accept it and understand that living with a little bit of mess is natural for me and how I feel most comfortable.

Proudest DIY: To prepare my studio for painting, I painted the walls bright white and covered the hardwood floors with a large roll of black and white vinyl sheet flooring I had cut at Home Depot. Using a straight-edge and a box cutter, I trimmed the piece to size and to fit around all the corners. The vinyl laid down flat on its own so I didn’t have to worry about using adhesive, which I was worried would damage the original floors. I’ve found the vinyl to be both an inexpensive and effective solution for renters looking to convert a non-traditional space into an art studio. Covering the floors and walls with white changed the whole dynamic of the whole space, brightening it up and making it an ideal environment for making art.

Biggest Indulgence: Textiles, rugs, art

Best Advice: Be a conscious consumer! Collect second-hand objects and furniture locally that will bring both function and character to your life. Buy original artwork.

What’s your best home secret? I’ve found that burning familiar incense and candles can enhance my mood and concentration. Here are some of my favorites:



  • Farrow & Ball — All White (matched by Benjamin Moore)


  • Blue Chair — ​Urban outfitters
  • Victorian Daybed — ​Craigslist
  • White coffee table — ​West Elm
  • Mirror — ​Magazine Merchant House
  • White File Cabinet — ​Amazon
  • Rug — ​Vintage
  • Pillows — ​Etsy
  • Art — ​ Ansley Givhan


  • Bamboo Shelf — ​Vintage
  • Rug — ​@shopalexine
  • Ceramic Green Garden Stool —made by me
  • Lady Vase — Handmade by ​Pablo from Bottletree Bakery, Oxford MS
  • Still-life Painting (top of shelf) — vintage
  • Art — ​ Ansley Givhan


  • Glass and Steel Table — ​West Elm
  • Black Chairs — ​Found
  • Hemp Rug- Etsy
  • White Shelves- IKEA
  • Art (on shelves) — ​ Ansley Givhan
  • My Body, woven tapestry (center) — Lena Kolb
  • Female Portrait, oil on panel (left of door) — Maddie Stratton
  • Blue Vases (on shelves) – Yerger Andre, available at Southside Art Gallery
  • Large Ceramic Vase (by door) — ​ Ansley Givhan



  • Bedside Table — ​Vintage
  • Wood Table — Craigslist
  • White Linen Bedding — Parachute
  • Pillow — ​Etsy
  • Small Painting (right of bed) — ​Vintage
  • Remaining art — ​ Ansley Givhan

Thanks Ansley!

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