event planning, new orleans

Old House + Love

IMG_5051

Hello friends, I have wonderful news!

If you’ve followed Hunt & Gather Home from the very beginning, you know that this business began as blog, started by two friends that share an eye for design, a love for old houses, and a fondness for the written word.

Some seasons of life have allowed me and Brandie to post more often than others. We’ve celebrated joys and shared struggles through the lens of our homes. Within the wood-frame walls of our houses we find comfort, strength, peace, and inspiration, and we’ve enjoyed sharing that with all of you.

And now, we look forward to sharing another of life’s most joyous occasions:  Brandie’s upcoming marriage in New Orleans!

She will be back on the blog soon (and perhaps even weekly!) to share design details about her big day, but I’m so honored to announce that Hunt & Gather Home will have a hand in bringing these details to life at the lovely and historic Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue.

From historic preservation to interior design to wedding decor, Hunt & Gather Home will be busy these next few months celebrating the things we love most: historic architecture, good design, and the love of family.

[photo source]

Uncategorized

Big Magic

Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred.

What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all.

We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits.

We are terrified, and we are brave.

Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege.

Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us.

-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic  

IMG_8152

I find myself putting off blogging because I feel I don’t have the time to perfect my writing, edit photos, and properly arrange the story these beautiful buildings have to tell. But after reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I’ve decided to quit taking this work so seriously, and ironically, start taking this work seriously, and blog a little bit each day.

So, here are a few interior photos showing interior details of my tax credit project on Fifth Street in downtown Alexandria. I hope they remind you that beauty exists amongst the overlooked, the neglected, and in the middle of the mess.

IMG_8173

 

IMG_8179

 

IMG_8184

 

IMG_8202

 

IMG_8213

 

IMG_8218

 

IMG_8225

 

IMG_8235

 

IMG_8242

And seriously, go pick up a copy of Big Magic now.

 

Uncategorized

Dream Project

I’ve been keeping this one a secret for awhile now, but I just can’t hold it in any longer.  I am so pleased to show you my newest historic preservation tax credit project in downtown Alexandria, Louisiana.

Hunt&GatherHome1

Isn’t she lovely? I’ve had a crush on this nineteenth-century Queen Anne cottage for awhile now.  It was the steep pitch of the hipped roof that first caught my eye.  Then, those shutters – a common sight in New Orleans, but a rarity here in downtown Alexandria, which, has lost over 80% of its historic structures in the past thirty years, the majority of them residences.

Located on what is now the edge of downtown, this little cottage managed to escape all known threats to historic structures: demolition, vandalism, re-muddling, interstate highways, and fire.  I’m not quite sure how she made it to this point in such good shape and with nearly all of her original features, but I am so thankful she did. I’ve been known to drive by just to check up on her and make sure she’s doing okay.

Hunt&GatherHome6

Can you see her potential? Sure, she needs some TLC.  But her bones are good. She’s sturdy and strong, made of virgin Louisiana cypress and pine, and built by the hands of local craftsmen skilled in their trade.

Hunt&GatherHome2

The more of her history I research, the more I’m learning to trust in my knowledge and instinct about the age of old houses and regional architectural trends. She’s reinforcing my love for Louisiana buildings and building my self-confidence.

Hunt&Gather3

This little cottage knows that life isn’t always easy or pretty. She’s seen better days. But she offers a picture of hope for the future.  Hope that, because her foundation is strong and her walls are solid, good will still come from her.

Hunt&Gather4

She’s come along way, but her journey is just beginning.  You’re invited you to follow along.  I suspect she has a lot to teach us all.

Hunt&Gather5

 

Uncategorized

Gathered | An Outdoor Adventure Inspired Nursery

If you follow Hunt & Gather Home on Instagram, you know that I post a lot of historic preservation related photos. Preservation is one half of what Hunt & Gather Home is all about, and designing inspired and livable spaces within those restored walls is the other.  While I love working on and in historic structures, having an older home is certainly not a requirement for a design project.

Case in point: Watson’s nursery.  My dear friend, Christina, recently asked me to help her gather ideas for a nursery for her third child, and first little boy, Watson. Christina and her husband are currently renting with plans to buy soon. Not knowing what size room Watson will have when he arrives, Christina let me run free with the design. She gave me only one thing to go on:  she loves the crib sheets and changing pad covers from Woolf with Me.

Watson's Nursery-001

Knowing Christina and her husband well, one pattern jumped out among hundreds of designs.  I knew the deer crib sheets would be a hit with her husband, a hunter, while Christina would approve of the cute design and gray color. To complement the modern hunting theme of the crib sheet and bring in a pop of color, I chose the gold arrow changing pad cover.  You’ll find those basic pieces in each of the three design boards I created for Watson’s nursery.

Since Christina has two older (and precious) girls, an heirloom crib, a comfy glider, and a chest-of-drawers will need a few updates to get them ready for little brother.  The crib will remain white, a nice contrast against the gray crib sheet.  With the addition of a black and white buffalo check throw pillow the glider will be ready for late-night rocking.  A quick coat of paint will transform the currently pink chest-of-drawers into a boy-friendly focal point in the room.
Watson's Nursery-002

Because Christina already had the three main pieces of furniture for the nursery, I decided to have fun with the rugs and chest-of-drawers and make them the statement pieces in the room. Black, white, and gold can be used interchangeably in all three designs.  All Christina needs to do is decide if she prefers orange or green accents!

Watson's Nursery-003

As Christina, her husband and kids prepare to welcome Watson into their family, my hope is that these design boards will to guide them into creating a special space for a little boy who is sure to love all things outdoors.

Uncategorized

Driving the Backroads | First Methodist Church | Columbia, Louisiana

FUMC Columbia 7

Happy Halloween! I’ve been on the road a lot this month on several trips to North Louisiana. The drive through rural Louisiana farmland is always a beautiful one lined with cotton fields, sugarcane, and vernacular architecture (my favorite!). After years of driving through the small town of Columbia, Louisiana, and thinking, “I’ll stop next time,” I finally decided to pull over and photograph this fantastic early twentieth-century wooden church building.

The First United Methodist of Columbia was constructed in 1911 by contractor Frank Masselin and Son of Monroe, purportedly from plans brought from Europe by a church member. The rectangular church is clad with wooden clapboard and features a combination of Romanesque, Gothic Revival, and Craftsman architectural elements. Most prominent are the two towers of unequal height with low, overhanging eaves and exposed rafter tails, all Craftsman features.  The recessed belfry at the top of the taller tower features false buttress-type supports and rounded arch louvered vents.  Beautiful stained glass windows grace the second-story levels of both towers; the windows on the shorter tower are stylized quatrefoils of Gothic design. The main doors to the church are located beneath pointed arches in each tower. If you look closely, you will notice a Gothic mouchette motif on the wooden doors.

FUMC Columbia 3

The church was expanded in 1939, and the addition appears seamless from exterior view.  Wood siding, paired wood windows, and a consistent use of similar stylistic features blends the 1939 addition with the original structure.

11004002

The church was closed on the day I stopped to take photographs, but this photo, courtesy of the National Register nomination, shows the interior of the original 1911 sanctuary.  I would love to see the semi-circular railing in person. This photo also shows the original wooden pews.

FUMC Columbia

It was a special treat to catch the church decorated for fall, but it is beautiful at any time of the year. Next time you’re driving up LA 165, make a stop in Columbia. The church is on the edge of Columbia’s cute little downtown on the banks of the Ouachita River.  Kudos to this congregation for taking such good care of this beautiful building.

P.S. – I’d love to know more about the history of the church, those European architectural plans, and the members who brought them back.  Please share what you know in the comments!

Uncategorized

| gathered | from little to big boy bathroom

IMG_0738

A few short weeks ago, my boys’ bathroom was full of color, energy, and lots and lots of letters.  It took me awhile to gather all those letters and frames.  The Anthropologie sale room, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, craft stores, estate sales, and flea markets slowly but surely provided letters of varying sizes and styles perfect for an alphabet wall.

IMG_0731

But it’s been five years.  My oldest boy has outgrown alphabet walls, though I’m not sure how that happened! The alphabet wall still suits my youngest, but frankly, I’m ready for a change as well.  

IMG_0737

I took down the shower curtain . . .

IMG_0730

. . . and removed every letter.

They’ve gone on to a new (and loving) home.

IMG_7796

I’m left with bare walls. They are simple and pretty.

IMG_7811

But, they’re far too quiet for two mischievous little boys (and their design-loving Mama)!

IMG_7810

I have an idea up my sleeve, that will suit these two perfectly.

| Adventure + Nature + Red Canoes + Black Labs + Plaid |

are just a few things of the things that have inspired me.

IMG_7815

I’m looking forward to showing you some of my inspiration soon.

For a peek at what’s in store, follow @huntandgatherhome on Instagram. Say, “Hello!” and let me know what you think!

What would you do with this blank bathroom canvas?

Uncategorized

Choosing a Couch: Vintage or New?

Whew! As this busy summer winds down and school ramps up, I find myself needing some down time in the late afternoon to recharge for my evening routine. It’s been pretty obvious that the rest of my family needs some time to regroup and refocus, too, which is why I think we all end up on collapsing on the couch shortly after five each day.

Our down time may only last 15 minutes, but its an essential part of our day that allows us to relax, disconnect from the outside world, and reconnect with each other. I’d love to tell you that the couch we congregate on each afternoon is a lovely vintage piece that I scored at an estate sale for an amazing price and recovered in designer fabric. But I can’t, because it’s not. Our couch is brand-spanking new – the only new piece of furniture in our house.

It took me awhile to come around to the idea of buying a new couch, but what finally sold me was the thought of snuggling up with my boys reading, watching football and family movies, and the comfy cushions. Mostly the comfy cushion. As much as I loved our vintage  green couch, those cushions just weren’t cutting it anymore.

So, about a year ago, my husband and I started saving and we bought ourselves a couch for Christmas.  Hello, adulthood.

I thought about our couch conversion recently when helping a young family choose a couch for the living room in their new house. They’re into Mid-Century furnishings and were torn between vintage and replica options.

After discussing their lifestyle and intended use of the space, it was clear that a vintage style new couch would best suit their families needs.  Playing off their freshly painted walls, I recommended dark blue upholstery to contrast with the gray walls and pick up the blue in the adjacent living room.  Darker colored couches also have the added benefit of hiding dirt, spills, and stains, making them friendly for families with toddlers or teens.

I narrowed my clients’ couch choices down to the following options (all in dark blue, remember).  They took a weekend to check out each model in person, verifying both style and comfort.  A couch is a worthwhile investment and its wise to choose a model that will last until it’s a true vintage!

___________________________________________________________

Younger Furniture | The Louie Sofa

Louie-Sofa1

This is great quality piece with tons of fabric options in a true mid-century style.  The tufting on the back cushions is my favorite detail.

Younger Furniture | The Michael Sofa

Michael Collection 1

More contemporary that the Louie model, this lengthy sofa also features thicker lines and a more formal style.

West Elm | Peggy Sofa

img92o

Mad Men, anyone? West Elm has some stylish and well-priced options, and the Peggy looks especially striking in the Chenille Tweed, Nightshade fabric.

Dot & Bo | Graham Sofa

full_size

Here’s another fun option similar to Peggy, but with two seat cushions instead of three.

West Elm | Axel Sofa
img49oI threw in this leather option just to give them a little something different in a more masculine style.  The Axel would make a striking contrast with the pair of grey tweed Mid-Century chairs that my client already owned. You’ll notice it has the same lines as the Louie sofa and a bit of industrial influence in the metal legs.

_____________________________________________________________

Which couch is your favorite?  My clients chose Younger Furniture’s Louie couch. It’s currently in production, but I’ll post pictures soon.

And don’t worry – my green vintage couch moved to the back office where it receives a little less wear and tear but a lot of love.