Name: Anne Yvonne Stoltze and her Ragdoll cats Teddy (who sadly passed away this summer) and Nigel
Location: Treme — New Orleans, Louisiana
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting
Anne’s romance with New Orleans began three years ago during a visit for Jazz Fest, a familiar story here in the Crescent City. The unique architecture, lush landscape, and celebratory way-of-life felt just right for this Iowa-born bon vivant. It wasn’t long before she sold her house in Westchester, New York; put most of her possessions in storage; and settled into a cozy one-bedroom rental close to the French Quarter. “I drank this magical city’s Kool-Aid the moment I saw those soft warm greens of the bayou sunning themselves from the airplane window,” she swoons.
Luckily for Anne, an interior designer and builder whose focus is renovating homes with special attention to restoring historical detail, New Orleans offers a wealth of opportunity and inspiration for her business. “The architecture here is also the most beautiful I have ever seen. It delights me every single day,” she says.
Downsizing from a two-story cottage to a 650-square-foot rental has brought challenges and unexpected rewards. Refraining from making major changes to her space doesn’t exactly come naturally for Anne, but the restrictions have resulted in some creative workarounds. She added color to her kitchen cabinets by covering them in washi tape and muted the bright overhead lights with paper umbrellas. Her drafting table doubles as a eat-in kitchen table and her clothes hide behind flowy bohemian curtains in the bedroom.
Renting for the first time in many years has also afforded Anne the opportunity to make friends while deciding in which neighborhood she wants to buy a home. “It has been rather lovely though, to settle into the petite community provided when one lives in an apartment, especially one with a pool,” she explains. “The residents gather round the pool like a watering hole on the Serengeti during our steamy hot summers! Needless to say, it can get pretty wild back there.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Bohemian Bayou
Inspiration: New Orleans! I drank this magical city’s Kool aid the moment I saw those soft warm greens of the bayou, sunning themselves from the airplane window as I flew in for Jazz Fest three years ago. I cannot imagine a better “Welcome Home” than that mellow, lush nature-scape. I have traveled extensively during my life as well as lived briefly in Europe and for me, the architecture here is also the most beautiful I have ever seen. It delights me every single day. The joyful culture in this city that celebrates life — and death — as a natural part of life, also resonates deeply with me. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Our Cajun French toast to life; it means Let the good times roll!
Favorite Element: Just one? Oh heavens…mmmm…my kitties. Home is where my cuddly Ragdoll boys are, Teddy who is my sweet and soulful old boy and Nigel who is my naughty and entertaining kitten. As far as favorite non-living element…I truly love them all! I firmly believe in surrounding yourself with things that you absolutely adore and that make you feel happy! I suppose if I had to pick just one treasure it would at the moment be my taxidermy boar piglet from France. That exquisite little fellow was brutalized by US Customs (Cretins!) but I repaired him and placed him next to a tin type photo of my family at Silver Dollar City, hamming it up as hillbillies.
Biggest Challenge: Attempting to not put any major holes in the walls of this apartment, or to paint!! I’m a designer so of course I wanted to do both, with zeal. I decided that the teeny punctures for framed artwork were small enough not to count (right?? 😉 but giant anchor holes for curtain rods simply wouldn’t be kosher so I opted for simple white paper shades which I actually rather love! They provide me with privacy but allow beautiful light into the room. They also have a quiet rice paper feel to them and therefore allow my vibrant furnishings to take front stage.
What Friends Say: “It looks like a designer lives here!” Haha! Also, they think that while I have very good taste, I have a rather small space in which to put my lovely things. True dat! I agree and have been trying to decide in which neighborhood of New Orleans to buy a home. I moved from a two-story cottage (with a cellar) in Westchester, NY so still have two 20×10 storage units that are bursting with treasures that I am looking forward to unpacking! Especially my books, I miss seeing my dear old friends lining the walls of my abode. Soon….
Biggest Embarrassment: The light in the kitchen, eek! Have whined often to my darling landlord that the dated, oval fluorescent kitchen light makes me feel as though I will be beamed up into a spaceship! I covered it with a paper umbrella but I know it’s still lurking under there, with its terrible light. And probes. Also, the black dishwasher (I am a stainless or integrated kinda gal) and electric stove. Electric! I love to cook so the electric stove is my nemesis; I have burnt many things to a crisp because one simply cannot keep the temperature properly regulated on those dreadful electric beasts.
Proudest DIY: I washi-taped my shaker cabinets in the kitchen! The kitchen needed some color and pattern and the tape is removable so the next resident can take it down if they would like.
Biggest Indulgence: Several, I am a firm believer in indulging oneself, another of the marvelous belief systems of New Orleans! My most recent acquisition is the ethereal church in the bayou photo, Gouffre, by the sublimely talented Frank Relle. I also indulged with the purchase of the gilded horse’s arse; the rear end view of the Helford Horse tryptic series by Natural Curiosities. Oh! And of course, the grand scaled crimson water bird, Lord Turnbull’s Scarlet Ibis; also from a collection by Natural Curiosities. I would say the vintage zebra skin rug, whom I have dubbed Debra the Zebra, is one as well but really a vintage zebra skin rug is more of a necessity…perhaps I jest, but not really.
Best Advice: Surround yourself with what you love. Don’t have anything in your space (or life) that you have just settled on or is there as a place card holder for what you really desire. We get one turn on life’s merry-go-round; pamper yourself, splurge, don’t wait to live how you want to live!
Dream Sources: Frank Relle Gallery on Royal St, New Orleans, AKA Stella Grey, formerly on Magazine St in New Orleans (Diana will hopefully open another fabulous store elsewhere!), Perch on Magazine St, New Orleans, Dunn and Sonnier on Magazine St, New Orleans, Natural Curiosities, Restoration Hardware and of course, Anthropologie. Love for you all.
PAINT & COLORS
My lease doesn’t permit painting but the colors in the living room work well for me. Not such a fan of the yellow in the kitchen and bathroom; I would have painted them a warm mulberry color, like Benjamin Moore’s “Fashion Rose.”
Bistro Table-AKA Stella Gray
Bench — I don’t even remember anymore! It’s been with me for many years, I brought it down from NY where it had been where many friends had spent evenings by my terrace’s open fire pit.
Sofa — Anthropologie
Debra the Zebra Skin Area Rug, Mango Wood Hand & Deer skin ottoman throw— AKA Stella Gray
Louis XVI style green Loveseat — Craigslist purchase from a lovely home in Old Metairie, Louisiana
French Boar’s Head—From Denmark
Boar Piglet—From France
Taupe colored cow hide rug—From Brazil
Otto Dix Signed Lithograph—From the Netherlands (Framed by the fabulous Dara at Sterling Frame Studio on Magazine St, New Orleans)
Bust Wall Sculpture—My 18-year-old boobies; piece done by sculptor Watson in Ames, IA
Scarlet Ibis—Lord Turnbull’s sketch from the collection by Natural Curiosities (Framed by the fabulous Dara at Sterling Frame Studio on Magazine St, New Orleans)
Wall Plates of Birds after a hunt—John Darian
Church on the Bayou, Gouffre—Frank Relle Gallery
Yellow New Orleans House, Clio—Frank Relle Gallery (Framed by the fabulous Dara at Sterling Frame Studio on Magazine St, New Orleans)
Painted Victorian Screen with thistles— Bargain Center, Bywater, New Orleans
Vintage gold Birdcage—- Bargain Center, Bywater, New Orleans
Flowered lamp shade—Anthropologie
Moroccan Wedding Blanket—Jacaranda Home
Kantha fabric folding chairs—Anthropologie, by way of gift from dear friend Carla Williams of Material Life
Gold Moroccan Side Table—From Morocco
Green and Gold vintage desk—Craigslist purchase from a lovely home in New Orleans
Bee Stool—Ballard Designs
Patchwork Reindeer— Perch on Magazine St, New Orleans
Gold Skull—Dunn & Sonnier on Magazine St, New Orleans
Mongolian Lamb Skin Pillows & Deer Skin Pillow—From Canada
Linen Pillows and Table Lamp- Pottery Barn
TV Pier Table—Hooker
Black metal Floor Candle Lanterns—Restoration Hardware
Dancing Deer Tray & Gold and White painted deer head—Perch on Magazine St, New Orleans
Helford Horse 1 — Natural Curiosities
Gold Plaster Angel Wing—AKA Stella Gray
Vogue Cover Shot of Model & Cheetah—Lumas Gallery in Manhattan
French Blue Dining Table—From a lovely home in Lafayette, Louisiana
Upholstered bench—Nadeau, Magazine St, New Orleans
Jovial Nude Flute Fellow—Pop Shop, Bywater, New Orleans
I phone phonograph—Restoration Hardware
Phrenology Ceramic Head—AKA Stella Gray
Insect Drawing on Mounted Stand—Dunn and Sonnier on Magazine St, New Orleans
Architect’s Drafting Table — World Market
Framed cicadas and framed bat skeleton on vintage wallpapers— Love Locked in Jersey City
Black Counter Stools—Target
Lady with the Umbrella—Shop on St Ann Street, Jackson Square, New Orleans
Black Winged Pig—Nadeau on Magazine St, New Orleans
Upholstered Pig (his name is Nibbles)—JFK Airport, Jet Blue Terminal Shop when I missed a flight and spent 7 hours there waiting for the next flight, drinking wine with Nibbles. He is an enabler.
Brass Nude Lady Nutcracker—Antique shop in Soho, a glorious shopping day with my genius artist friend Alfonso Munoz
Topiary—Napa Home and Garden
Saatva Mattress — Saatva (Its awesome, so comfortable. Also, organic and made in USA)
Brightly Colored pillow—Anthropologie
Mongolian Lamb Throw—From Canada
Lamp with Linen shades—Auction
Topiary—Napa Home and Garden
Head dress—Love It on Magazine St, New Orleans
Empire Dressing Table—Wisteria
Reclaimed Mirror—First ever sidewalk find from a gutted brownstone on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It’s very heavy. I sweated my behind off schlepping that thing three blocks to the brownstone apartment that I lived in at the time!