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House Beautiful Oct 08

Most of us swooned over these photos when they first

appeared in House Beautiful back in October of  ’08…

Jewel tones of purple, amethyst, silvered blues…

House Beautiful '08 Debra Shriver

Monogrammed valances with crown detail…

House Beautiful Oct 08 John Kernick

When the homeowner showed antiques shop-owner turned

interior designer Hal Williamson tassels she had collected in

Paris in her favorite colors of purple, pink, citrus green and blue…

he found the embroidered silk that became the bed covering, as well

as inspiration to the home interior’s color palate…

House Beautiful Debra Shriver

Per the homeowner: “…in my walled courtyard, I have my late grandmother’s

gardenias planted. We brought them over from Alabama, stem by stem, with the

roots in little jars of water. To sit near them reading the newspaper in my

pajamas while listening to the New Orleans soundtrack of crickets, steamboat

whistles, children playing, cathedral bells, and the pie lady selling pies —it’s divine.”

House Beautiful John Kernick photography

Paying homage to Ella Fitzgerald…

The quote, tabletop crown, a kaleidoscope of marbleized

folios and pink ballroom skirted drapes…

all clues to the sensibilities of the homeowner…


Debra Shriver's New Orleans Home HB '08

An antique Paris map whose street names mirror those of New Orleans’

Vieux Carré (French Quarter).  Mimi Read interviews Hal Williamson

about the home via House Beautiful here. Photography John Kernick.

Though identified in House Beautiful only as ” a southern-born media

executive ” who hails from New York…the homeowner is Debra Shriver,

who has recently published a book about the magic of New Orleans.

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

In Stealing Magnolias...tales from a New Orleans courtyard…

Debra Shriver weaves a fairy tale of her evolving love of New Orleans..

begun over frequent visits from New York and brief stays at the Soniat Hotel.

A dinner party in the garden district, her husband’s toast expressing the hope that

they would one day could put down roots in New Orleans, the party’ s hostess

calling with a hot tip on a nearby home the very next day, and no sooner had

a bid been entered than Hurricane Katrina struck. Rather than back out the couple

resolved to go forward, and magic and serendipity produced this treasure of a home.

In a chapter titled “The House Finds Us” …it is Coup de Foudre…love at first sight…

the moment we walked in, looked upwards at its high ceilings, then down the

hallway to its small, leafy courtyard, it was familiar to me.


Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

The various toile images on the dining room chairs

illustrate different aspects of the city’s past…

One of the many ways that Debra weaves the history

of New Orleans into her home…

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

With chapters on Monograms and Muslin, Recipes and Rituals,

stories about her grandmother’s gardenias, and catching the

golden coconut at Mardis Gras, snippets on Old Paris porcelain,

a glossary of terms complete with pronunciation guides, quotes

throughout from the famous and infamous residents…

My only regret is that I did not drink more champagne

…Lord Maynard Keynes on his deathbed

…its a scrapbook, design journal, love story, travel guide…

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

Antique gilded Pots de Crème on matching stand…

So while your running madly through the mall…you might want to

take a moment to flip through this book…or put it on your wish list…

Other blog reviews and more photos Visual Vamp here ,

Style Court here, All the Best here



Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

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