Ashley Longshore Designs for Anthropologie!

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The exciting news around New Orleans these days is that Ashley Longshore, the talented, incomparable artist extraordinare has been chosen by Anthropologie to design a line of one of a kind handpainted chairs for their fall collection. This line, named ASHLEY LONGSHORE FOR ANTHROPOLOGIE, is the launch of an entirely new division for the furniture department of Anthropologie .

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Much like the artist herself, Ashley's work is exuberant and celebrates the enjoyment of all life has to offer. In my opinion, her work is decidedly feminine and fun, and reminds us that life can be a colorful celebration which encompasses all the senses.

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Ashley is quite the wild woman and never one to do anything half way. She truly lives life to the fullest, so when she heard that Anthropologie was coming for a visit,she had the scene set with over 1 00 paintings and chairs featuring her artwork.

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" There were 3 prototype chairs that I painted on directly so the Anthropologie team could actually visualize my artwork on furniture,…and they loved them! They were my story boards for the presentation and they worked!!!!!!!”

Anthropologie had been searching New Orleans for artistic talent for their upcoming collections. An eight member design team including Chief Merchandising Officer Wendy Wurtzburger  visited Ashley's Magazine Street gallery and the really liked what  they saw.

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"I am honored to be the first artist for this new furniture concept", says Longshore.

The line will be known as "Ashley Longshore for Anthropologie."

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Ashley went to the Anthropologie headquarters in Philadelphia to see the mock ups for the chair line featuring one of her swimmer paintings.  The UK furniture buyer for the new International Anthropologie stores, to be opened in London in the late fall, fell in love with ASHLEY LONGSHORE for ANTHROPOLOGIE. The chairs will be featured in the stores in London, in the catalog and on website in September.

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In my opinion, Anthropologie has made themselves quite a find in Ashley Longshore.

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Her paintings are the embodiment of unbridled exuberance and indicate that this girl is all girl, and she approaches her life and work with everything she has.

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Her girl paintings are an homage to femininity, beauty and grace. They are gorgeous, elegant, confident,and alluring. I especially love her Audrey Hepburn series.

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They tell a story of style and grace. They celebrate beauty for beauty's sake.

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They have an element of mischief and seem to be subtly autobiographical.

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For anyone who's been lucky enough to meet her, they will quickly find out that Ashley is the life of any party she attends.

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I was lucky enough to share a great time with Ashley and a few other very talented people the other night at a fabulous party given by the gorgeous Amanda Talley, another of New Orleans' artistic stars at her Magazine Street Gallery! Oh what a fun and festive evening it was!

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In most of her paintings, there is the party element, the reminder to celebrate.

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With good food and drink and a happy attitude. They remind us  that life is beautiful.

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Ashley actually started painting as a way to deal with some trying times in her life. Her work was a way to transcend pain with the pleasure of painting, and so it is that her paintings both express and bring so much pleasure.

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They can lift you up if you're feeling crabby.

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They remind you that life is sweet.

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And that you should go with the flow.

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Sometimes she gives us good advice.

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And words to live by.

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She paints soulful, heartfelt portraits. You can feel the love she has for her subjects.

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Her paintings show no reservation in expressing her emotions. And show that she's not afraid to love and be loved.

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She's truly the Queen of the Scene.

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And has something to crow about!

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Because talent like Ashley's doesn't go unnoticed. So keep an eye on this girl. Because this artist, one of New Orleans' gems, has only just begun!

Just watch this:

According to Ashley,“Anthropologie has been one of my favorite stores since the mid- 90's. I have dreamed of working with them in some way.  This is just the beginning with this company.”    For the spring collection, ASHLEY LONGSHORE FOR ANTHROPOLOGIE  will be working on additional furniture, including a sofa.

Congratulations, Ashley and best of luck in your new venture!

I Love Leontine Linens!

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I'm so very excited to say that when Jane Scott Hodges was in town recently, she was kind enough to get together with me at her fabulous  Leontine Linens shop to help me pick out some custom bedding for my bedroom. Jane Scott is  the very talented creator of  this fabulous line of  linens which includes custom designed and monogrammed bedding, table linens,  bath towels and shower curtains, sleepwear and gift items. It was so much fun to look at the amazing array of possibilities ,from the choice of fabrics, colors,  and monogram styles, and to get Jane Scott's expert advice on which way to go to make my bedding just  right for me.  I'm also very happy to say that in  return, I've had the pleasure of designing some  custom lighting for her beautiful home in Kentucky. (More on that later)

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Leontine Linens flagship New Orleans  shop, which is just steps away from my studio is the "Garden of Earthly Delights" where beautiful linens are concerned. Pristine white walls, mirrored shelving and simple yet fanciful laminate headboards form a backdrop which show each piece to its finest and tempt the eye.

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These beds are dressed so beautifully that they make you look forward to making your bedroom your own special nest .  Jane Scott's talent as a designer is in evidence everywhere you look.

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The shop is set up like a salon where you can take in all the possibilities and make your selections while surrounded by some exquisite examples. I love some of the details which feature a variety of unique ways to incorporate monograms into one's decor, such as the pillow on the brown velvet chair above and the backing of the caned french chairs shown below.

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Notice the display of shower curtains on the wall behind the table. Special signature borders, luxurious fabrics and monograms make these shower curtains a focal point of any bathroom.

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There are so many beautiful examples of bedding, linens, monograms and colors that making final selections can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily Jane Scott has a staff of very knowledgeable designers who can advise and guide you through the process.

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One monogram style is more tempting than the next!

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The colors are luscious! And the details are achingly exquisite, artistically designed and carefully crafted.

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It makes you wish you could sleep in a different bed every night so that you didn't have to choose just one style.

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And yet, you know that whatever you finally decide on will be gorgeous, luxurious and totally satisfying in every way.

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It is so helpful to see several beds made up so that you can get a feel for ways to combine pillows and shams and sheets and blanket covers and quilts!

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And while you're at it, you can also select a nightgown or a robe or even a dress for your child.

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Jane Scott started her business with the motto, "Heritage Driven, Heirloom Destined," and this philosophy holds true to this day as she creates pieces of exceptional quality with designs that both speak to modern tastes and are classic enough to span a lifetime. This is an outlook that speaks to my heart.

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With Jane Scott's expert advice, I chose the above look, which features the Mimi border on white pique. Since I want a restful feel, I'm having it made in the white birds eye pique, trimmed with ecru poplin. I think this will be the ultimate in simplicity and elegance and will have an antique linen feel.

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White Birds eye Pique                    Ecru Poplin

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Since I'm a longtime collector of antique monogrammed linens,  I wanted to have these pieces work with some of the linens I already own. So I'm still deciding between the two monogram styles shown above, the one on the right is called Etienne and the one on the left is Frances. They're both so steeped in tradition and so pleasing to the eye that making a final decision  is exceedingly difficult.

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These are just a very small sampling to the monogram selections to choose from, so you can imagine how hard it's been to narrow it down to just two. Each one is amazing in its own way.

Leontine Linens is the bedding of choice for many interior designers and their clients nationwide, and in some cases world wide, but New Orleans designers are very proud of this homegrown phenomenon.

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Of course, Leontine Linens dresses the bed in my own shop!

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Gerrie Bremermann puts Leontine Linens to good use with her signature white and blue color scheme in this New Orleans bedroom.

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Melissa Rufty goes for the color to great effect in this gorgeous New Orleans bedroom, with crisp white linens offset by wildly colorful wallpaper, the deep crimson monogram being the custom centerpiece of this room.

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Another use of deep color from Melissa Rufty.

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Melissa chose softer colors and a monogrammed coverlet for her own bedroom.

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New Orleans'  Ann Dupuy used King and Queen motif linens in the Cottage Living Idea House here in our town, famous for its carnival royalty.

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New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles features Lance and Liz Bordes bedroom, with soft blue monograms on crisp white linens.

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And yet another bedroom designed by Melissa Rufty.

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This image from Elle Decor shows how designer Katie Ridder uses the simplest of Leontine Linens to complement her daughter's very feminine bed and add the luxurious finishing touch of heirloom linens.

 

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Aerin Lauder chose the boldness of black monograms on white linens in her bedroom as a foil for the graphic black and white print on the walls and bedskirt.

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An Amanda Nisbett bedroom in gorgeous periwinkle from O at Home.

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As shown in Traditional Home, Tom Stringer uses bold brown poplin accents on white percale to mirror and echo the bold pattern of the rug.

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When Velvet and Linen's Brooke Giannetti was in New Orleans recently, we visited the shop and I'm sure you'll soon be seeing Leontine Linens in some designs from Giannetti Home, because she loved what she saw in this amazing shop!

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In addition to sheets and blanket covers, I'm also quite enamored of the beautiful satin quilts which can be used as part of the bedding ensemble or just as a decorative throw in other situations, as seen on the sofa above.

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I'm really wild about the button tufting on this one and I'm considering making this part of my selection. I have dreamed of having a button tufted quilt on my bed for longer than I can remember and I didn't realize this was available until just last week. How exciting!!!

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Table linens, monogrammed in Leontine Linens fashion are also irresistible. The term "heritage driven" is never far from your mind when experiencing the special embellishments these products possess. It makes you want to throw an elegant party!

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No properly designed bathroom should go without a set of monogrammed towels. The bath line includes terry towels as well as linen guest towels and shower curtains that make one's head spin!

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And last, but very certainly not least, after you have completely exhausted yourself by having to make so many decisions about your  monograms, bedding, table linens, bath towels and the like, the only thing you can do is to go home and slip into a custom monogrammed satin gown.

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Or wrap up in an irresistibly comfortable and elegant robe.

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And read a magazine, which will undoubtedly feature something fabulous from Leontine Linens!

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Like this article from Harper's.

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Or this one in Vogue.

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Or this one in Southern Accents!

I am happily anticipating the arrival of my beautiful Leontine Linens bedding.

I feel so  lucky that I was able to have Jane Scott's unparalleled help in deciding what to choose and I'm thrilled with my selection!

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I am the owner of Julie Neill Designs in New Orleans where we create beautiful custom lighting. This blog is my love letter to the unique people, places and happenings which make New Orleans the amazing place it is.


Please visit my website to learn more about my lighting and our fabulous shop on Magazine Street.

www.julieneill.com

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