We're Giving Away a Chandelier on Cote de Texas !!!!!!!

My friend, the fabulous blogger extraordinaire, Joni Webb, who writes Cote de Texas and I have gotten together and cooked up the most fabulous giveaway!

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You should rush over to her blog and read all about it. We have decided to let the winner of the giveaway choose the chandelier they want to win, and it's a choice between the Ingrid Chandelier, pictured below

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And the Elizabeth Chandelier.

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Both of these beauties were designed by me and they are each very popular fixtures. All of our pieces are created right here in New Orleans. I am unbelievably lucky to be able to work with such a talented group of artists who make everything we create as gorgeous as it can possibly be.

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Here is the amazing Jennifer working on an Ingrid Chandelier. Her work brings the magic to each piece she touches.

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Here is Christine putting the crystals on an Elizabeth. She is dedicated to making lighting that is a beautiful as she is.

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Although we are very serious about our work, we like to have fun and to help people light up their lives.

So we decided to do a giveaway!

Most of our work is custom and each piece is made to order for each client.

We thought it would be fun to do a giveaway where the winner could choose between two different fixtures, sort of a custom giveaway!

So what will it be? The Ingrid?

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She's more modern in feel with a twist of antiquing thrown in for good measure.

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She's comfortable in a variety of settings.

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And she can even be made into a lantern.

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Elizabeth is more traditional. And dressed up.

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She is named for the person who inspired her. She was created to bring snazziness to an entry with low ceilings that still wanted to look dressed up.

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She is petite and cute just like the Elizabeth who inspired her into being.

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I was so excited when Joni said she would be the mistress of ceremonies for this fun giveaway! Thank you Joni for your wonderful post and for helping me with this fun and fabulous giveaway.

Hurry on over to Cote de Texas and read all about it. Leave a comment and you might become the winner of one of these two wonderful chandeliers!

Good Luck!!

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Mint Julep for Valorie

As I'm sure you know if you are reading a  blog, the blog world has been so concerned for Valorie  the Visual Vamp, and her husband Alberto, who had a massive heart attack while travelling to Canada.

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With some help from their friends, Valorie and Alberto have made it back to New Orleans and Alberto is on the mend.

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Many in the blogosphere have set up auctions of decorative things to help raise money for  all the costs involved in getting Alberto well and getting him home.

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Renae  Moore  pictured above with me  and our wonderful friend Marie, has graciously agreed to auction off one of my latest designs, the Mint Julep Sconce as part of this effort.

Bidding will end tonight at midnight, so go on over to Renae's wonderful blog and read all about it.

Welcome home, Valorie and Alberto. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

My Blog Has a Whole New Look!

Well I guess if you're reading this post, you already know that my blog has a whole new look!! Thanks to Jessica at the Love List who did the graphic design work, my blog layout has become more gorgeous, and it is really a celebration of the many exciting developments which have been going on at Julie Neill Designs!

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For starters, we have re-designed our website, with all new studio shots of our lighting, and we've included a copy of our catalog which can be viewed online! Here, give it a try.

We have designed many new and exciting pieces of lighting.
One of our most popular new pieces is the BonBon Chandelier. It's a cleaner, more simplified version of the Italian stlye wood and iron chandelier, and we dressed it up with a single strand of draped crystals.
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Another piece which has quickly become a favorite is the Ingrid Lantern. This is a great example of our custom capabilities.
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We had a client who loved the Ingrid Chandelier, but was looking for more of a lantern type of fixture, and hence the Ingrid Lantern was born!
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Another piece that has been getting lots of attention is the "Plastered" Chandelier, which grew out of my love of the old french plaster chandeliers from the 1940's.
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I love it because it's fun, and fresh and modern with some echoes of the past. We had it hanging in the studio, and when my friend Katie Winters saw it, she knew that she wanted something like it for her new wine bar, Oak.
So we got together and designed something special, and now we have the Winters Chandelier.
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And some sconces to match, too.
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There has been so much going on that it has really been almost impossible to keep up with blogging, and I have missed it so much! There is so much I want to write about.

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New Orleans' Hottest Design Star, Melissa Rufty's Gorgeous Home in House Beautiful

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Although Melissa Rufty grew up in South Carolina, her fabulous style and taste embody the character of the city she's called home for many years!

Like New Orleans itself, Melissa shows a love for all that is old, traditional, and gorgeous, but, acknowledging that it's all about "the mix" she injects her sense of fearless fun, a certain sexiness and  celebration, and an eye for the  bold and unexpected into her interiors.

It is this wicked combination of fearlessness and the ability relax and enjoy the process which defines Melissa's style.

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Nowhere is this more evident than Melissa's dining room. Using her grandmother's 18th century table and an over-the-top antique chandelier that was a gift from her mother as the centerpiece, Melissa revolves a mix of fabulous pieces which create a narrative that draws guests in and invites them to enjoy the party.

On one side of the room, Melissa created a huge antique mirror out of an antique architectural doorway, which she says strategically "makes you feel like you're in a restaurant with another table full of people next to you," effectively doubling the party!

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And if that weren't a clever enough trick, she commissioned a painting for another wall, a  New Orleans narrative, which draws its inspiration from the famous Napoleon House. Such  archetypical characters as "the man glancing down a woman's dress",  "the drunk in the corner" and "the young deb with the gloves." populate both the painting and the room.

Layer all this on top of  Schumacher's Brigton damask wallpaper,  and an antique rug, and set the table with  an antique dessert service, and you have the sultry, easy-going elegance that is Melissa Rufty.

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The living room is also defined by Melissa's deft use of family pieces such as her grandmother's armchairs which are updated with a bold ikat fabric. These comfortable chairs add  a moment of wild to the otherwise subtle room.

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New Orlenians love to include architectural fragments in their homes whenever possible, and Melissa found the ornate panel and had doors milled to fit it to create the fabulous wine closet, which she calls "a little filling station off the dining room."

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The breakfast room is defined by the wonderful David Knox photos of South Carolina tobacco fields and farmhouses. I love how they create a Southern sense of place and create a modern yet warm dramatic backdrop for the antique table and chairs.

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The family room contains all things Melissa: a fabulous sofa upholstered in sturdy yet comfortable outdoor velvet from Perennials, an ottoman covered in an animal print, beautiful bold print pillows, local art pieces, and the quirky fabulous find-an oak leaf shaped chair which Melissa recovered in an beautiful bright fabric with custom embroidery.

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Another fabulous idea, banquette seating under the stairs reinforces Melissa's emphasis on comfort and entertaining. Isn't this just the most decadent and welcoming treatment for a space like this?

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Melissa found her headboard soon after graduating from Tulane at Bush Antiques on Magazine Street. As if it weren't sexy enough on its own, the undulating and sensuous curves of the Leontine Linens bedding takes it to a whole new level. Painted a gorgeous pink, it inspires the visitor to ask how her husband deals with the color. Melissa says that her mother once told her that the bedroom is for the woman, and she invites the man to join her. Who could resist a room as gorgeous and sexy as this!

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More Leontine Linens in her daughters bedroom complement Melissa's corageous combination of several bold, colorful prints.

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No New Orleans home is complete without a painting by Amanda Talley and Melissa's house doesn't disappoint, with pink on pink, and pattern on pattern being the idea for this inviting space in her daughters room.

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Melissa's eye for details, choosing just the right piece and creating visually interesting compositions is what makes her spaces truly inviting and individual. I love the compote with fruit from Shadyside Pottery.

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As you may be able to tell from her home, Melissa herself is delightful, talented, mischievous and fun. Melissa is truly a gem of the New Orleans decorative community and one to watch for future fabulousness!

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See for yourself! Here is the beautiful Melissa, who was featured in the Southern Style issue of Garden and Gun.

Guthrie Contemporary Gallery is Showing the Paintings of Susan Dory

I am currently enthralled with the fabulous art work of Susan Dory, a painter whose paintings are now being shown at Guthrie Contemporary Gallery here in New Orleans.

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Although Susan lives and works in the Seattle area, she has quite an avid following in this city, thanks to the introduction of gallery owner, Leslie Guthrie. Leslie has an amazing talent for presenting artworks as installations, combining the traditional white walled presentation with vignettes formed by showing the art pieces within a context of her extensive personal collection of antique furnishings.

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It is a presentation technique that really works. Who could resist falling in love with this amazing artist's paintings when shown in such a perfect setting?

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Susan Dory develops her paintings by carefully pouring layer after layer of acrylic paint in colors which she formulates herself, creating a play of positive and negative shapes and of translucent colors which lay on top of each other.

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Visit Susan's website to view a video of her in action.

Susan paints by  creating the repetition of  a capsule shape, which she manipulates to imply movement, dynamism, and passage through time and space. Nowhere is this more evident than her installation in the T F Green Airport in Warwick, RI.

By creating layer upon layer of poured paints, creating overlapping, manipulated, and deconstructed capsule shapes in vivid personal colors, Susan imbues her canvas with an energy which is magnetic. She celebrates abstraction as well as the physical process of creating her paintings, and the viewer cannot help but experience the dynamic tension and release which results.

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While Dory's work speaks for itself, it becomes quite a presence in a wide array of interiors.

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The warm, botanical colors  make this painting almost jump off the dark wall in this room designed by Elizabeth Sullivan. (image via guthriecontemporary.com)

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The softer, more subtle colors play off the complex, dynamic, motion-oriented composition in The Southern Living Idea House in Covington, LA. (image via guthriecontemporary.com)

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There is nothing more inviting than a simple white wall as the backdrop for a series of Susan Dory's at Guthrie Contemporary.

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This kitten, one of Leslie Guthrie's menagerie seems quite content amongst the Susan Dory's in this installation.

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I love the  composition formed by the shelves of books lying beneath this series of  three  paintings at the King County Public Library in Sammamish, WA. (image via susandory.com)

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This vignette at Guthrie Contemporary is perfect! A gorgeous white painted french chair, a lucite side table, the wonderful   Celeste chandelier by Julie Neill , and a fabulous room full of Susan Dory paintings. (photo courtesy of Michael Terranova)

Susan Dory's energetic paintings are an amazing addition to the art scene in New Orleans, and we are lucky that Leslie Guthrie has brought her into our midst!

Guthrie Contemporary Gallery is located 3815 Magazine Street, and they can be reached by calling (504) 897-2688.




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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