The Chic Sophistication of Donna Maselli's Neutral Palette

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I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see my friend Donna Maselli's gorgeous house featured in Country Living Magazine last July.

Donna, who worked for many years as a lawyer, decided a few years ago to leave that profession and pursue her dream of becoming an interior designer. It was a good decision!!

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Donna's personal design philosophy, one which I wholeheartedly share, is that a neutral backdrop and a decided lack of clutter should serve as a  foil for beautiful furnishings and art.


Donna used only whites and neutral paint colors throughout the house and pickled the floors. Her "beautiful pieces" come in the form of such things as the many lovely antique pieces  she's collected, such as the walnut dining table, Italian chandelier, and the set of painted French  dining chairs she got from Karla Katz with the mismatched linen remnants on the back.


This George Marks painting hung over an 18th-century cherry buffet shows Donna's deft way with letting great art and antique pieces speak for themselves. Don't you love her easygoing composition of a frond of ginger in a confit pot  which echoes the curves of an Italian buffet lamp?


With only 2500 square feet of living space, Donna decided to enlarge her kitchen by enclosing a porch. I think it works perfectly. I love the way she carved out a cozy yet sophisticated eating nook with a built-in window-seat and scrubbed pine table. The damask pillows are just like little pieces of candy for your eye.

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The entry really sets the tone for the house. White walls, neutral curtains, a clear glass Fifi Laughlin lamp, gilded wall sconces and a French console all take a bow to the pop of color provided by the kilim rug.

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Donna's bedroom, a study in neutral serenity, with its crisp white linens and cashmere throw, carries the overall concept with the primitive piece  displayed on the antique bedside table topped with white marble.


Her dressing room follows suit. It is a picture of all-white femininity and chic.


Donna's daughter's bedroom is also a symphony of peaceful, dreamy whites.


One of the things I love most  about Donna's house is that it was built in the 1890's, and like so many of our beautiful New Orleans homes, it has been transformed into something fresh and modern which reflects the  love  and talents of its owner.

I say "Bravo" to Donna and to the many New Orleanians who have dedicated themselves to treasuring all the good things New Orleans has to offer, not the least of which is our amazing historic architecture.

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.

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