WOW! I feel like it's been so long since the last time I shared a blogpost, which was roughly two weeks ago. As much as I'd LOVE to get a post out to you all every week...I now realize with me being a one-woman team, managing, marketing, and curating a growing design brand, being a wife, AND, having a very hectic schedule in general...the likelihood of that happening is slim to none. At least for now that is. As my design brand continues to grow and I'm able to maybe one day bring on an assistant and/or grow my team, the volume of content put out, will then increase.
But I must say at the moment, I'm truly enjoying the intimate atmosphere. I love being able to freely write and express my creative passions with you all at a pace that works best for me and my schedule. And, even more so I feel so blessed and just thrilled that I get to share my love, passion and addiction for #allthingsdesign with all of my fellow design enthusiasts following along this journey with me. Your comments, likes, emails and inquiries motivate and inspire me more than I can ever say.
So without further ado...let's get into the latest experience on this design voyage. A couple of weeks ago, for those who follow my Instagram page, @alluredbydesign you may remember me posting the below photo, which is one of the many shots I took of the interior of Eclectic Home.
All pieces in the above photo can be found in the showroom of Eclectic Home - 8211 Oak Street, NOLA 70118
I wish that I could say that I've been a fan of Eclectic Home for years. But the truth of the matter is, I'm fairly a new fan of this absolutely mind-blowing, creative showroom. However, I can at least say that I've been familiar with the store far longer than I've actually visited. Eclectic Home is located in Uptown New Orleans on the hip and trendy Oak Street. For my followers outside of the city of NOLA...Oak Street is a popular strip known for its amazing restaurants, bars, art galleries, NOLA culture novelty stores, coffee shops and more.
Oak Street is also home to the Maple Leaf Bar, which is one of our most famous bars where world renowned and Grammy award winners, Rebirth Brass Band plays every Tuesday night. If you have yet to visit NOLA, whenever you do come down for a visit...make sure you add Tuesday night @ the Maple Leaf to your agenda. I promise you won't be disappointed! It'll be one of, if not the most energetic and feel good concerts you've ever experienced in all of your life.
To see performance showtimes @ The Maple Leaf Bar visit http://www.mapleleafbar.com
The Oak Street Strip is also home to one of our most famous local painters in the city, Frenchy. Frenchy's gallery is actually directly across the street from the Maple Leaf. It's very common to see Frenchy himself doing what he does best, creating a masterpiece of artwork, all being inspired from the brass music and sounds coming from either Rebirth or one of the other bands on stage.
Frenchy - 8314 Oak StreetNew Orleans, LA 70118 To visit his website, click here.
As I mentioned above, it's safe to say that Oak Street with the mix of everything that you find along the strip is very hip, current and trendy. Yet, also a very cultural strip, as it boasts New Orleans flavor in just about every store you walk in. And, that's very quintessential New Orleans. Our local stores and small businesses, even on the Northshore side of New Orleans where I live, all share a deep love and appreciation for our cultural roots here in the city and throughout the state of Louisiana. It's always on display for customers to take part in and even bring a little piece of that into our homes with items that we purchase from these stores.
One of the most popular things that Oak Street is known for today, is being the home location for our annual Po-Boy Festival here in New Orleans. If you've never had a taste of a Po-Boy or not even the slightest bit familiar with what a Po-Boy is...I'm telling you, you're tastebuds are clearly missing out on life big-time. To learn all about the history of what a Po-Boy is click here.
So getting back to Eclectic Home...
I'd seen the store numerous times during all of my frequent visits to the Oak Street Strip. Rarely would I go in, but instead would find myself staring and studying their beautifully curated window displays. The displays were always so captivating and true to the name of the store, eclectic in nature piecing together a variety of different design styles. Also, I could tell from the window display alone, that the price point for the store was more than likely out of reach for my wallet. So I was always a bit fearful to cross the threshold, in an effort to not annihilate me and my husband's bank account. But I could most certainly dream and be inspired just from the window view alone ;)
It wasn't until recently, I was scrolling through Vol. 4 of The Scout Guide and just so happened to be reintroduced to Eclectic Home. For those of you who aren't familiar with The Scout Guide, it's a city guide publication dedicated to living beautifully, living well, and living like an insider —wherever you are. TSG is known for highlighting and featuring local/independent small businesses. Each publication and city guide is specific to that particular region or city. What I love about TSG New Orleans, is that they feature a lot of local Interior Designers, Decorators, Artists, Art Galleries, Home Decor & Furnishing retailers and showrooms. So for me, they're right up my alley with showcasing and sharing knowledge all in one little guide on where some of the best places to shop for home decor and more are.
To visit The Scout Guide, click here. For a complete list of cities where The Scout Guide is published, click here. And, for The Scout Guide New Orleans, click here. Print guides are complimentary at all participating businesses found within the publication.
Design Tip: Not only are the The Scout Guide publications informative, but they're also very colorful and make for a perfect decor accent or addition to any coffee table, entryway, end table, nightstand or any piece of furniture that allows for display items. See photo below of how I display Volumes 1 - 4 in #HousePiazza
Special Shoutout: To Taylor Morgan, Editor of TSG New Orleans for sending me all four volumes ;)
So as I'm perusing through Vol. 4 of TSG, I see a photo of Penny Francis, owner and principal designer of Eclectic Home, along with her daughter, Casi Francis, Senior Interior Designer also of Eclectic Home.
Immediately, I go to their website (www.elcectichome.net) to take a look at their inventory and I realize this is the store who's gorgeous display window, I've long admired. So I call my design buddy, Lauren Boudreaux, and I'm like we need to take a trip to Eclectic Home because I'm now finally ready to cross the seal of their door. I mean I have a design blog now for God's sake, so it was time to step into this eclectic wonderland and be inspired far beyond just a peek of their display window.
Little did I know, Lauren was actually acquainted with Penny through Lauren's sister. So of course that made me all the more excited for the visit, because I'd be able to get a proper introduction. I specifically remember the day of the visit, starting off really crazy as I had a lot jammed into that one day, including a design consultation with a client I'm getting ready to work with. I had to make a lot of shifts to my schedule that day, but I refused to cancel visiting Eclectic Home. I remember Lauren being concerned about my schedule and wondering if twenty or thirty minutes would be an ample amount of time for a visit. Lauren was like, it's a fairly large showroom and I know you...you're going to want to soak up every piece on the sales floor. You're going to want to touch and feel textures, study all of the displays and conceptualize how you'd use the piece in either your space or a future client's space. And, you're going to want to take a plethora of photos!!
And, guess what? Lauren was absolutely right! Indeed I did ALL of those things, every single one. From the moment we walked through the doors of Eclectic Home, I was immediately pulled into the beauty of the showroom, which displayed such an extensive variety of so many different pieces...everything from retro design styles to modern to trendy to glam to art deco to vintage to chic (see what I did there, TO CHIC, similar to my actual name TACHIC. Gotta love it!) and just all around unique and one of a kind pieces. I didn't see a large serving of rustic pieces, which you all know I LOVE. But as I mentioned, there were some vintage pieces on the showroom floor and in the back area where all items were on sale.
When Lauren and I first arrived, Penny was in the middle of a design consultation. But she was kind enough to come downstairs to the showroom and meet and greet both myself and Lauren. I wasn't able to meet and greet her daughter, Casi, as she was away on her honeymoon trip. But, indeed, it was real pleasure to meet Penny in person. She was very warm and inviting and even came across humorous, as she joked to me and Lauren that the name of her business reflects how the layout of her store is a bit all over the place. As I mentioned above, it's eclectic in nature mixing such a variety of design styles together and mind you...very well done!
I think what I found most likable about Penny (other than the fact that she's a woman of color) is the fact that a woman with her level of experience and success as both a business owner and an Interior Designer...she didn't seem to take herself so seriously. Outside of being pleasant, warm and hospitable...I really enjoyed the fact that she was able to joke with us and make light of her own interpretation of the way she and her daughter have styled their store.
Personally, I can say from my visit that's not at all the vibe you get when you walk in. It definitely doesn't yell "we're all over the place." Eclectic Home to me, has a very well curated showroom. Also, I highly enjoyed that there was such a variety of design styles because it allowed me to have a different experience from a visual and creative standpoint. Especially considering the fact that I shop in a lot of stores that cater more to the rustic side of decor, which is a personal preference for me, as it speaks directly to my #rusticglam design style. So being exposed to all of these unique and retro pieces and phenomenal lighting fixtures at Eclectic Home, only broadened and further inspired me.
My schedule wound up working itself out, to where one appointment had to be rescheduled. So that allowed for more time for me to carefully take in everything on the showroom floor. I don't believe much or anything for that matter, happens by chance. So it was probably meant for me to have some freed up time to really be in the moment and truly soak up every piece of design inspiration in Eclectic Home.
What I appreciated the most about that particular day and my visit, was that it was only hours before my very own design consultation with my new client. As a result, I was able to bring all of that wonderful feel good energy and design inspiration along with me and project it into my own meeting. I remember feeling so excited after leaving my client's home. Feeling invigorated, motivated and just all around inspired and ready to transform my client's space.
So to Penny Francis, I'd like to say thank you for a wonderful meet and greet. Thank you for taking the time to come and say hello. Thank you for the well wishes and thank you for staying true to your brand and creating such a unique and eclectic space that inspires.
All pieces in the above photos can be found in the showroom of Eclectic Home - 8211 Oak Street, NOLA 70118
And, per the usual to wrap things up, here are a few final keynotes I'd like to share...
What I find so amazing about the design journey I'm on...is the fact that my professional career for the past thirteen years, has been that of a filmmaker and I've been blessed to work with and around some of Hollywood's biggest and brightest stars. (For a recap on my journey from the film industry to the world of design, click here.)
Yet, at the moment I'm more stoked about meeting all of the amazing Interior Designers, Decorators, and Interior Stylists on my list of who's who in the design world or who I'm most inspired by. So many of these people are regular every-day people that I just so happen to be smitten by their work and talents. And, not every person with a design background I'm captivated by has their own store or business. Some only have a design blog like myself. While many don't and just share their portfolio on Instagram or other social media platforms...and I soak it up, enjoy the visuals, allow it to inspire me and simply become a fan.
So for me it's just so refreshing being able to meet and greet and just to connect with people that share the same passion for interior decorating and design as I do. More than anything, it's all the more amazing to me when I do meet Interior Designers I admire, that they're humble, down to earth, warm and inviting. That hasn't always been the case for me in the film industry sadly.
Now, I'm not saying that there aren't Interior Design Professionals out there void of egos that can rival some of the biggest Hollywood egos. But, what I am saying, is I'm enjoying thus far that I haven't personally come into direct contact with those kinds of personalities or attitudes. And, for me that's extremely refreshing and vastly different from the type of personalities I generally work with in the film industry. Also, it makes me even more motivated to continue along this design journey. It feels so good to love what I'm doing, to meet others that genuinely love it as much as I do and just overall have a real appreciation for the craft and beauty of #allthingsdesign.
As always, I hope with each new post, you all are inspired. For my NOLA peeps who haven't had a chance to visit Eclectic Home in person, I highly encourage you to do so. So many beautiful pieces on their sales and showroom floor. For my followers who'll be visiting NOLA one day soon...add Eclectic Home to your list of places to visit in addition to strolling along the Oak Street Strip. Grab a Po-Boy from a nearby restaurant, visit Frenchy's art gallery and be sure to stop in Maple Leaf for a good ole fashioned time. Or, as we say in NOLA...
"Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler" which means "Let The Good Times Roll!"
Oh and before I forget...Of course you all know I had to purchase something from Eclectic Home during my visit. I couldn't leave completely empty handed. I mean that would simply be preposterous for a design fanatic such as my myself ;)