Colorful Details: An Extraordinary New Orleans Victorian House

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This vibrant and colorful 1800s Victorian three-story home is situated in the gorgeous Uptown area of New Orleans, designed by architectural designer Marie Palumbo. Anything but ordinary, a couple with their three young kids, a dog, a cat, and a bird take up residence here.

The 6,000 square foot, four bedroom, four full bathroom plus two half bath residence features walls with colorful artwork and original classic pocket doors, eclectic furniture, and timeless heirlooms in each room.

With the help of the local designer, Marie Palumbo, the couple was able to completely renovate the kitchen, re-purposed some rooms, and transformed their backyard into an outdoor oasis to better equip the unique structure for their family’s needs, without losing the home’s original charm.  “You never know how you are going to live in a house until you are actually in it,” says the homeowner.

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For extra storage, Palumbo designed a full pullout pantry with baskets — visible behind Crystal, the family’s bird.

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The kitchen leads into a colorful living room, connected to a sunroom through original French doors. The family considers their sunroom a bonus room, where built-ins and a plush sofa allow for reading and relaxing.

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Traditional pocket doors on the right open up into the family’s formal dining room.

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The dining room is enclosed by original pocket doors and dressed in more traditional furniture and artwork.

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This second living room, between the dining room and foyer, has bold art and furniture that’s mostly from local artists and designers.

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Artwork, creative accessories, and large Victorian-style windows all face the foyer, giving the more formal living room a warm and inviting feel.

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The first-floor guest bathroom off the foyer displays wallpaper inspired by calling cards passed down through generations of the designer Angèle Parlange’s family.

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The original staircase, accessorized with two traditional portraits, leads to the second-floor bedrooms.

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The original master bedroom and study were re-purposed into two bedrooms for the kids.

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Palumbo designed this custom built-in closet and dresser in one room and then drew up a bathroom plan for the space where the original master closet was.

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Once the study, this room now features cowboy-print fabrics, a vintage rocking horse, and timeworn furniture for the youngest.

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Timeless heirlooms, like this desk from the homeowner’s mother, add subtle charm to the son’s room. To freshen up traditional things, contemporary items are mixed in.
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The beige penny tile in the guest bathroom adds warmth to the bathroom’s clean lines. The console table, originally from Mexico, was purchased in Mississippi. The vintage red chair traveled with the family from Minnesota.
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Down the hall from the kids’ rooms, the master bedroom showcases the homeowner’s eclectic style. As in other parts of the house, the white linens and calming paint color create a platform for the artwork and bright pillows to stand out against.

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Palumbo reconfigured the entire layout of the new master bath to make it seem like a natural extension of the bedroom.

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Traditional art, a new layout, and modern hardware gave the master bathroom an update while preserving the traditional details. Vertical marble walls enclose the shower. A custom vanity was made to look like a piece of furniture.

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A wrought iron gate, with the look of a French balcony, protects the original bathroom windows.

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The third story features built-in twin beds, bookshelves, and a finished bathroom. The homeowner’s added a drum set, a small puppet stand, colorful bedding, a television, and a video game setup to create the perfect entertainment area for family and guests.
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Clean lines and modern hardware give this small bathroom a fresh look. A narrow staircase in the back of the house connects all three floors.
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The guesthouse connects to the main house; it has an outdoor living space and dining area.

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Palumbo reconstructed a once-outdoor kitchen into a one-bedroom suite pool house with a bathroom.

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The porch has a small circular tower and wraps around the front of the home. Large floor-to-ceiling windows face the neighborhood.

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Much like the city of New Orleans itself, this 1800s Victorian home has a historic and traditional exterior, but a vibrant charm radiates behind the doors.

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Photos: Corynne Pless

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10 years ago

What a beautiful layout this home has! All the colors, so beautiful!