Home & Garden

Before and After: When Less is More in NOLA

We love seeing someone bring out the best in a beautiful house

We love seeing someone bring out the best in a beautiful house. And that’s exactly what happened in the case of interior designer Shaun Smith and the house he bought in uptown New Orleans.


The Place: “The house is in the Broadmoor neighborhood on one of my favorite streets called Vendome,” says Smith. “I passed by the house for years always wanting to get my hands on it.”

The Revival: The 5-bedroom home, with its Neoclassical pediment, was built in 1937. “The house was in disrepair for so long, and is surrounded by so many beautiful homes—I feel like it was the house everybody gave up on,” Smith says. “I knew it could be beautiful and I just needed to get it there.” That meant subtracting rather than adding. “Sometimes a house ends up with layer after layer of someone trying to make it fit an idea,” he says. “This house needed to be stripped down to where it started.” First, Smith removed the blue shutters. “They were just such a distraction,” he says. Next, he raised the height of the French doors on the front of the house to the height of the entry door, for a uniform line and better proportions. He also installed new landscaping that shows off—rather than hides—the façade, bordered with copper gutters. And a gas lantern now crowns the distinctive pediment. One thing, however, didn’t change—the color. “There is nothing more classic to me than a beautiful white house,” Smith says.


Our Favorite Part: The curb appeal that flickering gas lanterns, evergreen landscaping, and copper gutters add.

Resources: Bevolo French Quarter Lantern on a Café du Monde bracket at bevolo.com; exterior paint: Simply White by Benjamin Moore at benjaminmoore.com; front door paint: Obsidian by Pratt & Lambert at prattandlambert.com