The traditional blue, white and red tricolors of France transformed into the yellow and blues of Provence when Alliance Francaise opened their La Vie Provencale Decorator Showhouse last weekend.
Alliance Francaise, which has taught all levels of French in New Orleans and brought cultural programs to the city for 25 years, enlisted the help of 11 designers to decorate the rooms at the school. The circa 1930 raised house got a “face lift” both inside and out. You can’t miss the consummate Provencal bright yellow facade and blue door which distinguishes it from others on the block. Each designer was assigned a room and given free reign of design concept. It was interesting to see how the individual rooms were compatible. Time and space does not allow for extensive descriptions but I will try to summarize two designers’ rooms. Kathy Slater, who has a line of coffee tables, used a combination of French furniture with Chinoiserie elements in the sunroom entry, achieving a provincial ambiance.
Nadine Blake’s inspiration for the boy’s bedroom was the adventurous imaginary young resident. One wall was painted in the French tricolors and she filled shelves with National Geographics (great complimentary yellow covers), African masks, and other worldly objects. Mon Dieu! A bust of Napoleon resides on the window sill!
Alliance Francaise, the president, Alexandra Stafford, and the Board are to be congratulated for having the vision and the fortitude to undertake this project. I just wish it was going to be available to the public for longer than a week, but classes will be starting again and I think students would be distracted by the present classroom decor.
– Lorre Lei