Have you ever thought about all of those beautiful homes in New Orleans that you would love to visit? I was lucky enough to go into a few and this is my favorite. And I didn't have to look in the windows. I was invited in! It was a very good day.
The home is owned by a couple who have been very involved in helping post-Katrina New Orleans. I had the impression that I could have just knocked on the door and they would have welcomed me in.
Exotic. Sexy. Magical. Spiritual.
In New Orleans on a tour with 15 interior decorators, I had the opportunity to visit the Bywater home of well-known developer Pres Kabacoff and his artist and author wife, Sallie Ann Glassman, who also happens to be a renowned voodoo priestess. Pres, among many other projects in New Orleans, is known for his historical restorations and mixed use projects, many for artists.
In addition, the couple co-chair the New Orleans Healing Center, consisting of a grocery cooperative, street university, cooperative bank and micro loan institution, green business incubator, performance hall, healing arts collective, interfaith center, organic food restaurant…to name just a few of the current tenant businesses. But more importantly, what really sets the New Orleans Healing Center apart, are the carefully selected ongoing community-focused programs, services, and activities – all designed to help revitalize and restore neighborhoods and bring them together.
The tour (seriously, can you imagine having 15 designers in your home at the same time?) was arranged by Jeanne Nathan of the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. She has friends in all of the right places and knows anyone who is anyone in the New Orleans cultural world. But that is for another story.
So, Pres and Sallie invited us into this incredible home and we met their sweet, 6-month old Akita puppy, Ayida. The house is a double-gallery Greek revival design and Pres describes it as "front-loaded" with two stories in the front and one in the back. Front porches, columns and lots of shutters. Tropical colors: orange, purple, magenta. The double front doors include tarot cards. And then you enter. This is where the wow factor begins.