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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Inspiration: New Orleans

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Happy Mardi Gras!

Though today is the the quintessential time to be New Orleans, I love visiting anytime of  year for two reasons...you are always assured fantastic shopping and a memorable meal.

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One of the gorgeous buildings in the French quarter in New Orleans.

Martha Stewart Living magazine paid a visit to Louisiana for a memorable southern lunch.

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A 1750s French colonial house in Louisiana settled in the dewy mist of a hot Southern day. (Martha Stewart Living)

1 A 1750s French colonial house in Louisiana settled in the dewy mist of a hot Southern day. (Martha Stewart Living)

Magnolia blossoms from a Louisiana garden waiting for placement. (Martha Stewart Living)

2 Magnolia blossoms from a Louisiana garden waiting for placement. (Martha Stewart Living)

A family with deep routes into Louisiana's history enjoys a summer meal with friends. (Martha Stewart Living)

3 A family with deep routes into Louisiana's history enjoys a summer meal with friends. (Martha Stewart Living)

Friends and family enjoy a simple meal amongst a perfectly over-grown southern garden. (Martha Stewart Living)

4 Friends and family enjoy a simple meal amongst a perfectly over-grown southern garden. (Martha Stewart Living)

A backyard meal set for dining complete with white wine and French crystal. (Martha Stewart Living)

5 A backyard meal set for dining complete with white wine and French crystal. (Martha Stewart Living)

A summer room in a New Orleans home decorated in comfortable shades of pale green and rose. (Martha Stewart Living)

6 A summer room in a New Orleans home decorated in comfortable shades of pale green and rose. (Martha Stewart Living)

I have a few favorites when I am browsing for home goods in the "The Big Easy,"  Leontine linens and Lucullus Antiques.

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Lucullus,owned by Patrick Dunne, is one of my favorite antique shops.

1 Lucullus,owned by Patrick Dunne, is one of my favorite antique shops.

He always has the most stunning objects and furniture.

2 He always has the most stunning objects and furniture.

Jane Scott Hodges founded Leontine Linens in 1996.

3 Jane Scott Hodges founded Leontine Linens in 1996.

These are an example of Leontine's beautiful work.

4 These are an example of Leontine's beautiful work.

I can't get enough of her amazing monograms.

5 I can't get enough of her amazing monograms.

I used her beautiful towels in the chinoiserie story I did for the magazine. (Martha Stewart Living)

6 I used her beautiful towels in the chinoiserie story I did for the magazine. (Martha Stewart Living)

New Orleans is all about great food and good times. Here are some classic recipes for an impromptu Mardi Gras gathering.

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New Orleans style shrimp and rice served with jalapeno corn muffins (Martha Stewart Living)

1 New Orleans style shrimp and rice served with jalapeno corn muffins (Martha Stewart Living)

Chocolate-caramel pecan clusters, perfect for serving with cocktails before dinner. (Martha Stewart Living)

2 Chocolate-caramel pecan clusters, perfect for serving with cocktails before dinner. (Martha Stewart Living)

Small shrimp tossed with corn, avocado and a citrus dressing makes a delicious summer salad. (Martha Stewart Living)

3 Small shrimp tossed with corn, avocado and a citrus dressing makes a delicious summer salad. (Martha Stewart Living)

Bar B Q Shrimp cooked on a sizzling iron skillet is a staple of Louisiana cuisine. (Martha Stewart Living)

4 Bar B Q Shrimp cooked on a sizzling iron skillet is a staple of Louisiana cuisine. (Martha Stewart Living)

Chilled tomato soup with a lump of crabmeat, accompanied with unhulled sesame seeds. (Martha Stewart Living)

5 Chilled tomato soup with a lump of crabmeat, accompanied with unhulled sesame seeds. (Martha Stewart Living)

Oysters fried with cornmeal, served with red-pepper mayonnaise and a spicy maquechoux, which is made of jalapeno peppers and corn. (Martha Stewart Living)

6 Oysters fried with cornmeal, served with red-pepper mayonnaise and a spicy maquechoux, which is made of jalapeno peppers and corn. (Martha Stewart Living)

A salad of fresh local crab meat with a lemony vinaigrette. (Martha Stewart Living)

7 A salad of fresh local crab meat with a lemony vinaigrette. (Martha Stewart Living)

Caribbean-influenced bouillabaisse served over wild rice in Old Paris porcelain bowls. (Martha Stewart Living)

8 Caribbean-influenced bouillabaisse served over wild rice in Old Paris porcelain bowls. (Martha Stewart Living)

Left:  A representation of enlightened Southern cooking with pecan-crusted catfish, mustard greens, a bean and rice salad and sweet-potato biscuits.
Right: A sourcream banana cake, a classic Southern combination of butter, brown sugar and bourbon. (Martha Stewart Living)

9 Left: A representation of enlightened Southern cooking with pecan-crusted catfish, mustard greens, a bean and rice salad and sweet-potato biscuits. Right: A sourcream banana cake, a classic Southern combination of butter, brown sugar and bourbon. (Martha Stewart Living)

Grilled Shrimp with cilantro, lime and peanuts. (Martha Stewart Living)

10 Grilled Shrimp with cilantro, lime and peanuts. (Martha Stewart Living)

Cajun popcorn (Everyday Food)

11 Cajun popcorn (Everyday Food)

Sazerac, made with rye whiskey or a quality bourbon (Everyday Food)

12 Sazerac, made with rye whiskey or a quality bourbon (Everyday Food)

Another view of the Sazerac cocktail (Martha Stewart Living)

13 Another view of the Sazerac cocktail (Martha Stewart Living)

Click here to find out how to make king cake from the Everyday Food Editors

The homes of the area are among the nation's architectural treasures. See some of the beautiful homes, including Angele Parlange's below:

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Creole Houses, by Steve Gross and Sue Daley, provides an inside look at the unique beauty of Louisiana homes.

1 Creole Houses, by Steve Gross and Sue Daley, provides an inside look at the unique beauty of Louisiana homes.

The double staircase at the Rienzi Plantation House is so dramatic.

2 The double staircase at the Rienzi Plantation House is so dramatic.

The doors and windows in Creole architecture are placed according to the needs of the rooms rather than for external appearance. Here is the Parlange Plantation.

3 The doors and windows in Creole architecture are placed according to the needs of the rooms rather than for external appearance. Here is the Parlange Plantation.

One of the pigeonniers at the Parlange Plantation has been converted into a magical guesthouse.

4 One of the pigeonniers at the Parlange Plantation has been converted into a magical guesthouse.

I love the wrap-around porch on the Magnolia Mound estate built in 1791.

5 I love the wrap-around porch on the Magnolia Mound estate built in 1791.

These vivid blue doors are so striking.

6 These vivid blue doors are so striking.

A massive umbrella roof on the Cherokee Plantation.

7 A massive umbrella roof on the Cherokee Plantation.

The Tante Huppe House is a stellar example of brick creole architecture.

8 The Tante Huppe House is a stellar example of brick creole architecture.

The beautiful gardens at Chene Vert.

9 The beautiful gardens at Chene Vert.

We, of course, are so lucky to have our own slice of New Orleans at our offices, Chef Emeril Lagasse.

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His imaginative cooking and wonderful spirit have been an incredible addition to the Martha Stewart family.  You will definitely want to try some of his fantastic recipes.

I hope these ideas will help you "Laissez les bons temps rouler".

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Comments (2)

  • This is a beautiful post Kevin, haven't been to New Orleans yet, love the photos of their homes, delicious food and entertainment. Emeril Lagasse is amazing love his show and recipes.
    I remember the chinoiserie story on Martha living, beautiful decor and monograms.

  • Love the post. Would love it if you checked out my blog!

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