Pontchartrain Hotel checkerboard floor in restaurant

In Honor of Mardi Gras: Shea’s Jambalaya + New Orleans Design

We’re taking a moment to appreciate all things The Big Easy, from Shea’s homemade jambalaya to New Orleans’ best design moments.  

13 February 2023 -

While we wouldn’t necessarily say that Mardi Gras is “our thing,” we would say that when it comes to the city that hosts it, we’ve taken a few design cues over the years, from a Texas-esque version of its famed dish to an appreciation for the architecture and interior design elements that belong solely to The Paris of the South.

Shea, having spent her formative years in Texas, knows that there’s a sort of reverence to the way the South as a geographical region and the state of Texas interact—one doesn’t claim the other. But sharing a border meant often sharing a cuisine. “Growing up in Houston, Texas, my family had many friendly Cajun neighbors who would bring over a big pot of jambalaya on the weekends,” Shea explains. “Our family loved the spicy dish so much that my mom learned to make it herself. I’m looking forward to introducing my kids to this nostalgic comfort food.”

And New Orleans, the city that is “The South,” has design inspiration in spades. Quintessential New Orleans style is composed of French antiques, wrought iron, sprawling balconies, colorful shotgun cottages, window shutters, hanging ferns, and sprawling mansions of the Garden District. Below, we’re sharing a few of our favorite New Orleans hotel design moments, plus Shea’s take on jambalaya, the American Creole and Cajun dish whose influence ranges from East Texas to France and Africa.

No. 01 | Hotel Saint Vincent

No. 02 | The Pontchartrain Hotel

No. 03 | Maison de la Luz

No. 04 | The Chloe

Studio McGee Jambalaya recipe
Studio McGee Jambalaya recipe
Hotel Saint Vincent Paradise Lounge yellow stools with mosaic tile

No. 01 | Hotel Saint Vincent

The queen of hotel design has made her way to the city of New Orleans. Liz Lambert’s Hotel Saint Vincent in the Lower Garden District is a 19th-century brick façade with oh-so-New-Orleans wrought-iron railings. Inside the storied walls, the team at Lambert McGuire Design incorporated a variety of design styles from Italian Modernism to Art Deco. A few of our favorite design elements include charcoal-colored walls, intricate floor tiles, pink glossy walls, crimson red velvet, and scalloped pool umbrellas.

Hotel Saint Vincent guest room with red bed
Hotel Saint Vincent console table with mirror and chair vignette
Hotel Saint Vincent guest room with red tones

Photos courtesy of Hotel Saint Vincent

No. 02 | The Pontchartrain Hotel

There’s a plethora of stories rafting through the historic streets of New Orleans, and a fair amount of them begin at The Pontchartrain Hotel. Set amongst the 18th- and 19th-century mansions of the Garden District, it was once where Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth laid their heads, and where Tennessee Williams wrote A Streetcar Named Desire. Renovated in 2016, the new color palette and dressings very much mimics the vibe of its home city—think layered crimsons and emeralds, pinks and lush mint, palms and rattan, toile and paisley.

Pontchartrain Hotel bar with mosaic tile
Pontchartrain Hotel guest room with wood panelling and patterned curtains
Pontchartrain Hotel restaurant with checkerboard tile
Pontchartrain Hotel guest room with yellow sofa
Pontchartrain Hotel sitting area with gallery wall art

Photos courtesy of the Pontchartrain Hotel

No. 03 | Maison de la Luz

Studio Shamshiri, an LA-based design firm, and the in-house creative team at Ace Hotel (a perennial favorite in millennial-focused, high-end travel) joined forces to restore this 1907 building in the city’s Warehouse District. According to Pam Shamshiri of Studio Shamshiri, the design was developed to feel like someone’s private home, a well-traveled and cultured woman returning to her hometown of New Orleans with her stories and wares (to be exact). Expect an eclectic display—original Art Deco light fixtures, intricate marble floors, heavily patterned wallpaper, gild and velvet, tasseled armchairs, tufts and wingbacks, and a museum-level display of funky art. In short, Maison de la Luz encapsulates the rich, multi-cultural history of New Orleans.

Maison de la Luz guest bedroom with blue curved headboard
Maison de la Luz mini bar and lounge area
Maison de la Luz console table with wallpapered wall
Maison de la Luz guest room floral sofa in sitting area
Maison de la Luz hallway with blue sofa and artwork hanging above
Maison de la Luz sitting area with green sofa and artwork gallery
Maison de la Luz blue dining room
Maison de la Luz library with red walls and green chairs

Photos courtesy of Maison de la Luz

No. 04 | The Chloe

New Orleans-based designer Sara Ruffin Costello took a grand 200-year-old Victorian mansion in the city’s Uptown neighborhood and renovated it to Southern perfection, with a distinct nod to the romance and glamour of New Orleans’ storied architectural history. There’s a sweet mix inside the walls of The Chloe, like alligator print and carpet the color of the deepest wine mingling with soft pastels and delicate florals. One of our favorite moments is the pool. A bright baby blue houses the bar, complete with rattan stools and colorful mural, while Meyer lemon trees and a checkerboard limestone and travertine floor encircle the shimmering waters.

The Chloe dining room with wood tables and chairs
The Chloe outdoor bar with blue siding
The Chloe guest room with sofa and chairs
The Chloe guest room with pink sofas and walls
The Chloe guest room with canopy bed
The Chloe sitting area by window with sofa and chair
The Chloe two chairs with handing artwork and scones above
The Chloe bathroom
The Chloe jewel box with red bench and blue ottomans

Photos courtesy of Paul Costello

Date Posted
13 February 2023