Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Adventurous Spirit: Angele Parlange

Image above, Angele Parlange by Quentin Bacon for Southern Accents

Image above, William Waldron

Below, Gamay Bistro, New Orleans (now called Louisiana Heritage Cafe) designed by Parlange with architect William Sonner

My favorite description of Southerner Angele Parlange came from Margaret Russell a few years back: "Known for racing full-tilt through life dressed head to toe in up-to-the-minute fashion, Parlange is hardly the archetypal belle. On the contrary, she's a savvy businesswoman who runs a design firm, entertains, and travels with remarkable enthusiasm and virve."

With Parlange's book, Creole Thrift: Premium Southern Living Without Spending a Mint, we get to go along for the ride. Her stories are hysterical and pay homage to the craftsmen, seamstresses, and handymen -- those who go unmentioned in most shelter mags -- that bring the designer's ideas to fruition.

Some readers have been disappointed with the book's contents because they focused on the word "thrift," but not the rest of the title. It's not about "design on a dime" or "glue gun decorating." Instead the focus is on being resourceful and using what you have to create a gracious and interesting home, rather than a trendy showroom. Parlange's style is rooted in French classicism with a very whimsical bent -- if you are a modernist at heart, the book's interiors images probably won't appeal to you. However, throughout the pages there's a wisdom about spirited living (plus great cocktail recipes) that applies to everyone, regardless of personal aesthetics.

Links to some of Angele's favorite shops: Bell'occhio and Tinsel Trading, M & J for ribbon and trim.

For antique silver mint-julep cups, try Shelton Gallery

(This post is an update on the 7.16.06 post)


Anonymous said...

Parlange is a maverick of Southern chic. Over the past 15 years, I have admired (and envied) her ability to remain hip while embracing her heritage. She was one of the first designers to prove that you don't have to choose design camps (floppy hats and flowers vs. urban contemporary). She managed to take the best of both.

Style Court said...

Well-said anonymous!

Anonymous said...

That's where I saw her name. I got that book recently and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I love the photos of the estate taken 70 years ago and compared to today. So much inspiration in that book.

The Peak of Chic said...

I admire how she embraces color in her daily life- both in her interiors and her personal style. I'm going to San Fran in a few weeks and Bell'occhio is on my list of shops to visit. The fact she recommends it makes me even more excited!

Anna Spiro said...

Thank you for introducing her to me Courtney. I love the top 2 images!


Maryam in Marrakesh said...

That pink is just so beautiful in that dining room. I am thinking about creating a pink room with red seating. I have to figure out how to pull it all together. Let me know if you have ideas, Courtney. I trust your impeccable taste!

Style Court said...

Maryam, thanks for sweet comment. A pink room with red seating could be so striking! I'll see if I have a photo of something like that :)

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Okay, thanks Courtney. I saw that color combo on Emerey and Cie recently and it looked just amazing.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know of a good grey/blue or French blue paint color to use on wood furniture? Many thanks!

Style Court said...

i've had success with Benjamin Moore paints on furniture. I try to just get a tester pot first to make sure the color looks right in the light at home. They have many subtle blues. Good luck!