Style Court

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


Drum Shades, Youthful Southern Style, and Rooms with Soul

"There are only so many variations on sofas and chairs. The expression of a room really comes from the smaller items (art, lamps, accessories). So go scour your mom's attic for those treasures!"

-- Adrienne Casbarian, founder of New Orleans-based Lum Lighting,

Adrienne, a Tulane grad with style to spare, says she found herself surrounded with inherited antiques. Lovely things, but pieces that did not reflect her youthfulness. To invigorate her home, she "threw some cheeky red lamps in and --presto--I had a little sass in the room."

Impressed by the timeless glamour of Adrienne's lighting, I asked for her stand on shades:

"No other shade will get you as far as a straight drum shade. An 18" drum shade works on 90% of my lamps. They are so versatile...they can tone down a crazy lamp and make it look more stately. They can also re-invent an otherwise maw-maw lamp and make it a little more current. I prefer silk or linen."

She adds, "If you have a great pair of lamps, a lined shade can help cast the light down on the lamps to showcase them more. That simple thing makes more difference than you can imagine..."

And Adrienne says, " Go oversized! Part of what I love about vintage lamps is their large scale. They just don't make them like that anymore. A large lamp or pair of lamps can really fill up a space (especially with our 14 foot ceilings here in New Orleans). Lamplight is more flattering -- for you and for the room."

She continues, "I must say -- a lot of my inspiration comes from this city. Whether it is music, food or decorating...New Orleans doesn't do it like anyone else. The city really nurtures creativity and entrepreneurship. We have beauty at all levels whether it is that perfect po boy sandwich or that divine meal at one of the greats...same goes for art.

My favorite painting is from a street artist who sits on the street corner outside of St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter. Chain stores and restaurants have never done very well in New Orleans (Houstons and Starbucks have both gone out of business here) because everybody here honors the little guys....the street performers, the mom and pop antique shops, the hole in the wall restaurant run by a husband and wife. The city is full of character (and characters). There are treasures everywhere here!"

Architecture images courtesy New Orleans Online


girl meets glamour said...

I am soon to become a Lum fanatic!!

Bayou Contessa said...

This is such a fun line. I love her ability to scope out the best of the best vintage pieces. She's right-you can't miss with a great drum shade.

Pigtown*Design said...

Great interview... glad to hear that the chains don't make it in NOLA. My best memories are from the wonderful little places there!

cotedetexas said...

I couldn't agree more about the drum shades. They really are that wonderful! They can make a nothing little lamp look important.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

"Drum shades", there is so much to learn...I'm lucky to have found sites like yours, great interview, thanks. Starbucks went out of business in NOLA? Wow. That is a city that doesn't do it like anywhere else.

Style Court said...

Meg, E and E, glad you like the interview :)