Yo Joe: A Realtor’s Q&A with New Orleans interior designer Maureen Stevens

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I’m Joe Gerrity, local businessman, investor and Real Estate Broker. For my Yo Joe! column, I’ll be answering your real estate questions and providing market information special to New Orleans.

sponsored by Satsuma Realtors

Part of being in real estate and offering superior, across-the-board services comes with making connections in the housing industry – for us, that includes everything from construction workers to interior designers.

Today, we met with our new friend, Maureen Stevens, owner of Maureen Stevens Design.

A little more about Maureen in her own words:

Maureen Stevens, owner of Maureen Stevens Design

I’m an interior designer and a NOLA transplant by way of Austin, TX. I’ve been coming to NOLA for the design and architecture inspiration, whimsical courtyards, and their amazing doors (I am partial to pink!).

My design aesthetic is updated classic —I am a traditionalist at heart, but I also love to celebrate the modern world we live in. I love a room of story tellers and believe that every space should inspire wonder and curiosity.

Maureen offers interior design services, including: residential and commercial makeovers, renovations, furniture planning, new build consultations, exterior design, simple color consults, and styling.

Thanks for joining us Maureen. We’re excited to dive in and learn more about what interior design advice we should offer our clients this fall. Let’s start with color palettes. What would you say are this year’s shades?

For a fall color palette, we always think about how Autumn leaves look—like a wide array of orange, browns, and ochres. To me, it’s all about jewel tones. Its richness is all about the festivities and holidays that are right around the corner. Think cobalts and lapis, emeralds and rubies, pink sapphire and amethysts, and black onyx.

What are some general tips we can offer to our clients to help them step their seasonal design game up?

Two words: layers and texture.

If you are an interior design aficionado, you probably know that whatever season, these are the spices we constantly think about, and most definitely put on our designs, but really all the more during fall when we have to up the ante on the “cozy” level!

Believe it or not, your space has many layers. Your walls and ceilings are a layer, your flooring too, all of your furniture from your sofa to a credenza, to a floor lamp, the little accessories you pepper around, and yes, even your plants.

In design, we make sure that all of these layers are pulled together in a cohesive manner while ensuring each layer still has its own exuberant individualism.

For this fall, layer the fireplace mantle with Autumn Berry sprays or Oak Leaf branches! Rejoice in rustic. Use items such as petrified wood as your candle holder, have more glow with string and twine lights, and use gourds galore (just be sure to set them up in 3’s or 5’s).

Another thing to consider is texture. This element dictates so much for the feel of a room. You can layer textures, from smooth to rough and anywhere in between. Of course, during fall, we think of velvets, cashmere, faux furs, and wool, and the easiest way to incorporate these are to bring in pillows and throws.

How important is lighting when it comes to showing off your newly decorated space?

First off, I don’t believe one or even just two kinds of lighting is enough sometimes for a space.

You can definitely “layer” different kinds of lighting in a space to give an area just the right kind of illumination, whatever suits your mood or activity. A space can have recessed lighting, table lamps, floor lamps, and wall sconces all at the same time.

Where can people shop locally to get a feel for some exciting, new design inspiration?

In NOLA, we operate heavily on supporting local. Here are some NOLA shops and artists I adore and recommend:

  • Spruce Wallpaper: Their mission literally says, “a shop for the design obsessed.” They have some of my favorite wallpaper brands like House of Hackney and Flavor Paper, but also a new wallpaper line from Annie Moran, a local NOLA artist.
  • Amanda Talley: her beautiful art satisfies my incessant yearning for color!
  • Gallery Orange: how appropriate since Satsuma loves orange! We adore Gallery Orange. It’s a Bohemian leading-edge boutique gallery right in the heart of French Quarter.
  • Leontine Linens: because when I think about Southern charm, their intricate/classic monograms come to mind.

I’m also a sucker for a great antique find at an amazing price—cue the cliche “champagne taste on a beer budget” saying—and you can find that in these shops:

  • Crescent City Auction Gallery: auctions happen every two months
  • Merchant House
  • Dop Antiques

Check out Maureen’s takeover of the Satsuma Instagram page to view some of her favorite design projects. Have more questions or want to connect with Maureen? Visit her website!

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