Imagine a quirky private residence in New Orleans, once owned by an eccentric family who loved antiques and color, transformed into an intimate guest house and you have Maison de la Luz, the new hotel from Atelier Ace. Set in a six-story building that was once the City Hall Annex in the city’s Arts Warehouse district, Maison de la Luz was designed in partnership with ELLE Decor A-List firm Studio Shamshiri and features 67 guest rooms that meld warm Southern elegance with cerebral artsy touches. Public spaces include a breakfast room, whose peacock velvet seating and blue and white walls are reminiscent of Delft tiles and a living room with bursts of pale olive and an exuberantly patterned rug by Christopher Farr x Shamshiri. Next door in what was formerly the City Hall’s library is Bar Milou, an audaciously red craft cocktail bar that marks the first U.S. endeavor from French hospitality group Quixotic Projects and is the ideal place for winding down a long and adventurous New Orleans night out. Here, Pamela Shamshiri of Studio Shamshiri walks us through the inspiration behind her design.
What drew you to this project and to the space specifically?
The idea of something residential and quiet appealed to me and I love that it was right next door to Ace. It is unique to have the luxury of an intimate experience next door to all the lively social happenings at Ace–their events, bars, restaurants, coffee shop, and pool.
Were you very familiar with New Orleans as a city? What kind of research did you do in advance of starting work on this project?
I had spent a few months in New Orleans for production work in the past and fell in love with it. The process was similar to our residential and commercial projects. We did a lot of initial research and dove into the history, pulling references mostly from the Spanish, French, and West Indies.
The building has a rich history. Did you know immediately what you wanted to do with the spaces you worked on?
The building was the Annex to City Hall and eventually became law offices. The whole team knew we wanted a bar in the law library and that we wanted a living room and breakfast room. It was really natural to lay it out and the whole team was in agreement on the spaces.
Were there any historical touch points that drove your design direction? For example, the bannister and stairwell in the grand entrance are very striking.
We looked at old French hotels. We wanted to nod to classic hotels in a Wes Anderson kind of way and the banisters set us in that direction.
Tell me a bit about the color palette, prints, and textures you chose and how those spoke to both the specific neighborhood and New Orleans in general.
The shared spaces downstairs are very collected and layered, with a "more is more” sensibility. Upstairs where the guest rooms are located, we wanted to feel like a cloud. The design was focused around creating a calmer, less saturated, less acidic environment. We found the perfect shade of mauve for the walls to feel like a cloud.
Bar Marilou, was painted red at the request of Quixotic Projects. At first, we were worried about the transition from mauve to red, but quickly embraced it. It feels like the sultry red corner of the hotel. It added the right amount of edge to the overall design concept.
New Orleans has such a famously vibrant nightlife scene. How did that inform your design of Bar Marilou?
We played on the idea of creating a library in an Upper East Side residence. We wanted to make sure we created something that wasn’t already in New Orleans.
You Might Also Like