Interiors

Small-Space Living in New Orleans’ Garden District

by Sabrina Smelko

Juley Thuy Le, the lifestyle blogger behind Upperlyne.com, helps clients develop their creative businesses from the ground up — something she knows a thing or two about having just launched the lifestyle store Montrose Shop in Houston, TX where she’s co-founder and creative director. But despite the shop’s location in Texas, New Orleans is Juley’s home, pride and joy (as we saw when she gave us a glimpse into her ideal 24 Hours in New Orleans a few months ago)!

Nestled on a historic street lined with large, handsome oak trees in the Garden District, Juley lives in a former-mansion turned Parisian-esque apartment building with her boyfriend, Josh Collins, as well as their duo of dogs, Jameson the Boston Terrier and Oliver, the Pitbull-Frenchie mix. For Juley and Josh, life is full of activity, so it was important that their apartment be a place of rest and comfort — free of clutter and full of function. With hardwood floors, 12-foot ceilings, large windows and a sunroom, it was easy for them to overlook the teeny-tiny kitchen, the limitations of living in 700 square feet, and the outdated wall color (nothing a weekend-warrior painting spree couldn’t solve!). Walking distance to a handful of parks, many local bars, restaurants and a market, their neighborhood “is lively without being too much in the scene,” Juley says. “My favorite part is I can hop on the streetcar to commute anywhere.”

The process of decorating the space has been three years in the making, and not without plenty of trial and error. Though the apartment has great character, it isn’t exactly built for Juley’s penchant for modern, French decor. Whenever Juley fancies placing a couch or rug in a certain spot, the ducting, vents and filters that poke up through the flooring get in the way. “In three short years, we’ve had a lot of furniture come in and out,” Juley continues, “We’ve had to get rid of a beautiful, seven-foot wooden dining table from my previous place because it swallowed the room, and our office has changed close to a million times to best serve both of our needs.” After re-arranging their pieces dozens of times, Juley’s learned perhaps the truest lesson in home design: that “sometimes, what we imagine in our minds or see on Pinterest don’t turn out in real-life decorating.” But despite years of indecision and evolution, Juley and Josh have managed to foster a space that blends their country roots and Juley’s Francophile heritage, with thanks to some generous furniture donations from All Modern, West Elm, and Good Wood Nola.

On top of the affordable rent and the building’s unique character, when we asked Juley what her favorite aspect of the space was, she replied “how it helps me pretend I’m living in my own version of Paris — but mainly, that I can share it with my three favorite boys in the best city in the world!” After all, home is what you make of it. –Sabrina

Photograhy by Juley Thuy Le, Family Portrait by Camille Styles

Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Their bright, neutral and cozy living and dining room combination. The rug and sofa are from West Elm and the coffee table bench was a thrift-store steal!
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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After living in Nashville and Chicago, Juley lives happily ever after in her Parisian-inspired apartment in what she refers to as the most "magical city in the world," New Orleans.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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The adorable Jameson sleeping in his favorite nook on the couch under a small cluster of off-center prints, which are balanced out by a wall ladder to the left of the sofa.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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An Acadian flag hangs from a locally-made ladder by Juley and Josh's friends from Good Wood Nola.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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The ladder is also the perfect spot to hang their dogs' leashes (from See Scout Sleep and Harry Barker). A soft cotton plant sits at the base from Save On Crafts.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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The large blue artwork was created by Juley -- she enjoys hearing people's interpretations of what it is.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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A "Defend New Orleans" print hangs beside a family portrait.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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The view from the ladder towards the TV. The media console is from IKEA and the lamp is from Target.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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A view of the dining nook, nestled in front of the large French windows. The chairs are from All Modern and the table is from CB2.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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"I love how our dining nook gets so much natural light from the windows!" says Juley.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Another angle of the TV area looking from the doorway into their kitchen.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Behind the living room, close to the dining table for convenience is, what they call, "the world's tiniest kitchen."
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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A very cozy, French kitchen with custom wood shelves made, once again, by their good friends at Good Wood Nola. "It’s a small space but has everything we need," says Juley.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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"Josh needs his daily coffee, so I created a micro coffee bar for him!" On this wire rack from Wal-Mart, they also store all of their dishes.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Juley's collection of kitchen tools and gadgets; a KitchenAid mixer and a Cuisinart ice cream maker being at the top of her list of favorites.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Juley and Josh's bathroom featuring a print from The Life Observed. The hand towels are from West Elm.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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The view of the bathroom as you step in.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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This gorgeous Turkish towel is from a company based in New Orleans called Loomed Nola. The wooden bench was found at JCPenney, and is narrow enough to not take up too much space, but offers some storage for magazines, towels, or to be used as a table for a mug of tea or glass of wine when enjoying a bath.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Juley and Josh use their sun porch as a shared office space. "I love our Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, even though it’s so fickle!" says Juley, "It adds so much life into our office. And, thanks to Josh for keeping it alive."
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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The plant basket is from Target, the light fixture and curtains are from West Elm, the desks are from IKEA and the chairs are from Poly+Bark.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Juley and Josh's bedroom. You can't go wrong with white linen bedsheets (from West Elm). The trunk is vintage, the cowhide rug was found at a Nashville Flea market and the Moroccan pouf is from Lulu & Georgia.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Across from their closet is some extra clothing storage in a white IKEA dresser.
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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At their bedside is a beautiful monstera deliciosa which sits on a stool from Serena and Lily. Nothing like plants to help purify the air in a bedroom!
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Though they've only had the space for three years, it's seen its fair share of change, life and adventure!
Small-Space Parisian-Living in New Orleans' Garden District
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Juley and Josh adopted the newest addition to their fur-family, Oliver, just days after this photo was taken, so unfortunately he's missing from their family portrait, but it seems that perhaps Jameson saw him coming!

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