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sunroom, it was easy for them to overlook the teeny-tiny kitchen, the limitations of living in 700 square feet, and the outdated wall color (nothing a weekend-warrior painting spree couldn’t solve!).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