Pop artist and style maven Ashley Longshore is no stranger to colorful, vivid, and eye-catching aesthetics. One only has to glance at her creative, rainbow-hued collections to get a sense of the New Orleans’ creator’s flair for the dramatic.
When it came time for the artist/furniture designer to turn her eclectic eye to her own home, it’s no surprise that she chose a palette of multi-colored hues – an explosion of color bursting with a life of its own. And where better than the home of Mardi Gras to create her perfectly fantastic funhouse of fabulousness?
Though the outside of the enigmatic artist’s home may appear somewhat traditional with its shuttered white doors and painted brick facade, this epitome of a classic 1920s New Orleans home contains a riot of color on the inside. It’s like stepping into a Skittles ad, but instead of tasting the rainbow, guests can feast their eyes on a veritable treasure trove of amazing art and vibrant decor that’s bright, bold, and beautiful.
To create the home of her dreams, Longshore collaborated with Memphis-based designer Gwen Driscoll, herself known for pushing the envelope with interiors that offer the perfect balance of classically modern features and standout statement-making pieces that wow. And Driscoll was certainly up to the task, somehow managing to make Longshore’s vast collection of eclectic art fit perfectly into a design scheme meant to be welcoming and ready to party.
Though much of Longshore’s art is one-of-a kind, she didn’t want the atmosphere to be too precious to pop corks and party hearty. She wanted a space that was both functional and lived-in – elegantly-styled yet ready to host all kinds of gatherings. In other words, the ideal New Orleans party house.
In a recent interview with Architectural Digest, Longshore talked about her love for the city (where she’s been a resident for almost 15 years), and her desire to craft a home teeming with verve and artistic energy. She says: “I think the main thing that’s so appealing about New Orleans is how the city really celebrates the arts…but also [here] nobody really needs a reason to celebrate. Just waking up in the morning is one, and I just love that vein of optimism and creativity.”
That distinctive “vein of optimism and creativity” is evident in almost every room: from the floor-to-ceiling smorgasbord of patterns and colors in the breakfast room, complete with dramatic chandelier, banana-wallpapered ceiling, and bubblegum pink curtains, to the brilliant kitchen space with cobalt blue countertops and a terrazzo floor that’s a madcap mosaic of color, Longshore’s home is a delight to behold.
Not surprisingly, Longshore has already hosted her fair share of soirees in her New Orleans haven that she describes as “a very inviting home that makes you want to celebrate” – and with Mardi Gras fast approaching on March 1st, this party palace will undoubtedly be the site of some of the most raucous (and colorful!) gatherings in the entire Big Easy.
Photos courtesy of Paul Costello