Quantcast

Interiorssneak peeks

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans

by Sofia Tuovinen

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
It’s probably fair to say that buying a house without seeing it first is regularly considered a no-no in the world of real estate. But that’s exactly what , Principal and Founder of , did when she bought her double shotgun house in New Orleans — what else can you do when you see a listing and just know it’s your home? “I don’t think I really chose the house. I very much feel like the house chose me,” KV describes the feeling of first stumbling on her home online. By looking at pictures alone, she knew that she had found a true New Orleans gem. She made an offer and soon enough, found herself immersed in designing and renovating the old house that she is now proud to call home.

KV runs one of the few women and people of color-owned design-build firms in New Orleans. When renovating her own shotgun house, KV wanted to respect its original features and make it a celebration of the city’s black history. The house and its style served as the main inspiration, leading to design choices that KV wouldn’t necessarily have made otherwise, like a brick floor in the kitchen. “I felt that the history of this house needed those floors — it’s not something I would normally do,” she explains. The renovation process also taught KV about being respectful of materials and choosing them wisely. Opting for reclaimed and smart-growth timber ensured a low carbon footprint but also brought a level of quality that would have been impossible to achieve otherwise.

It’s the nod to history that makes KV feel so in love with her shotgun home. Walking through the door, she immediately feels embraced by the house and the people who have called it home before her. “Especially when I come […] home in the late evening, I very much feel the people that have lived here in the past.” Besides the sense of deep roots and history, one KV’s favorite features in her home is the bar area that was originally supposed to be a bedroom. As someone who entertains a lot, having a bar at home is a dream come true. Now, most of KV’s parties start at the bar and end in the spacious living room, where guests gather around the piano for some late-night tunes. How her home flows and functions today is exactly how KV imagines it did 50 years ago as well — rooms filled with friends, music, and laughter. —

Photography by 

Image above: A warm afternoon glow welcomes friends to gather around the large table in KV’s kitchen. Drinks are served at the bar, a quirky spot that KV dreamed up for her new home. 

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
1/16

KV believes that the house should dictate the design — that’s why she chose brick floors for her kitchen, a look she doesn’t normally gravitate toward. The  served as the inspiration. 

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
2/16

A dark navy color was selected for the kitchen cabinets — a perfect contrast to the rustic brick floor and cream-colored walls.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
3/16

A custom dining table made from reclaimed wood is the heart of the kitchen.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
4/16

KV always dreamed of having a bar at home, and now one stands where there was supposed to be a bedroom. “[It] makes for the perfect happy hour,” KV says.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
5/16

KV used plaster on one of the living room walls. For added depth, the back wall was painted in dark navy. Matching chandeliers add a touch of old-time glamour.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
6/16

One of KV’s most cherished memories from her home is when her mother came to visit for the first time. “She was incredibly proud of the work and immediately started posting pictures to Facebook!” KV shares.

 

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
7/16

As principal and founder of , KV is focused on bringing New Orleans homes back to life. “We’re committed to preserving not [only] the history of the city, but also finding the balance [between] growth and affordable housing,” she explains. KV currently runs her business from both New Orleans and New York, and splits her time between the two cities. 

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
8/16

KV’s living room boasts two restored fireplaces. Artwork representing Haitian revolutionaries adorns the plastered wall. “New Orleans and Haiti have a unique connection, which many are not aware of,” KV shares.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
9/16

The entryway reminds KV of her home’s history each time she walks through the door. “There are several nods to that history throughout the home,” she adds. 

I wanted to celebrate the history of Black New Orleans.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
10/16

The color palette from the living room continues to KV’s bedroom. Above the bed, a Kerry James Marshall print and Basquiat photo add interest. 

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
11/16

The downstairs bathroom has an industrial feel, complete with concrete walls and reclaimed wood elements.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
12/16

KV chose a unique sink from  for her downstairs bathroom. The faucet was a lucky eBay find.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
13/16

KV’s guest bedroom is a subtle celebration of color. A rich teal was chosen for the walls, which highlights the main feature in the space — a bronze bed frame from .

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
14/16

KV wanted to respect the age of the home and brought in reclaimed pieces to highlight that wonderful sense of history. An example is the vintage door that leads from the guest bedroom to the bathroom.

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
15/16

KV’s house is a “camelback” shotgun. “People from New Orleans will know exactly what that means,” KV hints. To us less in the know, a “camelback” is a second floor extension, commonly added to the back of New Orleans shotgun homes. The second-floor bathroom now features a marble sink and hexagon tiles laid in a geometric pattern. 

A Shotgun Home that Celebrates Black History in New Orleans | Design*Droits-Humains
16/16

“What I love most about my home is that is captures the spirit of New Orleans.”  — KV

SOURCE LIST

Kitchen
Bar – custom-made by Kitchen table – custom-made by
Bar Stools – (purchased in chrome and then spray painted gold)
Dining Chairs – Cabinet Hardware – (no longer available)
Kitchen lighting – 
Shelving –  custom-made by

Entryway
Bench – World Market (no longer available)
Piano- eBay
Fireplaces –

Living Room
Rug – Rugs USA (no longer available)
Coffee Table – Target (no longer available)
Sofa – Anthropologie (no longer available)
Yellow Chairs – eBay
Artwork – KV’s private collection
Chandeliers –   (no longer available)

Downstairs Bathroom
Sink –
Faucet – eBay
Tile – 

Upstairs Bathroom
Marble sink – eBay
Counter –  custom-made Tile – eBay
Faucet -eBay

Guest Bedroom
Bed – Art – KV’s private collection
Bedding – H&M home (no longer available)

Suggested For You

Comments

Leave a Reply

Design*Droits-Humains reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.

x