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Designing Black Women: Blair Price of New Orleans’ Petit Atelier

Designing Black Women: Blair Price of New Orleans’ Petit Atelier

Born and raised in New Orleans, Blair Price of Petit Atelier has always been moved by history, tradition, and culture. She has fond memories of antique shopping on Magazine Street with her mother and running through the grand, old vignettes of Hurwitz Mintz on Royal Street with her father.

After graduating from Loyola University, Blair took on many roles to cultivate her skills and inspiration in interiors, from painting decorative finishes on chandeliers to becoming a design consultant for a large, American-made furniture brand. She honed her skills and creative passion into her own design atelier in 2019. 

Her travels through France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Cuba are a constant inspiration for her. Simultaneously, she encourages a mix of color, tone, and texture to create timeless, personalized interiors for her clients.

Blair Price
Photography Cherie McCabe

1. How has living in New Orleans inspired your design work?

The New Orleans of my childhood, especially before Hurricane Katrina, was a place of inspiration in every corner. The broken brick pavement, the remnants of clotheslines in tiny backyards, and Mirliton vines growing on chain-linked fences are some of the most vivid memories of my childhood. These images may not sound especially interesting to most and may not be what many people would consider their visual of New Orleans. Yet, I draw my creative energy from the smaller, hidden elements that make New Orleans so special. This city is both grand and humble. I think the very fabric of this city came from such a rich, decadent culture. There is something about growing up within old, plaster walls and creaking hardwood floors, looking through the undulating glass of ancient windows. Being born in a city that was essentially untouched for so long, creates a very unique lens through which to view the world, and continues to inform my aesthetic today.

Design and Photography by Blair Price

2. What is a must-have Southern-style element to have in your home?

 Before finding my current apartment, I told friends and family that I wouldn’t settle for a place without tall ceilings, old windows, and a mantle. In a city like New Orleans, I am lucky to be surrounded by homes that incorporate these beautiful elements. My next must-haves would be thoughtfully placed curtains and chandeliers, as well as antique elements. There is something so uniquely Southern about having an heirloom piece. If it’s not my family’s heirloom, I have no problem adopting someone else’s. I have always had curtains that feel generous and graze the floor. I have some version of a chandelier in every room, including the kitchen and the bathroom. I have hung chandeliers and curtains since my dorm room days. 

Design and Photography by Blair Price

3. Can you share how you incorporate culture into your home?

The pieces I have incorporated into my home represent a mix of the styles that I love, with a foundation of old, Creole staples. A four-poster bed with embellished linens, cast iron cookware, and a rosary hanging off the side of a vanity mirror are all details drawn from my grandmother’s home and her own childhood in St. John the Baptist Parish (think Queen Sugar). I grew up surrounded by broken Creole and filled in the gaps by learning French in school. It was between this mix of languages and cultures that I developed a love for French antiques and Afro-Caribbean style. Upon my first visit to Havana, I noticed so many cultural parallels. There was a timeless decadence, a mix of indigenous, colonial, and African cultures. This fusion resulted in an eclectic sense of decorating with old, perfectly imperfect pieces, mixed and matched with confidence and bold color. In my own bedroom, I have a pair of French chairs that I repainted to look much older than they are. I covered them with a fabric that has a nod to Central African Kuba cloth, fabric that is produced in parts of Africa that became predominantly French-speaking with Imperialism. These regions have since been fighting to rebuild from the destabilizing effects of colonialism while highlighting their own cultural identity. New Orleans and Creole culture have experienced their share of forced assimilation, as well as irreparable damage as a result. Essentially, in my home, I try to create a commentary on all of these experiences. I want people to experience my voice through my home, and for me, the biggest part of that is referencing and celebrating my past. 

Design by Blair Price Photography by Cherie McCabe

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