Masterly Metamorphosis

Photography by Sara Essex Bradley

It’s about a shoemaker sometimes having no shoes.  One day our own interior designer, Nathan Drewes, took a hard look at the guest suite in the dependency of his hundred-sixty-year-old house.  What he saw made him aesthetically tank.  While there may have been a few pieces of beloved family furniture, everything else looked dowdy, dusty, even drab.  Tout suite he went right to the cobbler’s bench to reimagine the rooms.


Clearly a few random patches weren’t going to be enough.  The space needed total transformation.  He realized a slick minimalist look would never work in those old rooms or make sense with the rest of the house.  To be honest, it really didn’t reflect his taste anyway.  Nathan happened to have a budding neo-classical collection, begun while still in college.  For some time he had been itching to reassemble it in an appropriate setting.  Despite being a millennial, his instincts led him to evoke a reverie of a luxury-loving 19th century New Orleans gentleman. Inspired by strong palettes of the past and textured interiors, he salvaged curtains and carpets from a former apartment in Lyon, found a local artisan to frame a batch of early 19th century engravings, selected rich feeling fabrics, and splurged on interesting lighting.


The results are anything but drab.  With rooms that conjure a shaded feeling against the intrusive tropic sun, the effect is dense with polished woods, lush with fabrics.  One is enveloped in shadows and dreams.