Photos by Paul Costello.

Step inside the floral-filled and boldly patterned spaces created for last fall’s Ivy House designer showhouse

When Birmingham-based Flower magazine was looking for the perfect spot to place its latest designer showhouse, it wasn’t only the long stretches of live oaks or the gardens bursting with azaleas that drew them to Baton Rouge. In fact, Flower editor-in-chief Margot Shaw says she chose the Capital City because of its rich cultural roots. “I wanted it to be somewhere that was quintessentially Southern, and a town rather than a big city,” says Shaw, who has her own personal connection to south Louisiana now that her daughter lives in New Orleans.

Shaw says when she met Jewel and Vincent Centanni of Ivy Residential Concepts and they showed her the plans that they and architect Andy McDonald had drawn up for a new Georgian-style residence in Old Goodwood, she knew it would be the right setting to showcase a blend of traditional and forward-thinking interior design concepts. “They have been great collaborators,” she says of the Centannis. “This is a Southern house. It’s embracing the diverse cultural background of Baton Rouge, and I feel like it’s capturing the sense of place.”

When the house opened to the public last November, it was a visual feast from the flower-patterned walls to the real-life blossoms brought in by florists from Baton Rouge and New Orleans. “We wanted this to be like a laboratory where these designers could experiment and play,” Shaw says. “There are so many details here. That’s one of the things that I really love about it.”

But though the showhouse was only open for tours during that single month, the images of each space brought to vivid life by the participating designers are definitely worth a second—okay, maybe even a third—look.

Living Room

Ashley Gilbreath, Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design

Montgomery, Alabama

Baton Rouge native Ashley Gilbreath had the privilege of putting her own personal touches on one of the home’s largest spaces, the living room. She says she drew much of her inspiration from the home’s Regency-influenced architectural style. “It has very clean lines, very straight lines, but it’s still a historic style, so we kind of took a spin off of that,” Gilbreath says.

Her selection of a “traditional and impactful” Brunschwig & Fils wallcovering plays off tall crown moldings and a classic pediment above the fireplace. “We had some really impactful architectural details that we needed to soften,” she explains. “So we took the wallcoverings and the fabrics and made a really traditional shell and then kind of livened it up on the inside. It’s a bit more modern in the furnishings and light fixtures and color palette.”

The vibrant green hues in the wallcovering play off the natural environment outside the room’s tall windows. “I love a green, always,” Gilbreath says. “But when you have this setting opening up onto the courtyard that has all those same colors, it would almost be wrong not to use it. It just allows your eye to just seamlessly flow from here to outside.”

Gilbreath says her current hometown of Montgomery tends to be very traditional style-wise. “But Baton Rouge is a little bit more hip and fun,” she asserts. “So we had to pull in a bit more of a modern touch in here, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Adding to the hometown details in this space are an assortment of arrangements by AnnMarie Meyers of Hummingbird Floral Studio.


Ware Porter, Ware M. Porter & Co.

New Orleans

The creations of Baton Rouge native fashion designer Christopher John Rogers have been spotted on everyone from Lady Gaga to Michelle Obama, but thanks to his new line with Farrow & Ball, the walls of this high-ceilinged entryway are also wearing it well this season. The geometric design inspired Ware Porter to select other graphic details for the space, including a collection of bold paintings sourced from Ann Connelly Fine Art that rise all the way to the second-story landing.

But the room isn’t all modern or even all American; Porter also included an antique Louis XV-style commode and a French mirror from Fireside Antiques, as well as a midcentury modern lithograph by the late French artist Charles Lapicque. Underfoot, a wave-patterned rug plays off the walls’ straight lines. To complement the sleek color palette, florist Kim Starr Wise assembled an arrangement of orange ranunculi.

Kitchen, Breakfast Nook and Butler’s Pantry

Chad Graci, Graci Interiors

New Orleans

What’s sizzling in this kitchen? Everything, from the brown and white marble tile floor to the heavily veined marble countertops to the brass-accented L’Atelier Paris range. Chad Graci collaborated with Jewel and Vincent Centanni on selecting the surfaces and hardware for this space and the adjoining breakfast area and butler’s pantry, and he completed the stunning scene with unforgettable details including a Cynthia Knapp painting from Ann Connelly Fine Art and a vintage runner in rich hues. “The concept was light and dark,” Graci says. “And there was so much hardscaping that I knew I needed to do something soft and inviting to sort of counteract all of the glossy, glitzy surfaces.”

Graci chose a mahogany table for the corner breakfast nook and surrounded it with a leopard-print banquette topped with B. Viz Design pillows. The breakfast table is set with an arrangement of dahlias, zinnias and hydrangeas by Michelle West Design Studio, along with napkins and placemats from Leontine Linens. Overhead, this area’s finishing touch is a pagoda-style chandelier from Fireside Antiques. “I was looking, looking, looking for the right thing, and I didn’t want it to be a typical kitchen fixture with a big cloche or a shade or something,” Graci says. “I wanted it to be crystal, and this is what we ended up with—this gorgeous pagoda.”

In the adjacent butler’s pantry, Graci painted the walls a deep brown. He surrounded the oval window in this space with copper molds that once hung in his grandmother’s kitchen.

Dining Room

James Farmer, James Farmer Designs

Perry, Georgia

For those outside Georgia, James Farmer might be best known for his books, many of which feature a lushly landscaped homestead on the cover or provide hands-on advice on gardening. But Baton Rouge fans got to see Farmer’s colorful world come to blooming life inside this space, which he filled with pretty petals from framed botanical prints hanging on Lee Jofa’s “Tree of Life”-papered walls right down to the Spode “Indian Tree” china on the table and in an antique glass-front cabinet. Farmer packed nearly every square inch of the room with pattern, adding striped swag curtains and check-print chairs, and he even painted the gridded ceiling in a soft green shade (Farrow & Ball’s “Calke Green”) plucked straight from the garden.

For a visual break from all the pattern, Farmer chose warm antique pieces from Inessa Stewart’s Antiques and Fireside Antiques and paintings from Ann Connelly Fine Art. The floral final touches are several arrangements of fresh roses, tulips, hydrangeas and cone flowers by Dunn and Sonnier.


Laura Roland, Laura Roland Interiors

Baton Rouge

Laura Roland’s vision of bringing the outdoors in informed every detail inside this lush library on the second floor, from the green walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Lichen” to the 17th-century wool tapestry that serves as the room’s centerpiece. Roland filled the room with big and small pieces from her family’s Fireside Antiques. She added layers of interesting collections, including a gallery wall of small artworks from Ann Connelly Fine Art and pillows from B. Viz Design.

Against one wall, built-in shelving is dressed up with Sister Parish wallpaper and low-hanging café curtains in lieu of cabinet doors; on the marble countertop, Roland stocked bar supplies and snacks. Kim Starr Wise created the room’s floral arrangements, which feature poppies, Queen Anne’s lace, sweet peas and Canterbury bells.

Powder Room

Rachel Cannon, Rachel Cannon Limited

Baton Rouge

Local designer Rachel Cannon’s initial inspiration for this powder room and the adjoining mudroom and rear hallway was the drama-filled marble countertop. “In the picture, it looked like a garnet, and that kind of reminded me of rubies, which then reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor, so I wanted to do something super theatrical,” Cannon says. “Theater curtains are always made of velvet, so I decided to upholster the walls in velvet. And from there, it became all about the theater.”

Enter from stage left Cannon’s chosen details, including art deco-inspired light fixtures and sink hardware, along with a Venetian glass-inspired mirror created in collaboration with Ann Connelly Fine Art by adhering flowers by Louisiana artist James Vella to the glass. Below the floating vanity, planters packed with richly hued peonies, poppies and anemones were arranged by Dunn and Sonnier.

Even the ceiling here is dripping with gold leaf. “I don’t like to leave any surface untouched if I can help it,” Cannon says.

Primary Bedroom

Benjamin Johnston, Benjamin Johnston Design


Nature meets neutral in the primary bedroom, in which Benjamin Johnston took a tailored approach in an effort to balance the lush backyard views from a wall of tall windows. The room’s centerpiece is an Italian-inspired eight-poster bed from Johnston’s own furniture collection for Chaddock, and across the room he added his tall apothecary cabinet-inspired bar from the same line.

The fabrics and trims, too, are Johnston designs for S. Harris, and they draw on an eclectic range of inspirations from ancient Greece to midcentury modern style. A formal gallery wall features a collection of 12 black-and-white vintage photographs against a backdrop of metallic grasscloth and ribbon panels. AnnMarie Meyers of Hummingbird Floral Studio created the deep burgundy arrangements that sit on each bedside table.

Primary Bath and Dressing Room

Arianne Bellizaire, Arianne Bellizaire Interiors

Baton Rouge

Arianne Bellizaire’s vision for these two adjoining spaces takes visitors from an enchanted garden into a starry night. The experience starts in the primary bathroom, where Bellizaire drew inspiration from London’s Chelsea Flower Show as she plucked two blooming wallpapers from sponsor York Wallcoverings for the vestibule and the high-ceilinged bathroom itself.

“When I first walked into this space, I was blown away by the size and the amount of natural light,” Bellizaire says of the bathroom. “I wanted to create a canopy of flowers—something that was whimsical, with a little bit of fantasy—but I also wanted it to be relaxing and just feel really good to be in the space.” A framed glass mosaic tile window rests atop the vanity as a piece of art that doubles as a privacy screen against the window beyond. Elsewhere in the room, a bronze sculpture, antique rug and antique bench all came from Fireside Antiques. Fresh blooms throughout these two spaces were designed by AnneMarie Meyers of Hummingbird Floral Studio.

In the dressing room, Bellizaire shifted the palette to one that is moody and sophisticated. With a mural by local artist Connie Harris overhead, Bellizaire chose two complementary Farrow & Ball colors for the cabinets, and she installed a Farrow & Ball wallpaper created by Baton Rouge native fashion designer Christopher John Rogers inside open shelves and on one wall. Artist Mehera Blum of Blumera created a collection of handbags that serve as objets d’art on the shelves. “They really make this space come alive,” Bellizaire says. “When we put the handbags up, everything clicked.”


Kara Cox, Kara Cox Interiors

Greensboro, North Carolina

Kara Cox says she loves to put something old in every room she designs—no matter how young the client, as evidenced by this glam and girly nursery. Here, Cox placed a trio of B. Viz Design pillows featuring antique golden embroidery front and center atop a daybed that she crowned with a botanical fabric canopy. “I really started with that ‘Tree of Life’ fabric from Liberty London,” Cox says. “I took the color palette from that and played off it throughout the space.”

Cox repeated the Liberty fabric on window treatments and on the walls of the adjacent bathroom, and she placed a custom zigzag rug in the same shades underfoot. On the walls, she hung a collection of small and large artworks from New Orleans artists Ashton Shaw Despot and Alexis Walter, along with pieces from Ann Connelly Fine Art. And in keeping with the “something old” theme, an antique chest from Fireside Antiques is set against one wall.

Upstairs Bedroom 1 and En Suite Bath

Lisa Palmer, SummerHouse

Ridgeland and Oxford, Mississippi

Dainty floral elements abound in this bedroom suite that draws inspiration from the Gracie Studio wallpaper that envelops it. Lisa Palmer planned this space as one where tiny touches of beauty are hidden all around—on the embroidered headboard, on the delicate curtain trim, and within the commissioned Cathy Hegman painting that graces one wall. The firmly rooted focus extends beyond the corner room’s windows to the old live oak tree just beyond. Palmer also plucked the ruby hue in the lamps that flank the bed from nature; Pick-a-Petal Floral Design’s Emily Eberwine used the same color in her arrangements of clematis, cosmos, dahlias, roses and nandina. Across from the bed, Palmer placed a chest from Fireside Antiques.

In the adjoining bathroom, Jewel Centanni chose zellige tile to surround the shower and freestanding tub. Elsewhere in the room, Palmer painted surfaces in Farrow & Ball’s “Salon Drab” and hung a gallery wall using paintings and drawings from Ann Connelly Fine Art and Summerhouse.

Upstairs Bedroom 2 and Bath

Veronica Solomon, Casa Vilora Interiors


From flora to fauna, Veronica Solomon let her imagination take flight in this bedroom suite. Inspired by the butterfly-like inkspots on the Porter Teleo wallpaper, Solomon incorporated the colorful winged creatures into the room’s art, the Alexander McQueen rug, and even the furniture hardware. But she didn’t stop with butterflies; other living beings represented here include snakes on the gilded mirror and a crocodile motif on the four-poster bed. Atop a Currey & Company black dresser, AnnMarie Meyers of Hummingbird Floral Studio created a colorful arrangement inside a blue and white vessel.

The creature feature continues in the adjoining bathroom, where Solomon installed Fabricut wallpaper featuring snakes and insects. Bold stripes on the ceiling play off the herringbone-patterned floor below and are echoed by multimedia artworks that hang opposite the gilded mirror.

Media Room

Megan Molten, Megan Molten Interior Design Studio


A leafy wallpaper from Cole & Son makes for a moody backdrop for watching movies in this media room, but perhaps the biggest impact-maker is overhead, where 30-inch green and pink stripes bring the real drama. “We went for it, and I love it,” Megan Molten says. “I call it the jungle tent.”

The designer’s love of symmetry prompted her to place a pair of velvet sectionals and plump round ottomans in prime position for lounging in front of the TV. Above the sofas hang oversized Currey & Company rattan chandeliers that were so big that they had to be brought into the room through the windows. In keeping with the jungle vibe, Molten also added some wild touches including a porcupine-quill mirror and snake-detail side tables. A painting by Meredith Pardue sourced from Ann Connelly Fine Art completes the colorful scene, along with tropical floral arrangements by Emily Eberwine of Pick-a-Petal Floral Design.

Laundry Room

Amanda Smith Fowler,
Flower magazine style editor

Birmingham, Alabama

Wash day becomes a wow moment in this laundry room, which features a dramatic ribbon of pink tiles that extends from one end of the room to the ceiling to the other end. That rose-colored tile design, created by Jewel Centanni, served as inspiration for Amanda Smith Fowler’s design details, including a Liberty London floral fabric for the window shade. Just outside the room, Fowler placed an overscale floral wallpaper from Liberty London that gives the feeling of being immersed in a garden setting. AnnMarie Meyers of Hummingbird Floral Studio massed pink roses in a copper watering can and more flowers in the sink to complete the floral fantasy.

Front Courtyard

Susan Hable, Hable Construction, Athens, Georgia; and Amanda Smith Fowler, Flower magazine style editor,

Birmingham, Alabama

The tone for this floral-focused home is set before a visitor ever walks through the front door. A gracious brick-walled entry courtyard is set for sitting pretty, thanks to the vision of artist and entrepreneur Susan Hable. Hable placed her own line of outdoor furniture pieces for Hickory Chair here and in the backyard, creating cozy conversation spots in fabrics inspired by the natural environment. Amanda Smith Fowler devised the space design for each of these areas, incorporating plenty of plants from Clegg’s Nursery.

Covered Porch

Will Huff and Heather Dewberry, Huff-Dewberry


Classic Southern latticework provides the perfect backdrop for the covered porch located just off the kitchen. Will Huff and Heather Dewberry stocked this spot with luxe versions of rugged outdoor materials, including custom seating pieces fully upholstered with Scalamandré fabrics. “A lot of our clients, especially the guys, will ask, ‘Why do I have to sit on wicker or iron just because I’m outside?’” says Dewberry. “So we had these custom made in outdoor fabrics.”

Natural fibers also feature prominently in this al fresco environment, from fern-filled wicker urns to a two-toned textural light fixture and a woven mirror that hangs against the lattice wall. Even the coffee table, topped by an arrangement of tulips and tweedia by Dunn and Sonnier, mirrors the lattice’s woven texture.

But what about those days when the forecast calls for rain? Never fear; the leaf-motif curtains can be drawn tight around the entire area. “We really envision this as a true living space,” Dewberry says. “Here in Baton Rouge, you could use this year round.”