I have had a design crush on Valorie Hart for years now. I first discovered her beautiful home and super chic design aesthetic when I was on a Shotgun Home Tour hosted by the Preservation Recourse Center a few years ago. Ever since, Valorie and I have digitally followed each other and I was thrilled to find out that 1. she’d written an amazing new book and 2. she would let me come back in her home to explore how to holiday decorate with taste and style.
Valorie lives in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans and as a New-York-by-way-of-San-Francisco transplant in the early 2000s, she stands by the motto “If New Orleans wants you, it’s easy for you to be here.” When she and partner Alberto first visited in 1999 for a tango workshop, they immediately fell in love with the city and moved here shortly thereafter. Hurricane Katrina was a slight disruption, but there’s something about those of us who chose to come back after the storm that seems to be an unspoken bond. The idea that if you came back after that tragedy, you really want to be here.
Valorie had an event production and design company in New York (her birthplace) and returned to home decorating over a decade ago, and I for one am ecstatic that she did. I was excited to get into her home and share this series during something as magical and sparkly as the New Orleans holiday season. I feel as though people can get really intimidated by holiday decorating and I wanted to decode the process by talking to a pro. “I decorate like a decorator! I use color, not necessarily Christmas colors, but I like to tie in the [or a] color of a room. I also like to run a similar thing or theme from room to room to keep it cohesive, but not necessarily ‘matchy matchy’.”
Valorie is a very friendly, very talkative woman and is not afraid to admit that blogging has changed her. When asked how her design aesthetic has changed from 20 years ago, Valorie says “I’m more educated about interior design. Blogging has changed me and informed me about things. I like to really understand the homeowner and tap into their lifestyle and taste and try to create spectacular rooms that tell a story.”
Valorie’s favorite local restaurants are Coquette for white linen service, Commander’s, Antoine’s, and Galatoire’s for old New Orleans standards, and Joey K’s for a low-key, convenient neighborhood experience.
KGB: What is your secret superpower?
VH: Loving what I do and loving life!
Valorie Hart will be signing copies of her amazing book “House Proud” at an event hosted by the Historic New Orleans Collection this Saturday, December 21 from 2-4 p.m. If you have any last-minute gifts to get, this book makes a great gift for anyone on your list!
All photos by Kate Grace Bauer