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Arts & Culture

New Orleans House Tours: Beauty Behind Closed Doors

A historic home along St. Charles Avenue (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Spring time heralds a tradition here in New Orleans in the form of the house tour. Several organizations that provide incredible support for the community of New Orleans raise money by getting its proud citizens to open their homes to total strangers (well they might know a neighbor or two).

A historic home along St. Charles Avenue (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Visitors and locals alike love these tours, and it’s a fun and entertaining way to contribute to the well being of New Orleans. The different tours feature homes in different locations with a wide variety of architectural and interior design styles. Depending on the tour, you might be able to see an incredible art collection in a beautifully appointed “castle” on St. Charles Avenue or an artistic decor in a shotgun house in the Irish Channel. Each home owner has one thing in common: they love living in New Orleans and want to share their enthusiasm with anyone who crosses their threshold.

The house tours are fun because for the most part they are unguided. You go to the designated tour headquarters and pick up your tickets and get any information you need, (or if you have already purchased tickets you still check in for info), and get a list of addresses. Then you are off on your own walking tour.

This weekend, a time when New Orleans usually has its finest weather, two great house tours are happening.

The New Orleans Museum of Art (Photo: Kelsey Campion)

The New Orleans Museum of Art is holding the Home and Art Tour, on Saturday April 16 from 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM. Like many tours that resurfaced this year, the Home and Art Tour returns after a post Katrina hiatus. It is a unique opportunity to take a peek inside beautifully decorated houses.

The Junior League of New Orleans hosts a local favorite: their annual JLNO Kitchen Tour on Saturday April 16 from 10:00AM – 4:00 PM.  So many of us are embarking on home renovations and upgrades these days, and the kitchen tour offers tons of great ideas and inspiration to get you going, or keep you going if you have already started your project.

There is no better way to get to know New Orleans than being invited into a private home, and this weekend the doors are wide open. So grab your walking shoes, and spend an afternoon exploring the city on a house tour!

Until next time, I remain the Visual Vamp sharing my love for New Orleans with you.

Valorie Hart is an interior decorator, stylist, and event designer. She lives in the Irish Channel just off Magazine Street where she loves to walk and shop. She relocated to New Orleans from New York in the year 2000, and is affectionately known as a New New. She writes the popular blog Visual Vamp.

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