In a city known for turning anything and everything into a celebration, the return of events is exhilarating to say the least. Galerie de Galatoire, the newest addition to the Galatoire's family, welcomes weddings, fundraisers, and other festivities to its dreamy Royal Street event space transformed by New Orleans designers Eugenie Gibbens and Sweet Dupuy of Gibbens Dupuy Decoration.
"Galerie de Galatoire is our most rewarding commercial project to date," they shared. The two became involved in the Spring of 2019 and dedicated two years to the masterpiece. Eugenie and Sweet referenced several books about Italy and France (their biggest muses) during the process including Fausto & Felice Niccolini. The Houses and Monuments of Pompeii, and plaster pieces from other New Orleans buildings served as inspiration. Overall, they wanted the venue to emit sprezzatura, an Italian term meaning a certain joyous nonchalance masking extensive and intricate effort.
Noting the Crescent City's French and Italian heritages, Eugenie and Sweet created a romantic and nuanced European interior replete with layers of exquisite details by local master craftsmen. "We have had the pleasure of working with nearly all of the craftsmen before, and we have admired their work tremendously in the past. It was such a privilege to collaborate with all of them jointly on this iconic French Quarter project!"
Before entering Galerie de Galatoire, guests will be greeted by a crest created by the designers, featuring a palm tree and lattice detailing, a nod to the handcrafted treasures inside. Yvette Rutledge and Vince Mitchell of Mystic Blue Signs hand applied it to the front door with reverse glass water gilding. Brandon Wilkins Studio draped 400 yards of Scalamandré striped ticking in the entry stairwell. Its color was sourced from a historic paint color discovered on the interior walls under many layers of peeling paint.
After ascending to the second story, visitors will come upon the crisp and utterly chic venue which can host multiple events at once (the spacious room can be separated by floor to ceiling doors that are on a pivot hinge). Large windows face the storied Hotel Monteleone, offering a canary's point of view, and natural light, even on a stormy day, is bountiful. The space is further illuminated by oak leaf sconces and chandeliers. Inspired by Pavillon Frais at Versailles, intricate trellised walls by Gus Hartdegen & Sons Architectural Millwork are found inside and continue onto the walls of the private rear terrace.
Just outside the ballroom sits the wine room with an extensive cellar and custom chef's gallery, complete with an artisanal terrazzo floor by Terrazzo Masters with an intricate Greek key border and inset banding. Influenced by the distinctive fronds on Canal Street, custom handcrafted plaster palm trees appear on the deep terracotta walls. Each was created by Jeff Porée Plastering, a fifth-generation plasterer, and sculpted by in-house artists Christopher Caravella Jones and Edy Ramos. Another local artist, Kaki Foley of Tattered Design Atelièr, applied faux marble detailing in the room and painted inset paneling. The craftsmanship continues even in the restrooms where Stafford Tile & Stone sourced hand molded "koi" fish scale tiles. The color palette — subtle taupes and pinks — was derived directly from brick dust found on-site during the renovation.
Sprezzatura was indeed achieved with the expertise and skill of remarkable New Orleans talent. As Eugenie and Sweet so perfectly explain, "Galerie de Galatoire is a symphony and celebration of these local master craftsmen."
This article appeared in the May 2021 Issue of Adore Magazine.