When Fran and Jeff Lorio fell in love with a Victorian gem in Uptown New Orleans, they turned to designer Penny Francis to create their daughter Vivian's new room. Penny worked with the Lorios on their previous home, so she knew just what should make the move from the nursery to the new bedroom and how to introduce design elements that would mature and grow with Vivian in the years ahead. The goal was that she loves the bedroom no matter her age, and the result is enchanting and elegant décor that strikes the perfect balance of whimsy and sophistication mixed with sentimental treasures that will certainly go the distance.
"We knew we wanted a canopy bed, so we made that the starting point for the design," Penny explains. "This custom-made piece is fully upholstered, including the rails, in a high-performance ivory fabric." I love how the bed anchors the space with its dreamy scalloped detailing. And for a definitive statement of whimsical charm, Penny chose an Anna French wallpaper with ethereal vines embellished with subtle metallic flourishes. This creates a perfect envelope for the rest of the feminine color scheme — pale grey, blush, and sage. Three sentimental pieces of furniture transitioned from the nursery: an intricately carved dresser, a rocker/glider recovered in a striped velvet that incorporates all the room's hues, and a vintage chest with mirror that once lived in Fran's childhood bedroom. Sporting a fresh coat of paint — custom mixed to work with the new palette — and a simple change of hardware, Fran's family heirloom looks quite swell in Vivian's new digs.
Penny is known for deftly mixing patterns, textures, and finishes to achieve a layered and timeless look. A large scale floral for bedding, a tone on tone wool rug, an antique bench, and a contemporary lighting fixture all work together for a collected look that Vivian can tweak and update as her taste evolves. And one thing that she is sure to cherish forever is the shadow box of her baby Muses shoes that Fran bedazzled each year before her ride in the iconic parade. Afterall, it's the personal touches that create the memories that become treasured family traditions.
This article was featured in the August 2021 Issue of Adore Magazine.