Friday, January 28, 2011

Creole Style

A 1830's portrait of a Creole Lady

The word Creole is like a noun it could be a person, place, or thing. Also the word Creole has evolved over the years. The term was first used on the Gulf Coast to refer to the first generation of French people who were born in the colony. The problem is the second generations and after that also called themselves Creoles. Later the term was also applied to those individuals of mixed heritage born on the Gulf Coast.

The word Creole became a big thing after the 1803 Louisiana purchase when Anglo-Saxons began to flood the French speaking area. Creole was applied to anything that was not Anglo-Saxon. Creole is a way of life.

Today we will look at Creole Style, decorative arts, decorating and some Creole architecture. Creole Style is very French and highly steeped in culture, history and tradition! The Creole style of decorating is a mixture of all of this that perfectly blinds together making a rich gumbo of a high end sophisticated style. One knows when one is in a Creole interior as it is like no other and very Old World. I have been lucky to visit public and private interiors and they have greatly influenced my decorating.

Creole entertaining and decorating go hand in hand. I have been to party's in New Orleans French Quarter with over a hundred guest and every one got a 19th century Old Paris porcelain plate for there food, A French fiddle and thread silver fork to eat there Jambalaya with and every guest received a hand embroidered 19th century French linen damask napkin! That's entertainment! All of my guest to my parlor sit on pre 1860 carved Rosewood furniture stuffed with Spanish Moss and horse hair. It's uncomfortable to some use to overstuffed modern stuff but I don't care. Being Creole is about talking about relatives that have passed on over 150 years ago as if you knew them personally. Creole rooms have many old portraits of ancestors in large gilt wood frames. If you have no ancestral portraits you can buy them at Antiques shops and make them instant ancestors. Enjoy the photo's

A Garconierre, a house for teenage Creole boys

A Creole Inlaid Figured Mahogany Armoire

A Creole room

A French Louis Philippe Card Table

A painting of a Creole House in New Orleans

A collection of Early 19th century Old Paris porcelain

A collection of Empire Old Paris porcelain baskets

A pair of Rosewood Rococo Revival side chairs

A pair of Pompadour pink cornucopia vases

A 18th century Creole House

A pair of French Opaline glass vases

A 18th century Creole parlor

A Creole Pigeonnier- A small pigeon house or dovecote

18th century Old World painting

A 1850's portrait of a boy in dress

Madame John's Legacy in New Orleans, Louisiana. Built in 1788, it is a prototypical example of Creole style.

A Classical Mint Julep table

A 1850's Rosewood sofa

A French Empire ormolu painting hanger

A Creole Salon

A pair of French Empire ormolu & crystal sweetmeat stands

18th century Creoles selling linens  

A 18th century Creole bedroom

A 18th century carved and painted home Alter

A portrait of Jesus

A mid 19th century Creole bedroom

A French Empire ormolu clock of a young boy taking a bath

A surprise homemade blackberry cobbler left on my night stand. I friend actually made this for me.

A guest bedroom in a friends home furnished with Creole antiques

A 18th century portrait of a beautiful Creole lady

A painting of All Saints day

Empire Classical bed post

A 18th century Creole Library

A colorful portrait of Napoleon

A Creole plum-pudding Mahogany Armoire

A set of Empire Old Paris porcelain plates painted in trompe l oeil Roman cameos 

A French Empire mahogany bergère

Going on a Creole picnic with 18th c Sèvres porcelain in a Nécessaire

A 18th century family portrait miniature on ivory in a gold, Royal blue enamel and diamond frame

A 18th century Creole plantation House

A 1840's gilt bronze and purple cut glass chandelier with central vase

A 18th century French enamel and diamond snuff box

A French portrait miniature of Napoleon

A pair of gilt classical mirrors

A 18th entury Creole dinning room

A set of Old Paris porcelain painted by French Creole John James Audubon

A French Empire ormolu clock of a Roman soldier

A bronze and gilt Blackamoor French clock

A 18th century French pastel in gilt frame

A pair of French Restauration ormolu bust of Louis XVIII & Charles X

A French gilt wood Louis XV console 

A ornate cast iron above ground tomb

A French nightstand that conceals a chamber pot & Bidet

A 18th century Creole bedroom


  1. How Wonderful. I can see what you have been doing, getting this post together. Richard at

  2. SO much to learn about Creole that I do not know... Love the sense of the places...really beautiful aesthetic.. thanks for sharing!

  3. I love that last bedroom. The French influence can't be denied but it's got a lovely charm of its own.

    Garçonnière in French is a place for bachelors. I'm not going to go into unpleasant details here... :-) but nowadays the word usually means a place to take your mistress to!

  4. Thanks Richard Cottrell & lostpastremembered this post has been a few months in the making! @ cieldequimper you are right about a Garçonnière being a bachelor pad. In the Antebellum South young men became sexually active around 13 or 14 years of age. Because of this they were removed from the main house into small homes on the property called Garçonnière so that the woman folk of the house could not see the comings and goings of theses males.

  5. I realize that this post was done in 2011, but I could really use your assistance.
    I recently acquired some of the pieces from the early 19th century old paris porcelain picture that you have in your 6th picture down from the top.
    Unfortunately, the larger more unique pieces were missing. My guess is that is was sold off to different buyers over time. Do you have the origin of that picture? My goal is to start working backwards to see if I can locate the rest of the pieces.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated!

  6. Sorry but I don't remember where I found the image.