Shawn Henderson Interior Design

Blurred lines in New Orleans

All photos by Stephen Kent Johnson

Cacophonous. Jovial. Tasty. New Orleans is all these things, and designer Shawn Henderson intended this project in the city’s French Quarter to be the same. “I wanted it to feel exciting and visually stimulating — yet extremely comfortable,” says the New York–based designer. He instilled both qualities in the 19th-century house’s spacious dining room, where he created a pair of corner lounge areas using custom banquettes, barrel-back chairs in the style of Edward Wormley and mirror-top café tables from Soane Britain. At the opposite end of the room, framed by provocative contemporary art (including Elmgreen & Dragset’s 2016 two-piece sculpture For Today I Am a Child), are a Louis XVI–style table and chairs, the height of dining comfort. Henderson knows how to play it both edgy and smooth. Which is very New Orleans. “The natural tendency would be to do something a bit safer and more traditional,” he admits. “I think what I created blurs the line a bit.”

“Every home should evince a balance of comfort and beauty.”
— Shawn Henderson

Designer Picks

Maison Jansen Dining Table, 1960s, Offered by Vintage Modern & Design
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Maison Jansen Dining Table, 1960s, Offered by Vintage Modern & Design

“I adore this piece because it is unique, and the craftsmanship is perfection. Maison Jansen is one of my favorite designers.”

Louis XVI–Style Dining Chairs, New, Offered by Antiques on Old Plank Road
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Louis XVI–Style Dining Chairs, New, Offered by Antiques on Old Plank Road

“We used these chairs in this New Orleans project. I just love the proportions of them so much.”

Art Deco Sofa, 1930s, Offered by MORENTZ
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Art Deco Sofa, 1930s, Offered by MORENTZ

“This sofa is spectacular. It has such personality!”

Maison Baguès Floor Lamps, 1950s, Offered by Thomas Brillet Inc.
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Maison Baguès Floor Lamps, 1950s, Offered by Thomas Brillet Inc.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of these Maison Baguès floor lamps. They are a classic design and can go in almost any interior.”

Maison Charles Table Lamp, 1950s, Offered by Augustus Brandt Antiques
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Maison Charles Table Lamp, 1950s, Offered by Augustus Brandt Antiques

“Both the detailing and combination of metals on this lamp are stunning.”

André Sornay Armchairs, ca. 1935, Offered by Bernd Goeckler Antiques
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André Sornay Armchairs, ca. 1935, Offered by Bernd Goeckler Antiques

“These chairs are incredibly architectural in form. They’d make great sculptural additions to a space.”

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