Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Rebuild After Katrina

There is a beautiful story of a New Orleans couple who had lost their home after Katrina hit New Orleans today in the Home section of the New York Times. Ms. Genitetta has a true gift for being one of the most chic frugalistas I've ever seen. She and her husband had to completely start over after the hurricane hit, and with not so much money but that savvy sense of style, they were able to build a home from scratch that reflects the long history of New Orleans. It is perhaps one of the hardest things to do, build new and look old, especially when you're going for that worn shabby cottage look, but with thrift store finds and unmatched DIY skills, their home looks as if it has been lived in for decades.

Take a look:

the mirror above was from a dollar store. It was rescued from the muck of the storm and now has a beautiful patina. She calls it her "Katrina Patina".

She built this headboard for $250!

This chest was an ugly brown she painted in her favorite Ralph Lauren Tudric Pewter. The chair frame was also painted but she left the upholstery stating there is so much beauty in the imperfection of it. 

This chair was under $50 at a thrift and was recovered in white fabric. The art on the wall is a painted piece of drop cloth from Lowes by Ms. G. 

“Happiness is not a big house,” Ms. Gentinetta said. “It's being in each other's way. That's what brings memories.

My Gosh look what you can do with enough drive to make a house a home, and a killer sense of style helps :) 

Original Story by Joyce Wadler
Photos by Sara Essex Bradley


  1. Lovely pictures and look. She really has a nice sense of style. And I love the look of the place. Both my sons and daughter-in-law spent about 2 years in New Orleans helping with disaster relier after Katrina. The oldest and his wife stayed afterwards. Nice to see parts of it getting back together, like this home.

  2. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. What a great story!

  3. wow what a great story, so moving and inspiring to see how things can really turn around for the better.

  4. A gorgeous home....and in that regard, size never matters. It's all in what you do with the space.

    This home, you can tell, has a soul and lots of heart!
    xo Elizabeth

  5. Totally agree - what a charming home oozing with style and love the quote. Will have to remind my husband about that! :-)

  6. Hi Liz, thanks so much for visiting my little blog, I am a big fan of Shorely Chic (and Jack!) :)

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story. Their rebuilt home looks wonderful and everything that a home sould be, bursting with character and soul!

  7. WOW! i love it! my cousin went to nola over spring break to rebuild!