Meet + Greet: Jennifer Kelly
New Orleans’ most in-demand interior designer.
“I can’t wait for you to see it!” she exclaimed. Anxious devotees have been patiently awaiting the opening of Le Petite Theatre and Dickie Brennan’s Tableau, but perhaps none so more than interior designer Jennifer Kelly, who has been creating (and recreating) the space for the new restaurant over the past two years.
Born in Destin, Florida, Kelly always dreamed of renovating her childhood home, a rambling Tudor she shared with five siblings. Pursuing this dream, she attended Louisiana State University and earned her bachelor’s degree in interior design. Fresh out of college, she found herself working for Wolfgang Puck with design firm Cooper Carry in Atlanta. Although Kelly’s work has taken her all over the country, from Los Angeles, California to Miramar, Florida, she always found herself drawn back to the city of New Orleans and claims that now “I’m here to stay.”
Both locals and tourists in New Orleans should be familiar with some of Kelly’s past designs in the city, spaces like the Crescent City Brewhouse on Decatur Street; Atchafalaya Restaurant on Louisiana Avenue; Marcel Wisznia’s recent renovation, The Maritime; the Rice Mill Lofts and most recently, Cafe Soule on St. Louis Street. Though Kelly’s focus has been on restaurants, she has worked on private residences as well, including the major renovation of a 5,000-square foot Creole townhouse on Esplanade Avenue.
It is precisely her respect for culture and classic architecture that landed her the job of creating the look and feel of Tableau at the Le Petite Theatre. “I’m very eclectic, but I also appreciate and respect tradition,” she explained. Though while designing the interior of Tableau, she did include modern fixtures like lighting from Bevolo, she also added other lamps acquired after scouring antique shops all over the city. Kelly employed influences from Spanish Colonial architecture, like details from the Presbytère, located just steps away, and went all the way overseas to find the perfect tile from an old Spanish monastery.
To learn more about Jennifer Kelly or to contact her, visit www.designlabnola.com or email her at [email protected].