Inside the home of Faulkner House Books owner, Joe DeSalvo
In the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans, right next to the famous St. Louis Cathedral, is Pirate's Alley. Number 624 was once the home of William Faulkner, who lived and worked there, starting in 1925. For the last fifteen years, it has been Faulkner House Books, and just upstairs, the home of its owners, Joe DeSalvo and his wife Rosemary James (see previous post) It used to be that merchants always lived above their businesses, but it is more unusual these days. I've always been partial to this arrangement as I was born right above the shop my mother and father owned in England.
Rosemary, a respected journalist, co-founder of the
Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society and co-owner of the store, is also a very highly regarded interior designer. I knew that she had made their home especially beautiful, and I have always been curious to see inside. Recently, after paying my sales call on Joe, I was honored to be invited upstairs (okay, I asked) to see the living areas. What I found was an amazing example of New Orleans style and design. Rosemary has made the former home of William Faulkner a showcase for elegance and grace. Here are some examples:
A beautiful 19th century English lincrusta screen on one wall of the main living room.
Here's the opposite wall.
And Joe being very patient with me as I take my pictures.
An exquisite early 20th-century Southern landscape.
An Indonesian wooden puppet stands above one of the room's two mantelpieces.
The soft colors transition so beautifully from room to room.
Joe shares his cherished 1st edition Samuel Johnson with me, printed in the 1700's.
A group of temple pieces from Indonesia, from one of Joe and Rosemary's trips abroad, adorn a shelf. Rosemary tells me articles like this are often sold off to finance the building of new temples.
A golden dragon, a gift from dear friends.
Here are two views from the balcony that sits directly above the store entrance.
The courtyard of the cathedral took a severe beating during Katrina and sadly lost some of its gorgeous oak trees. The statue of Jesus (center) survived but lost two fingers, supposedly as He flicked the storm away from the city.
Joe enjoying the view, with one of the spires of St. Louis Cathedral in the background.
Looking out toward the balcony.
The stairway to the 3rd floor.
This view is looking down from the first floor landing to Joe's office.
The decision maker's desk.
Finally, looking up to the 1st and 2nd floors.
This is Criolla, who viciously guards the stairs to the living quarters from customers and nosy publisher's representatives.
Thanks Joe and Rosemary, for your kindness and hospitality.
Comments on this or any of my posts are always very welcome.