Long time PRC and Holiday Home Tour patrons may recognize this striking masonry mansion, but inspired updates make 1136 Second Street’s encore appearance on the Holiday Home Tour fresh and exciting. Now empty nesters, Susu and Andrew Stall have updated several rooms of the circa-1879 mansion, originally designed by notable architect William Fitzner for Dr. and Mrs. John Carter. In addition to the complete renovation the family undertook when they first purchased the home in 2005, just before hurricane Katrina, they’ve enjoyed working with designers Susan Boyd and Trudy Hurley on subsequent updates.
A striking theme throughout the Stall’s home is their impressive and growing collection of Southern art, which includes pieces across genres and mediums. The Stalls own a large Nicole Charbonnet, which Susu personally cherishes, since she and Charbonnet have known each other since grammar school. While Susu has certainly contributed significantly to the collection — her eye for unique and beautiful things currently in use at her eponymous Magazine Street boutique, Sosusu — she credits Andrew with the knack for identifying talented emerging artists.
Notably veering from the home’s neutral palette, a sitting room features rich textiles, with walls and linen curtains in cool blue-grey and a sofa, plum velvet, which perfectly highlights a striking abstract piece by Mike Williams. This inviting room leads to the stairwell, which features a large and exquisitely installed sculpture by noted local artist Bradley Sabin.
From there guests will enjoy studying what has become the centerpiece of this already impressive collection: the family portrait recently completed by tour de force New Orleans painter Ashley Longshore, which features all six members of the Stall family, plus many of their talisman and favorite things. Vogue magazine and Justerinian & Brooks scotch are just two of the favorite items painted in beautiful bold pop colors. The playful piece is significant both in size and subject, and while situated in the rose-hued breakfast room at the back of the house, it can be glimpsed as soon as one enters through the front doors, inviting guests into a beautiful and upbeat home.
The placement of the family portrait is no coincidence: with such a personal subject matter, it makes sense that it should live in the heart of the home — the kitchen. Longshore consulted on the installation, and visited the home several times throughout the process. While her influence and inspiration comes from the individuals more so than the house itself, Longshore feels that the home is the “perfect landscape for art,” reflecting the family’s “fabulousness and sophistication” while staying “warm, fun loving, and down to earth.”
“Everywhere you look there’s something beautiful,” noted Longshore. This extends to the gorgeous, zen side yard. With beautiful landscaping courtesy of Landscape Images, a relaxing veranda, tranquil pool and charming guest house, one couldn’t be blamed for lingering. And much like the interior of the home, the yard contains a few unexpected surprises. What looks like a perfectly manicured little nook, for example, turns out to be a putting green for the family golf enthusiasts. Charm, attention to detail and deeply personal touches are what make this home and family such a treasure. “This city — no, the world — need more people like Susu and the Stalls,” Longshore said, “and you can quote me on that.”
See this home and six other stunning Garden District homes at the PRC’s Holiday Home Tour on Dec. 9 & 10. Click here to purchase your tickets today!
Photo Gallery (click images to expand)
Photos by Sarah Essex Bradley