Refined interiors and artwork fill this renovated Italianate-style home in the Garden District

Tour this and six other stunning private homes in the historic Garden District at PRC’s 47th annual Holiday Home Tour presented by McEnery Residential on December 10 & 11.
Click here for tickets and more tour details.

While walking to a nearby grocery store one afternoon, Catherine Makk passed a real estate sign for 3311 Coliseum St., one of three side hall homes in a row on the block.

Just four houses away from her then residence at 1434 Toledano St., Makk had always been curious about the interiors of these Coliseum Street homes. She put her grocery list aside and took advantage of the in-progress open house.

“I had such a good feeling about this house. I was not even thinking about looking. But I made an offer, and it was accepted,” she said.

With box columns, arched windows and a decorative entablature with dentils and paired brackets, the early Italianate-style side hall was built circa 1870 on one of the three lots purchased in 1868 by Thomas Pickles. (He also built 3303 Coliseum St., which, too, is on the PRC’s 2022 Holiday Home Tour.) For many years, 3311 Coliseum was the property of Algernon Badger, who bought it in 1879 from George Baldy. Prominent public health activist Dr. Joseph Holt later owned it, according to New Orleans Architecture: Jefferson City, published by The Friends of the Cabildo.

Makk was immediately charmed by the 13-foot ceilings with the original plaster moldings, featuring shell and swag details, as well as the original marble fireplaces and gray-and-white marble checkerboard kitchen floor. But what really sold her was the house’s size. There are ample living spaces but just two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, the perfect space for herself and her now 13-year-old daughter, Hannah.

Photos by Liz Jurey

With the house purchase finalized in March 2020, Makk hired Marlon Chiuz, owner of the contracting company Toolpusher, to undertake the extensive renovation. The project received the Garden District Association’s Renovation of the Year award in 2022.

“My other house was a makeover (it was featured on the PRC’s 2017 Holiday Home Tour); this house was a full-body facelift,” Makk said of projects that included leveling the foundation, rebuilding the columns and porch, recladding the house, replacing the roof and electrical wiring, gutting the kitchen and bathrooms, installing a pool and more.

“With all that fixed, I looked at the house and thought, ‘What do I want this to be?’ I really wanted the house to feel like it was curated by me,” said Makk, who turned to designer Calhoun Sumrall for Katie Koch Home to collaborate with her on the interiors. “They helped me refine my vision,” Makk said.

Her refined rooms feature modern mixes of mid-century and antique furniture and items from her travels. Complementing it all is her contemporary collection of photographs, paintings and mixed media pieces that are either by women artists or depict images of powerful women. The collection represents the importance of women’s rights to Makk, who attended Tulane University’s Newcomb College and served on the Director’s Advisory Council as it became The Newcomb Institute.

Amongst the artworks is a mixed-media piece by New Orleans artist Raine Bedsole. Made with aeronautical maps, it hangs prominently in the den, along with a Stilnovo sputnik chandelier. It creates an interesting juxtaposition with the room’s acanthus leaf plaster medallion and burgundy marble fireplace.

A Gelatin silver print by photographer Mark Steinmetz was the starting point for the living room. It hangs above the custom-made curved sofa, a favorite resting spot for Sully, the family’s cat. The dining room — Makk’s favorite space in the home — serves as the hub for parties, as well as her office and library. She covered the walls, ceiling and built-ins in Farrow and Ball’s Sulking Room Pink and added chartreuse velvet to the shelf backs. The combination of Pierre Frey fabric window treatments, 1960s Italian sconces, chinoiserie artwork, a leopard-print Stark rug, the Art Deco-inspired fireplace tile and other layers of décor “make me really happy,” Makk said.

“I don’t think any house should ever be a museum. Houses are for dogs, cats and kids, and friends and family,” she said. “And it all came together there.”


Image gallery
Photos by Liz Jurey. Click to expand images.


PRC’s 47th annual Holiday Home Tour presented by McEnery Residential
Dec. 10 & 11  •  $40-45 advance sale, $50 day of tour
Tour the interiors and grounds of six stunning private homes and one bonus property all dressed up for the holidays in the historic Garden District.
Learn more & buy your tickets today!