French Quarter Kitchen Makeover

Designer Candice Olson designs a French Quarter-style kitchen for a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe lighting, appliances and accessories give the new-look kitchen an Old World feel.
In the kitchen, I chose a light, neutral color for the walls, soft linen curtains for window treatments and some wide plank maple flooring. This neutral color palette allowed me to play up the room's details, including rich soapstone countertops and backsplash, funky throw pillows in stripes and geometrics, and a variety of antique-inspired accessories.

I then installed the appliances: a state-of-the art stove, microwave, dishwasher, single bowl sink and — the crowning glory — a fridge and freezer that looks like they are built right into the cabinetry.

However, the most unusual and unique feature in this room is definitely the lighting. I commissioned a famous artist in New Orleans to create something very special for Cara and Anthony. He designed a stunning chandelier with an antique feeling to hang over the peninsula, and two gorgeous sconces for over the fireplace, all of which are handmade with burnished metal.

For the finishing touches, I added several eclectic pieces designed to rekindle fond memories of New Orleans: candles, photos of the kids at Mardi Gras — and even a statue, courtesy of the lighting artist, made from the debris of Hurricane Katrina.

By tearing everything down and filling it all back up with fabulous appliances, cabinets and accessories, the family got a brand new kitchen with an old world feel. Soon it will be jambalaya, gumbo and crawdads for all! How divine!

(Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of Home & Garden Television's Divine Design. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.)