I have to start this post off with a little warning, prepare yourself for a lot of pictures. I actually took more than you’ll see in today’s post but I culled it down as far as my heart would let me.
Before we get started on the tour, I have some big news, at least it’s big news in my eyes. I recently abandoned Feedburner after many attempts to solve the mystery of why a number of BNOTP readers were not receiving email updates. After trying a few things I had read online, like changing the “from” address for the e-mail to a domain address, some folks had started receiving emails again. That was great…great until they mysteriously stopped once more! Grrrr!
There just seemed to be no rhyme or reason for why emails were not getting through to BNOTP subscribers. By the way, I want to thank those of you who regularly emailed me and left comments, keeping me abreast of this situation. If it weren’t for you, I would never know if emails were getting delivered or not…so thank you for that!
I’ve long thought about moving to a paid service because Feedburner is very limited. It offers no information regarding delivery rates, bounce rates, etc… I knew a paid service would certainly offer more features but the questions that kept me from making the move were 1. Which service to go with, there are so many to choose from and 2. Would it work–would all those folks signed up for email updates, actually start getting them. Since I wasn’t sure where the problem lay, I wasn’t sure if a paid service would be the answer.
I finally decided it was time to find out. After much angst and research, I chose a service. I made the switch on Monday of this week and sent out my first e-mail via the new service on Tuesday. I immediately started hearing from some happy readers who received the first post update they have gotten in ages. I’m hoping this move to a paid service is the solution to this ongoing issue with folks not receiving email updates.
One huge difference between using Feedburner to deliver email updates to readers and using a paid service is, Feedburner doesn’t worry or really care if your updates are arriving, they have bigger fish to fry. Afterall, it’s a free service and well, sometimes you do get what you pay for.
A paid service does care because if your emails are getting blocked at the servers and never arriving, chances are their other customers are having that problem, too. If that continued, they would be out of business. So the paid services invest a lot of time and effort to keep on the good side of companies like AT&T, AOL, Comcast, etc… They make a tremendous effort to ensure they are compliant with the email standards those companies require. And if some bad guy starts using their service to spam the world, they close their account immediately.
If you’ve previously signed up for email updates and are still not receiving them, email me at email@example.com and let me know. I can check to see if you are still signed up for updates and if you’re not, I can now sign you up, something I couldn’t do with Feedburner. You’ll still receive the “opt-in” email with a link that you’ll need to click to activate your subscription, so be sure and look for that in your mailbox.
For Email Updates:
If you’ve never signed up and would like to receive an email update when a new post is available here at BNOTP, you’ll find a sign up box at the end of each post, including this one. After you sign up, watch for the confirmation email in your Inbox. It will contain a link you’ll need to click to confirm your subscription. Oh, and in case you were wondering, email updates are totally free and your email will never be shared with anyone. Period.
So, that’s it. Hopefully this is the closure of a long-standing problem. Keeping my fingers crossed the email delivery issue is solved. Now, let’s get on with our tour!
Tour The French Quarter Home of General L. Kemper and Leila Williams
In early May, I spent a week in Louisiana and Mississippi touring beautiful historic homes with my friend, Linda. Almost all of those homes allowed photography, except for two. One home Linda and I toured was the home of General L. Kemper and Leila Williams, located at 712 Toulouse Street in the heart of the French Quarter.
The Williamses’ historic 1889, 2-story townhouse is actually hidden from street view. The Williamses called it the “Hidden House.” It’s tucked back behind the Merieult House (shown below) located at 533 Royal Street. There’s something kind of neat and romantic about living in a hidden home.
This is the other photo I shared in yesterday’s post showing the wonderful courtyard that’s hidden back behind Merieult House. Hard to believe, just over a month ago I was standing in this courtyard!
See the townhouse straight ahead–that’s the Williamses’ home. Further down in this post, you’ll get a view of the courtyard as if you were standing on the upstairs balcony where the Williamses would have stood when looking out into the courtyard.
General Kemper and Leila Williams lived here from 1946 to 1963 and gave their home a much-needed restoration/renovation in the 1940′s. This whole complex was in such bad shape back then, there was talk of tearing it down. The Williamses bought Merieult House too and preserved both it and their townhouse for future generations to enjoy. They realized the importance of preserving the French Quarter and were active philanthropists donating their time and money to preserver many building in the area. They also gave generously to other organizations and charities in the in the community.
Stepping into the Williamses’ home is like being transported to another era. It’s time-travel for real! The Williamses lived here from 1946-1963 and the home today is just as the Williamses left it. As mentioned yesterday, their home is the only French Quarter home that’s open to the public and still has all its original furnishings! It’s filled with antiques and objets d’art collected by the Williamses during their travels all over the world.
When the Williamses entertained, something they did frequently, their guests would first be brought into the drawing-room. I guess a drawing-room is what we call a formal living room. I think drawing-room sounds so much better. Who knows, maybe “formal” living rooms would not have fallen out of favor here as much if we had been calling them “drawing” rooms all this time. What do you think? Should we start a new trend?
Look at those French doors!!! I covet those gorgeous doors and the beautiful Palladian windows overhead. Covet, I tell you! Beautiful!
I shared the dining room yesterday for Tablescape Thursday. You can see a bit more of this room in that post here: A Formal Dinner Party In The French Quarter Before we leave the dining room, take a look at the seat of the dining room chairs. Such beautiful detail!
One thing I noticed about this home is it has a quiet elegance about it. At first it can seem a little plain or understated but when you look closer, there are so many beautiful, rich details. They are like hidden gems just waiting for the discerning eye to find them.
The kitchen blew me away! Really, touring this beautiful home is such an experience because it’s so beautifully preserved. How do you like the refrigerator. Bet it was state of the art in the 1950′s-60′s. This may have been one of the first ever side-by-side refrigerators.
I was in awe of all the cabinetry. I think this just might hold my dish collection!
How do you like the stove? It appears to have three ovens! I’m sure all three were needed, along with the 8 burners on top, when they were having dinner parties for twelve.
I goofed and resized this picture of their stove down without saving the original, so, unfortunately I can’t enlarge it to read the brand name. Doesn’t anyone recognize it?
This butler’s pantry was located right off of the kitchen. With all the entertaining the Williamses did, I bet this area saw frequent use.
Here’s just a small sample of some of the beautiful dishware they would have used for entertaining.
This platter rack was ahead of its time. I’ve seen these in today’s fancy kitchens, usually on the end of a large island but sometimes on a wall, too. This is definitely a DIY rack that could be added pretty easily to a kitchen today, if you have a need for something like this. It also makes for a beautiful display, a way to enjoy your favorite platters as art for your walls.
Loved this phone and its cute shelf! One ringy dingy, Two ringy dingy. (If that makes no sense, go HERE.)
What do you suppose that box is up above? I should have looked closer at it while on the tour. I think it was about this time the docent asked me why I was taking so many pictures. lol At one point she actually asked me if I was “casing the joint.” No kidding! See what I do for you!
Okay, are you ready to see my most favorite room in the entire home. I am in love with the next room!
The General’s library! Just look at this cozy, beautiful room! This is where the men would retire to smoke and talk “men stuff” after dinner when the Williamses entertained.
There’s the General himself, looking very dapper in uniform. The paneling in this room was really pretty in person.
This is more accurate of the color of the paneling. I loved seeing the fabrics they used throughout the home. They really hearken back to another time, although they would be lovely in any home today.
Here’s a better view of the sofa fabric. I wonder if this is an old Schumacher fabric…anyone recognize it? I love the colors!
We see it again here on the wingback chair. Isn’t it beautiful? There’s that wonderful old library ladder again.
A small desk in the library…
A beautiful bed in one of the bedrooms. If I’m remembering correctly, the Williamses had separate bedrooms, something that was pretty common back then.
An antique daybed…notice the beautiful chest against the wall. I worry about those antique side-tables sitting in the window. Seems like the sun would fade and dry them out, maybe even cracking the wood with time.
Gorgeous secretary! We saw so many beautiful antiques and porcelain pieces, many I’m sure collected on their trips abroad. Mrs. Williams also purchased many of the antiques in her home from local antique shops.
I was enamoured with the dressing area off of the bathroom. The walls were upholstered with fabric. Is this not exquisite?
A close-up of the fabric walls.
Another dressing area…have you ever seen lampshades like those? The shape reminds me of Napoleon Bonaparte’s hat.
This fabric was in another room with padded/upholstered walls. I think it was another bath…having trouble remembering now.
A close-up… Can you tell I was captivated by all the fabrics…just loved them!
When the Williamses entertained, after dinner the men would retire to the General’s library as mentioned earlier. The women would come here to the sitting room to relax and play games of pinochle or mahjong.
This room made me think of the great designers, Colefax and Fowler and Sister Parish. How does it feel to step back in time, to relive the days of yesteryear? I loved this room…a beautiful example of understated elegance.
If you have a long, narrow living room in your home, this room may give you some ideas for furniture placement.
A close-up of the fabric…
Things have changed a bit haven’t they? Notice the turntable underneath the radio.
One side says “Telev” and the other side says “Phono.” Have no idea what those meant but something tells me Pandora wasn’t coming out of here.
Oh, I promised you a view of the courtyard from the balcony. Here’s what the Williamses would have seen when looking out into the courtyard. So glad they preserved this lovely piece of history and their hidden house.
If you enjoyed this tour, sign up to have free email updates delivered to your inbox via the sign-up box below. I’ll be sharing more home tours from the area over the next few weeks as I have time to go through all the pictures I took.
Happy Friday, dear Friends!