Back in May I traveled to New Orleans where I met up with my friend, Linda and we had the most amazing week touring some of the beautiful old historic homes in Louisiana and Mississippi. One of the homes we toured was the Beauregard-Keys home located at 1113 Chartres Street in New Orleans.
The Beauregard-Keys home was built in 1826 by architect Francois Correjolles for Joseph Le Carpentier, a wealthy auctioneer. Joseph’s daughter, Louise, her husband Michel Morphy and their son lived in the home until 1833. The home saw several owners through the years including General Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard who never owned the home but rented it from 1865-1868 after returning from the Civil War.
The home fell into terrible disrepair during the period 1926-1945. General Allison Owen, a well-known New Orleans architect, purchased the home in 1926 in an attempt to save it. The wood columns that had been along the front and were badly rotted were replaced with concrete columns and other work was done to keep the home from falling into complete ruin. The home was not fully restored during that time.
In 1955, well-known author, Frances Parkinson Keyes, along with the assistance of Architect Sam Wilson, began a full restoration of the home. The Keyes Foundation was established and has maintained the home as a museum since her death in 1970.
Can you imagine writing a book this way now? It was a true labor of love, wasn’t it? To learn more about Mrs. Keyes and to see an extensive list of all the books she wrote, check out this article at Wikipedia here: Frances Parkinson Keyes where I found the photo shown below.
The restoration Mrs. Keys and Mr. Wilson completed returned the home to the time period when General Beauregard lived there. Mrs. Keyes even went so far as to furnish the home with furniture, art work and other pieces that were owned by the General or his family and represented what would have been in the home during the late 1860’s.
When you enter inside the Beauregard-Keyes home, this is your view! The wallpaper and carpet really makes this long hall and entry feel warm and inviting.
Let’s step into the parlor…love these yellow walls! I’ve seen many a designer paint walls this color in recent years.
Gorgeous, gorgeous mirror! I love it when they have their original glass with all the blackish streaks and aging.
Here’s the other side of the room looking back toward the door leading in from the entry hall.
Beautiful mahogany bookcase secretary…
This was originally the dining room and what a grand room it is! Today it’s being used as an event room or ballroom. The original table is missing but they were able to find the original chairs.
The fireplace in this room…
There were so many beautiful chandeliers throughout the home.
One of my most favorite parts of touring historic homes is the molding.
I mean, where or when would you ever see this kind of exquisite molding if not inside a beautiful old home?
One of the bedrooms featured a beautiful tester bed. These beds amaze me. There just seems to be so little support for the gorgeous, carved canopy overhead.
If you were lying in the bed, this would be your view. No, I didn’t get into the bed! I was able to stand in the open doorway behind it and capture this photo. Imagine waking up to this view each morning.
This beautiful carved armoire was in the same room.
No one makes furniture like this now. No one!
I’ve seen pieces like this before but don’t remember how they were used? Since it has a mirror, I’m guessing it may have been a wash stand or perhaps a shaving stand for men. Anyone know?
Shown below is another beautiful bedroom in the Beauregard-Keyes home. It’s always a challenge to get full-room pictures on tours since there are so many folks milling about in the rooms. In order to get a shot like the one below, I have to lag behind as the guide and the other tour-goers move on to the next room on the tour.
Some guides don’t like that and will hold up the whole tour waiting for the stragglers to join, which means I have to really rush in taking those last-minute, full-room shots. Other guides don’t mind and proceed on with the tour, moving the group on to the next room where they continue to share info about the home.
Since I’m usually staying behind to take a few additional photos, I often miss the descriptions and information being given out about each of the rooms. Once back home, as I put the blog post together, I do as much research online as I can to fill in the gaps about the home.
Truth be told, even if I was the only person on the tour and didn’t need to wait for others to clear a room to take a full-room photo, it would be impossible to take notes AND take photos at the same time. So, I primarily concentrate on the photos since those are the real meat of a post, then I share additional info as I’m able to find it.
The other challenge when taking photos on location like this is I have no control over the lighting. Often there are no lights on in the rooms so the only lighting available will be what streams in through the windows. I can’t linger behind too long or a guide will begin to wonder what I’m doing, so I switch between manual and auto on my camera and snap as many pics as possible before hurrying to join the group. I was thrilled to be able to snag some “full-room” views of this beautiful bedroom to share with you even though they aren’t the quality I would prefer.
Another amazing bed! I love these four-poster canopy beds so much. The wood is just beyond beautiful, isn’t it? I’d give up my queen-size bed for one of these. Notice the doll on the bed–I’ll share a close up of her in just a sec.
The small sleigh-style day bed or fainting couch at the foot of the bed would have been a good spot for the woman of the house to rest during the day, or even a child could have napped here. I wonder if sick children sometimes slept on these to be closer to their parents.
Mrs. Keyes, in addition to collecting porcelain veilleuses, loved to collect dolls. We saw several during our tour of the Beauregard-Keyes home and her cottage studio out back.
A view inside another beautiful cabinet in this room.
The current dining room was at the very back of the home.
If you scroll back to the beginning of the post, you can see this room from the entry and the doorway leading into it looks like it would have been the back door. You can just see that door on the left in the photo below. So I wonder if this was originally a sleeping porch that was later closed in.
A view of the back of the Beauregard-Keyes home. Isn’t it lovely?
The home also has a wonderful formal garden. Next time you’re in New Orleans, be sure and take time out to tour this beautiful home!
Very soon, I’ll share photos of the small studio/home that’s just a few feet away where Frances Keys preferred to live and where she spent most of her time writing so many of her novels.
To tour any of the other historic New Orleans and Louisiana homes I’ve featured from my trip to the area, click anywhere on the collage picture below and it will open to the category page where you can access each of those posts.
Non-watermarked photos in this post were found at the Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden Museum online here: Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden Museum