Tour The Beauregard Keyes House & Garden, New Orleans Louisiana

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.

Beauregard Keyes Home, Louisiana

 

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.

Beauregard Keyes House & Garden Museum 24

 

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.

Frances Parkinson Keyes in 1921

 

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.

Beauregard Keyes House in New Orleans

 

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.

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Let’s step into the parlor…love these yellow walls! I’ve seen many a designer paint walls this color in recent years.

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Gorgeous, gorgeous mirror! I love it when they have their original glass with all the blackish streaks and aging.

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Here’s the other side of the room looking back toward the door leading in from the entry hall.

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Beautiful mahogany bookcase secretary…

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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.

Beauregard Keys Home in New Orleans

 

The fireplace in this room…

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There were so many beautiful chandeliers throughout the home.

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One of my most favorite parts of touring historic homes is the molding.

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I mean, where or when would you ever see this kind of exquisite molding if not inside a beautiful old home?

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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.

Tester Bed in Beauregard Keyes House & Garden Museum 12_wm

 

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.

Tester Bed in Beauregard Keyes House & Garden Museum 16a_wm

 

This beautiful carved armoire was in the same room.

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No one makes furniture like this now. No one!

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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?

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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.

Beauregard Keyes House & Garden Museum 20_wm

 

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.

Beauregard Keyes House & Garden Museum 21_wm

 

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.

Tester Bed in Beauregard Keyes House & Garden Museum 16_wm

 

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.

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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.

Antique Doll in Beauregard Keyes House & Garden Museum 18_wm

 

A view inside another beautiful cabinet in this room.

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The current dining room was at the very back of the home.

Dining Room in Beauregard Keys House

 

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.

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A view of the back of the Beauregard-Keyes home. Isn’t it lovely?

Bearegard Keyes Home, New Orleans Louisiana

 

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!

Beauregard Keyes Garden, New Orleans

 

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.

Louisiana Historic Homes

 

 

 

Non-watermarked photos in this post were found at the Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden Museum online here: Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden Museum




Comments

  1. Johnnie Ruth says:

    Beautiful. I have not toured this home. Magnificent furnishings. Glad that you shared. 2 years ago, Louisiana Garden Clubs toured several New Orleans gardens. Very nice tour, but I think that I prefer the home tours.

  2. Peggy Thal says:

    Thanks for a great tour Susan. Love the back court yard.

  3. I TOURED THIS HOME A FEW YEARS AGO, IT WAS WONDERFUL. THANKS FOR TAKING ME BACK.

  4. I love so much about this post that I do not know where to start. But I will anyway.
    1. Those yellow walls…yes! I have had a historic yellow on my public areas of the house for over 21 years. My current house has BM Westminster Gold, which is a deep mellow yellow gold. See blog. I am happy that you say designers are going back to color. I have tried neutrals but they depress my spirit. Ha!
    2. That bed canopy. It is Beautiful. And what does hold it up?
    3. I am loving all of the detailed crown and trim. I want it!
    4. I will probably link this post for my French students. Don’t take it down…ever. In my French classes I teach about Francophone culture as well as the French language. New Orleans is our own little corner of French history. So…I will be linking and having my students read this post.
    5. I love the entry hall too.
    I will stop for now! :-)
    Sheila

    • Thanks, Sheila…so glad you liked this post! Don’t worry, I won’t ever take it down! :) You know, I was just thinking, those walls remind me so much of Nancy Lancaster’s butter yellow drawing room that influenced Mario Buatta so much! In case you’re interested, you’ll find links to all the other Louisiana homes that I’ve featured from my trip here: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/category/home-tours/louisiana/ You may especially be interested in Kemper & Leila Williams home in the French Quarter…you’ll see links to a couple of posts I did on it at that link above.

  5. Diane Westbrook says:

    Hi…oh, what a wonderful tour! I fell in love with her books over 50 years ago. You can become so lost and so involved in the stories! I have older copies of several of her books and will never let them go! I am not from the South nor have I ever been to New Orleans…but love the old culture that she writes about…thank you for letting us all into this beautiful home. I look forward to seeing her studio! That is a gentleman’s shaving stand. Diane

    • Diane, I purchased one of her books (Steamboat Gothic) after returning from that trip. I bet you’ve read that one. I haven’t taken the time to sit down and read it…I need to do that. I wanted that book because it features San Francisco on the cover and that’s one of the homes we toured while there. They’ve closed San Francisco for restoration. We lucked out and went to see it the very last day it was open before they closed it for the summer for the restoration process. I think it reopens in September. Thanks for verifying that was a shaving stand!

  6. Yes, you are correct. The cute little piece of furniture is a shaving stand. This home is gorgeous and loaded with beautiful furnishings. I’m so glad Mrs. Keyes took the time and made the effort to restore it — she did a lovely job!

  7. Linda Page says:

    This just makes me want to go back there. Great pictures, Susan. I don’t know how anyone can NOT love this stuff!!! Be still my heart!

  8. Charlotte says:

    I just love the yellow outside and inside! I have toured this house before, it is beautiful. I am from New Orleans, and it is fun to play tourist for the day. New Orleans really is a beautiful city and is very French!

  9. Oh did I ever enjoy this tour! Thanks, Susan!

  10. Oh, MY Gosh! This place is so beautiful. I love to tour historic homes. Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful talent and the beautiful photos.

  11. Oh Susan, thank you so much for the lovely tour. I had forgotten that I went on all these tours when I was in New Orleans many years ago. I loved all the plantations and the Keyes home. Great pictures. When I am visiting a new place I try to see all the historical homes that I can. They all have been so preserved to well. I love all the home in Atlanta too. Even in Social Circle.
    Have a great weekend.
    Mary

    • Mary, I went on a home tour in Social Circle once and it was a great tour. Only problem was it was during the month of August and that summer it was almost 100 every single day. We were so sweaty and sticky and yucky. The houses were so close together that when you finished a tour and got in the car to drive to the next one, you never cooled down because the car was never running long enough to cool down inside. So, we would have to get in a burning up hot car each time. That part was awful. We had to laugh about it, though. We kept saying, who in their right mind would go on a house tour in August! lol That would be US! Afterwards we had dinner at the Blue Willow and finally cooled off, but we still looked like something the cat dragged in. lol It’s funny now, though!

  12. Always good to see another historic home saved, and restored.

  13. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, I am amazed how large this house is, yet how close it is to it’s neighbors. In the old street view picture, the houses appear to be just a couple of feet apart.

    Now you knew someone was bound to ask …. what is that door in the front of the house, below the porch? Is it simply an entry to the basement?

    I agree about the mouldings! My goodness, they are so intricate. Just beautiful. And what did you mean by a ‘tester’ bed? I suppose I should just look up what that means. Maybe it’s an allusion to ‘testing gravity’ or maybe it’s the brand name. Haha.

    When you are on these tours of renovated historic homes, do they usually tell you the original cost of the home and what it would market for now? I’m just curious. I know that they cost a fortune back in their day, but if we knew the price, it would probably sound like a bargain now. And I just wonder how much they have appreciated with inflation.

    I envy you and all the wonderful home tours you’ve been on. You have really seen (and share, thank you) some beautiful homes. Can’t wait for the next one.

    • They often do say what it cost to have them built and they usually translate it to today’s dollars. I don’t remember now what this one cost. You can read more about tester beds here: http://www.cilss.org/antique-furniture/tester-beds.html
      I think that little door in front probably led to a storage area. When we toured Laura Plantation, they used that basement/first floor area to store food and stuff in giant urns/pots. We were able to tour it and see it. When I post the tour of that home, you’ll get to see that area. I still have so many more Plantation homes to share! We toured 13-14 homes while there so there are many, many more to come! :)

  14. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Yay! Yay! Yay!! More houses to tour. Hee. I love the home tours, whether new or old. :) That’ll be interesting to see how/where they stored the food in urns. Thank goodness for refrigeration!

    Thanks for the link to the Tester Beds info. Very helpful. That bed in this house is exquisite.

  15. Oh, what adventures you do have…and thank you for sharing them with us.

  16. Suzanne Melton says:

    Lovely photos, Susan!

    I have a suggestion: invest in a digital voice recorder (years ago, I bought mine for about a hundred dollars and I see that Amazon has lots of choices for under fifty dollars.

    If you tour with a friend, the friend can get the guide’s details and even add notes. If you’re touring alone, you could make your own notes as you walk through the rooms.

    I use my recorder at author events so I can “relive” the event.

    • That would be great if they would allow it. I would need to have my friend carry it since I’m always lagging behind to get photos after everyone heads on to the next room. The only thing is they may have rules against recording since other tour goers may want to ask questions and may not like the idea of possibly being recorded. In Natchez, they wouldn’t even allow photographs. One of the plantation homes was robbed after it was featured on a This Old House. After that happened, they stopped all picture taking in that home and unfortunately, all the other plantation homes in Natchez decided to do the same thing.

  17. This brings back memories. My mother loved her books. Now I want to read one.

  18. Juanita in OH says:

    Susan, this is a magnificent post! I LOVE old recovered homes especially when done as well as this one. I wish I had one of the tester beds and the beautiful armoire’s. Is the little doorway in the front for servants to enter?
    I have such confused emotions about this time of life in history but, there are many things that I do LOVE. I do understand that this is after the Civil War; however, there was still so much mistreatment and violence of so many humans. TFS the good parts.

    • Yeah, I know. I have those same mixed feelings, love the houses, the furniture and the architecture and hate hearing the history of the bad stuff that went on. There’s stuff that goes on today in this world that’s barbaric…and I just keep thinking, “Evolve already!” I need that bumper sticker! I don’t really know what that little door was, but at Laura Plantation, there was storage for food and such up under there…in giant urns. You’ll see that when I post a tour of Laura. I should do that soon!

  19. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Hi Susan,

    In light of your recent showcasing of this historic house I thought you’d find this interesting. It’s an article on yahoo that appeared today and it is about 8 of the most haunted houses and hotels in New Orleans. This home was featured. See what it says about the ‘ghosts.’

    https://homes.yahoo.com/photos/8-haunted-houses-orleans-scare-slideshow-133930238/

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