As a child, I never cared a whit about Barbie. It was her dream home I was obsessed with. Now at last I had my own.
Written by Julie Reed in her book, The House on First Street
Writer Julia Reed bought her first house - a Greek Revival home in New Orleans - at the age of forty-four. She and her husband John Pearce moved in shortly before Hurricane Katrina ravaged their city, but a contractor inflicted more damage on the house than did the storm. Reed's 2008 book, The House on First Street, details the destruction created by both the broken levees and the man she had hired to restore her home, which was one of the first built in the Garden District of New Orleans. Photos of the house appeared in Elle Decor in September 2012, and I share them below, along with additional pictures I found on Zillow. After living on First Street for nearly a decade, Reed wrote in the October/November 2013 edition of Garden and Gun that she and Pearce are selling the house. "There are plenty of reasons," Reed pens in her article, "Stuff, Sweet Stuff." "There's the fact that I've accumulated at least four more boxes full of house mags in the last eight years, and I'm antsy for a new project. There's the murderous rage that's reignited almost every time I rip my hand open on the multiple flayed doorknob screws courtesy of my disastrous contractor . . . Mostly, though, there was the instinct to . . . shake things up . . . before the house itself became too much of its own thing."
Julia Reed and John Pearce may be moving on - although Zillow indicates that the real estate listing for the First Street house was removed on April 7, 2013 - but here are photos of the house Reed describes in her book as "my one true home" . . .
“The Greek Revival house [home of writer Julia Reed and her husband, lawyer John Pearce] was built circa 1847 in New Orleans's Garden District.”
“In the front parlor of Julia Reed and John Pearce's home in New Orleans, a 19th-century lacquer cocktail table is flanked by a pair of English Regency faux-bamboo benches upholstered in a Claremont fabric; the Italian-marble mantel is original to the house, and the gilt mirror and painted chairs are antique. The chandelier is from New Orleans Auction Galleries, the side table belonged to Reed's great-grandmother, and the walls are painted in Farrow and Ball's Sutcliffe Green.”
“The pochoir prints in the front parlor are by Eugène Alain Séguy, and the olive-wood chest is Italian; the curtains are of a Claremont silk, and the heart-pine flooring is original.”
“Reed in the sunroom; the table is covered in a Rogers and Goffigon linen with Clarence House fringe.”
“The dining room's Federal table is surrounded by painted Louis XVI chairs; the chandelier is Rococo Revival, the mirror is late-18th-century French, the curtains are of a Claremont silk, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's Fort Pierce Green.”
“The library features faux-bois-painted cabinetry and shelving, an armchair covered in a Claremont velvet, and a pair of Queen Anne chairs that belonged to Reed's great-grandmother; artworks on left include, from top, a William Christenberry photograph, a 19th-century map of Mississippi, and an Audubon print.”
“The couple's beagle, Henry, sits on an Aubusson rug atop a Beauvais sisal in a guest room; the suzani is from Afghanistan, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's Elephant Tusk.”
“The guest bath tub and fittings are by Waterworks, the early-19th-century prints are of Napoléon and Pope Pius VII, and the stool is Chinese.”
Photo obtained from Zillow website.