Local interior designers and an antique shop owner took a break from giving clients advice to give us a tour of their homes

How the interior designer transformed a cozy apartment into a sophisticated sanctuary

Elise Rosato grew up surrounded by antique pieces. She lived with her family in their double shotgun home on Canal Boulevard in New Orleans. From an early age, her father—then-owner of the now-closed Hampshire House Auctions—taught her the ins and outs of auctions and estate sales. Now, as the face behind Elise Rosato Interiors, the 44-year-old uses her antiques background to design clients’ interiors and commercial spaces, and flip homes. She calls her personal style eclectic and loves filling her home with antique finds and original artwork. Currently, Rosato lives in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on Perkins Road. She decorated it with her own signature look: a fusion of traditional, modern and midcentury styles. She is also in the process of completely renovating her recently purchased home in Old Goodwood, which she plans to move into in about six months.

Rosato owns multiple pieces by late New Orleans artist Bill Hemmerling. The artwork over her couch is an original work she picked up from Hemmerling’s warehouse before he died. She says this jazz ensemble stands out from the artist’s other work due to its large size and bright musical scene.
Rosato combines antiques, estate sale finds and contemporary pieces to create her unique look. She says designing a home is about finding out what pieces you love and why you need to have them, and filling in the details after the big pieces are in place.
The bedroom is your sanctuary, Rosato says. Making this space feel as relaxing as a bubble bath is a priority for the interior designer. When working with clients, she’ll convince them to take project funds away from another room to add a little extra to this room, with luscious bedding, candles and original artwork. In her own home, an antique gold mirror and a Jim Blanchard painting of her childhood home add sentimental value and personal touches to the bedroom.

Inside Ty Larkins’ polished three-bedroom Hundred Oaks townhouse

Ty Larkins always looks at the architectural “bones” of a house first. Then, he adds interior decoration on top. Walking into the Larkins family’s custom-made detached federal townhouse, it’s clear the interior designer practices at home what he preaches to his Ty Larkins Interiors clients. The-48-year-old and his wife designed the house about 12 years ago, when they couldn’t find an existing house with the architectural elements they desired. Larkins describes it as a “city house,” similar to a townhouses you’d typically find in New York, Philadelphia or the designer’s birthplace, New Orleans. While the home features turn-of-the-century architecture and comes off as traditional, he says, the interior design mixes genres. Guests can even spot Larkins’ custom-made furniture interspersed with pieces he has purchased.

Ty Larkin takes us inside his three-bedroom Hundred Oaks townhouse.


A look inside Ty Larkins’ living room.
Larkins’ studio (above) is one of his favorite spaces in the house to spend time in. The room is north-facing and doesn’t receive a lot of natural light, but he decided to play that characteristic up by creating a warm space that looks best at night.
A piece by James Beaman hangs above the fireplace and looks red from a distance, but Larkins says with its layers and layers of paint, it can change color depending on how the light hits it.
The living room houses plenty of original art pieces—and no TV. This is a space solely for family time or chatting with friends. The art piece by Ralph Turturro above the couch is the largest piece in the home.
Handmade sculptures of Japanese magnolia flowers by Bradley Sabin are displayed in the foyer.
Larkins’ bedroom is his favorite space. It’s the room where he spends the most time.
The bedroom’s attached sunroom is a versatile space, where you’ll find Larkins and his family watching a movie on the long couch or enjoying breakfast at the table. Both the bedroom and the sunroom offer plenty of natural light, creating a soothing atmosphere.
In the dining room, Larkins likes to play with drama. Bright colors, different textures and stand-out pieces all work to create a memorable space.

Inside the antique shop owner’s art deco home in the Garden District

The Pink Elephant Antiques owner jokes she was always the kid who loved junk. As a child, she cherished rifling through garage sales and thrift stores. Today, the 49-year-old owns The Pink Elephant, where she sells antiques with a funky vibe. The store opened in April 2016 and has about 30 antique dealers, each offering a unique style. The owner says she’s always looking for weird and quirky items to fill her own section of the store. The same goes for her three-bedroom home, which is filled with unique vintage finds she’s collected over the years. But Pellissier knows not to get too attached to anything. While there are pieces she will never part with, she says one aspect of being an antiques dealer is that she’s always shopping. When something really special comes along, she’ll replace one vintage piece with another.

Lisa Pellissier in her Garden District home.


A blue steel table sits to the side of the living room. Pellissier says she adores the piece because it is solid and well-made. And, of course, because it has that cool, vintage vibe.
The living room is the space Pellissier refreshes the most by changing out pieces. Bright colors—oranges, blues and greens—are a must for her, but she adds some white to keep from overwhelming the eye. While she prefers a maximal use of color, she understands not everyone designs that way.
Pellissier is a taxidermy collector, with one room solely dedicated to hanging her finds. She says you’ll typically find her in this room rearranging the mounts to make room for new additions.
The kitchen was white when the family moved in, and they decided to keep its original, clean design. Pellissier adds her trademark pop of color with vintage pottery.
A New Orleans mannequin now acts as artwork, hanging on Pellissier’s wall. While to some, the homeowner’s items might look random, she says buying things she loves makes them all come together in the space.
She decorates with unique artwork, such as the playful movie theater sign (above right), which came from a small town in Texas. The medical poster is originally from Germany.

This article was originally published in the 2017 Spaces & Places extra issue of 225 Magazine.