My husband is a born and raised New Orleans boy - was born on February 2 and during a parade, no less. He has Mardi Gras in his blood! I love his passion for New Orleans and we have loved calling it home together for the last 15 years. So, it's no surprise that we make Carnival an everyday occasion in our house.
You may call it all "Mardi Gras", which we do too, sometimes. But technically the whole season from King's Day, January 16, to the beginning of lent is called "Carnival". Mardi Gras is only one day - Fat Tuesday - the day before Lent starts. As locals, we commonly refer to everything going on up until Lent as Carnival time.
While most people who live outside of New Orleans think of Carnival celebrations as being drunken crazy fests, for locals there is a rich history and tradition associated with Carnival. For those in or from New Orleans, it can be very sentimental and special. It is a time for coming together and bringing back some formality that harkens to the past, while also having fun!
I've incorporated our love of Carnival and New Orleans into our home through a few subtle (and some not so subtle!) and sentimental touches, but without painting everything purple, green and gold! Even if you don't live anywhere near Louisiana, these touches can add a dash of magic and tradition to your home that only New Orleans can provide.
Yes, I have Carnival wallpaper in my powder room!
This is my favorite room in our house, hands down, because of this beautiful Palm Orleans Carnival Toile wallpaper. When we were building our house, I knew I wanted a fun wallpaper in the powder room. I had picked a gorgeous and wild print from House of Hackney, which is out of London, but was a little on the fence with its boldness. When I came across a picture of the Carnival Toile wallpaper on Instagram I knew it would be absolutely perfect for our home! The carnival scene added fun and whimsey, but it was also elevated by the glamorous gold and silver tones printed on grasscloth.
This also comes in different colorways, which make for a really fun and colorful look. Also check out the other prints offered by Palm Orleans! They are so unique and chic!
These gorgeous decoupage trays depict historical Carnival and New Orleans scenes.
I purchased this for my husband as a Father's Day gift one year. I admit, I didn't know what this scene was depicting other than some kind of take on a Carnival ball. But as soon as he opened it, he knew that it was a depiction of one of the first balls of the Mystic Krewe of Comus, with all its revelers donning fascinating costumes. Doesn't it make you feel good when you know you picked out the perfect gift?!
Handmade with 14 c gold leaf, these trays are not only beautiful but functional. They are perfect for decoration but also are food safe and can be used for serving appetizers or other snacks. They are signed and numbered by artist Shelley Venema.
We have ours displayed on the bookshelf in our office. It adds the perfect layer of interest to the room. These come in a variety of sizes and are available depicting various scenes.
Framed antique carnival invitations create the most interesting wall decor
While not easy to come by, vintage Carnival invitations or dance cards can be framed to create a stunning wall display. Today's digital printing is no match for the rich colors and beautiful artwork that was used in the past.
This is a dance card from the Krewe of Proteus ball in 1904. The depiction of the sea god Proteus on a shell throne surrounded by fairies creates a beautiful mythical scene. Another gift for my husband, I stalked this at auction a few years ago and won. Luckily in New Orleans there is no shortage of Carnival memorabilia!
It still has the original pencil that would have been used to write the names of gentlemen on the inside that a woman intended to dance with. This one was not used, so there are no names on the inside. How fun if it had been used and you might know a relative of one of the suitors! I haven't framed this yet but can't you imagine a gallery wall of these beauties?
Adding a little Carnival to your everyday doesn't have to be over the top and can add a unique aspect to your home decor! Who's ready to try it?
Have a safe and FUN Mardi Gras!