PaperCity Magazine

November 2019- Dallas

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Linens' sister workshop in Kentucky, the Eleanor Beard studio. In 2002, Hodges purchased the 98-year-old heritage company, which has employed generations of Kentucky women skilled in the traditions of needlework. Made entirely by hand, each order takes about two months to produce. This luxuriously paced way of doing business harks back to a lost old South, when time and attention prevailed. But Leontine's loyal devotees aren't all south of the Mason-Dixon line. They include top-tier designers around the country, such as Charlotte Moss, Alexa Hampton, Alex Papachristidis, David Kleinberg, Mary McDonald, and Nathan Turner. The linens appear regularly in Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, and Veranda. In 2014, Hodges published her first book, Linens: For Every Room and Occasion (Rizzoli). Hodges' elegant and joyful take on linens has made her a hit, and nowhere is her exuberant design style better expressed than at home in New Orleans. She and husband Philip Hodges bought their 1869 Greek Revival side-hall house in the city's historic Garden District seven years ago and renovated it with the help of interior designer Gwen Driscoll, whom Hodges has known since college. While Hodges may use vibrant color combinations in her linens, her previous homes had been decorated in neutral hues, including the 19th-century house where they lived in Kentucky for seven years post-Katrina. When they returned to New Orleans in 2012 with their two teenage children, it marked a period of rejuvenation — and an opportunity to embrace color. Their Garden District house is drenched in light and bold hues, with chartreuse double-lacquered walls in the parlor and rich amethyst linen wallpaper in the dining room. "I think the house reflects our joy in coming back to New Orleans, with all these bright colors," Hodges says. "It's a jewel box." The fun is also in the unexpected mix: In the parlor, antique French fauteuils are covered in Lee Jofa acid-yellow satin, while the upstairs study is cocooned in grays, chocolates, and creams, with floral Schumacher drapery layered against bold geometric Kelly Wearstler wallpaper. An iron bed in the guest bedroom is draped in lively orange and lavender monogrammed linens, and a sectional sofa in the den is upholstered in Schumacher's blue- and-white Chiang Mai Dragon, topped with pillows in coral and citron hues. It's a happy, comfortable house, ideal for hosting large gatherings, and a hub for the couple's now-grown children and their friends returning home for Mardi Gras. "I love to entertain," Hodges says, "so we created a double parlor out of two smaller rooms, and now we can have 25 for a buffet dinner in the parlor, a seated meal on the terrace, and the dining room can seat 12." For casual dinners, Hodges stacks Lucite trays at the end of the buffet with a monogrammed linen napkin and silverware — trays are so much easier to balance on your lap than plates. Custom-designed floor- to-ceiling windows in the parlor open all the way up, so when the weather is nice, guests can take their trays outside and eat on the terrace. "We live in a year-round outdoor climate, so why not enjoy an afternoon of shucked oysters in your own garden?" When it's just the two, she and Philip eat dinner around a small antique wine table overlooking the pool — and more often than not, it's Philip who does the cooking. "He designed the kitchen, and it's lucky for both of us that he enjoys cooking. Otherwise, we would both go hungry," she says. "He can sauté trout like no one else I know." Hospitality is a big part of everyday life in New Orleans, and Hodges reaches for her collection of vintage glassware and china on a daily basis, even when friends drop by for coffee on Saturday mornings. As you might expect, table linens are a mainstay in her household, including vintage linens she discovered at flea markets around the globe and in unexpected places like Ikea. She keeps them neatly organized by color and tied with ribbons inside an antique armoire that was acquired from Henry Stern Antiques on Royal Street, and gifted to her husband, a New Orleans native, when he was a child. "His mother collected furniture for him," Hodges says. "Most children got fire trucks, he got antiques." A cupboard with antique doors holds Leontine Linens. In the upstairs study, Kelly Wearstler Crescent wallpaper, Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock draperies. Hunt Slonem painting. In a powder room, Cole & Son's Gondola wallpaper. Bedroom in Jane Scott Hodges' New Orleans house.

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