Sara Ruffin Costello fashions quirky interiors for The Chloe hotel in New Orleans
Inky blue walls, alligator-print carpet and grand four-poster beds appear inside The Chloe hotel in New Orleans, which has been designed by decorator Sara Ruffin Costello.
The Chloe hotel comes as the latest venture from restaurateur Robert LeBlanc and is situated amongst the picturesque streets of New Orleans's Uptown neighbourhood.
It occupies a family mansion that was originally designed by American architect Thomas Sully in 1891.
Sara Ruffin Costello, who is a native of New Orleans, was tasked with devising the interiors of the hotel.
"Sully's architecture is grand Southern Victorian – exceptionally tall ceilings, incredible tile work and plaster mouldings and a Byzantine layout," Costello told Dezeen.
"I ran with the romance of that era and played around with the notion of New Orleans being a port city, kind of that 'what news do you bring from the outside?'," she added.
"To translate that into a vibe, The Chloe is moody with dark, antique furniture, with an emphasis on Orientalism but updated and made culturally relevant through a very special art collection."
Guests enter The Chloe via a lobby that features inky-blue walls and dark wood floors. The building's original ornate staircase is left in place but updated with a quirky, deep-red carpet runner that depicts an alligator creeping down the steps.
"Last time I went for a kayak in the Bayou, not five minutes into my paddle two giant alligators got into a splash fight right in front of my boat – alligators are a real part of life here!" added Costello.
Adjacent to this is a reception room arranged around a large fireplace. Just in front are a couple of plush, claw-footed sofas perched on a blue floral rug, while an oversized cream lamp has been suspended overhead.
A doorway in the corner of the room looks through to a cosy blush-pink seating nook with trellis-style walls.
The hotel's restaurant serves signature New Orleans' dishes with a contemporary twist. Drinks can be enjoyed in the bar and salon, where one wall has been painted to feature Egret birds fluttering amongst spindly tree boughs.
A burnt-orange leather sofa runs along the lower half of the wall, accompanied by a handful of fringed seating poufs and tiny lamps that dimly illuminate the room.
Guests can alternatively sit with cocktails on the hotel's porch – the floor here is clad with the tiles that date back to the 1860s.
Outdoors there's also a swimming pool shaded by palmetto trees, a herb garden and an alfresco bar.
A more pared-back design approach is taken in the bedrooms, where walls have been painted eggshell-white.
Touches of drama are added by the four-poster beds and freestanding soaking tubs that take centre stage in the bathrooms.
"Since The Chloe is actually a house, it feels like you are getting invited over to a local's – which is all I ever want to do when I travel," concluded Costello.
The Chloe joins a number of charming spots to stay in New Orleans, where tourists continue to flock to experience its rich history, vibrant live music scene and revered Mardi Gras parade.
Others include The Eliza Jane, which takes over seven historic warehouses, and Maison de la Luz, which is designed as if it's the home of a well-travelled woman that's come to acquire several worldly souvenirs.
Photography is by Paul Costello.