by Mayer Rus
More than half a century after Frank Lloyd Wright issued his caustic indictment of â€˜inferior desecratersâ€™, many architects continue to dismiss decorating as a second-class discipline lacking the intellectual and artistic rigor or their own heroic pursuit. New Orleans architect Lee Ledbetter has little patience for such antiquated chauvinism. He rejects the idea that a serious architect cannot be a dedicated decorator as well. Ledbetterâ€™s commitment to both disciplines is expressed with particular eloquence in the house he designed forâ€¦a New Orleans patron who has assembled one of the most important photography collections in the South.
Answering to two callings, the New Orleans architect and decorator fashions a superb residential light box for a photography collectorâ€¦The decorating here matches the architecture and artwork in confidence and complexityâ€¦Ledbetterâ€™s reputation as a serious architect has not been compromised by his dual identity as a skilled decorator.
The sculptural staircase throws an emphatic curve into the rectilinear scheme. Ledbetter also used antiques to temper the cool white walls and black slate floors.
Project: Lake Pontchartrain