New Orleans native Bryan Batt (right) may have a thriving career as an actor on television’s Mad Men, but his abiding passion for home design is evident in his store, Hazelnut (on Magazine Street), as well as the vibrant carriage house he shares with his partner Tom Cianfich (left).
A long, low sofa covered in faux suede invites guests to linger. Bryan found the sofa at a thrift store, had it recovered, and placed it on an angle in the large square parlor.
He divided the room into quadrants (each one is focused on a corner), giving it easy flow and multiple seating arrangements. The low ceiling and brick floor speak of the space’s origins as a carriage house.
Bryan chose a vivid green for one wall of the carriage house, setting a bold backdrop for the dramatic compositions he favors. He frequently brings home furnishings from his shop to try them out. The reproduction Barcelona chair was one such test drive. A lively mixture of souvenirs from Thailand, books, and art glass typifies his all-embracing style.
A broad daybed anchors another corner of the room, adding a dramatic silhouette to the composition. Side tables in metallic finishes provide contrast to the soft textures of the upholstered furniture and woven textiles. A mirrored armoire brings a touch of Hollywood glamour to the space.
Bryan painted these canvases and hung in a grid just inside the front door. Reminiscent of Ida Kohlmeyer in style, they solve the need for a large artwork to hang over a big chest at a fraction of the cost. A mixture of ethnic accessories creates a dynamic tableau on the chest.
In the space that formerly housed horses, Bryan created a cozy dining room by painting the rough paneling a warm chocolate brown and highlighting the canted ceiling with white paint.
Bryan and Tom entertain frequently, hosting festive dinners around the long table. Vibrant decorations from Mardi Gras floats adorn the walls, adding a unique nod to the city. For the pure fun of the contrast, Bryan hung a crystal chandelier over the table.
Vintage barware, some bought locally and others inherited from stylish relatives, dress up the bar at one end of the dining room. A Sumatran headdress from Thailand, which Bryan occasionally dons for dinner guests, has pride of place in the arrangement