Gerrie Bremermann – Super Designer from New Orleans
Gerrie Bremermann is a master designer if there ever was one. She literally created and defined a New Orleans Southern style so intrinsic in the genre down there that it should be named after her. When I first saw this Southern Accents cover shot 8 years ago I was in love with this room, in love with the feeling the room had, in love with the French cane arm chairs, in love with the overscaled chandelier. In love with every single thing about this room. There have been many Southern Accents magazine photo image faves over the years, but this one topped them all. I saved this magazine forever and searched high and low for similar antique chairs for a very long time.
The room was elegant, dressy and yet casual at the same time. What an incredible balance. It spoke to me and was incredibly similar to a lot of the work that I was doing at the time and still do. One of my favorite styles is this French (and yet Southern) style of mixing the period furniture while adding the casual elements of new fun fabrics. The light colors and faded painted furniture are other favorite aspect that we frequently incorporate when we can.
Study this dining room: There are these billowing curtains which add an incredible softness to the space. Spectacular.
Only recently when in New Orleans did I realize that my favorite Southern Accents cover shot was the interior design genius of Gerrie Bremerman, top interior design doyenne of New Orleans.
We were in New Orleans this summer dropping off our son at Tulane. After we said goodbye my husband and I were wandering about Magazine Street rather despondently. Several days before our New Orleans trip I had carefully done my homework on the local home interior shops I wanted to hit while in New Orleans, but now that one child had left the nest, we weren’t as excited to be strolling down this famous street. I kept my “brave face” on though and we went into the shop that I was dying to see.
I loved everything in this shop. Every.Single.Thing. I can’t wait to get back down there. While there we started chatting with the sales girl and learned more about Gerrie Bremermann, the interior designer and owner of the shop. She should be retired and enjoying life at her lovely age, but instead she is still working away at her craft. Soon my curious husband, Bruce, asked if Gerrie was there and was her office in the back. She was, and the nice salesgirl said she would probably like to meet us after she found out that I was a designer in the DC Metropolitan Area. Sure enough, out she came, just as lovely and gracious as one could imagine. She talked to us at length about work, her goals and dreams, how she started and on and on. She was absolutely amazing.
Her shop is a typical-style former home in the New Orleans area on Magazine Street. When Gerrie opened her doors there years ago she changed the very nature of the entire street and started a trend where home and gift shops began to open up.
Here is a bit of what she talked about with us on that day, and I’ve also added details gleaned from previous magazine and newspaper articles about her.
Gerrie was born in New Orleans but grew up in Palm Beach, Florida. She always gravitated towards the warm breezy beachy color palette reminiscent of her childhood including mostly whites, creams and anything light. Gerrie learned the craft first as a young mother who sewed clothes for herself and her daughters, always dreaming of owning an all-white store with custom-made clothes by Gerrie Bremermann.
Instead, she moved back to New Orleans and was soon volunteering her time for many great causes. A member of The Junior League of New Orleans, she was called upon to help launch their inaugural Decorator’s Showhouse. She agreed to the project and ended up designing the powder room using fabric paneled walls as a focal point. The public loved the powder room and her career as an interior designer began!
This room on the left by Gerrie Bremermann is one of my favorites. Love how everything in the room plays off the spectacular piece of art over the mantel. The window treatments play off the art and the crystal sconces flanking the fireplace balance the entire look. The acrylic cocktail table adds just the lightness needed for the space.
What I love about Gerrie is her ability to place items together and add scale that the average person could never imitate.
Gerrie believes in collecting one great important item per year instead of filling up the house with cheap catalog items. This is key to her design.
This photo to the left is another example of her incredible ability to add large items together but make them work. Who would imagine these big urns could look so great on this chest?
The artist to the left is one that Gerrie features in her shop, and I love the way you can just add this incredible, textured piece of art to a wall with a console table, flanked by sconces and voila, you are finished.
This room is quite lovely in its simplicity.
Do you see how Gerrie has this dramatic, elegant flair for adding a little sparkle here and there? The lovely matching mirrors above the beautiful antique French console tables tie together with the overscaled crystal chandelier. All add that bit of glam she is striving for, and yet there is a casualness to the room wiht the slipcovered sofa and solid pink pillows. Sublime.
Again you see how Gerrie loves the toile fabrics paired with the casual skirted cane back chairs. The architecture of this Sunroom is dressy and elegant, yet there is a comfortable, casual feeling due to the placement of the toile fabric on the sofa and the plain skirted chairs.
I can’t wait to go back to New Orleans and visit this wonderful shop on Magazine Street.
To conclude our look into the unique aesthetic of this design-maven, I’d like to congratulate Gerrie on receiving the first ever annual “Gerrie Bremermann Award for Interior Design”, presented at Southern Style Now’s NOLA Showhouse by interior design legends Shaun Smith and Bunny Williams, in commemoration of her many accomplishments in the industry. For more information on this event, and to get a fun inside look at the made-over mansion, click here.