HALLS TASTEFULLY DECKED
John Wade’s PRC “Holiday Home”
John Wade with a box filled with copies of his book How To Achieve A Heaven On Earth tied with Christmas bows for his friends.
EUGENIA UHL PHOTOGRAPHS
Tucked away from a picturesque tree-lined street, behind a brick fence, is John Wade’s beautiful Garden District home; it’s a secret treasure with a pristine formal garden separating the fence from the jewel of a mansion.
Now bedecked in Christmas finery as part of the 35th Annual Preservation Resource Center’s Holiday Home Tour, the home, in all its splendor, is well-fitted to be one of the seven homes showcased. “John’s home is a study in using fine antiques, with contemporary accessories and warm colors to create rooms that are pleasing to the eye, yet comfortable,” says Emily Adams, the interior designer of Wade’s space.
“I even found the house for him,” she continues. “I had decorated his nearby condominium, and when he called me in to do some new things for the space, I simply said, ‘Let’s find you a nice house in the Garden District and not redo this place.’” Wade agreed, and soon Adams was hard at work making the new home into something special.
“Emily knows my tastes,” says Wade, an entrepreneur, author and the editor of How To Achieve A Heaven On Earth, a collection of 101 inspirational essays by local, national and international leaders that he published this year. “I immediately liked the private courtyard that adjoins the dining room, the formal gardens and the large rear garden. The house gives me total privacy, and it’s a quiet place to work.”
Wade moved into the house in 2003. “It was a joy making the place a personal retreat for John,” says Adams. “I brought in decorative painter Bekye Fargason to work her magic with wall treatments in the warm colors he loves.
“I was pleased when John agreed to have his home included in the PRC’s Holiday Home Tour because I think the house is gorgeous when it’s dressed for the holidays. The soft golds and warm red-browns provided the perfect backdrop. I used shimmering antique golds, greens and iridescent reds for the decorations instead of the usual bright red and green colors,” says Fargason.
Adams wanted to use a more sophisticated theme for Wade’s home. “He is a single gentleman with elegant taste, so I made sure not to include a Santa Claus or reindeers in my scheme of things. Instead, to reflect on the subject of John’s book, I used angels and fleurs-de-lis. He has a deep feeling for humanity, as well as New Orleans and his beloved Saints, so the fleur-de-lis was a perfect symbol for the major theme.”
Instead of the usual large Christmas tree, Adams used three smaller trees of various shapes, sizes and décor. Two large banners, each featuring stylized Byzantine angels, were painted by Shreveport- and New Orleans-based artist Lawrence Shor. One banner hangs over the wall of bookcases in the library and the other one has a place of honor above the stairway landing.
“Emily did a great job decorating my home for the holidays,” Wade says. He will share it with the public for the tour on Sat., Dec. 11 and Sun., Dec. 12. “The joyful spirit of the holiday season lives all year in my home,” he says, “and I can truthfully say this place has helped me to learn ‘How To Achieve A Heaven On Earth.’”