The foyer of Lalaurie House, New Orleans, designed by Katie Scott, via @sarahsarna.


How do you decorate a haunted house? This was the dilemma presented to Houston-based interior designer Katie Scott, when her client, energy-trader Michael Whalen, asked if she’d help him renovate the 10,000 square foot, early 19th-Century mansion he’d purchased in the French Quarter district of New Orleans. “He told me it was called the Lalaurie house,” said Scott, told the The Times – Picayune.


In 1831 the LaLaurie House became home to Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a French Creole socialite. When a 1834 fire swept through the home, seven chained slaves, near death from torture and starvation were discovered. Infuriated by this knowledge, outraged citizens protested, looting the mansion, while Madame LaLaurie fled the country for Paris. After the fire, more evidence of LaLaurie’s violence surfaced, including chasing a slave to her death from the home’s roof. The LaLaurie House soon evolved into a girls’ school, and then served as a furniture store, rental apartments, a homeless shelter, and once again: the private residence to be decorated by Katie Scott.


Scott’s answer to decorating a haunted house? With the decor, she decided to play off the the home’s weighty past while giving the rooms a contemporary edge. The play of dark and light, contemporary and traditional makes for a striking design throughout the house. “We wanted the house to have a sexy French Quarter feel,” she said. Indeed, it does. Take a look through the beautiful residence photographed by Tria Giovan and designed by Katie Scott.

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The foyer of Lalaurie House, New Orleans, designed by Katie Scott, via @sarahsarna.

Author: Sarah Sarna

Interior Designer and Editor helping intelligent women unlock their style and own it, à la: decorating, fashion, beauty, and beyond.

  • Katie did such a phenomenal job! Happy April Beth and Kristy! x, Sarah

  • What a gorgeous home and beautifully decorated. I can’t get over the doorway…incredible! Happy Tuesday!