Bayou Meets Boston: How Southern Charm Melds with Northern Design

Are you a Black Southern Belle now living up north but missing the charm of the South? Why not bring that southern charm with you into your home? We got some inspiration from Louisiana Native turned Boston resident and tenant at the Boston Design Center, Eric Haydel,who dishes with us on how he brings his southern roots to his northern life. Get inspiration from this award-winning interior designer and always feel at home no matter where life may take you, especially if the path is the Bayou Meets Boston.

Courtesy of Boston ID Magazine

Bayou Meets Boston: How Southern Charm Melds with Northern Design

What similarities do you find between Louisiana and Boston design? Architecture? Culture? What differences strike you the most?

    • “The greatest similarity between Louisiana and Boston design and architecture is the testament to history. Everyone knows of Boston as one of the oldest cities in America, well so is New Orleans and most of Southern Louisiana. Even though it was not a part of the colonial US, Louisiana was still very much alive during colonial times. The classical design, beautiful motifs, and great energy carry on each city’s proud history.”

  • “The biggest difference that I find in Louisiana and Boston design is the effect that climate has on each city. In New England, we design smaller, more intimate spaces to keep us cozy in the northeast cold. In Louisiana, you see a lot more big open spaces, tons of windows, and very high ceilings. Because of the climate, the physical attributes of a space have to be very different from Louisiana to Boston.”

How do you bring your Southern charm to the Northeast?

  • “In the South, design is more about the layering of stories. growing up, every part of my life was telling stories; it’s how we translate who we are. In design, people hire us to tell their stories, so we have to weave each piece of the story together in their space.”

Courtesy of Boston ID Magazin

How has New England influenced/changed your design style?

  • “The New England design sensibility brings about a clean edge, modern feeling aesthetic in my designs. For example, as opposed to heavy drapery that you see a lot in the south, we see much more of straight panels in New England, as well as clean lines, and very consistent spaces. More than anything, this design style taught me about editing my designs.”

What is the biggest Southern staple that you use in your designs?

    • “A big Southern design staple that I like to bring into my design is the layering of time. You want people to see your work as timeless, and a great way to do that is to incorporate pieces from different time periods and layer them each into the space. It results in an interesting, unexpectedly cohesive design.”

  • “Another big trend in the South is using lots of silk… So I incorporate silk as an homage to the South in my designs whenever I can.”

Do you feel New Englanders are receptive of your Southern design sensibility/personality?

  • “I feel that people in New England really embrace the difference in my Southern personality and design sensibilities. I’ve been able to grow groups of clients who have personal connections to the South, and clients that wish they were Southern.”

What do you miss most about living in Louisiana/the South?

  • “There is a certain romanticism in the South that doesn’t quite exist in the Northeast. One thing that I really miss about living in Louisiana is the ability to drive 10 minutes and walk through Antebellum homes, experience the majesty of 300-year-old oak trees, and have brunch a Oak Alley.”

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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