The Style Files: Lee Ledbetter

Lee Ledbetter is an award-winning architect based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since founding his eponymous firm in 1996, his firm has built a reputation for seamlessly blending architecture and interiors in a meaningful way. Ledbetter holds degrees in architecture from Princeton University and the University of Virginia. Prior to founding his firm, he worked alongside Robert A.M. Stern in New York and Michael Graves in Princeton. Ledbetter was selected as one of fifty “New Tastemakers” by House & Garden and has seen his work published in Metropolitan Home and Architectural Digest. He possesses a deft ability to blend together modern and traditional architectural and decorative elements. It is rare to find a professional at his level who actively commands the skills of both serious architect and intuitive interior designer, which serves as the premise for his soon-to-be-released book, Art of Place which is available for pre-order now.

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Lee Ledbetter: Clean, comfortable, eclectic.

torres, ledbetter, estersohn, ad, new orleans

PC: How has living in New Orleans (your city) influenced your aesthetic?

LL: Living in New Orleans has broadened my modernist tendencies and reinforced my urge to conflate interior and exterior spaces.

PC: What does your home say about you?

LL: That I love nature.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

LL: Books mostly. But Instagram has also been a great resource.

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

LL: Billy Baldwin in design; Louis Kahn in architecture; Lucien Freud in painting; Givenchy in fashion.

{An Iconic Moment by Billy Baldwin}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

LL: Kindness.

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

LL: Sleeping Late.

PC: Who/what has been your greatest professional influence?

LL: My dear friends William Georgis’ interiors and Peter Lane’s large-scaled ceramics. And finally, my former employer Robert A.M. Stern’s insistence on and knowledge of historic precedent in architecture.

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

LL: Being present.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

LL: The publication of my soon to be released book “The Art of Place: Lee Ledbetter Architecture & Interiors” by Rizzoli USA, and the unveiling of a new sculpture gallery pavilion we designed within the six-acre expansion of the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Go-To Outfit: blue jeans, a blue button down, Tods leather sneakers, and my vintage Rolex Explorer.

Style Mantra: classic and clean

Scent: Hermes Bel Ami and/or Magnolia blossoms

Piece of Jewelry: my wedding ring

Color I Never Tire Of: blue

Flower: Magnolia blossom

Indispensable Design Element: great art

Era for Design: French 1930’s

Dream Project: Hawaii Vacation home for the Obamas

Fabric/Textile: Larsen Silk Velvet

Hostess Gift: French tulips

Meal: lamb chop

Drink: champagne

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: rowing machine

3 Things I Love About My City: history, texture, and live oak trees

Weekend Destination: our living room

Hotel: Sunset Tower in Los Angeles or The Carlyle in New York

City: Rome

Museum: Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX

Artist: Lucien Freud

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “This Must be the Place” by David Byrne.

Actor/Actress: Daniel Day Lewis / Frances McDormand

Prized Possession: my home

Risk Worth Taking: raw oysters

Greatest Extravagance: the four courtyards at our home

Go-To Color Palette: cream and bonze/beige with highlights of color

Rule to Break: most of them

Movie Set Design: Cleopatra or Gladiator.

I can never have too many…laughs.

{Photography Courtesy of Lee Ledbetter}

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