Stylish but not trendy, the home furnishings Carol Simon has assembled in the showroom of Interior Designs II Inc. (3814 Magazine St., 895-5110) are intended to work in customers' homes through a number of years and transitions.
"The first thing I look for is something that has good bones," says Simon, storeowner and an interior designer. "It doesn't matter to me whether one would categorize it as contemporary or traditional. If a piece is well-constructed, of beautiful material, has good lines and classic proportions, then it will be a timeless piece."
That's not to say the furniture and accessories aren't stylish, but Simon says she avoids pieces that will become outdated. "Style with endurance is the standard we look for," she says. "We try not only to [appeal] to a wide audience, but to show people that if pieces have a classical reference but are made in a more contemporary material, you can blend pieces (from different eras) and the room is much more interesting."
The Uptown shop, which offers a full array of interior design services, stocks all types of lighting, tables, natural-fiber floor coverings, upholstery, artworks and other home accessories. The emphasis is on quality.
"One of the things I look for is value," Simon says. "I do believe you get what you pay for and that you should feel confident in your purchase -- that it is not only going to hold up in terms of construction and materials but that it also will stand the test of time for style. We're not chasing trends here."
Animal lovers can support their local zookeepers and also enrich themselves through two fundraising projects at Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St.). By buying a $1 raffle ticket -- or several -- you have a chance to win a framed original portrait of the zoo's popular Casey gorilla painted by local artist Janelle Hebert. For those who like to get up close and personal, you can pay $100 and spend half a day as a "shadow keeper," following a zookeeper around in one of several sections at the zoo. Proceeds of both projects will be used to fund a national conference of the American Association of Zookeepers, scheduled for August in New Orleans. For details or to purchase tickets, call 212-5383.
- Timeless home decor that melds classical and contemporary styles is the forte of Interior Designs II.