Ten years ago, Caroline Robert opened Perch, an interior design store and service with a knack for putting a unique spin on the design zeitgeist. "I love classic design, but I also love turning it on its head a little bit," Robert says. Perch quickly became a familiar name among locals. With the addition of New Orleans Dry Goods, Robert's onsite drapery and upholstery workrooms, the business has garnered a national clientele. The custom workrooms' talented staff and made-in-New-Orleans cachet have attracted business from as far away as Los Angeles. "It's made us more of a resource for other designers," Robert says. "It's such a cool time to be here."
What is inspiring you now?
Dresses by Rosie Assoulin, Jim Thompson Fabrics, my 6-year-old's artwork, John Coltrane albums, vintage cigarette cases (for business cards), de Gournay wallpaper, the Mardi Gras Indians, art by Mar Rodriguez, DJ Windows, estate sale finds and French tulips.
Favorite local brands?
For music, Preservation Hall. For fashion, I love Em's, and for vintage, Revival Outpost. We've become regulars at Kenton's and Compere Lapin, and I think Alon Shaya is a genius. And of course, there's the enduring Mr. Okra.
Words of wisdom?
Don't worry so much about following a set of rules. Find your own personal style and trust your instincts.
Favorite style secret?
If I love something and it has meaning, I wear it. The most fabulous accessory I've acquired lately is a clay necklace my son made for me at school with his thumbprint in the middle.
Favorite place to hang out?
My perfect afternoon would start with a bike ride in Audubon Park, followed by a good cocktail on our front porch. It would end with dinner at Italian Barrel and some live music on Frenchmen Street.