From portraits to pleats, NOLA-based designer Ware Porter has a knack for taking the most buttoned-up of design elements and making them feel totally reinvented and fresh. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Old World glamour forms the backbone of every Ware Porter design, while his penchant for out-of-the-box color combos and idiosyncratic pattern mashups ground his designs in the now. With projects ranging from the Amalfi Coast to the Pacific Palisades, Ware’s always on the move, so we were thrilled to land time with him recently for a round of Playing Favorites to accompany his collection of Chairish favorites. Ahead, Ware reveals his decorating go-to’s, why he’ll never tire of vintage bamboo or a Georgian chair, plus, his Crescent City insider’s guide!


Ware Porter stands in a bright blue dutch door in an red brick building
Photo by David Hilegas

What do you love about shopping on Chairish?
Everything is at my fingertips.

Is there any particular product category where Chairish is your go-to?
I always seem to gravitate towards Georgian antiques and chairs.

Favorite 3 items on Chairish right now:
Giltwood eagle console table; large walnut wooden urns; pair of Chinese oxblood vase table lamp

Favorite thing about designing with vintage pieces:
They all tell an honest story.

A green sofa stands in front of a wood chest topped with green table lamps
Photo by David Hilegas


Favorite way to add drama to a room:
I tend to use over-scale furniture. It adds instant drama. I also like to apply the unexpected to a ceiling.

Favorite source for design inspiration:

Favorite paint color:
That’s not a fair question! I love all clear colors.

Favorite pattern (and how you love to use it):
Florals. Especially ones that do not read as too feminine. I love large-scale florals mixed with bold, clear color.

This room features a rattan armchair with ornate, gold mirror and paintings in matching red frames
Photo by Hector Sanchez

Favorite design rule to break:
All of them. I’ve never been one to follow rules.

Favorite color combo:
Pink and red.

Favorite way to mix high and low:
Luxe fabrics mixed with natural fibers, such as abaca and sisal. I also love to use emerging artists’ paintings alongside important Georgian furniture.

Favorite way to work a bit of vintage into a room:
I always tend to incorporate bamboo. Someway, somehow. I love that it works in town or country.

A gallery wall of vintage paintings hangs above the white sofa and burl wood coffee table
Photo by David Hilegas

Can you share with us any big projects you’re working on in 2019? 
An important family home on Avery Island, LA; A cool modern house in the Palisades of Los Angeles, and a North Carolina farmhouse. I also keep a handful of projects in my hometown of New Orleans.

As someone who is from and lives in the South, what defines Southern design for you?
An honest story that has been passed down from generations. Must haves: an abundance of everything that is good, whether that is fresh flowers, plenty of comfortable seating, or roaring fires – elements for all to enjoy. I always steer away from anything with an ego.

Eclectic living room matches a blue sofa with drapes and red patterned armchairs
Photo by Hector Sanchez


Favorite travel destination to relax:
Cape Cod. I always feel at home there.

Favorite travel destination for design inspiration:
I’m always inspired by Paris. It’s my favorite city in the world. The endless surprises never cease to amaze me.

Favorite hotel to check in to:
Any Aman makes the check in process quite fun and in the comfort of your own room.

Traditional sitting room with blue-striped sofa and carved wood side table
Photo by David Hilegas

Favorite app:
I’m not a tech person. I loathe having to look at my phone.

Favorite morning beverage (and how you take it):
Ice tea with lemon.

Favorite thank you/hostess gift:

Favorite adult beverage:
I’m a vodka and water kind of guy.

An Irish wolfhound sits on a zebra-hide rug in front of a wood dresser topped with dry bar
Photo by Hector Sanchez

Favorite saying/quote:
“Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”

Favorite entertaining essential:
Too much food and too much booze.

Favorite artist:
Living or dead?! I have too many to name. I did just come from a fabulous Frankenthaler exhibit.

Favorite thing to collect:
Art and silver.

A red patterned headboard is paired with a blue blanket and starburst mirror
Photo by David Hilegas

Local Favorites: New Orleans

Favorite restaurant:

Favorite hotel to recommend to visiting friends:
Soniat House. It’s an authentic New Orleans experience.

Favorite local culture hub:
In New Orleans we are surrounded by culture. It’s a melting pot of gumbo.

Favorite local attraction:
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Favorite local flea market/vintage hunting ground:
Royal and Magazine Streets.

April 10, 2019

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