Hello there, and welcome to TrippaLuka Style, a fun and happy place in this big blogosphere, where you’re invited to come by to visit and enjoy your time with us while creating designs that fit your life… with a Louisiana culture inspired twist!
I’d say that TrippaLuka Style is a picturesque and eclectic collection. I’m presuming that you’ve heard the saying, ‘variety is the spice of life’. Well, life around here is like a big pot of New Orleans style gumbo (or a box of chocolates), and it’s all good! This is a place that’s comfortable, laid-back, and easy going, where we talk about interior design and architecture, art, music, color schemes, gardens and gardening, delicious food and beverages (like chocolate and coffee, of course!), and all things cultural in Louisiana, especially the greater New Orleans region. We’d love for you to drop in and visit us here, share your thoughts and join in the conversation.
Meet the team behind my blog
My name is Patricia A. Shutts Spicuzza, and I’m a professional interior designer who’s passionate about architecture and design. I’m the founder and editor-in-chief of TrippaLuka Style blog. Our planning and design consulting firm, P.A.S. Interiors, llc, is named after moi (that’s Cajun French for ‘me’), an entrepreneur born and raised in the ‘Bayou Country’ of south Louisiana. My family, friends, co-workers and clients typically call me by my nickname, ‘Trisha’. But, a few of my old high school friends still honorably call me ‘Trippa’, the nickname that was accidentally bestowed upon me by my hometown piano teacher, who profoundly inspired me in music, design, history, and much more (see the story below to know what it means). I feel so fortunate to work daily alongside my husband and business partner, Luke (aka, ‘Luka’ by his Table Tennis friends… another meaningful story below, too). He’s a New Orleans native, who grew up in the Lower Garden District, an area locally known as the ‘Irish Channel’. By profession, Luke is an architectural engineer, an accredited healthcare safety officer, and a certified building designer who has always been passionate about the built environment and interiors.
We live in St. Tammany Parish (Louisiana is the only state in the USA that doesn’t have ‘counties’), in the quaint small historic Town of Abita Springs, and is located on the Northshore of the metropolitan City of New Orleans. Our home-based office for P.A.S. Interiors was established here in 2001, and we primarily focus on commercial, healthcare, and custom residential projects. Much of our design work and ‘style’ is inspired by our unique surroundings and cultural heritage, and we focus on offering consulting services that ‘bridge’ architecture with interior design to create beautiful, functional, and environmentally responsible building interiors. For a brief overview and background of us, feel free to check out our company’s introduction video here. If you have questions and would like to get in touch with me, or are interested in our professional consulting services, feel free to send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The story of the name ‘Trippa’
My beloved piano teacher was Mrs. J. Farquahard Chauvin, the former Mary Allen McBride, of Bell Grove Plantation that once stood in Terrebonne Parish. Mrs. Chauvin was born in 1893, and by the time my older sister and I took our first piano lesson from her in the fall of 1972, she was in her late 70’s, and I was in the fourth grade. My sister and I were among the third generation of students taught by Mrs. Chauvin in her historic home on Verret Street in Houma, Louisiana. The 1834 house was built like a plantation house, and much of the furniture pieces there were already antiques from their earlier days at Belle Grove. Mrs. Chauvin was a very refined and gentle Southern lady who taught us more than how to play the piano on both her Steinway baby grand and classic studio upright that sat side by side in the ‘music parlor’ of her beautifully appointed home. When we arrived at the house after school, before our lessons began, we would enjoy a late afternoon snack with her while she sipped her Twinings Earl Grey tea from her porcelain china teacup. She demonstrated to us how to walk gracefully, and not stomp our feet, when we practiced entering the parlor in preparation for recitals. And she taught us about proper etiquette and that dressing for the occasion was of utmost importance (her students always wore formal attire, dresses or suits, for her recitals). She told us many stories about her life growing up on Belle Grove, and explained how some of the antiques in her home were made (I think that’s when I became intrigued with historic preservation). She was petite, but very strong-willed, and although arthritis had set into her classically trained fingers, and her soprano voice had lost its clarity, her mind still had perfect pitch throughout our years learning from her. She wore dentures that sometimes slipped, and every once in a while, we’d catch a little spit in our eye during a lesson. One day, while practicing a duet on the baby grand with a high school classmate of mine, Mrs. Chauvin accidentally called me ‘Trippa’ when the super Poligrip gave way. Mrs. Chauvin said, ‘Oops!,’ we all smiled (and giggled), then continued on with our lesson. The next day at my high school, I brought with me my new cherished knick-name. To this day, some of my dearest and closest friends still affectionately call me by this name, which I am so very proud to be known by.
The story of the name ‘Luka’
Around southeast Louisiana, whenever someone mentions ‘The Storm’ in a conversation, almost certainly they’re referring to Hurricane Katrina of 2005. With so much destruction to the built environment, an incredibly heavy workload ensued during the aftermath for the architects, interior designers, engineering consultants, and other trade professionals in our industry. New building codes and statutes were being implemented, and more stringent requirements on building permit applications followed shortly thereafter. Stress levels were at an all-time high. During that time, Luke noticed a small article in a local newspaper titled, ‘Table Tennis Players Wanted,’ seeking senior citizens 50 years and older to come play at the Mandeville Community Center. By chance, he had recently become eligible for his AARP membership, which gave him the required credentials he needed to play Table Tennis at the MCC. He hadn’t played ping pong, um, I mean table tennis, much at all since his college days, but after he easily found his old paddle stored away in the attic, he decided to go try out with the ‘old guys’ one Friday afternoon. When he got home that evening, Luke looked like he’d been running a marathon race. He’d had a blast, and was hooked! There were a few Asian players who had heavy accents and spoke in broken English, but the common ground on the table tennis tabletop became a place that translated words into smiles and laughter. The true camaraderie shared among these players with various backgrounds developed into trust and understanding, where the only thing being stressed was for everyone to have fun. Several weeks later, Luke got a call from ‘China Bob,’ one of his Table Tennis friends he’d met at the MCC. Another player, Dr. Jin, was expanding his medical practice to the Northshore, since many of his patients had been displaced here after the Storm, and needed help from a professional design consultant with the new permit application processes. Luke was able to assist him quickly with that request. Dr. Jin was one of the players who spoke very little English, and would say ‘Luka’ when he tried to pronounce Luke’s name. The other players picked up on this nickname, too, which Luke proudly accepted. Dr. Jin used to bring iced green tea to the MCC on Fridays, and would invite ‘Luka’ to share it with him during breaks between games. One day, Luke received a different call from ‘China Bob,’ saying that Dr. Jin had urgently been taken to a local hospital. He’d had a massive stroke and wasn’t expected to be with us much longer. Luke and I went right away to see Dr. Jin that same evening, and the hospital waiting room was filled with Asian friends and family members. We weren’t able to speak their language, but the tears in our eyes translated our expression of sympathy to them. Although Dr. Jin is no longer with the table tennis players here on earth, there was a kindred spirit between these two friends, and ‘Luka’ plays in his honor now, while having a whole lot of fun!
And, the story behind the Blog’s Logo
Luke and I both received our college degrees from universities in Louisiana, during an era when architectural sketches and drawings were taught to be drawn by hand. Since that time, we’ve both acquired the ability to produce CAD drawings, however, the architectural ‘chiseled pencil’ and ‘hand-sketch’ font styles used in our blog’s logo reflects our old-school heritage of an architect’s handwriting skill that we both still use today. It’s our unified voice, symbolic of our chocolate-box eclectic collection!
You’re invited to grab a cup of coffee (or tea), pull up a chair, listen to your favorite music, and join us here to experience with us our Joie de vivre (joy of living) in south Louisiana. We hope you enjoy being here, where we’ll Laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)!
Take it easy,