Signature Southern Accents has made its name across the southern region of Louisiana. Founded in 1992 as a flooring business, Signature has evolved to become a fully fledged design business providing clients with integrated solutions for design-and-build, floors, furnishings, lighting, and accessories. In addition to the retail store, Signature Southern Accents provides interior design services for both commercial and residential projects. Whether you contact us as an individual or a business, our job is to see that your project surpasses all your goals, while respecting your time and budget. We work with every client to coordinate wall finishes, flooring, countertops, window treatments, lighting, furniture and accessories. In addition, we facilitate the design process by providing a complete line of merchandise, materials, installation, and more.
Baton Rouge (OK, Central)-born and bred, Melane knew she’d be a designer as a ten-year-old, when her Mom decided to re-do the den with the help of Rita Nixon, owner of a local design shop named Montage. “I went in Ms. Rita’s shop and I fell in love with all the fabric!” Melane says. She spun that fabric obsession into a degree in Apparel Merchandising from LSU, then a position at Goudchaux’s/Maison Blanche, before joining Signature Floors in 1992. As the business evolved, floors led to furniture, lighting, accessories, artwork and, naturally fabric; and by the time Melane bought founder Angie Stewart out in 2002, Signature Southern Accents was doing it all. But for a born-and-raised local girl still in love with Louisiana’s unique combination of French/Creole design and welcoming joie de vie, the evolution feels natural. “I’ve always been about seeing the whole project come together,” Melane says. “I think that a well-designed space should be comfortable. It should reflect your personality and make you feel good. Just like a great pair of jeans.”
Melane loves: saltwater fishing
Melane’s design mantra: “I think everybody needs a little bit of aqua in their house. And a little bit of Asian.”
Erin Landry DeRouen
If ever anyone was born into design, it was Erin Landry DeRouen. “I grew up in the store,” says Melane’s daughter. “I was answering the phone when I was eleven years old.” And although she graduated from LSU with a degree in apparel merchandising before joining her Mom’s business full-time in 2016, Erin is happy to admit that she came by most of what she knows about the design business the old-fashioned way: “I learned from my Mom and my Dad.” A devotee of Louisiana’s timeless architectural styles and family-focused approach to shared space, Erin adores old homes, and can’t drive through a historic neighborhood without wishing she could peek into each home to see how it’s laid out inside. What’s the most important trait in the design process? “Communication,” she says promptly. “You have to understand your customer. And to do that, you have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.”
Erin loves: Shopping, home projects, time with family
Erin’s design mantra: “Less is more, because simple is classic.”
Designer and self-confessed ‘color-freak,’ Angie’s passion for decorating got the better of her early in life. “When I was young, Mom would leave for work and I would rearrange all the furniture,” she says with a laugh. “I would feel like, ‘It’s not working like this; I’ve got to change it.’ Then Mom would come home and be like, ‘Again!?’ ”
But now, with a degree in interior design and years of experience at Ethan Allen and Fabric Warehouse to her credit, Angie’s innate ability to visualize how things go together is her greatest asset. That, and knowing that the key to making clients’ dreams come true, is to listen. “When I’m listening to everything you tell me and respecting what you care about, I can visualize, spatially, how we can turn that into your dream,” she says. “At the end, I get such a thrill of going into a customer’s house and they say, ‘You just read my mind!’ ”
Angie loves: Gardening, entertaining, and football. The color blue. The fact that her clients consider her their “design friend,” rather than their consultant.
Angie’s design mantra: Befriend my client right away, and base everything, design-wise, on their lifestyle.
Storm Lantrip, Jr.
A designer who cheerfully acknowledges getting his boundless energy from other people, Storm imagines that being an interior designer probably has a lot in common with therapy. “I love working with people one-on-one,” he says. “I like to sit down and kind of figure them out, to find out what they care about. Then when I’m looking through fabrics, I can say, ‘they’re not gonna like this one because …’ ” Committed to creating designs that reflect their owners’ personalities and tastes, Storm’s personal aesthetic inclines towards French design elements, especially blended with touches of modern, Asian-inspired elements. What does he like most about designing for a Louisiana clientele? “The architectural vernacular we exist within. Here, people respond to a blend of French and eclecticism.”
Storm loves: Cooking and entertaining. Getting to live out his design fantasies on behalf of others.
Storm’s design mantra: “Work with someone over time and you’ll learn who they are. That’s what I love about the design process.”
Seventeen years as a buyer and vice president for the Goudchaux’s/Maison Blanche department stores added a passion for travel to this New Orleanian’s lifelong love of art and design. “I think that travel is one of the best educational tools,” she says, “as well as making you accepting of all cultures.” As a buyer for Signature, Pam applies the international perspective she gained traveling the world in search of new fashions, to her appreciation for Louisiana’s unique sense of style, introducing new products and ideas and challenging customers to explore different approaches. “In other parts of the US, it’s hard to find a regional style that’s as strong as Louisiana’s,” she says. “Culturally it’s eclectic and diverse, while at the same time being a very strong ‘people place.’ It reflects our culture, and I think that pulls together to create a good aesthetic vibe.
Pam loves: gardening, art, and antiques.
Pam’s design mantra: “You have to stop and look at the whole picture.”