Contemporary Cool_lowres

Quality modern designs destined to become classics fill the showroom at Ray Langley Interiors.

Great contemporary designs without compromise in quality or materials is what Philip Langley looks for in selecting items for his home decorating store, Ray Langley Interiors (2302 Magazine St., 522-2284;

Langley, who owns the store with his wife Donna Ray, opened the design studio in the arts district more than six years ago and moved into a renovated showroom on Magazine Street two months ago. The move gave Ray Langley more showroom space and more walk-in traffic from customers combing the stores along the shopping corridor.

Langley favors contemporary furnishings and accessories from makers such as B&B Italia, Cassina, deSede, Flos, Ligne Roset, Maxalto and Mono. The philosophy for the store, he says, is "quality design, authentic design, design without compromise." His goal is to show New Orleans, which has a penchant for antiques, how to experience and enjoy quality contemporary design.

"If you have design in your life, you have a nearly complete world," he says. "Whether it's cars, household items you use on a daily basis, it is everywhere. Good design lasts forever. When you actually look at some of the things that were done in the '50s and '40s, they were well done and they've acquired a following. We feel that what we do now are the classics for tomorrow."

Langley has done the interior decorating for several homes in the city now, including art patron Jim Mounger and noted historian Doug Brinkley, but it continues to be a challenge to convert those accustomed to antiques to a love of contemporary design.

"It is still an antique town," he says. "People grow up with antiques at home and most people here, what they know is what they grew up with. It is a challenge, but it's an exciting challenge."

Looking Good

Beauty 101 (2728 Magazine St., 895-2869) a couple weeks ago began offering spa services on the second floor of its roomy store. New services include six types of facials (including a special one for men), manicures, pedicures, and full waxing services. On the ground floor, which has a showroom filled with cosmetics and body products, new additions include the popular Smashbox makeup, and coming soon are mineral-based cosmetics by ID Bare Escentuals.