How I Gather

Bringing people together around a table is our greatest passion in life and we believe food is one of the most powerful tools for connection. In our series, How I Gather we go behind the scenes with our favorite foodies to see how they do it. See All

Do you ever wish you could streamline your aesthetic? As someone who dances up and down the style spectrum (urban one day, preppy the next; neutral-loving today, color-hungry tomorrow), I’ve always admired anyone who can zero in on their personal style and embrace it completely… which is precisely why Juley Le of Upperlyne & Co. first caught my eye. Her aesthetic is classic, casual, cool, and above all, consistently gorgeous. Since first visiting Upperlyne, it’s become a daily destination for all things fashion and food, and any time we get a snapshot of Juley’s sweet Boston Terrier, it’s just the icing on the cake. We met up with this darling New Orleans gal in her charming home for a mouthwatering brunch, all served up with a helping of Juley’s signature style.

*photography by Buff Strickland

Tell us about your home:

I live in a one-bedroom apartment in a small complex in the heart of the Garden District in New Orleans. Our location is pretty ideal and allows for a nice balance of social and outdoorsy activities.

I can hop out the door to go for a run down St. Charles Avenue, or we can walk to several neighborhood bars and grocery stores. The apartment itself is charming in that it’s very old and full of creeks, has insulation issues, and not to mention the world’s smallest kitchen!

But I love the character. There are high ceilings, large French windows, and a small office where I work from.

It took a little bit of time to figure out how to best use the small space, but we’ve finally made it our own.

Current favorite color palette for parties:

Whites and grays with touches of natural wood and greens


The taste I’m always craving:

Bread and butter

The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:

I love taking friends (especially out-of-towners) to Donald Link’s Cochon. It’s all about an authentic but elevated Southern family meal there. We’d order a little bit of everything, which usually includes fried alligator, boudin, an assortment of vegetable dishes, rabbit and dumplings, catfish courtbouillon, and at least two baskets of their fresh baked rolls.

pictured here: organic shaped bowls, linens and serving pieces from West Elm

My standard hostess outfit:

A white t-shirt, black skinnies, and a stylish apron. Sometimes I’ll take off the apron but for the most part I keep it on because it makes me feel good!

pictured here: the Lisette Tower Chairs from Lulu & Georgia

My must-have entertaining tool:

Good music and happy drinks.

Tell us about this amazing cocktail:

I mixed gin into traditional Vietnamese Limeade. It’s super refreshing and common at most mom and pop Vietnamese restaurants, sans the gin, of course!

To make it, combine 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice and 1 cup of simple syrup into 1 liter of water. Spike with a 1/4 cup gin, then garnish with mint and limes slices or lime peels.

My entertaining style in five words or less:

Simple and laid-back.

What (if anything) scares you about entertaining?

Everything about entertaining scares me! But mainly, cooking for a big crowd is intimidating. You just never know how people will react.

The perfect dinner party playlist includes: 

Always old school jams

Where did you learn to cook?

My mom and three older sisters are all wonderful cooks, not to mention growing up in the South does a number to your cooking gene (even if you don’t have one).

I learned most from observing as well as staying glued to cooking channels since I was about 10 years old.

I’m definitely not the best cook, but have learned when to assemble, when to cook from scratch, and when to order in. It’s about cooking with intuition!

Click here to get Juley’s recipe for Shrimp & Grits with a Soft-Boiled Egg.

Tell us about your adorable dog:

Jameson came into me and my husband, Josh’s, life four years ago. We credit the pup for saving our relationship. He helped redirect our priorities and taught us how to care for another living thing together.

He is this great, big ball of energy. With Jameson around, the vibe is always a little bit more relaxed. He’s also insanely smart and knows a lot of tricks, so when entertaining, we can deflect the attention to him.

My dream dinner guests:

  • New Orleans’ Chef Donald Link for an authentic and unforgettable Southern meal
  • Ina Garten for inspiration
  • Carine Roitfield for style
  • Will Ferrell for laughs
  • John Legend for entertainment

My signature entertaining dish:

An interactive dish. This time I thought a do-it-yourself eclair bar would be a fun ending to brunch!

Always in my refrigerator: 

eggs, yogurt, a variety of mustards, bacon, water

The entertaining rule I rarely break:

I never make a big fuss out of an event whether it’s a birthday or even brunch. It’s nice for guests to know they’re coming into something comfortable, so I rarely have seating arrangements or even invites.

Friends usually get a text a day before I host anything. Setting laid-back expectations is a nice surprise for people and keeps my nerves calm.

Hop on over to Upperlyne & Co. to see more of Juley’s impeccable style!

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