You know a project will be fun when the client is also the contractor and he says “What you can design, I can build”.
He and his wife have a wonderful sense of design and adventure. They wanted something “different” for the design of their new family home.
I would say –
“Okay, how about a deep aubergine dining room with three walls of glass and a vaulted copper roof?”
Owners: “We like it. Keep going.”
“…how about a house plan that wraps around a European style motorcourt and we’ll have a jumbo window dormer overlooking the motorcourt with a huge gas lantern?”
“…how about a light filled hallway that pulls you through the house and the hallway is punctuated at each end with paneled elliptical arch openings?”
Owners: “We can build that.”
Letting the imagination run wild, a deep, dark pantry was envisioned with a big round window. A chunky round black newel post at the foot of the staircase. A master bathroom that looks like you’ve stepped into a luxury spa.
All of the design ideas were executed beautifully by the highly skilled construction team and artisans. For example, the elliptical arches are one of the most difficult arch types to construct and the contractor nailed it with perfection. This special arch shape had to be created by the custom window fabricators, the framers, brick masons, and trim carpenters. To have the elliptical arch dormer windows fabricated at the same time as the framing is a feat because the shape of the elliptical arch window has to fit perfectly into the wood framing of the dormer. To achieve this, we had the blueprint shop print out the drawing at a full 1:1 scale on the largest size paper available. The framers and the custom window fabricators worked off the full scale drawings and when the windows were installed in the framed dormers, they fit like a glove. This allowed the construction to proceed at an efficient pace.
An architect often works as an intermediary between homeowners. In this project, the husband wanted the kitchen to be separate from the living room. The wife, however, wanted the kitchen to be open to the living room. The design solution was to create this large built-in unit from floor to ceiling that has a pass-through opening in the middle. It was a “win – win” because the built-in serves as a clear division between the kitchen and living room and yet you can see the living room from the kitchen through the opening. As an added bonus, the pass-through has a countertop that is perfect for setting out food platters during a party.
One of the things I hear most is that homeowners do not often use their existing dining rooms, so I’ve been looking at ways to create dining rooms that are open to other rooms such that the space will be used on a more regular basis. In this project, we created this gorgeous dining room right off the kitchen. Because of the direct and open relationship to the kitchen, the space is used often. The rich aubergine paint color, vaulted ceiling, and large windows overlooking the back yard make this an incredible space for daily dining.
This project could only have been achieved by a highly skilled construction team. Having a husband and wife duo with an adventurous spirit for design allowed the project to fulfill its full potential. It’s definitely not every homeowner that allows their pantry to be painted in a deep dark grey!
Photography by Sara Essex Bradley
Old Metairie, Louisiana
Custom New Build Home