Tour this and six other stunning private homes in the historic Garden District at PRC’s 47th annual Holiday Home Tour presented by McEnery Residential on December 10 & 11.
While perusing Zillow in their off-time, these Friends of the PRC found a beautiful blank canvas in the 117-year-old home at 1221 First St.
They were not house hunting at the time, but this property had all the right features to entice a move: light-filled rooms, intricate plaster medallions and pocket doors, and expanses of white walls they could fill with their art collection. “We’re not renovators, but we do know a nice renovation when we see one,” one of the homeowners said.
They purchased the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home in the spring of 2018, upsizing from their previous residence just as they were on the verge of becoming empty-nesters. One child already was attending college; the other had one year left of high school.
According to a 2009 architectural history prepared by Historic Projects of New Orleans, the house sits on part of what originally was the Livaudais Plantation, a large tract of land either acquired or inherited by Jacques Francois Enould Dugue de Livaudais in the early 1800s.
When Livaudais divorced his wife, Marie Celeste Marigny Livaudais in 1826, the judgment required him to deed the plantation to her. In 1832, her solicitors sold the entire plantation to four real estate developers. Surveyor Benjamin Buisson subdivided the property, which was called Faubourg Livaudais. Tax records show that 1221 First St. was built by the Carroll family between 1905 and 1906, according to the Historic Projects report.
The home’s front façade features elements that suggest it was designed in the Queen Anne style popular at the turn of the 19th century. There are single-pane windows, uniquely shaped shingles, and decorative brackets supporting a portion of the gable roof. The homeowners particularly love the curve of the front porch and the leaded-glass design of the front door.
Photos by Liz Jurey
The home’s current renovation was the work of the previous owners, the Laushca family, who designed it with family-friendly spaces, including extensive changes in the open kitchen and den at the back of the house. Two large multi-paned windows were installed at either end of the back wall to give views of the covered porch and backyard.
The kitchen and den have a “warm, cozy feel,” the current owners said, and have become one of their favorite spaces.
The current owners made a few small changes, including painting the two marbled-topped kitchen islands a French blue to match the existing custom refrigerator. In the den, the couple added a built-in bar, painted in a similar blue, with a marble counter. Nearby, they hung an installation of three-dimensional metal orchids they found at Sotre, designer Grace Kaynor’s store on Magazine Street. A team of designers — Jeanne Barousse, Kevin Gillentine and Rivers Spencer — helped infuse youthful touches into the traditional spaces. Gillentine added splashes of color, such as the living room’s Visual Comfort Linden table lamp. In the dining room, he paired leopard print fabric-covered chairs with the traditional table the couple received as a wedding present. Both complement the room’s most significant feature: the monochromatic scenic wallpaper from Zuber, a wallpaper company based in Alsace, France, since 1797. Installed by the Lauchcas, the wallpaper has become another of the current homeowners’ favorite features.
Barousse created custom window treatments in the entry hall, living room, parlor and dining room. Spencer helped the couple with sourcing accents and some pieces of artwork, such as a painting by Greenville, S.C., artist Janina Tukarski Ellis.
The couple’s favorite interior detail is the high-gloss white paint from Fine Paints of Europe that covers the walls of the living room and parlor, two adjoining rooms to the right of the entry hall. The color gave them the perfect starting point to display their growing art collection.
There are paintings from prominent Louisiana artists George Dunbar, Ashley Longshore, Hunt Slonem and Amanda Talley and pieces found during the couple’s travels, including their regular trips to Telluride, Colo. During a recent trip there, they found a mixed-media collage-on-linen piece by Dallas artist Brenda Bogart, entitled “Primose.” The couple hung it in the parlor, which also features a game table handmade by an artisan in Italy.
“In a serious room, they add a little bit of fun,” they said.
Photos by Liz Jurey. Click to expand images.