2005 Louisiana Idea House
Squire Creek, a residential community in Choudrant (near Ruston) is home to Emerson Hill. For years, it has been James Davison's dream to give the growing area its own golf club surrounded by beautiful wooded home sites. Bringing the project to life has been a family affair, with James; wife Dianne; daughter Catherine; and sons Steve, Mark, Todd, and Jim involved in all aspects of the development.
Ben incorporated some of the architectural elements that homeowners love most about his designs. "It's always a nice feature to open the front door and see all the way through the house," he explains. "I like to avoid narrow hallways, use taller door openings, and try to get windows on two walls of a room to let in more light."
In the adjacent family room, the inviting seating group focuses on the fireplace. The plush sofa and armchairs flank an oversize coffee table. A game table and chairs are angled in a corner near French doors that open to a back porch. This area is furnished with lounge chairs and a compact dining table and chairs.
Just steps away from the dining room and kitchen, in the butler's pantry, drawers and cabinets accommodate china, silver, linens, and other essentials for entertaining. A built-in wine rack and wine cooler as well as a cabinet fitted with wooden bars for storing pressed tablecloths and other linens maximize storage.
Another wide brick arch frames the opening to the dining room, a generous space with light gold walls enhanced by artwork and richly upholstered dining chairs. Connie says, "The shirred red silk window treatments are almost like ballgowns, with asymmetrical gold overlays cut like butterfly wings."
The family room's built-in shelves on one side of the fireplace contain a television cabinet made of reclaimed cypress. Its finish gives the appearance of a vintage free-standing armoire. Open shelves painted to match the trimwork provide a nice contrast and keep decorative items on display.
Builder Robert Stone used aged cypress, salvaged from an old mill, to construct the kitchen cabinets and for facing some of the appliances, such as the ice-maker and refrigerator. The reclaimed wood was cut, planed, and then made into cabinetry. A light finish lets the natural grain remain visible.
Wire-brushed black granite forms the countertops, and tumbled beige stone creates the backsplash. A brick arch, built to house the 48-inch stainless steel gas stove, mimics the arches that connect the kitchen and keeping room. Access to the parterre garden is through the friends' entry, just off the kitchen.
In addition to adorning the walls with artwork, Connie arranged decorative accessories on them. Above the table in the keeping room, shimmering green plates seem to float across a red wall, dividing a pair of framed prints. In the foyer, a collection of small mirrors hangs from a metal rod, brightening the wall area above the wooden bench.
Several well-designed areas bridge the space between the keeping room and garage. The office, fitted with cabinets given a distressed finish, provides two computer stations. Complete with a farmhouse sink and marble countertop, the laundry room has the appearance of a 1930s washroom but is equipped with modern conveniences. The friends' entry, with cypress cabinets to hide family members' gear, connects all of these areas like a spacious hallway.
To create a parterre, brick paths surround four square beds located at the front of the house. These spaces are convenient for growing herbs for cooking and flowers for cutting. Create your own by planting a few pots outside your door.
Near the garage, there's a small workroom for arranging flowers and potting plants. The countertop consists of poured concrete that is tinted with vivid green colorants. Given a rock-face edge, this thick work surface looks decades old. The slender stainless steel trough-shaped sink is perfect for both conditioning freshly cut flowers and cleaning golf clubs.
A dramatic red-striped wallpaper enriches the master bedroom, which is softened with creamy bed linens and floral print window treatments. Flanked by a small sitting area, the oversize window overlooks a portion of the community's golf course.
The bathroom features a stuccoed arch and double vanities. Tilework in this adjoining space was designed to resemble marble. A glass shower and whirlpool tub impart a luxurious feel. Two large closets fitted with drawers and double tiers of hanging rods make it easy to keep this entire area well-organized.
The study is a restful retreat with built-in bookshelves and chocolate brown walls. For a cooling contrast, window panels and valances are an aqua print trimmed in brown silk. Chocolate-and-aqua silk pillows highlight the camelback love seat; a velvet rectangular pillow glistens with decorative aqua-and-taupe fringe. With a large writing desk, as well as a comfortable chair and ottoman resting in a sunny corner, this is the perfect spot to do a little work or to just read and relax. Shimmering glass tile and faux-finished walls in the adjoining bath pick up the watery blue-green of the study.
In the boy's room, pale olive trimwork edges the greenish-gray walls. Rich suede cloth dresses the twin beds. The beaded-board ceiling is antiqued with a faint green stain.
The second-floor playroom opens to a deep porch. Wooden daybeds, treated to withstand outdoor use and outfitted with pillows, let this open-air area function as a sleeping porch. Fabric shades sewn from a weather-resistant fabric can be raised or lowered between the porch posts.
And to make activities mosquito free, this porch and all outdoor entertaining areas are equipped with tiny spray heads mounted in the ceiling. The system dispenses a mist of nontoxic chemicals that repels insects. Tubing that runs through attic connects the spray heads to a chemical storage tank housed behind the garage.