Posts Tagged ‘St. Francisville Louisiana’

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Harmony House Ready for Guests!

June 17, 2014

So much for good intentions! It’s been two weeks since I set the goal to blog about old design and color projects on Thursdays. Although it’s not a Thursday, I wanted to follow up on my previous post about Harmony House, the house I created the architectural design of  that’s now available for rent as a private B&B retreat (private meaning you get the whole house to yourself!). I was there visiting the new owners yesterday who were putting the finishing touches on it for their first guests due to arrive this Friday, so I snapped a few photos to share.

You enter both houses from a large screened in porch, which many say is their favorite part of the house. I call Harmony House “Mon Soleil on steroids” because we added five feet to the width and eight feet to the length, a much grander staircase and a bay window in the living room.

HH Porch

The spacious screened porch is comfortable year around with its ceiling fans and fireplace.

 The extra width increased the ceiling height in the Living Room from 20′ to 23′ and it includes a kitchen and dining area with a staircase leading to a loft bedroom with two built-in Dutch beds.

HH LR

The main living area is open onto a kitchen and has another huge fireplace that shares the same chimney as the porch fireplace.

HH Kitchen

The kitchen has all the modern conveniences and a huge island around the stove where everyone likes to gather at parties.

The Master Bedroom opens onto a spacious deck complete with hot tub and outdoor shower:

HH MBRMaster Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim are all painted “Edgewood Green”.

The downstairs Guest Bedroom has two twin-sized Dutch beds and with the added square footage, its size increased considerably from my little 7′ x 10′ guest bedroom, so that this one has a reading nook:

HH GBRWalls and ceiling are painted “Spring Green”. Trim throughout the house is “Edgewood Green”

The most spectacular part of Harmony House is the outdoor areas. I wish I could take credit for these but those kudos go to the previous owners. However, I supplied the willow furniture made by Fred Hunt of Broken Bow, Oklahoma who is now operating his own B&B (www.thepastureatwillowsranch.com). He also made 20 pieces for Michael J. Fox’s Sharon, Connecticut home, thanks to their designer Marc Charbonnet who put together that sale for me!

HH deck

This covered deck is one of several decks.

HH OutdoorThe screened porch leads to an outdoor fire pit and picnic area.

As you might have imagined, this wonderful little oasis is deep in the Louisiana woods and has a 60′  foot bridge with a deck in the middle spanning a 150 foot ravine that leads to another house which is currently being spruced up for guests. Photos and more on “Melody House” soon! For more information on Harmony and Melody House, email Keith Koppens at keithkoppens@aol.com, Vincent Chatelain at vincentchatelain@hotmail.com or Pam Randazza at pamran@bellsouth.net.

If you would like your own little sanctuary/retreat, that’s my specialty! I have taken these house plans and re-worked them for two other clients, so email me at ellen@ellenkennon.com.

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Throwback Thursday: Harmony House

May 22, 2014

For my second Throwback Thursday post, I thought I’d share a local project I’ve been helping with. Back in 1998, I was asked to design a house based on the design of my own home, but bigger. Part of my task was to come up with a plan to market and rent it out as a bed and breakfast.

As luck would have it, the local historical society’s annual Audubon Pilgrimage home tour was scheduled about the same time as the construction completion date, so we came up with the idea to turn “Harmony House” into a decorator showcase house as an added bonus to the tour. We named it “Harmony House” since several designers had to work together due to it’s open floor plan.

The large one-room living, dining, kitchen area has a staircase leading to a loft bedroom upstairs. The designer for downstairs wanted mustard walls and the designer for the loft upstairs wanted red brick walls, but there was no way we could use both colors together as there was nowhere to stop one color and start another. Personally, I thought both colors were too strong for the huge space. To compromise, we created “Terracotta Sand” which worked beautifully with both designers’ fabric choices. (This was before I had my line of Full Spectrum Paints.)

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“Terracotta Sand” walls & ceiling with “Edgewood Green” trim, which brings the outdoors in.

Since then, the house was bought by one of the B&B guests and recently sold back to the original owner who plans to rent it out again as a bed and breakfast. He hired local painter Mike Small to repaint everything, using the same colors, but this time the colors have my full spectrum formulas!

Today I got to see once again what a huge difference full spectrum makes in not only brightening up the place, but also in the way the energy shifted. I’ve had countless psychics, channelers and regular folks like you and me rave about the great energy radiating from our paints and this project is a perfect example. Dr. Doreen Virtue in her book, 21 Days to Improve Communicating with Your Angels, says one of the first things you can do to purify your home so that angels will want to come in, is to paint your walls!

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Since the beginning of Full Spectrum Paints, I have visualized and prayed that everyone who comes in contact with them is joyful and balanced.

Mike Small, who is doing a fabulous job painting, also gave me a couple of painting tips I’d like to share. He said when painting with an eggshell finish, it’s important to paint “wet on wet”, meaning to start rolling the walls while the paint from cutting in is still wet. This avoids lapping or flashing. He also said he adds a little bit of water to the paint when touching up. Having never used our products, he’s loving both the coverage and application of our products and is using all three finishes from the Diamond 350 and Lifemaster product lines. Locals, Mike can be reached via his cell: 225-245-1269.

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The former Harmony House owners used “Terracotta Sand” again in their new home shown here because not only did they like it, but it also happened to blend in perfectly with the already pickled cabinetry! Since the rest of the trim was white and nothing special, we minimized it by painting all walls & trim the same “Terracotta Sand” in an eggshell finish.

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Local Talent & Local Events

October 3, 2012

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything. I must confess, I haven’t been quite myself this Summer as I was attacked by a bulldog in July and it threw me for quite a loop! I was squatting down to look at some paint cans at a client’s camp and their bulldog charged at me from across the porch and both hit and bit me in the face in one hard punch! By the time I got to the hospital, my blood pressure was 200/116. I’ve never had high blood pressure before in my life and the trauma was so shocking, I’m still battling it. Thankfully, my face is healing fairly well and that part of it could have been much worse. I’m still trying to figure out “the lesson” in all of this, but for the life of me, I have no earthly idea! Any thoughts or ideas are most welcome.

On a more pleasant note, my dear friend Beverly Walker, who’s well-known around the St. Francisville-Baton Rouge-New Orleans area for her brilliant and beautiful parties and flowers, has outdone herself once again, by creating one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen! I couldn’t resist sharing some of the photos.

The wedding was at the bride’s family home which was designed to look like Live Oak Plantation. 

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I love the tablecloths Beverly used which are made from bleached burlap.

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Beverly even used some of the same bleached burlap to make the grooms’ boutonnieres.

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The Bride’s Bouquet

As you can see, Beverly is our local “Martha Stewart” and is available both locally and she also will travel to create magical parties just about anywhere. She can be reached via her email: rosebank1989@aol.com. (Rosebank is the name of the plantation where she and her family have lived in St. Francisville since 1989 when I first met her.)

On another note, Randy Harelson and New Orleans’ photographer Richard Sexton just came out with a gorgeous and most interesting book, New Roads and Old Rivers, on Pointe Coupee Parish which has already received glowing reviews by Southern Living Magazine. The town of New Roads in Pointe Coupee Parish is just across the beautiful new bridge from St. Francisville and I love making the short trip (now only 15 minutes!) because it has such a totally different landscape and architecture from our English-inspired parish.

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Pointe Coupee is one of the oldest settlements in the Mississippi Valley, dating to the 1720s. French for “a place cut off,” the name refers to the area’s three oxbow lakes, separated from the Mississippi over centuries. A peninsula edged by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, Pointe Coupee remains a land rich in Creole heritage, distinct in geographical beauty, and abounding in historic homes and farms. 

If you are thinking about planning a visit to our area, now is the perfect time as fall weather has finally arrived! Winter is also an excellent time if you live in the cold northern climates as temps can easily get up into the seventies during our mild winters. And if you are looking for a unique and private place to stay, Shadetree Inn in St. Francisville has never looked better after sprucing things up for Willem Dafoe, who stayed in our Gardener’s Cottage while filming his new film with Matt Dillon and Tom Berrenger, “Whiskey Bay”. He liked it so much, he brought back his wife for a visit!

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Shadetree Inn‘s Gardener’s Cottage features 13 stained glass windows and sweeping vistas overlooking the 4 acre hilltop in St. Francisville’s historic district. (Above photo is of the living room in the Gardener’s Cottage.)

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It’s a Mighty Long Way from Peter Marino Architect to St. Francisville!

June 20, 2012

Last week a video crew from NYC came to St. Francisville to interview one of our newest residents, writer Rod Dreher. Rod just landed a column with the BBC, so they came down to shoot a video of him and the St. Francisville area in conjunction with his first column. I can’t help but reflect on what a different life I am living, compared to my first year in Manhattan where I was honored to work for the great Peter Marino whose projects include some of the most opulent residences in New York.

I didn’t even know who Peter was (a friend suggested I send him my resume’) until I was sitting in his office waiting for an interview. His secretary handed me a copy of the latest House & Garden Magazine with an article about Peter’s project for Christopher Whittle in the Dakota. The first line of the article was ” ‘Peter Marino‘  Marie-Helene de Rothschild was heard to reply when asked by a dinner companion to name the most sought-after architect/interior designer on the international axis.”  The article went on to not only showcase Whittle’s apartment, but talked about all of the custom furnishings. . . upholstery made by a tapissier in Paris, the silk fabric made in Lyon, museum quality antiques. . . Needless to say, I was bowled over!

On my first day, Peter sent another new employee and I to see the Whittle project which was even more stunning in person.

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Whittle’s Edwardian Apartment in the Dakota

I learned more in that one year from this incredibly talented and brilliant man (he was often on the phone speaking Italian, German, French. . . ) than I’ve learned about design in my entire 30 year career. What a surprise it has been to see his personal transformation from this somewhat thin man wearing bow ties, button-down collar shirts and pleated pants, to this muscular black leather-clad powerhouse!

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From Bow-ties to Black Leather, Peter Marino today.

 Here’s a link to the article on Peter that goes with the above photo that appeared in last January’s issue of Architectural Digest that’s now online:  AD: Peter Marino’s Edgy Style

Needless to say, I was exposed to some of the finest interiors in New York and my first project for him was completing the punch list for the new (back in the eighties, mind you) Barney’s women’s store. I spent the first two weeks drooling with mouth agape most of the time. However, as the year went on, I found myself constantly saying how much nicer my clients were down South than the ones I had to work with in Manhattan. So that brings me back to the video that was shot just last week on Rod Dreher and St. Francisville. The opening photo is of the front of Shadetree Inn where we paint samples, pour jars and handle all things related to paint samples and shipping. Kenwood (my former husband, daughter’s Dad and still family) and our dog Rosie are also featured. Be sure to read Rod’s interesting article on the War of 1812!     

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Link to video & article: BBC News: West Florida Republic: The birth of US Imperialism

On another note, my office (where I handle the business part of my company) was featured again on Houzz.com in this article on Dutch beds: houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/26699/Loft-Home-Office-Guest-Bedroom-eclectic-home-office-new-orleans