Drawing inspiration from raised plantation cottages, this house incorporates a wide center hall and an outdoor gallery within an asymmetrical composition that responds to the site configuration and opportunities for sweeping views. The site is a promontory where two bayous intersect; more than half of its perimeter is formed by water. From one angle, the house faces a golf course across the bayou. In the opposite direction, the residence faces an uninterrupted vista two miles upriver.
Embracing nature in a meaningful way was the key to the site plan. Bayou DeSiard laps up to serpentine wooden boardwalks that wrap the property. Mature bald cypress trees stand knee-deep in the water, dripping Spanish moss. Like the intersecting waterways, the rooms of the house flow easily from one to the next, eliminating the need for formal hallways. Nodding to northern Louisiana plantation antecedents, the dwelling is only a single story high. The design, however, is hardly an exercise in orthodox historicism, as evidenced by its idiosyncratic architectural details and absence of shutters.
A formal columned portico stands at the center of a broad gable at the front of the house. At the client’s request, the brick facade is painted in pale yellow—specifically, a shade replicated from the historic Beauregard-Keyes House in New Orleans. Inside, an imposing entry hall culminates in a barrel-vaulted living room with a 22-foot-high ceiling. Looking out to the bayou, a covered porch at the rear of the house, visible through French doors and transoms, provides an eminently gracious gathering place for the family.
The interiors combine bespoke upholstered furniture with a mix of pedigreed antiques. The walls and rugs are mostly beiges and blues. Custom-designed chandeliers temper the scale of the living room, where subtly colored silk window treatments and textured linen fabrics echo the gentle palette of a Chinese needlepoint carpet.