Call it an empty-nester opportunity.
With their twin boys grown and gone and their daughter just off to college, a couple went searching for an expanse of land in Texas where they could build the home they’d always wanted–and house their horses as well.
While the couple enlisted architect Clay Nelson to devise plans for a Tuscan-style farmhouse with an open plan and spacious outdoor living areas, they approached designer Traci Connell with a somewhat different request: The Louisiana natives wanted the interiors to celebrate their Southern roots. “That struck a chord with me,” Connell says. “My daughter was born in southern Louisiana. I had this connection to the feeling they wanted–that Creole originality and uniqueness.”
Connell selected finishes that refer back to her clients’ childhood homes — whitewashed brick in the breakfast area, wrought-iron balusters on the stairs — while she incorporated their objects and heirlooms into the design. “The house is grounded,” the wife says. “In every room, there’s a touch of something from a family member or from Louisiana.”
Connell had a slightly different focus in the nearby barn, which also includes the husband’s office. “This was his escape,” she explains. The barn was such a hit that it’s become a favorite gathering place for friends and family as well.