City Social Magazine

MAR-APR 2018

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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52 former owners give accounts of how the home has changed through the years. Before making it their own, however, the couple was drawn to the house as a potential renovation project. That changed immediately upon their entering the house. "We walked in that door and just went 'this is it,'" recounts Michelle. "It was just meant to be our home." Within two weeks, the couple had purchased the house and began making plans to restore and revitalize their newfound, historically significant home. But, given their unfamiliarity with historical homes, they turned to a professional whom they could trust—Jerad Gardemal of Beth Claybourn Interiors. Already enamored of him and his work after he helped them renovate their first Baton Rouge home, the couple contracted Jerad and gladly turned him loose on their new home. Referring to him as "our captain," Michelle and Chris wax enthusiastic about his visionary-like ability to see what needs doing in a way that others don't and exceptional attention to even the smallest of details. "[We] couldn't have done it without him," they add. Jerad is equally happy with what they've since accomplished with the home. Upon being hired, he made it his goal to simultaneously honor their personal styles and be true to the time period in which the home was originally designed. "The integrity of the home matters to us," he explains. Their efforts included using as many items original to the home, as well as antiques from elsewhere, as possible rather than utilizing faux-historical features. Among such pieces are a series of antique lighting fixtures spread throughout the home, including a magnificent chandelier left to Michelle by her late grandfather. Other must-sees antiques include a collection of fireplaces and antique carpets which lend the home an old-worm charm and serve as a fitting counterpart to the home's contemporary (and fun) décor. With preserving the integrity of the house foremost in their minds, the Truax family and Jerad were very selective in respect to which contemporary pieces and renovations they decided upon. Thus far, only a handful of structural renovations have been made— most of which took place in the kitchen. Previously a "closed" space intended strictly for cooking, the kitchen is now equally ideal for entertaining and casual family meals after Jerad and the couple had a wall torn away. They also had a large window installed, filling the room with natural sunlight during daylight hours, and touches which include marble countertops and stainless steel appliances. Other rooms which further the eclectic mix of the contemporary and historical include the dining room and the various bedrooms that grace the home. The dining room, intended for more formal occasions, will impress guests due to the way it combines luxurious historical pieces with soothing modern touches; surrounded by armless chairs encased in mocha- colored leather, the dining table boasts a carefully-manicured Bonsai as its centerpiece. Last, but not least, is the shimmering crystal chandelier which hangs overhead and the blue antique carpet underfoot. Upstairs, the bedrooms reflect the personal taste of the Truax family member to which they belong, yet still honor the fusion of the old and the new. The master bedroom is a suite decorated in shades of peach, pink and blue, complete with its own his/her bathroom and French doors which add to the warmth and inviting atmosphere of the room. Their daughter's room, meanwhile, is perhaps the most vibrant and contemporary in the home. Decorated with an assortment of white and pink, particularly hot pink, it includes a mix- and-match combination of patterned throw pillows, antique lamps on either side of the bed and numerous other selections that blend past and present! And such touches are just the beginning. While proud of the progress they've made, Chris shares that they're really still in "phase one" of their home's makeover. Some of the future plans include designing an outdoor cooking station and using materials from what was once a garage to construct a his & her closet. With Jerad's eye for perfection, the changes they've dreamed up will doubtless become a reality in no time. Since that first day, when Michelle and Chris walked into the house and realized it was "meant to be" their home, they and Jerad have worked tirelessly (and with no small enthusiasm) to transform the home into a masterpiece. Clear from the pictures, they've accomplished this feat

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