New Orleans, Louisiana
Crafting a functional, attractive home for a family is a tall order for any architect. And when that family is your own'including your wife and two children (ages nine and six)'the challenge only grows. That’s what New Orleans'based architect Steve Dumez, a partner of design studio Eskew+Dumez+ Ripple, learned when he embarked on a nine-month renovation of the family’s 3,800-square-foot, two-story home in the Big Easy. “We knew we wanted to modify the way the spaces related to one another and open things up more,” says Dumez of the house, built circa 1920 in the Uptown neighborhood. The family had fallen in love with the seamless living afforded them by their old home, a loft apartment with an open floor plan. “The loft had a casual feel that we wanted to replicate in the house,” he says.
To begin, Dumez removed several of the house’s interior walls to create a series of contiguous living spaces on the ground floor. A sitting nook opposite the kitchen island, carved from a space beneath the stair, allows for the occasional spectator. “And by pushing that wall under the stair, you capture space for the master closet,” says Dumez. The newly open kitchen is organized around that central island of white statuary marble. Stainless steel appliances and other kitchen accouterments sit in a niche carved into the opposite wall, to maximize floor space and let the kids move freely through the area.
The expanded master bathroom, too, is streamlined: His-and-hers sinks sit atop a cantilevered counter of sapele wood, while a single pane of glass and 3/8-inch drainage gap separates the “dry” areas of the room from the shower and sunken tub. And for those who are curious, yes, you can slip between the bathtub and into the pool beyond, by way of a custom-milled-shiplap sliding door between the two. As the family often enters and exits the pool this way, “our children like to call the bathtub the ‘hot tub,’” says Dumez with a laugh.
The process had its frustrations, “like learning to live with the client’s budgetary restraints,” Dumez jokes. “But at the end of it all, you feel like you’ve been able to change the way you live in a really positive way, through design.”
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Kitchen: Operable Awning - Pella
Kitchen: custom by C. Anderson Construction
Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore
Special surfacing: Stone Countertops ' Statuary Marble
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Tables: Knoll Studio ' Saarinen Dining Table
Other Plumbing: custom tub by Intrepid Enterprises
Other appliances: Best Cooktop Hood