IMAGINING FOR THE DREAMERS
photography by KELLY MOORE CLARK | article by MARÉ BRENNAN
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one.
Imagining a world without pediatric cancers seems hard to do, but when everyday people like you and I band together to support the incredible, day-in day-out work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the result is unmistakable. St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Though St. Jude costs an average of $2.8 million dollars a day to operate, patients and their families are never charged for their care.
The 2020 Dream Home’s Lead Designer, Jan Hales Strickland, has dreamed up the perfect refuge filled with swoon-worthy appliances by Bosch, up-to-the-minute flooring and tile by Shaw Flooring, HVAC systems by Trane, and jewelry-like fixtures by Brizo, all national sponsors for St. Jude Dream Homes throughout the country.
Teaming with Ray Bendily Designs to develop a Dream Home floor plan, Strickland’s 2020 version of a Contemporary Tudor home is sure to stand the test of time. Elegantly painted brick exteriors, a distinctive Tudor roofline with ridge tiles, and large paned windows that ensure interiors are flooded with light set the tone for a St. Jude Dream home to remember. With an estimated 2,600 square feet, the open concept home features a flexible 3 or 4 bedroom plan and 4 full baths, as well as a generous laundry room and covered outdoor living area.
With a legacy of building quality residential projects in northeast Louisiana, BRACO Construction never shies away from service to St. Jude, and this year’s home is the company’s ninth Dream Home to date with plans for 2021 already in progress. BRACO’s Bradley Allen relates that the timeline from slab to finished home is tight. This year’s Dream Home was built in a mind-blowing four months. Says Allen, “As contractor, we have to line everything up, and every part and subcontractor has to work perfectly together to meet our deadlines. The weather also plays a big factor. And we couldn’t have done this without Jan.”
“This entire project is about teamwork — the whole building community and beyond — coming together for St. Jude and these families affected by childhood cancer,” adds Strickland. “Three years ago, when Bradley Allen of BRACO asked me to be the lead designer for the Dream Home, I immediately thought of my best childhood friend, Tiffany Greer, who was a St. Jude patient. She is always at the forefront of my mind when I do this project. Tiffany and I danced together from the time we were three years old, and almost every childhood memory I have involves Tiffany. Every year before dance recital we’d get tater tots with cheese from Sonic. Just before she passed away at age 16, she stopped me in the hallway at school to say she remembered my dad playing hide and seek with us and making chocolate milk for us,” remembers Strickland. “I want her to live on through this project. She is my inspiration.” Strickland designed a built-in niche with shelves incorporated into side of the staircase in the foyer where the double height ceiling soars. Photos of Strickland’s three childhood friends, Greer, Amber Tamburo and Claude Williams, who succumbed to childhood cancers are placed prominently on the shelves.
Jo Tiffany Faulk, whose company, Sleepy Hollow, provided the furnishing and decor for staging the Dream Home says, “St. Jude means a lot to me personally. To know a child who has depended on St. Jude for survival is to change your perspective on faith and hope. To know the parents of that child is to change everything. Knowing what families walk through on their child’s cancer journey, I’m so thankful St Jude takes away the financial burden of medical costs for these families. A parent should never have to choose what’s best for their child’s survival based on what they can afford. Seeing what a powerful ministry St. Jude has been to a friend’s family keeps me motivated to do whatever I can as long as I can to raise money for St Jude Research Hospital.”
Adds Bradley Allen, “My wife’s sister-in-law is a childhood cancer survivor thanks to St. Jude.” Practically everyone is touched by knowing a family who has benefitted from the groundbreaking research that takes place at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since actor and philanthropist Danny Thomas opened the doors in 1962. “Going to the St. Jude Dream Home Summit makes you thankful to play a part in providing funding for the hospital. These families are going through some really bad, rough times,” he says.
Chris Fairley, BRACO’s construction manager on the Dream Home, adds, “Being a part of a good cause is what’s so special about being involved and seeing this project come to completion.” Both Fairley and Allen point to the garage floors, which are signed by the craftsmen who worked on the job, as well as some of the local St. Jude patients. Covering the floor are favorite Bible verses mingling with signatures and artwork created when the Dream Home hosted a signing party to kick off ticket sales.
Explains Faulk about Sleepy Hollow’s long-standing role as a Dream Home Sponsor, “What I love about sponsoring this project each year is how each home has its own personality and style. I get to watch the entire process come to life from plans to furniture placement. When we meet at the home for each milestone, it reminds me of the milestones the children celebrate. We start with the ground breaking, sign the studs with prayers and encouraging words, and we sign the concrete with hope. Every milestone is worth celebrating. Just as these children need our encouragement all along the way, we stick with it and work together as a community to support these families through the work of the St. Jude Dream Home.” Sleepy Hollow has sponsored the Dream Home for the past 6 years. Says Faulk, “Staging the home is the final touch to help show off all the features of all the sponsors in the house. Once the house is staged, it feels like a home. To me, that’s when everyone’s hard work comes together and it truly becomes a dream home.”
Through double barn doors to the right in the foyer upon entering the home, what could be a fourth bedroom is staged as a home office. Portraits of just a portion of the local children who are patients at St. Jude fill an entire wall behind the minimalistic desk on hairpin metal legs. Small Woods donated the frames and photos, which will be given to the patients’ parents after the Giveaway. The ceiling in the room is painted a robust green, providing the perfect foil for the gilded woven metal pendant lighting.
Just off the study/bedroom is a full guest bath, which incorporates a herringbone patterned mosaic tile by Shaw that runs the length of the bathroom floor and continues up to the top of the shower/bath wall for a seamless floor to ceiling treatment. The two ends of the shower wall are covered in a mini subway tile with stunning, black Brizo fixtures in the tub/shower and the vanity sink. A custom shower curtain sewn by Fabulous Fabrics finishes the look.
The Egret Landing home is Strickland’s third St. Jude Dream Home as lead designer, and she is determined each year to “push the limits and inspire our community with the latest items available in interior design.” Strickland notes that last year Bosch recognized the 2019 NELA Dream Home with a national award for their innovative use of the latest Bosch products. Not to disappoint, Strickland again chose top of the line Bosch appliances for this year’s home, including a luxury built-in stainless Bosch coffee machine, that makes barista-style espressos, cappuccinos and so much more with the touch of a button. “I love that every year, we get something new to showcase in these homes,” adds Allen.
The open concept living room, dining room and kitchen is made all the more unified through Strickland’s use of Shaw Flooring’s resilient, waterproof and vinyl-backed hardwood floor. The bleached walnut wide planks play a prominent role throughout the first floor. The same hardwood flooring but in a dark stained hue is incorporated throughout the home’s second floor with dramatic effect. Custom Carpets did all the expert Shaw Industries tile and flooring installation throughout the home.
In the kitchen, Via Lattea Marble sourced from Louisiana Stone and fabricated to a honed leather finish by Twin City Granite adds a graphic punch of black with striations of white to perimeter countertops. Rucker’s Custom Millwork built and installed cabinetry throughout while M&M Millworks built the cabinet doors and provided soft closing hinges and latches for the project. Strickland designed Shaker style cabinet doors, painted Sherwin-Williams’ Alabaster, that stretch to the ceiling with glass doors on the uppermost cabinets. A white, hexagon tile backsplash paired with a dark grey grout adds visual interest. Strickland chose state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances from Bosch, including a built-in coffee and espresso maker, convenient double wall ovens, a gas stove, and counter-depth refrigerator with French doors, a full-width chiller drawer for commonly sought after items and a bottom freezer drawer. The oversized island is painted Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn Black. An undermounted double sink of black porcelain is a striking counterpoint to the white Bianco Rhino marble. A Brizo faucet in black is accented with a gold nozzle for a luxe look which is repeated in the wall-mounted pot filler beneath the custom vent a hood faux finished by Amy Simmermaker with a gilded accent. Three pendant lights, designed by Progress Lighting and sourced from Coburn’s, provide ample task lighting above the island. A trio of metal counter stools and a cowhide rug complete the vision. A well-equipped, walk-in pantry provides even more storage for serving pieces, linens and essentials.
The kitchen opens into a voluminous living area with vaulted ceilings and a fireplace feature wall bookended by built-in cabinetry beneath large windows covered in remote controlled Roman shades from Smith Blind and Awning. The fireplace surround was faux finished by Chad Sanders of Decorative Concrete Coatings and provides a contrasting focal point that lifts the eye toward the ceiling. A large abstract piece of art commands attention above the gas fireplace. Jan chose a rich, green velvet sofa from Sleepy Hollow to make a bold statement in the room which is illuminated by a modern sputnik-style chandelier. A neutral rug and gold-tinged accent and coffee tables help to create cozy conversation areas.
It’s easy to imagine carrying the party outdoors with the covered patio accessed via the living room. Under foot, Decorative Concrete Coatings has created the look of slate tile. A stainless gas grill from O’Neal Gas keeps the chef happy and flipping steaks, while guests enjoy plump cushioned, swiveling lounge chairs and seating in an all-weather rattan sourced from Sleepy Hollow.
Surrounded by the beauty of nature, out of doors is just as lovely as inside. Bradley Hall of Riverside Landscaping designed flower beds filled with native iris and grasses along with foundational plantings of boxwood, azaleas, sweet olive and Indian hawthorne and installed everything, included sod, in a record 2 days, using lights to lay the grass after the sun went down.
When the weather isn’t agreeable, bring dinner and fun back inside. The dining room, designed by Jan, features a round table, perfect for lively dinner conversation, paired with upholstered chairs. She chose a graphic rug and accent vases to complete the chic look. Curtains were custom made by Fabulous Fabric and are hung from an acrylic rod. A large gold decorative mirror reflects light back into the space and hangs on an accent wall, which is painted Sherwin-Williams’ Country Squire green.
In the spacious laundry room which is located near the garage entrance, Strickland chose a black and white graphic patterned tile from Shaw Flooring and paired it with stunning black lacquered cabinetry topped with honed, leather-finished Via Lattea marble countertops. Laundry day is never a chore with an extra sink for soaking and upper cabinets for extra storage.
Across from the laundry room, just as you enter the home from the garage, you’ll find a trio of built-in cubbies in the mudroom hallway, perfect for stashing book bags, athletic equipment or raincoats and boots.
The master suite conveniently located on the first floor is accessed from the central hall by double barn doors which were custom crafted by BRACO’s Bradley Allen for this project. If a home can be likened to theatre where life unfolds, then Strickland has certainly set the stage for a life lived with luxurious appointments. Upping the ante, the ceiling is painted Tricorn Black creating a deep backdrop for a striking, pared down gold pendant. Fabulous Fabrics created custom privacy drapery in a neutral geometric pattern. A carved wooden bed, starburst mirror and nightstands from Sleepy Hollow set the tone for a restful get-away. Calming neutral bedding and pillows allow natural nesting instincts to take over. Strickland’s favorite Bible verse sits beside a modern tri-legged brass lamp atop a bedside table: “For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
The ensuite master bathroom is a modern masterpiece. A free-standing soaking tub, private water closet, walk-in glass-walled shower, and generous, well-appointed master closet feel like you’re ensconced at a 5-star spa. Strickland employs a large-scale Shaw porcelain tile in a black and white graphic print underfoot. Double vanities with undermounted sinks are separated by a tower of incredible storage. Cabinetry is painted the home’s signature deep green Country Squire by Sherwin-Williams, and soft brass pulls give a traditional English country feel to the space. Countertops are Bianco Rhino marble. A large window of textured glass above the soaking tub lets natural light pour into the space but maintains privacy without the need for window treatments. The shower features rain shower head along with a hand-held nozzle. All fixtures are courtesy of national sponsor Brizo and were ordered through LCR Plumbing Warehouse.
The wide and welcoming stairs lead to the second floor landing which could double as a kids’ hangout, a study or a bonus loft. When drawing plans for the space, Strickland and Bendily devised a small eyebrow extension to the loft area that would overlook the living room — the perfect touch when viewed from above or below. A custom iron railing, created by Kelly Metal Craft, adds a contemporary sensibility. Bradley Allen describes the distinctive iron railing as a game changer and one of his favorite parts of the project. Decked attic storage lies behind a door at the far end of the loft.
At the top of the stairs to the left, Strickland has staged the first bedroom as a little girl’s room that any princess would love to inhabit. The color palette is soft pinks, golds and neutrals. Automated blinds add beauty to high technology features. All furnishing and decorative items were sourced from Sleepy Hollow in Monroe. The en suite bathroom features tiny black and white hexagonal tile flooring and high gloss, textured Shaw tile with soft gold-toned Brizo fixtures. Strickland selected an abstract gold and neutral fabric for a custom shower curtain created by Fabulous Fabrics. The vanity is topped with Bianco Rhino marble with an undermounted, oval Kohler sink and Brizo Fixtures.
What Strickland has envisioned as the boys’ room is located to the right of top of the stairs and is also furnished with love by Sleepy Hollow. The en suite bathroom feature the same glossy, rectangular tile in the combination tub/shower, but this time is executed in a pleasing grey hue the Brizo fixtures includes a handheld shower attachment as an amenity.
Says Strickland about the Dream House, “God is in control and I believe in St. Jude’s mission and in our community’s ability to support our children in need, their physicians and caregivers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”
Adds Faulk, “Our goal is to encourage people to buy tickets. If they win the home, wonderful! Either way, the home raises money each year to help children fight cancer. Our home, our community, our community kids helped!”
To keep up on all things happening with the St. Jude Dream Home in Monroe, make sure to follow @stricklandinteriors on Facebook and Instagram for behind the scenes looks at the making of this year’s home. To buy your tickets, go to www.dreamhome.org. Ticket purchasers who buy before April 10th are eligible for the Kia drawing as well.
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
About Jan Hales Strickland:
Jan Hales Strickland is a Richland Parish native, mother of two and professional interior designer. She began doing design projects for her parents at the tender age of 15 and soon determined interior design to be her calling and passion. She majored in interior design at the University of Alabama and is an Allied Member ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) member. “I’m trained to work on projects from a logical point of view, envisioning the final product from just a set of plans or the bare bones of a space,” she explains. “Everything needs to have a purpose as well as to adhere to the elements and principles of design.”
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital:
The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of St. Jude Children’s Hospital founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.
See something you love in the Dream Home? After the Giveaway, all furniture, art, rugs, mirrors and decorative accessories used in staging the 2020 Dream Home will be available for purchase at Sleepy Hollow in Monroe. All custom shower curtains, drapery, rods, and roman shades created by Fabulous Fabrics will be at their Monroe location for purchase.
THANK YOU TO THE ST. JUDE DREAM HOME SPONSORS AND PARTNERS
Plumbing: Roy Wiggins of Mangham
Custom Millwork: Rucker’s Custom Millwork
Custom Cabinet Doors and Hardware:
Stone Countertops: Louisiana Stone
Countertop fabrication: Twin City Granite
Flooring and Tile Installation: Custom Carpets
Faux Finishing: Amy Simmermaker
Iron Railings: Kelly Metal Craft
Interior Remote Controlled Shades:
Smith Blind and Awning
Exterior Gas Lanterns: Hart Lighting
Interior Light Fixtures (Progress Lighting) and Bosch appliances: Sourced through Michelle Miller, Coburn’s
Electrical Contractor: George Word, Word Electric
Staging Drapery and Shower Curtains:
Sheetrock: Trey Banks,
Joe Banks Drywall and Acoustics
Gas logs & Grill: O’Neal Gas
Decorative Concrete: Chad Sanders,
Decorative Concrete Coatings
Brick: ACME Brick
Painting: Antonio Rubia
Brizo Supplier, Plumbing Fixtures, Sinks:
LCR Plumbing Warehouse
Exterior Metal Awnings and Flashing:
Les Jones, Proflashing
Lumber, Windows, Locks, Hardware:
Brian and Randy Russell, Russell Moore Lumber
Photography Framing: Small Woods
Furniture Delivery & Set Up:
John Reed Loflin, McCorquodale Transfer
Security System: Automated Alarm
Internet: AT&T U-Verse
St. Jude Metal Logo: James Machine Works
Garage Doors: Overhead Door
Mirrors and Glass for Kitchen Doors: AAA Glass
Insulation: Tempco Insulation
Media Sponsors: Fox 14 and KTVE 10 Television,
BayouLife Magazine & Z107.5 Big Country Radio
Dream Home Giveaway Sponsors: Sparks Kia, Dream Day Foundation, Egret Landing Subdivision, Sleepy Hollow Furniture, 3B Outdoor Equipment, Assurance Financial