Stone by Stone
ARTICLE BY | Maré Brennan
PHOTOGRAPHY BY | Kelly Moore Clark
STYLING BY | Cindy Stone and Gregory Hudgins
Fall mums, pumpkins and gourds, crotons and trailing ivy offer a bright welcome for family and friends at the entrance to Cindy and Scott Stone’s new home located in West Monroe’s elegant Versailles neighborhood on a quiet, quaint street. Large cypress columns line the generous veranda which is floored with bluestone laid in an irregular pattern. A neat feature incorporated is a graded entry making the home handicap accessible. Tall French doors and windows topped with old pine beams are perfectly proportioned with the large double front doors with its gentle arching transom. The doors and windows were sourced from Russell Moore. The home’s front façade is a brick painted in a subtle, creamy stone color in order to make the wood doors and windows stand out. The rest of the exterior brick is left unpainted for added texture.
Cindy and Scott moved into the home in January of 2019, but their journey to that glorious day was a path lined with patience and thoughtfulness. Cindy relates that they sold their last house on picturesque Canyon Road over 5 years ago and took their time, really evaluating what their needs and wants were before jumping back into the homebuilding process. It doesn’t hurt that Scott’s brother is Robert Stone, one of north Louisiana’s preeminent builders. Getting on Robert’s busy construction calendar was another reason the couple endured the wait. Says Cindy, “Robert stays so busy; we waited patiently. And it was so worth the wait!”
“Scott and I looked at plans and had time to really think about what we wanted,” adds the petite homeowner, who is half of the dynamic duo that created the clothing phenomenon, HerringStones. Cindy and her sister Debbie, are the original two sisters/owners of the beloved boutique, which is celebrating 31 years in business and has expanded to include four more stores in Lafayette, Youngsville, Houma, and most recently Baton Rouge. It’s a wonder Cindy has had any time to think about building a home! Cindy credits having a great team and loyal customers who’ve become friends as the reasons for the stores’ successes. What the Stones wanted was a one-story, open floor plan home to fit their lifestyle. Scott, who is an educator, administrator and football coach, had keeping the yard manageable in size on his wish list.
During the years leading up to building, the Stones would look at other homes being built and create a game plan, which they communicated to Robert and his architect, Bobby Beavers, who drew their plans. “Robert helped us a lot with plans and details that make our house so special,” added Cindy. “He has a great eye and is a perfectionist. For instance, Robert knew we would love the antique pine beams that are used in the kitchen, and he had the idea to trim out the vent-a-hood with the same pine beam to match. I trusted Robert and his input in all areas of this house.”
Once the construction phase was winding down, Cindy jumped into high gear to find ways to transition key pieces from her old home into this one and to find new furnishings that spoke to her in the spaces. Says Cindy, “We had so much in storage from our house on Canyon. It was like Christmas, when I went to assess what we already had. I had plenty of time to reupholster chairs, plan curtains and find fabrics that really worked for us.”
Cindy and Scott say the building and planning process was like a dream. “Paul Mills, our home’s construction supervisor, was so helpful. Sandy at Key Millwork offered her expertise and guidance on our kitchen design. I love every decision we made in there. Everything has a place and it makes me feel so organized,” says Cindy as she shows off an immaculate spice drawer.
“I love to mix old with new, finding a new purpose for my existing pieces and giving them new life with paint or new fabric” explains Cindy. Teresa Clark accomplished just that when she painted the Stones’ black breakfast room furniture a grey hue with undertones of caramel, a masterful mix of cool and warm. Adds Cindy, “I’m definitely a warm person, and usually I don’t do a lot of grey.”
Window treatments, fabrics and rods were sourced from Cindy’s lifelong friend, Holly Richard at Fabulous Fabric. Drapery panels were custom sewn by Cindy’s cousin Diana Cicero, while ready made panels in the guest bedrooms were found at Fabulous Fabric. Gregory Hudgins helped pull together selections of hardware to choose from and offered his expert eye to help narrow down choices on decor throughout. Throughout the home granite and quartzite countertops were sourced from J&J Stone Fabricators.
In the foyer, guests can check their look in a gilded mirror that Cindy acquired from Revival Antiques, in Scott, LA. A pendant chandelier in the foyer was found at Sunbelt Lighting in Lafayette. Gilded French chairs on either side of the antique buffet table were recovered in a neutral silk with nailhead trim. Above them are antique mirrored sconces A pair of large blown glass lamps on the foyer table were a 1st Monday in Canton, TX find. Says Cindy, “Those lamps have been used everywhere in my past houses — the bedroom, dining room and now in my foyer. They have been the most versatile buy.”
An abstract painting by Teresa Clark provides a focal point in the open concept dining room. The dining room table was a find from Walsworth and Co. Vintage chairs sourced from Revival Antiques got the “Teresa” treatment when they were painted and glazed to work with the dining table. The concept of High/Low works in homes, just like it does in fashion. Says Cindy, “I like incorporating antiques with new pieces. Not everything has to be expensive.” A chandelier dripping with crystals illuminates the dining table with shimmering light.
While the palette in the living room is a balance of neutrals and luxe textures, navy accessories add interjections of color. A modern fan with a distinctive windmill shape was found at Stuart Irby Lighting. A modern tonal rug in cream and navy is layered with a neutral cowhide for interest. An angel painting on a little corner table was painted by Teresa Clark in honor of Cindy’s late cousin, Charlynn Leehy. A pair of comfy swivel lounge chairs upholstered in a crocodile embossed velvet are spiced up with leopard lumbar pillows. A blue velvet tufted ottoman interjects a shot of color into the mix. A stately fireplace and mantle are nestled between a pair of built-in bookshelves, which are dressed with family photos and special mementos collected over the years. The low gold and glass cocktail table was sourced from Walsworth and Co. Not to be missed is an adorable doggie bed custom made by Holly at Fabulous Fabric for Buster, the couple’s little Shi-Poo.
The living room opens into the spacious kitchen and breakfast nook through an expansive brick archway. The kitchen is best described by the homeowner as “comfortable and homey” — truly the heart of this home! Cindy loves her kitchen — especially when it comes to making her aunt’s Italian cookie recipe. “There is plenty of room to roll out my dough,” she smiles. “And the island is the perfect place to gather with friends and family.” The substantial island is topped with a quartzite with hints of grey and caramel veining. Plenty of electrical outlets for appliances are incorporated at the ends of the island. Glass upper cabinets in the kitchen show off Cindy’s collection of colorful Culver glassware. A glass front china hutch was gifted to Cindy by her late grandmother and is filled with inherited crystal and china.
The large, walk-in pantry is accessed through double doors and is home to a well-stocked coffee station and lots of built-in storage to accommodate Cindy’s collection of serving pieces.
Across the hall from the pantry and a convenient bathroom, the home’s fourth bedroom was purposed as Scott’s game room, filled with gorgeous examples of Louisiana’s bounty: Canadian and snow geese, a bobcat, trophy deer, all manner of beautifully colored ducks, big-mouth bass and more. Master craftsmen Bobby Bailey built an oversized pine barn door for a dramatic entry into the space. The room’s walls are enveloped in richly-hued old cypress paneling with old pine beams along the ceiling. Brick flooring adds to the vision that Robert had for his brother’s game room. What had been a closet on the initial plans is converted into a convenient wet bar with inset shelving on a brick lined wall. Robert constructed an antler chandelier for the space made with the Stone men’s trophies interwoven with rustic iron. Oversized chairs and sofas provide never-wanna-get-up seating for watching games on a large screen.
The master suite is an oasis of calm for the couple. The custom made headboard with nailhead trim was created in the Fabulous Fabric workroom. The bed is dressed in quilted silk velvet Bella Notte linens from Chartreuse Pear in Ruston. A demilune button tufted bench sits at the foot of the bed. At bed sides are his and her side tables that reflect the personalities of the homeowners. Lamps in an obelisk shape were sourced at Walsworth and Co. Cindy made use of existing velvet curtains, but found unique zip rods from Fabulous Fabric to hang them from. A floral upholstered lounge chair and ottoman are inherited pieces and provide an intimate reading nook.
In the master bathroom, Cindy points up to a treasure that is close to her heart. “It’s so special to me,” says Cindy. Acquired from her dear cousin, Charlynn Leehy, who lost her battle with cancer, the Flambeaux chandelier sets the tone for the entire room and is a bright reminder of her sweet soul. An oval free standing soaking tub was sourced from Coburn’s. The gilt mirror above Cindy’s vanity was a find from Revival Antiques in Scott. The large, glass enclosed shower features a river rock floor with and arabesque accent tile amid a marble tile with caramel and grey veining. The shower features a convenient built-in bench seating.
The outdoor cooking and grilling area is filled with special touches, like deer antlers used as hooks for holding cooking utensils. Big sectional outdoor furniture has been painted black with cushions recovered in an all-weather Sunbrella fabric sourced from Fabulous Fabric.
A proud wife, Cindy gives a shout out to her husband’s landscaping prowess. The front lawn is as manicured as the turf on Wrigley Field, with a beautiful criss-cross pattern mowed by Scott himself. “Scott installed all the landscaping, including the fountain in the back. Look at this,” she says pointing to the water feature, “He centered it perfectly on this window, so that when we are eating at the breakfast nook, we can totally enjoy it.”
Says Scott of the experience of building another house with his brother, “We’ve always been really close. Before I got back into coaching, we would go out every afternoon and sit at Robert’s camp, working out the details of this house over four years. We still love to go out and decompress in the afternoons and get to hunt and fish together.”
Adds Cindy, “Working with Robert on this house was so easy and smooth. We are so happy to be in our new home and thankful to be able to share it with our two sons, our son’s wife and our grandbaby on the way.”