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The Dream Home

By Nathan Coker
In Bayou Home
Mar 31st, 2014


Our community is coming together to raise funds for St. Jude Hospital by building a St. Jude Dream Home in sought-after Frenchman’s Bend in Monroe.

article by Maré Brennan  | photography by Joli Grisham

Ask any parent of a child with a life-threatening illness what it’s like to have St. Jude Hospital in your corner and to have the burden of the cost of your child’s treatment lifted in your time of crisis and you will know what a relief really means. Once again, our community is coming together to raise funds for St. Jude Hospital by building a St. Jude Dream Home in sought after Frenchman’s Bend in Monroe. Under the leadership of BRACO Construction, Brian and Christine Allen have been the contractors for the last four years’ St. Jude Dream Houses. This year, designer Misti Cordell was brought in to add her unique flair to the interiors of this incredible home. Of course, she enlisted many of her good friends to get this home, located on a quiet cul-de-sac and backing up to Hole #11 on Frenchman’s Bend Golf Course, in showplace-worthy shape. Tickets to win the home can be purchased locally at Regions Bank, Paul Michael Company and D&D Cleaners, or you can buy your ticket online at www.stjude.org. The home will be open for viewing every Saturday and Sunday from now until the winner is drawn on Sunday, April 27, 2014, on KARD FOX 14.

Recalls Cordell of the process that took the empty lot to a home that’s ready for move-in day, “The house plan was our first step, and we began working on it in late September/early October of last year. We worked with Ray Bendily to layout the house. I conceded a garage on the front only if we could get a pretty garage door. We called Overhead Doors, and on the spot they donated the gorgeous wooden door that you see on the garage.” Donors and sponsors are the key to making the Dream House work, maximizing the money that goes to help sick children recover and get back to being kids again.  All in all, this year’s Dream House totaled approximately $60,000 in expenses with most of the cost of the home’s building supplies and labor being donated by national and local manufacturers and businesses including Shaw Flooring, Trane, Custom Carpets, Twin City Granite, Tempco Insulation, Hemphill’s Nursery, Rucker’s Custom Cabinets, LCR-The Plumbing Warehouse, Brizo, SEC Lighting, Barrett’s Appliances, Frenchman’s Bend, Custom Carpet, Elliott Lighting, Roofing Supply Group, Gilley’s Heating and Cooling, Hart Lighting, Decorative Concrete, Roy Wiggins Plumbing, Maxwell’s Hardware and Lumber, Russell Moore, Sherwin Williams, Arkansas Stone and Danny Fontenot Vinyl Siding. Mike McGee, whose own son fought a courageous battle at St. Jude, donated money from his son’s foundation which bought knobs for cabinetry and bathroom mirrors for the Dream House. While the furnishings for the most part do not stay with the home, they can be purchased from area retailers.

Sited to take advantage of beautiful golf course views, the façade of the Acadian French brick and stucco home employs generous eyebrow arched windows from Maxwell’s Hardware and Lumber and double French doors from Russell Moore at the entry. A copper gas light by Hart Lighting illuminates the entryway. Landscaping was designed by landscape architect Laurie Schween and installed by Trey Town’s Landcaping. Says Misty, “Trey came in with his crew and they had the entire gardens done in two days.”

Cordell and her crew of designing friends called on area boutiques and home furnishing retailers when gathering the décor that brings the St. Jude Dream Home’s rooms to life. Anyone walking through the Open Houses will be able to realize the possibilities for how they too could decorate if they hear their name called on April 27.

Light spills into the spacious foyer through French doors and from a crystal and iron chandelier above. A large abstract painting by local artist Polly Spence provides a dramatic focal point opposite double doors which lead to the home’s office/study which was decorated by Cordell. Twin bookcases with glass doors, a find from Paul Michael Company, are filled with objects such as duck decoys from The Muffin Tin. The antique desk and tapestry-upholstered arm chair are from Traditions. Hank Cordell, the designer’s son, provided the European mounted deer antlers that along with leather and chenille upholstered side chairs from the Gingerbread House add masculinity to the room. Paintings by Lissy Compton in mustard and black hues and grouse and pheasant mounts from Louisiana Purchases are outstanding decorative touches.
Through an arched opening, the foyer opens into the home’s well-appointed den with a bank of French doors and windows that look out a covered outdoor living area and the golf course beyond. Rustique donated the mantel beam above the brick fireplace, as well as the antique beams that cross the extra height ceiling. Furnishings for the den were coordinated by local designer Chris Allums, pulling together traditional elements like a neutral linen sofa and rug from Paul Michael with a quirky coffee table made of a large tree root and abstract art from Polly Spence above an iron console table from The Gingerbread House. Side chairs and pillows beside the fireplace are from Louisiana Purchases.

The outdoor living space is certainly an extension of the St. Jude Dream Home that will be well loved and well lived for the future homeowner. Lincoln Outdoor Living donated an amazing stainless Viking outdoor grill that is the centerpiece for the area. Decorative Concrete Coatings put their artistry to work turning a simple concrete floor into a “slate” floor that is hard to distinguish from the real thing. Designer Amy Peters Simmermaker gathered metal butterfly chairs from Paul Michael, plants from Hemphill’s Nursery, including a geranium that smells like lemon verbena and repels mosquitos, and a pretty French basket from Louisiana Purchases to enliven the space. The ceiling of the space gets an outdoorsy treatment with cedar paneling provided by Rustique.

The heart of this very open-concept home is the pièce de résistance kitchen. It is easy to imagine family and friends gathering around the island, seated at counter stools like the ones here which are sourced from Paul Michael and feature comfy upholstered seats in contrasting tones of grey and natural linen accented with a nailhead trim. Cordell enlisted Rucker’s Custom Cabinets to build the cabinetry throughout the home. Amy Peters Simmermaker faux finished the kitchen’s cabinetry, adding depth and character with each layer and wash. The kitchen, designed around a central island of natural wood topped with New Venetian Gold granite donated by Custom Carpet and Twin City Granite, features an Elkay sink of composite granite and resin and an incomparable Brizo faucet that spouts water with just a touch. Pendant task lighting by Elliott Lighting hangs above the island. Appliances throughout the kitchen are GE Café series and were provided by Barrett’s in Shreveport. Out of sight, but not out of mind, the refrigerator is hidden behind custom cabinetry panels that slip into its doors, and Cordell designed an appliance caddy cabinet just to the right of the oven that keeps small appliances like toasters and coffee machines tidily out of view when not in use. The architect and Cordell made sure storage options were at a maximum. Even the pantry off the kitchen gets a full set of drawers along with ample shelf space. A built-in chalkboard/magnet board beside the pantry will help any family stay organized. Helping to add continuity throughout the home is the use of Shaw’s Saddle Maple flooring and Sherwin Williams’ paints in elusive neutral tones like Oyster Bay and Relaxed Khaki, which seamlessly connect each room.

he dining area just beyond the kitchen was designed by local decorator Clint Downing. Beginning with a neutral palette, Downing chose a muted toned Oushak from Paul Michael to anchor the space. The panel drapery are from Fabulous Fabrics and the pendant light above the dining table is from Elliott Lighting. The antique French table, chairs, carved buffet and mirror were found at Traditions. Aiden Gray lamps are sourced from Paul Michael, as are the natural linen upholstered wingback chairs. Downing has artfully arranged table linens, china, goblets and flatware from The Muffin Tin to create an Easter table fit for royalty.

The split bedroom plan features three bedrooms and two baths on one side of the home and a master bedroom and en suite on the other. Beyond the den through an archway are two children’s rooms, a spacious guest bedroom and baths. The little girl’s room is a study in tropical  brights like tangerine and turquoise pillows that pop against white bedding, all from Coco’s inside Brazell Co. Coco’s double gourd lamps in tangerine with crisp white barrel shades rest on iron and marble bedside tables in a unique clover-shape from Louisiana Purchases. The walls are dressed in artwork by Rhenda Saporito, an artist who is featured in the Masur’s current Juried Show. Herringbone patterned panel curtains and rods are from Hobby Lobby. Local artist Andrea May lent a colorful, shaggy dog portrait for the space as well.

The Jack-and-Jill bathroom which connects the two children’s rooms features Shaw Flooring’s Rockwood tile with a basketweave mosaic pattern on the floors and horizontal, linear Rockwood tiles that line the shower walls. LCR Plumbing donated jetted tubs, sinks and toilets throughout the home.

The boy’s bedroom, also decorated by Cordell, is all-boy with unfinished, lodge pole pine bunkbeds from Brazell Co. and bandana inspired bedding from Coco’s. A striped, flatweave rug in denim blue and white stripes, also from Coco’s, lies beneath an antique steamer trunk from Traditions. To add a touch of whimsy, Cordell scoured Traditions and found an adorable antique arm chair upholstered to look like an old English wool suit, complete with leather elbow patches. Beneath an Andrea May painting of a hunting dog is a blue painted chest, also from Traditions.

Just down the hall, Cordell imagines the guest bedroom as a relaxing get-away for overnight guests. Starting with a rug from Louisiana Purchases in muted shades of creams, greys, blues and browns, the designer used a wood frame, upholstered bed with nailhead trim at the foot and headboards from Brazell Co. and accented with duvets, Euro shams and throws from Coco’s. Bedside tables from Traditions are topped with gold lamps from Paul Michael. A large canvas by local designer and artist Margaret Moses in soothing shades reminiscent of a St. Barth’s lagoon is echoed in the turquoise velvet accent pillow from Louisiana Purchases. The windows that look out onto the 11th hole tee box of Frenchman’s Bend are covered with ready-made panels from Fabulous Fabrics. The guest bathroom also features Rockwood by Shaw Flooring linear tiles on the shower walls. LCR Plumbing donated the carved wood vanity for the bathroom.

Extra details make this master suite spectacular. Cordell had BRACO Construction craftsmen Bradley and Shane install Rustique’s gorgeous wood, recycled from pressed wine barrels, to cover the entire gabled ceiling of the master bedroom. A built-in window seat covered in accent pillows from Louisiana Purchases runs the length of the window which overlooks the fairway. Cordell uses a king-size bed from Brazell Co. with impeccable linens from Coco’s, including a romantic skirted coverlet and luxurious throws in shades of blue and sand. A cowhide upholstered bench is placed at the foot of the bed. Metal cage bedside tables and console from Woodstock lend a masculine feel to the room. A triptych by artist Polly Spence is placed on a long wall.

In the master bath, Shaw Flooring donated a linear tile, “Madagascar,” which tile artisan Chris Docherty laid in a straight herringbone pattern. In the walk-in shower with a frameless glass door, Cordell used glass subway tile by Shaw’s Glass Expressions line and a mosaic glass tile by Shaw called “Mixed Up” to create an incredible high-end look. Above the Jason jetted tub, provided by LCR Plumbing, is an Elliott Lighting crystal chandelier which coordinate with the mirror-mounted sconces over the his and hers vanities. Unusual, square Kohler vessel sinks from LCR are accented with Brizo tall “Charlotte” faucets. Vanity accessories like the mother of pearl trays were found at Woodstock. A walk-in closet is located between the two vanities through double doors.

Such an incredible project for such a worthy cause is deserving of your support. And who knows? It only takes one ticket to be eligible to win this gorgeous house, but your ticket means so much more to the families who make those trips to Memphis and St. Jude Hospital. Don’t miss out on a chance to help save a life.

Win a house, help save kids’ lives
Get your $100 ticket for a chance to win a house with an estimated value of $340,000 or another great prize while helping St. Jude save the lives of children. The winner will be drawn on Sunday, April 27, 2014, on KARD FOX 14.
The 4 bedroom/3 bath house, located at 208 Maison Drive in Monroe’s Frenchman’s Bend, will be open for the free tours every weekend through April 20. On Saturdays the home will be open from 9a.m. til 5p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5p.m. Register for free at the house to win the Open House Prize: a $5,000 gift card to Paul Michael Company.

Grand Prize:  Monroe St. Jude Dream Home house, built by BRACO Construction, with an estimated value of $340,000.

Early Bird Prize: Get your ticket by February 28 to be eligible to win the Early Bird Prize: groceries for one year (valued at $4,000), courtesy of Brookshire’s.

Open House Prize: Tour the home and register free to win the Open House Prize: a $5,000 gift card to Paul Michael Company.

Tickets on Sale Prize: If you purchased your ticket by January 31, you are eligible to win a $5,000 Visa gift card.

Other prizes:
•  laptop, courtesy of FSC Securities Corporation Member FINRA/SIPC, Douglas T Farr and Sandy R. Duplissey
•  Flair Jewelers gift certificate (valued at $4,000)
•  family portrait session with a 20″ X 24″ framed canvas and portrait package, courtesy of Patty Stewart Photography
•  dry cleaning for one year, courtesy of D&D Cleaners
•  flowers for one year, courtesy of Mulhearn Flowers
•  evening dinner package (valued at $1,000), courtesy of Waterfront Grill
•  original painting, courtesy of Polly Spence