Gilbert House personifies timelessness, tradition, and family. Located in an established older neighborhood in the heart of Baton Rouge, this ranch-style home now resonates with traditional Southern character. The clients approached us years in advance of their renovation, seeking first to update their kitchen. After numerous conversations about what they wanted over the long term, the clients realized that either new construction or a more elaborate renovation would be required to create their dream home. Because they loved their location and had already invested in a backyard renovation and pool addition, they chose to renovate.
We approached the project in collaboration with our partner, architecture firm BY DAY. Our design brief was to enlarge and update the poorly functioning kitchen so it integrated into the living and dining areas, and to rethink the exterior architecture to remedy a lack of scale, disproportionate columns, and an undefined entrance. It was also important that the renovation embodied family comfort and tradition, preserving the architectural elements loved by the clients.
Exterior architectural solutions involved removing an ill-placed skylight in the kitchen that was unsightly when viewed from the front of the home, adding a gabled roof to create a defined entry, extending the front porch to create more usable outdoor space, and adding architectural elements to evoke traditional Southern architecture. Wood beams, custom gas lanterns, brick porches, exposed rafters, and sacked brick complete the transformation of the ranch-style exterior.
On the interior, we created a large opening in the wall between the kitchen and dining areas to generate flow during family gatherings. The ceilings were raised from a cramped 8 inches to a generous 11, and the entire kitchen was redesigned with custom millwork incorporating specialty features tailored to their lifestyle. The basis for the interior palette started with preserving the Mexican tile floors and the antique cypress doors and beams. We continued this material palette with the addition of new antique beams used in the cased openings and custom elements, such as a cypress breakfast table and iron pendant lights over the island. The resulting design evokes the warmth of traditional A. Hayes Town interiors, encourages comfort and connection, and positions this family for a lifetime spent creating new traditions within their beloved home.