Teche Valley Treasure
A Loreauville home offers tranquility and nostalgia.
An old barn adds to the charm of the setting
photos by craig macaluso
Sugarcane farmer Todd Landry his wife Kelly live in a peaceful, three-acre setting on the banks of Bayou Teche in Loreauville. The Landrys built their dream home a decade ago to take full advantage of the site, which is dotted with sprawling live oak trees and is fondly referred to as Teche Valley bottomland. “There is something very special about being able to live on the property where I grew up,” Kelly says. “The property has been in my family for 50 years, and watching our five children [Alexa, 26; Nevin, 24; Trent, 20; Victoria, 19; and Myrna, 12] thrive here has allowed me to reminisce about the wonderful times I had with my family as a young child.” Todd is also from the area, and he is quick to point out that the location of their home in Iberia Parish is about as good as it gets. “I never tire of watching the peaceful, slow current of Bayou Teche flow past our home,” he says.
The Landrys’ home pays homage to A. Hays Town, a highly regarded Louisiana architect whose distinctive designs captured the South. Hays included the best of early Louisiana architecture with modern amenities. “We called in architect Keri LeBlanc from New Iberia to help us with the design,” Todd says. The couple acquired many of the components for their house over several years before beginning construction. Included in their stockpile of treasures were window trims, brick inlays, the gate and posts on the stairway and even old Hunter fans.
The almost-5,000 square foot home features a St. Louis brick exterior with a porch across the front of the house, tall windows and doors that add to the classic look of an historic home.
The core of the house showcases an open floor plan that encompasses the large family room and kitchen. “It’s my favorite space,” Todd says. “It’s the hub of the house and where everyone gathers.” Ken Gautreau, New Iberia master craftsman, is credited with building the kitchen cabinets from old sinker cypress that was pulled from the Atchafalaya Basin and the bottom of Lake Dauterive at Fausse Pointe. Todd adds, “The sinker long leaf pine used for the floors was pulled from the Sabine River.”
The side garden offers a pastoral view of the live oak tree-filled grounds
New Iberia architect Keri LeBlanc designed the Landrys’ home to pay homage to A. Hays Town, famous Louisiana architect who designed more than 500 homes.
A sunroom is surrounded with windows on two sides and a French door that opens onto the private garden that is surrounded with a fence made of old cypress boards. It opens into the kitchen through a brick doorway, with a cutout in the brick wall over the sink. “I enjoy sitting in the light-filled sunroom and enjoying God’s great wonders,” Kelly says.
The living room next to the kitchen-family room connects to both the front and rear porches, thus capturing the unobstructed view of Bayou Teche that flows at the rear of the property. A large fireplace adds a feeling of warmth to the space. Here the focal point of the room is the hand-carved pirogue that leans against the mantel. It was made by Dro Gondron, the couple’s brother-in law, and Jean-Paul Stiles, Dro’s grandson. “It’s a six-foot full scale model and uses the same materials and design principles as the full-size pirogue,” Todd says. A large master suite and a guest bedroom complete the downstairs, with three additional bedrooms on the second floor.
The large double carport in the rear of the house doubles as a family entertaining area. “It’s a perfect place for our family, relatives and friends to gather for a cookout,” Kelly says. “We love to entertain and having such a perfect covered spot for entertaining is a joy. Most of all, I agree with Todd. He was right when he said this is about as good as it gets.”
A friendly sunroom has windows on two sides and a French door that opens onto the side garden
Kelly and Todd Landry