Fleurty Girl’s Garden District Home
Ryan and Lauren Haydels’ Garden District residence is home to architectural character rooted in the past and a blended family growing toward the future
By Lee Cutrone | Photos by Craig Macaluso
As New Orleans turns 300 years old, a look around our city reveals an abundance of character, old and new. Ryan and Lauren Haydels’ Garden District house, built in 2017, is a place that combines both. It has Greek Revival architectural elements such as a double gallery façade, full-length windows and classical columns, but it also has a light, bright interior with contemporary conveniences, a stunning kitchen and furnishings and art for today’s lifestyle and tastes.
“You wouldn’t know it’s brand new construction because it fits the area, but the bones are brand new,” says Lauren, owner of Fleurty Girl, a local boutique chain that celebrates all things New Orleans.
Ryan, a third-generation baker with Haydel’s Bakery (in business for 59 years), met Lauren in 2015 and they married in 2016. Their blended family includes five children ranging in age from 7 to 15, so the house they chose had to be roomy and suited to their active lives. Last year, when Lauren received an email notification of the listing, she knew she’d found the perfect house even before she’d visited it first-hand — and she was right. The couple purchased the house within two hours of going to view it.
“We feel like it was meant for us and those are the best transactions in real estate,” she says.
The house was built by contractor James Brown of Gulf Coast Contractors for his own family. When the Browns decided to relocate to Baton Rouge after having lived in the house only a few months, the Haydels recognized the quality of the design and how well it checked every part of their wishlist.
It’s near to Lauren’s work and convenient for the three kids who attend school Uptown. It has five bedrooms — each with its own bath — open living areas, a large yard, a huge kitchen suited to the Haydels’ large brood and Lauren’s love of cooking, and a temperature-controlled wine room. The master suite’s his-and-hers double-sided bathroom was also a huge draw as was being within walking distance of Magazine Street restaurants, stores and coffee shops.
“We like to say we live at the corner of happy and healthy,” says Lauren, borrowing the well-known slogan from Walgreens, located next door.
While the entrance foyer and curved stairwell are grand in scale, the emphasis in the rest of the house is on comfortable, light-hearted and local. Lauren furnished the house with the combined contents of the couple’s previous homes and filled in with pieces she’s picked out while at market for Fleurty Girl and from favorite local stores such as Nadeau.
“I have an eye for interesting things, pops of color and funky or unexpected elements,” she says. “That sense of fun I have in the store is the same sort of thing I like to bring into the house.”
Visible through the dining room windows, a mural of a Cajun swamp scene on the side of Breaux Mart seems incredibly apropos for a family that truly treasures its New Orleans surroundings.
“We can’t believe we live here,” says Lauren. “It really was the perfect fit for us.”