A Modern Blend
The home of Cheryl McCormick and Derrell Cohoon in Baton Rouge gets a sleek makeover while preserving its architectural integrity.
The foyer became an art gallery for the couple’s extensive art collection
photos by craig macaluso
Cheryl McCormick and Derrell Cohoon enjoy living in Spanish Town, a friendly, historic neighborhood in the heart of Baton Rouge near the Louisiana State Capitol where residents wave warmly from their porches to passers-by walking their dogs.
In 1999, the couple purchased the Hart House, built around 1896. “We knew it would be ideal for us,” says Derrell, a lobbyist.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior, the 3,000-square foot house was transformed by interior designer Ty Larkins to make it a showplace – with each room picture-perfect. “Ty was great to work with,” Cheryl, also a lobbyist, says. “He listened to everything we had to say and never forced his ideas on us.”
Adds Derrell, “I liked that Ty had respect for the history of the old house while being mindful of making it more livable. He gave us the handsome style of a New York City apartment, which we mentioned we admired.”
The light-filled kitchen received a new center island and large new windows to take in the view of the new rear deck and private garden below. Repurposed copper marine pieces were transformed to create the hanging light fixtures.
Cheryl McCormick and Derrell Cahoon
The bold light fixture in the center of the living room is made of steel with the interior of the pendant gold leafed to create the special sleekness to the space.
The historic home features a comfortable front porch.
Statuary white marble is featured on the vanity with floor-to-ceiling white tiles added to the walls in the total renovation of the master bathroom.
A sun-filled sunroom at the rear of the house further showcases the classic design that was used throughout the home.
The couple asked Larkins to design a home with sophisticated, clean and elegantly modern, in the context of the existing architecture.
Larkins made each room in the home more functional and added new furnishings and accessories. “I think of myself as both an architect and interior designer, and I am always looking for ways to improve on the existing spaces,” he says.
A step into the home reveals an inviting foyer and living room. The kitchen is bright; Larkins saved the historic triple windows over the sink and added new windows facing a deck that he designed. He also added a new island in the center of the kitchen.
Cheryl’s favorite space is the newly completed master bathroom. “It reminds me of a grand Parisian bathroom with its floor-to-ceiling white tiles, statuary white marble vanity top and a new freestanding tub,” she says. Derrell’s favorite aspect is the living room, which has a bit of a New York City industrial style and all new furnishings. “The bold, large light fixture in the center of the room that is made of steel with the interior of the pendant gold leafed to create the warm glow you see is exciting and gives a special sleekness to the space,” he says. “I like that the furnishing are tailored to make a finished elegant design statement.”
The Hart House clearly embraces the present while honoring its rich history. “It’s everything we dreamed of having in a home,” Cheryl says with a smile, and Derrell steps up and puts his arm around her waist and adds, “This is a perfect marriage of the old and the new. The analogy of living in a sophisticated New York City apartment in a treasured historic Spanish Town house tells the whole story. We love it.”