New Build of The Year
The three-story cantilevered staircase has threaded metal cables that cascade from the double height ceiling down to the edge of the first-floor stair treads and is lined with sleek, smoky gray glass and decorated with a black, flat plate steel rail.
Nicole and Paul Dorsey had already built one Metairie home when they decided to build another. The first was a traditional house in the Bucktown section of Metairie. But this time, they wanted something different. Nicole was ready for a change, Paul wanted a modern house overlooking Lake Pontchartrain and they both wanted a larger house for their family of five.
Paul, a real estate developer, found the property by calling the owner of a piece of land along the levee that was not on the market for sale. The couple then turned to Nicole’s brother, architect Charles Neyrey, founder of the architecture and interior design firm, M2 Studio, to design their dream-house.
Paul likes expanses of glass and wanted to conjure the feel of an oceanfront house in the Malibu hills. Nicole envisioned clean lines and easy and functional living. They also knew they had to design a house that would accommodate the needs of a family with children.
“We have three children,” says Nicole. “It needed to be modern and it needed to be livable.”
Neyrey responded with an open, 10,000 square-foot, three-story, steel structure wrapped in expanses of glass and concrete board, flooded with natural light and composed with exposed industrial features such as threaded metal cables on one side of the cantilevered curved staircase, an important design feature. With views as far as the eye can see and a deconstructed quality that celebrates the structural elements of the house rather than hiding them, the house calls to mind the streamlined modern quality of an urban airport. The living area’s double height windows overlook a pool, outdoor kitchen, and a small putting green in the backyard and the Fleetwood glass doors are able to open fully to the pool and outdoor kitchen.
“It’s very unique; everybody is blown away when they walk through it,” says Paul. “It’s got a lot of wow factor.”
Neyrey also designed the house to be practical and family friendly with plenty of storage and amenities such as a mudroom and a division of public and private areas that allows for acoustic separation between the spaces.
“The vision and design of the house came from my brother and we tweaked it,” says Nicole. “The idea is that the back [of the house] is the public spaces with the windows, and the bedrooms and the office are on the other side.”
Threaded metal cables cascade from the double-height ceiling down to the edge of the first-floor stair treads. The stairway is lined with sleek, smoky gray glass and decorated with a black, flat plate steel rail.
Fleetwood glass doors open fully blurring the division between interior and exterior.
The first floor includes a kitchen, living area, office, wine cellar, guest room, playroom, mudroom, powder room and garage. The second has the master bedroom and bath with private balcony, three kids’ bedrooms and baths and a laundry room. The third floor houses an entertainment room and a large roof deck.
“The larger public spaces are located on floors one and three, which take advantage of the cooler, northern natural light, while optimizing the backyard view and the scenery of Lake Pontchartrain on the third floor,” says Neyrey.
The kitchen, tailored to Nicole’s wish list, includes a massive angular island that follows the perimeter of the space and incorporates wine refrigerators, a dishwasher and built-in components. The spa-like master bath, designed to be an oasis within the home, includes a teak-floored steam shower and a skylight, which takes advantage of the changing light throughout the day. Along with the outdoor pool and living area, it is Paul’s favorite spot. The kids, each of whom chose the color and theme for his/her bedroom, are especially fond of the pizza oven in the custom outdoor kitchen.
Other highly customized design features include a glass-front wine cellar (the homeowners traveled to Napa to buy inventory for the temperature-controlled room), a backlit art glass feature in the first-floor powder room, touch-sensitive hydraulic system kitchen cabinets and a penthouse wet bar with a crackle glass top. Even the kitchen’s cookware and dishware were purposefully curated.
Lead interior designer Sherrie Hope (with Caroline Larussa, Gabriel Mujica, Katie Muller, and Alex Nassar) of M2 Studio worked with the Dorseys to decorate the house in keeping with the modern aesthetic of the architecture. The monochromatic color palette of off-whites, grays, charcoals and blacks and a carefully selected array of minimalist furniture keeps it simple and serene, allowing the views and architecture to take center stage.
“Every decision was very deliberate,” says Paul of the nearly four-year project with mock exasperation. “It was a lot of work and dedication from a lot of talented individuals who put their best foot forward and the outcome shows. My wife and I are thoroughly enjoying it and all three kids are having a blast.”
The master bedroom’s quiet monochromatic scheme of grays.
The spa-like master bath includes a teak-floored steam shower and a skylight, which takes advantage of the changing light throughout the day.
The homeowners have travelled to Napa Valley to add to their wine collection housed in a temperature-controlled wine room.
The third-floor wet bar features a crackle-glass countertop by Dependable Glass.
The living area’s double height windows overlook a pool, outdoor kitchen, and a small putting green in the backyard and the Fleetwood glass doors are able to open fully to the pool and outdoor kitchen.
Architect Charles Neyrey’s French bulldog inspects the pool area, which includes an outdoor television.
The exterior of the lakefront house.
The Dorsey’s West Highland Terrier, Lexi, and her 4-week old puppies explore the putting green.