Charleston Style in New Orleans’ Lakeview Neighborhood
Alan and Monda Vinturella’s home has the feel of a resort
Located on three lots in Lakeview, George D. Hopkins Jr. (The Hopkins Company Architects) designed the Charleston-style home for Mona and Alan Vinturella.
Cheryl Gerber Photographs
On a quiet street just a few blocks off Harrison Avenue in Lakeview, Mona and Alan Vinturella built a magnificent, stately home reminiscent of the grand historic houses found in Charleston, S.C. Designed by architect George D. Hopkins Jr. (The Hopkins Company Architects), the home presents the ultimate in state-of-the-arts products and construction. “We had lived in Kenner for 27 years when we decided to move to Lakeview and build our dream home,” says Mona, an interior designer. “We always liked the sense of community here and the convenience of the area that includes restaurants and a wide variety of shopping venues. We especially enjoy the pleasant pedestrian feeling about this neighborhood.”
The massive iron gates open to the palatial home and pristine grounds where three homes once stood. The couple agrees that their new home, complete with a large front yard swimming pool, Jacuzzi, fountain and nearby putting green gives them the feeling of being in a fine resort. “There is a sense of peace and tranquility as you enter the gates,” says Alan, the owner of Southland Plumbing Supply and Lighting. Then, referring to the size of the house, he adds, “We laughingly call it ‘Villa V.’”
It is easy to call it a Charleston villa because the style mimics many of the grand historic houses in that unique city. “We spent a lot of time in Charleston when our children were attending the College of Charleston,” Mona says. “I thought the side porch style that’s prevalent there would offer a fresh approach to the New Orleans architectural style. We definitely felt that George immediately ‘got’ what we wanted from the first time we met with him, and he interpreted our thoughts into an exceptionally beautiful and functional design.”
“The Charleston style chosen by Mona and Alan is perfect for this area, while the elevated ‘L’-shaped main floor, porches that overlook the swimming pool and a courtyard flanked by a screened area for recreation and outdoor cooking gives a resort feeling,” Hopkins says.
The Vinturellas acted as their own contractors and hired Gary Uhl and Tommy Hayden to serve as their supervisors and advisors.
The three-story mansion offers the ultimate in a modern interpretation of a historic style. “We decided to have the main living area on the second floor and use the first level for garages and screened outdoor barbecue,” Mona says. “I love the special Southern charm of having a broad screened porch across the front of the house. It’s my absolute favorite feature of the plan.”
Alan took the opportunity to showcase his business by selecting the very latest products for the bathrooms. He used Kohler fixtures such as the 4-foot Greek tub in the guest bedroom, the 6-foot Memoirs tub in another bathroom and the sculptural Kallista Michael Smith tub under the oval window in the master bathroom. There’s also a Kohler Numi toilet that opens and closes on its own in the powder room adjoining the front vestibule.
Mona enjoyed the challenge of handling interior design. “My goal was to make our home comfortable,” she says. “I selected everything for beauty and comfort, using lighter colors and softer patterns to keep the tone somewhat elegant, yet relaxed and inviting.”
Occupied for a little over a year, the Vinturellas’ home is an architectural masterpiece that perfectly interprets the homeowners’ dreams, the architect’s vision and skill and best of local skilled workmanship. “We wake up each morning and look out from the master bedroom balcony and marvel that we really live here,” says Mona.