David Connick of the Bucktown All-Stars and his family have struck the perfect chord in their charming and contemporary Metairie home.
Location, function and design come together in harmony in the residence of David Connick, bassist for the Bucktown All-Stars; his wife, Susan; and their two children. The family enjoys close proximity to school and work, a clean design and ample music practice space.
“Our home fits our family perfectly,” Susan says.
The home’s selling point was its location. The house previously belonged to Susan’s grandmother, so the family was acquainted with the neighborhood prior to moving in. The house is also close to St. Benilde School, where Susan teaches pre-kindergarten and the Connicks’ two children — 8-year-old Michael and 11-year-old Dillon — attend school. It is also near Ochsner Hospital, where David works as director of facilities development. “We walk our kids to St. Benilde,” Susan says. “Our children consider their school and church an extension of our home. We live in a neighborhood with a ton of families — everyone looks out for each other.”
The Connicks were going to tear down the 40-year-old house and rebuild from scratch, but Hurricane Katrina changed their plans.
“We had about an inch of water in the garage, which had a lower finished floor than the rest of the house,” David says. “We took this into account in the renovation and raised the level of the garage to be equal with the rest of the house.”
Susan and David are both licensed architects — the two met while studying architecture at Tulane University — and decided to serve as architects for the renovation, with Fred Phipps of Phipps Enterprises as the contractor.
The décor is a mix of new pieces and old pieces handed down to the family; the home has a contemporary look, and the Connicks eschew the faux-antique look that has become popular.
“Our personal style is modern,” David says. “We like new things to be new — not new pieces made to look old.”
In the renovation plans, Susan says the couple made sure to accommodate the family’s musical inclinations by creating a practice space: “We made the decision to split the existing garage into a pantry and music room. This gave us better use of our existing square footage. David always wanted a room where he could practice, record and listen to music without disturbing everyone else. This room turned out better than he hoped, and the kids even hang out in there. Michael has been playing piano for a few years, so he practices in here, as well. Also, the location of the music room makes it very convenient to load in and out equipment for gigs.”
The Connicks’ home is a bit small in terms of square footage, so they’ve maximized the space by creating openness and getting creative — like they did with the garage-turned-music room. The part of the house that epitomizes this strategy is their airy den space, which is Susan’s favorite room of the house.
“It has a very open feel, with lots of natural light and views to the backyard, something that was missing before we added the large sliding door in the renovation,” she says. “It serves as a great gathering space for family events, and we can easily spread into the backyard when the weather cooperates.”
Susan thinks that despite the space limitations, this home is just right for her active family.
“There is no wasted space,” she says. “When we renovated, we accepted the fact that we live in a small house. We designed to maximize the use of space and used efficient storage systems. While there are times where we could use just a few hundred more square feet, our home fits our lifestyle quite well. Whether it’s family game nights on the coffee table that is just perfect for Monopoly or family movie nights or gathering a group of friends for a Saints or Red Sox game — our home is a perfect fit with our family!”