When Jane and Charles “Chuck” Mentz decided to build in Lake Vista, they knew they wanted a large family kitchen with a view of the nearby park. The couple also knew the kitchen would be a gathering place for their three children, so they wanted the space to have plenty of light. “Since my husband is a contractor and we had lived in several houses, we both had ideas about how the kitchen should function and look,” says Jane, a lawyer. The Mentzes were pleased with their previous house, which architect C. Spencer “Dodie” Smith, AIA, had designed, so they asked her to design their new one too. “Dodie gave us four large windows that provide a wonderful view of the park … She was well aware of the needs of our family, and she knew that we were interested in repeating the custom cabinets,” Jane says. “The cabinets were made of rare sunken cypress, and we were afraid that Jack [Baton Rouge cabinetmaker Jack Audell] might not have enough for another kitchen. Much to our surprise, he did have the right amount.” Later, the couple brought in Donna Malloy as the designer and Jane Drew as a decorative painter. “We are all pleased with the result,” Chuck says. “We have decided this is our last move, so it’s good that it turned out so well.”

From top: The Mentzes’ kitchen in Lake Vista overlooks a park. The cabinets, some with glass fronts, were made from sunken cypress, the floor is Mexican travertine tile, and the counter tops are granite. A triple sink was positioned underneath the windows; the Mentz family: Jane, Lizzie, Maggie, Chuck and Charlie.