La Maison: Thoroughly Modern and Chic
Upon discovering where she wanted to live, Gretchen Kaltenbach proceeded to embellish the interior with a tasteful updated look that mirrored her personal style.
Housing developments have evolved from street upon street of one-size-fits-all homes to a village concept where a diversity of residential offerings can accommodate all types of choices. Amenities such as walking trails, clubhouses, landscaped grounds, lakes and gated pools play their parts in attracting those seeking more to enrich their lifestyles.
Gretchen Kaltenbach happened to visit Grand Pointe in Lafayette, a model for this new trend, and knew it was where she wanted to be.
“I saw the neighborhood, which had the 2011 St. Jude Home, and fell in love with all of it,” Kaltenbach says. “Another plus was being located near the East Broussard end of Kaliste Saloom Road, which meant I would be close to my family and friends.”
As an experienced homeowner, having built two and renovated two, Kaltenbach initially planned on purchasing a lot. “The developer showed me several houses that were already constructed but with the interiors unfinished,” she says. “I kept returning to this one on Brightwood Street. Being able to choose my colors and cabinet designs was perfect as I had my own thoughts on this.”
Inspired by a vacation at Perdido Key near Pensacola, Fla., she selected hues of soft blues and grays for the walls and cabinetry and incorporated white in fabrics and furniture. By blending varying forms of silver metallic accessories, Kaltenbach was able to achieve the beach theme she desired.
The West Indies façade provides the perfect packaging for this interior style, remaining constant with its lengthy exterior windows dressed with Bahama shutters. Set high above these are clerestory windows, which were added to enhance a feeling of spaciousness as well as to bring the daylight deep into the room they encircle.
With 1,710 square feet of living area – including three bedrooms and two baths – another method of creating an illusion of more space in the separate areas is ceiling heights. The kitchen and living and dining rooms combine in an open floor plan with 10-foot ceilings; the living room ceiling reaches to 16 feet as it is vaulted. Bedrooms, baths and the hallway are consistent at 9 feet.
“My previous homes were generally bigger in size with more property, the prior one even having a swimming pool,” Kaltenbach says. “So at this point in my life as a single businessperson, I knew I wanted less house and yard but yet a high quality of custom features and furnishings.”
Some of the more innovative inclusions are piped-in music to every room, rounded edges in all doorways and a covered outdoor space complete with a built-in fireplace with a cabinet above that opens to reveal a television.
In sync with what is current in contemporary décor, Kaltenbach repeated diagonally crossed mullions in the design for the windows set high in the living room and followed the theme through with the top cabinets of the kitchen and the dresser and end tables in the master bedroom. Being consistent throughout with this technique as well as the color scheme has a huge impact on visual effect here where room sizes are scaled down.
Art renderings also reflect the tempo, with one having a special meaning for Kaltenbach. In the hallway hangs an abstract by artist Tim Noel of Lafayette, which he describes as a “repurposed mixed-media acrylic.”
More art pieces and decorative items were chosen by Kaltenbach as she shopped online with Z Gallerie and Currey & Co. with some Pottery Barn added in. Knowing what she was looking for made the venture exciting rather than challenging. Upholstered custom seating was provided by Crissy Greene of Elle Design & Décor LLC in Lafayette.
Being pleased with the results in her home, which the developer refers to as “Alys Beach-style,” brings much satisfaction to this homeowner. “After a day at work,” she says, “I look forward to returning to my haven, which my home has become.”