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Rooms with a Hue
The color palette pleases the eye and excites the senses when you enter the Old Metairie home of Barbara and Robert “Bob” Johnston. Rich purple walls greet you when you open the front door and enter the large foyer and your eyes are quickly drawn to the lavender walls in the adjoining dining room. “We love color,” says Barbara. “This house is flooded with wonderful natural light that enhances the color in each room.”
Every room in the Johnstons’ home sings with color. Even the carpet in the living room is patterned with several shades of blue, and a lavender easy chair boldly sits next to the fireplace. The couple also put a lot of thought into accessorizing the room. Barbara proudly points out that their daughter, Leslie Moore, did the needlepoint pillow on the lavender chair in the living room and that Georgette Battistella, a good friend, crafted the purple needlepoint pillow on the chair next to the fireplace in the foyer.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Johnstons’ home is their collection of museum-quality American Indian art. “We have been collecting Indian art for 28 years,” Bob says. “Each piece tells a wonderfully story but most of all, we feel that our collection adds a special personalized charm to our home.”
Barbara and Bob are quick to give credit to Joe L. Morrow, ASID (Ashley Hall Interiors Ltd.), for his talented hand in working with them. “Joe has a special sense of color,” Barbara explains. “We have worked together for so long and it’s been a joy to watch the three of us synchronize our ideas to come up with everything from colors to major renovations.”
“The purple walls in the foyer give the room a regal flair while still keeping the casualness that the couple wanted,” Morrow says. “Lavender is peaceful and serene. It creates a beautiful setting for the couple’s antique country French table we found at Countryside Antiques in Waveland [Miss.] and the marvelous French antique chairs we purchased at Keil’s Antiques on Royal Street.” Morrow also points out that the table can be extended to seat 14.
The Johnstons and Morrow agreed on one important point: there should always be fresh flowers and plants in each room. “I especially love to see fresh flowers or blooming plants on either side of the bed in the master bedroom,” Morrow says. “It starts each day off right to wake up with the sweet smell of flowers.”
The Johnstons’ home has undergone two major renovations. “We completely redid the kitchen twice,” Bob says. “The second kitchen redo allowed us to increase the size of the master bedroom above it. We realized the yard wasn’t getting much use so we expanded the living room by creating a large adjoining sunroom with a slopping glass roof.”
Monique Poché Bennett, CKD (Cabinets by Design) designed the newest kitchen that features a long island, sunny breakfast room and a tall bookcase on one wall. “We both like to cook so Monique designed the kitchen for two cooks,” Bob continues. “We also want to give credit to our contractor Pat Kelley, (Kelley Construction), who did an excellent job.”
Fortunately, Katrina didn’t flood the Johnstons’ home and they recently were able to complete their project of creating a circular drive in front of the house that allowed for new flowerbeds. “Even our flowers reflect our love of color,” Barbara says. “It’s an introduction of color as a preview of what is just beyond the front door.