Dale and Bridget Plauche brought their memories but left most of their "stuff" behind when they moved to Baton Rouge to be closer to children and grandchildren.
After living for over three decades in an older home in St. Francisville, Bridget Plauche wanted something completely different. What she didn't want was to be restricted or burdened with furniture and things they had collected over years. They wanted a clean slate of new furniture for a modern home.
"The kids could take anything they wanted, but they really didn't want much," she said. "We gave away a lot. Dale took truckloads to Goodwill."
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Architect Mike Sullivan designed their home in Perkins Lane, a gated development of 24 houses, a stone's throw from St. Aloysius, where the Plauches, who both grew up in south Baton Rouge, were married and where several of their grandchildren go to school.
"We wanted it to be built just like we wanted it for the needs of our children and grandchildren," Bridget Plauche said. "We wanted it to be light and airy but with a cozy family feel. We wanted anyone who comes in to feel the spirit of our family."
The home features an open plan with a combination living room and dining room — what they call their great room — separated from the kitchen by a deep arch of old brick.
"The arch gives an Old World feel to a new house," Bridget Plauche said. "It's symmetrical. I like things symmetrical."
The Plauches worked with builder Carter Hill, who used heart of pine floors, wide moldings and fine finishes in the home. Interior designer Ellen Kennon helped Bridget Plauche select fabrics and colors from Kennon's line, Full Spectrum Paints.
"I wanted everything light," Bridget Plauche said.
The front door opens to a foyer area of the great room.
"The original plans called for the stairway at the entrance, but we wanted the extra space in the main room, so they moved the stairway to a less conspicuous place," Bridget Plauche said.
Walls in the great room are a soothing cream with linen draperies in a solid neutral. A large deep brown leather sofa, requested by Dale Plauche, is the anchor of the room, which also includes two chairs in a bittersweet and cream geometric print and a soft blue-grey comfortable chair. Throughout the home are tables and chairs finished in soft neutral colors to complement the new look the Plauches wanted.
The great room is filled with art carefully selected for the home.
"We love art," Bridget Plauche said. "We have some pieces collected over years, some new pieces and some interesting pieces."
The kitchen, which opens to a courtyard on the left, is white with plenty of cabinets for storage and a large pantry-laundry room, which can be closed off with a pocket door. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bath.
A hall from the great room leads to a powder room, which is painted Sacre Bleu, a strong deep blue Kennon recently developed.
Off the hall is a small office with a day bed with a trundle.
"We wanted this house to have plenty of room for the grandchildren to stay," Bridget Plauche said.
The master bedroom at the back of the hall is the couple's "cocoon."
"This room has no artwork, nothing to distract your eye," Bridget Plauche said. "It's a place to close out the world at the end of the day. It's soothing and quiet, a place to relax and count our blessings."
The bedroom is painted Gustavian Grey, another of Kennon's colors.
"Her paints have so many pigments that they change colors at different times during the day," Bridget Plauche said. "Sometimes, this color looks blue. Sometimes, it looks grey."
Dale Plauche, a former bank president, now works several days a week at the Cottonport Bank. He enjoys gardening in his courtyard, which was designed by Rob Treppendahl.
"It feels like a little garden in the middle of the city," Bridget Plauche said.
She worked for more than 30 years, first as a teacher and later as an administrator for the West Feliciana Parish Schools.
"We loved St. Francisville. We raised our children in St. Francisville, but we just wanted to be closer to family," she said.
It's early, but she's already thinking about Christmas, their second in the new house. Last year, she had all kinds of games for the children and organized a scavenger hunt on the grounds of the development. It was a big crowd with the three Plauche children and their families as well as Bridget Plauche's sister and her children and their families.
"This house is very comfortable for two people, but it's great for a crowd, also," she said.