Abita Springs — Melissa and Lynn Bridges brought spunk and color to their quiet, older neighborhood when they completely remade their house.
“When we purchased the house, we gutted it completely out,” says Melissa Bridges. “All that was left were the four outside walls.”
Having both grown up just blocks away, they knew the traditional neighborhood well.
“Everyone wants to know if artists live here,” she says with a laugh.
She’s not an artist, but she loves color, especially deep jewel tones. “No pastels for me,” she says.
Their home’s exterior is a dark eggplant with pumpkin-colored columns. The yard is filled with items collected by the couple over years, including a totem pole at the street corner, a tree filled with brightly colored bottles and large colored balls on the front lawn. Matching gargoyles guard the front entrance.
Inside, the original three-bedroom home has been totally reconfigured to create one large living room-dining room-kitchen combination as well as two bedrooms, two baths and a utility room.
“It’s perfect for the two of us,” Melissa Bridges says.
In creating the main room, the couple took in a front sun porch but kept the home’s original windows. They completely redid the kitchen area by adding a copper ceiling, new appliances, new cabinets and a unique bar area, with a farmhouse sink on the kitchen side and a ledge and stools on the living room side.
The walls in the kitchen area are pumpkin-colored to contrast with deep green walls in the living/dining room area. Lighter stained woodwork in the home sets off the deep colors of the walls and the hand-scraped walnut floors.
The boards in the tongue-and-groove pine ceiling are painted in a menagerie of colors, picking up the green and pumpkin of the large room.
“I chose the colors,” says Melissa Bridges. “I saw a rug I liked and wanted to put those colors on my ceiling.”
The couple collected fixtures and items for the home over time. “If something catches our eye, if we like it, we buy it,” she says. “We figure out later where to put it. We like different things.”
For example, the nontraditional ceiling fans are made from two oscillating tabletop fans.
The home is filled with artistic touches, including dining room chairs in a rainbow of colors, a metal fork and spoon that could belong to the Jolly Green Giant in the kitchen area and a collection of drawings of Abita Springs landmarks on the living room walls.
The Bridges moved into their home in November 2012 after a yearlong project by Paul Oalmann and Kevin Jenkins.
“They did all of the woodwork — the ceilings, baseboards and beams,” Lynn Bridges says.
“I consider the guys to be true craftsmen,” adds Melissa Bridges.
The redo also included the addition of a large deck and garage to the back of the home.
This is the third house the Bridges have done. Their first was a very old house. They built their second home and filled it with antiques.
“We got rid of it all before we started this project,” Melissa Bridges says.
She loved redoing the home and shopping for everything new.
“I wanted to do another project,” she says.
And maybe another? She’s thinking about it.
“A lot of people wouldn’t have the nerve to do what we did,” Lynn Bridges says.