Whether it’s a cool fall night and the Tigers are playing in Death Valley or a warm spring evening and LSU’s baseball team is on the diamond, chances are Dr. Tom and Anne Meek are watching the game on the big screen TV in their outdoor living space.
There will be cooking in the decked-out kitchen, with lots of friends and family gathering, finding a comfortable spot on the wicker sofas and chairs in the large, open outdoor room.
“We use it all the time,” said Anne Meek. “It’s where we celebrate holidays with our family. It’s fun to decorate it for Christmas, and it comes in handy for Thanksgiving,”
The spacious addition is a seamless fit with the home the couple built 15 years ago.
“We wanted it to blend into the landscape and with our Louisiana-style house,” said Anne Meek.
Working with architect Tommy Cockfield and landscape architect Cynthia Cash, the Meeks came up with a design that’s filled with character — exposed cypress beams and a brick floor and fireplace — as well as comfort. The kitchen is fully equipped with a gas grill and burners, electric oven, refrigerator, sink with a disposal and plenty of counters.
“I think we use the outdoor kitchen more than the indoor one,” Anne Meek said.
The space was built by the Meeks’ son, John Meek, a local contractor who used materials that complement the very traditional house.
Two ceiling fans cool the area in the summer, and the fireplace warms the kitchen on the coldest winter days.
“It’s where we watch LSU baseball games and have football parties,” she said.
Because the Meeks love to fish, the outdoor kitchen is perfect for frying and serving their catch.
Their children, John and Tiffany Meek, Lisa and Paul Mayeaux and Dr. Cori Howington, who lives in Savannah, and the Meek grandchildren gravitate to the outdoor kitchen when they visit.
“There are lots of naps out here,” Anne Meek said with a laugh.
Cash designed the landscaping to take advantage of the openness of the Meeks’ home.
The outdoor kitchen is a natural extension of the large living room, which overlooks the brick and slate patio. In the north corner of the patio is a sugar kettle fountain and a lush area planted with tropicals.
“Cynthia said we had to have a sugar kettle in a Louisiana house,” Anne Meek said.
Her garden is filled with pentas, butterfly weed, blue salvia, daisies and angelonia to attract butterflies.
The home is at the end of a secluded street in a large residential area off Lee Drive. The Meeks built the three-bedroom home in 1994 after their children were grown.
Architect Billie Bryant combined traditional style with modern features, and interior designer Becki Abercrombie selected neutral paint colors with fabrics and rugs in blues and bittersweet.
One of the nicest features of the home is the deep front porch with white columns and tall windows with shutters.