Authors Mike and Ayan Rubin needed “a house for grown-ups.” And for more than 4,000 books.
“We moved 4,500 books and gave away a thousand,” said Mike Rubin, a well-known local lawyer. The Rubins are both writers who collaborated on “The Cottoncrest Curse,” a mystery thriller published by LSU Press in 2014.
The couple also wanted plenty of room for entertaining.
“I love to cook,” Ayan Rubin said. “We do a lot of entertaining, big parties. We were looking for more social space.”
And something contemporary.
“That’s hard to find in Baton Rouge, where things are more traditional,” she said.
A decade ago, they found the perfect compromise — a relatively new home in a quiet subdivision off Highland Road with a somewhat traditional exterior but large interior spaces that could easily be adapted to their style.
They lightened the wall color, enclosed many open cabinets and darkened some exposed beams. And added bookcases, of course.
Because of its location on a corner lot, the original owner made two front entrances with foyers — one through a courtyard and another through a vine-covered pergola.
The Rubins took the courtyard as their main entrance and the other their back entrance. “We now have the prettiest back door in Baton Rouge,” Ayan Rubin said with a laugh.
To the right of the front foyer is a hallway that leads to their kitchen, which is open to a very large living room-dining room combination. The Rubins’ furniture is contemporary with a Danish Modern dining room table and chairs and comfortable seating upholstered in white fabric.
“We always wanted to have white furniture,” Ayan Rubin said. “When the children were growing up, we couldn’t, but when we moved to this house, the white furniture was the only thing we bought.”
The kitchen opens to a small television room decorated in bright colors. “I love primary colors,” Ayan Rubin said. “This room reflects our other house, which was done in primarily colors.”
Originally the home had two downstairs bedrooms. One overlooking the back patio is now the master bedroom. The second bedroom they turned into a combination library-closet.
It was a room that already had a closet.
“Now we say that our closet has a closet,” Ayan Rubin said.
To the left of the front foyer is another large room with a built-in bar, a contemporary wood and metal staircase and a grand piano, which Mike Rubin, a former professional jazz pianist, plays every day.
The front foyer leads to the back patio with large planters, a water feature and a covered screened area with eight rocking chairs and a large outdoor fireplace.
“We spend a lot of time here reading and visiting with friends,” Ayan Rubin said.
Two different stairways lead to two separate upstairs areas. The wood and metal staircase goes to the Rubins’ two offices. Hers has a treadmill “as a reminder,” she said.
His has a wall of built-in cabinets and file drawers, a musical keyboard and the desk that belonged to his grandfather, the late George Ginsberg, a lawyer in Alexandria.
A stairway on the kitchen side of the house leads to guest rooms and a children’s library. “When the kids are here, we can close off that part of the house,” Ayan Rubin said.