LAFAYETTE — When pediatric surgeon Deiadra Garrett gets home from the hospital, she needs calm and tranquility, an oasis from work.
And, when she spotted the town home on Elysian Fields, it was love at first sight.
“I had a Realtor, but I started to jog one day, and while I was walking, I turned the corner,” she said. “There were basically no houses except this one; it was by itself. I peeked inside and thought, ‘I really love this house.’”
But the course of true love never did run smooth, and her agent explained it was a custom home and would never be for sale. Later, while looking for houses online, Garrett happened across it on a website. “I put in an offer that day,” she said.
Garrett, born and raised in Lafayette, attended LSU and went to medical school in Pittsburgh, later completing her surgical residency at Ochsner’s in New Orleans and obtaining a doctorate in genetics. She has been in practice in Lafayette for six years and in her Elysian Fields town home for three.
She enlisted the talents of Lafayette-based interior designer Jodi Bolgiano to decorate her first home.
“I was able to look at her designs, her visions,” Garrett said. “She didn’t have her store then but had connections to all the companies and all the different styles. That’s not my strength.”
The result is a sophisticated home transformed with intriguing shapes, textures and soothing colors. It seems neutrals are just what the doctor ordered.
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The contemporary home with three bedrooms, 2½ baths and a view overlooking the Vermilion River is a study in stainless steel, gray and white. Not at all austere, the limited palette with accents of robin’s egg blue, beige and silvery reflective items (Bolgiano calls it coastal) soothes the eyes.
An open kitchen with granite-topped island and sleek cabinets looks out on the living room, while custom barstools invite guests to linger for Champagne.
“I’m a texture person. We designed them (the barstools). There are three different fabrics," she said, adding with a laugh, "My previous furnishings looked like a fraternity. In fact, a fraternity actually came and got the sofa, I can’t remember which one.”
Her current living room is far from frat house. The sofa is deep enough to sit with one’s legs stretched out, perfect for lounging and watching TV. Garrett knew she didn’t want big chairs but desired comfort nonetheless. The streamlined leather-upholstered seats recline, the better to view the television above the fireplace, whose custom English mount was built abroad.
“I was told men like this a lot,” she said.
The neutral palette continues through the glass door in the gray Adirondack chairs on the terrace.
A formal dining table and its matching chairs keep company with a bench and a chandelier Garrett acquired after seeing it featured in a St. Jude Dream Home. The abstract is by artist Lynn Eustace Sanders, whom she knew from school.
“It’s nice to have a friend’s work," she said. "She’s harder to get now.”
The master bedroom downstairs houses a Leslie Tamariello painting, reflected in an oversized, silvery mirror.
“It’s the swamp but light,” Garrett said.
The throw across the foot of her bed is testimony to her love of texture, and the tree-like chandelier fulfills Garrett’s wish to incorporate the outdoors. A throw pillow repeats the Greek design of the bannister.
The ancient Greek meandros metal banister — dubbed Greek key or Greek lines in modern design parlance — leading to the upstairs was discovered by accident at an East Broussard Road iron works and optioned before the house was finished, replacing a nondescript wooden railing.
“There was just a random lot with all these pieces of metal, and it just stood out,” Garrett recalled. “So I had it fabricated. It was a little process to have it angled. Francis Pavy had a painting with that design that I tried to buy once, but I was too late.”
The second floor is still a work in progress and may eventually become a media lounge complete with mini-kitchen, light and more views of the Vermilion. The hardwood floors are reclaimed wood from a church, an element that underscores the Spanish colonial mission details of the home’s exterior.
“I like the house because it’s a change; it sets itself apart,” Garrett said. “It’s so peaceful and calming — warm, inviting and a good time. If you spill wine, it’s OK. I feel like it’s an oasis.
“I’m excited when I walk in this house.”