If you enjoy going on vacation, but really hate the hassle of traveling, this listing at 71130 Riverside Drive in Covington would be just the home for you.

Even though it’s just five minutes from all the shopping and convenience of Covington, once you drive down winding Riverside Drive, you just gasp as you come upon the magnificent Andy McDonald-designed home fronted by a koi pond nestled in the middle of the circular drive at the end of its own private winding driveway.

This plantation-style home is set on 2.39 carefully manicured acres filled with plenty of cypress trees and lush greenery. Its raised architecture makes for a perfect setting for outdoor, but covered, barbeques or a children’s playground underneath. There’s ample space for cars, a pool table or ping pong. There’s also an outdoor shower and that most desirable feature in our hurricane-prone area – a fully automated stand-by generator.

Sunk into its rear grounds is a large pool, the requisite hot tub and a sun-yourself-by-the-pool, play a game of cards or serve lunch to your friends patio area – maybe all quite the norm in a home of this impressive size and design.

But the surprise comes when you follow the winding lighted plank walkway surrounded by lush foliage and cypress trees (I can just see the kids of all ages delighting in skipping down this trail) to a dock large enough for a table and chairs plus a boathouse on the Abita River.

“The river here is navigable for large boats,” pointed out listing agent Ellen Berry, with Coldwell Banker TEC Realtors, “and it’s perfect for jet skiing or any kind of fishing – or you can just relax on the deck and watch the water flow by.” And you would have complete privacy enjoying any of these activities: the other side of the river is all trees and foliage – there’s not another person in sight.

The house itself contains all the graciousness New Orleanians appreciate in their dwellings: wooden floors throughout the foyer, living room, formal dining room, keeping room, kitchen, wet bar and library and fully lined custom draperies which remain with the house. A sparkling chandelier hangs over the dining room table and plenty of fans stir the central air conditioning.

“This fireplace in the living room is just so inviting,” said Berry. “It makes for cozy entertaining or just sitting and reading or watching television.”

The living room sweeps out into a truly huge back porch which overlooks the garden and swimming pool. I could picture whole families eating meals, laughing and having fun after a swim here. For those who prefer a little peace or an afternoon nap, there is a most private, book-filled library just to the side of the living room.

As is usual in a custom-designed house, the kitchen is breathtaking: In addition to the usual side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, it features thick granite countertops, an abundance of counter and storage space thanks to custom cabinetry, a five-burner stove and a double sink.

The master suite is on the second floor overlooking the garden and pool area and if you find you have to work once in a while in this paradise, there’s a small convenient study here also. Two other bedrooms with an adjoining bath are perfect for children or guests.

There’s one question any buyer is likely to ask: “Why would anyone leave this heavenly setting?” And, there can only be one answer: the pull of family, especially grown children with grandchildren, in New Orleans. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a haven in heaven for someone else.

“This home is a total paradise,” said the owner, Michael Fawer, “and you’re always on vacation, eliminating the need for a second home.”

Photos by Martin Amberville at Fotosold.

Angela Carll may be reached at angcarll@gmail.com or 504-947-6575.


  • Address: 71130 Riverside Dr. in Covington
  • Lot size: 2.39 acres
  • Living area: 4,641 square feet
  • Bedrooms: Five
  • Baths: Three full, two half
  • Price: $1,375,000
  • Marketing agent: Ellen Berry, Coldwell Banker TEC Realtors 985-845-2001 or 504-220-0486 cell
  • Ellen.berry@coldwellbankertec.com
  • www.ellenberry.net